I am writing you today to share an important development in the life of our beloved Presbyterian Mo-Ranch Assembly. At the August meeting of the Board of Trustees, the president, Dick Powell, informed the board of his intention to retire early in 2021.
We are very grateful for Dick’s visionary leadership over the past nine years. He has thoughtfully enlarged the circle of Mo-Ranch’s mission during his tenure. Dick put together an amazing leadership team and has been an effective ambassador for the ranch.
During his years at the helm, we saw the development of Serenity Hill and the construction of a columbarium for those wanting to spend eternity overlooking the North Fork of the Guadalupe. He created a development plan and office and has grown our endowment. Our lodgings and gathering places received needed updates and refurbishing.
Our summer camp and environmental leadership programs have grown tremendously the past two years —so much so such that we are expecting a record number of campers this year. We are closing in on a fundraising campaign for the construction of the Upper Youth Plaza that will transform the area around Loma Linda. And closest to Dick’s own heart is Camp in the Valley that has attracted attention and gifts from across the nation. Thanks to Dick and his team, Mo-Ranch continues to be the welcoming place we love.
The work of the board in this time of transition began in late summer with the creation of an extensive succession plan. It is our template moving forward. As we learned in consulting with several prominent Presbyterian leaders and a consultant who works with non-profits, the most important priority is the selection of the search committee. I am pleased to announce that the following faithful Presbyterian leaders have all enthusiastically agreed to the call to serve on the search committee for the next president of Mo-Ranch:
- Chairperson: Martha Richardson, elder at Westminster, Austin and a current trustee
- Robert Laird: Elder at First-Central, Abilene, and Vice-Chair of the board
- Charlotte Marx Harper: Covenant, Austin, and a trustee
- George Morey: Elder at First, Arlington, and a former trustee
- Rebecca Gafford: Elder at Preston Hollow, Dallas and a former chair of the board
- The Rev. Chris Currie: pastor, First Presbyterian Shreveport, La.
- The Rev. Keatan King:associate pastor, St. Philip, Houston
I will be an ex-officio member of the search committee. We had our first meeting a week ago and got off to a great start. I have great confidence and trust in this gathering of the faithful. We hope a new president will be presented to the bard late in 2020 or early in 2021, ensuring a smooth transition. If you know someone you would like to nominate, you can contact any member of the search committee.
So what can you do? Join me in prayer at this critical crossroads in the life of this ranch we all love so dearly. And continue to share the good news about the transformation that happens when people drive through the gates and onto the sacred ground we call Mo-Ranch.
In Christ’s love,
David M. Evans
Chair, Board of Trustees, Presbyterian Mo-Ranch Assembly