The Board of Friends United Meeting, in business sessions in Richmond, Indiana (USA), accepted the recommendation of the Search Committee to call Kelly Kellum as the next General Secretary of FUM. This recommendation followed an intensive search process including members from throughout the global fellowship of Friends.
Kelly was raised in Burundi, Africa, where his parents were missionaries with Mid-America Yearly Meeting. He is a graduate of Friends University and Asbury Theological Seminary. He served as a pastor among Friends for twenty years, most recently in North Carolina, and as presiding clerk of FUM for one triennium and on the Executive Committee of the FWCC–SOA. Most recently, Kelly has been working as a Stewardship Consultant, serving Quaker meetings and organizations on behalf of a new partnership between FUM and Everence Financial Services.
Kelly is a member of High Point Friends Meeting in North Carolina. In his address to the board proceeding their deliberations and choice to call him as General Secretary, Kelly said that as a child of missionaries and a third-culture kid, he finds it difficult to say exactly where he is from. FUM, however, has become his spiritual home: “the place and the people where I belong.”
Ron Bryan, clerk of FUM, says, “It would be hard to find anyone as well-prepared to lead an organization as diverse as Friends United meeting. Kelly’s wide background, including his upbringing in Africa and his broad experience in many Yearly Meetings and in Friends United Meeting makes him an exciting choice, and we’re glad that God has led him to this work at this time.”
Colin Saxton, current General Secretary, announced in May of 2017 that he would be transitioning out of his role at FUM. He said this about his successor: “Kelly’s gifts, ability to build deep and meaningful relationships, his spiritual depth and love for FUM and Christ will serve the community and organization in important ways. With a fully-engaged board and staff working alongside him, FUM will be more faithful and fruitful in the future.”
Colin will complete his service as General Secretary on June 30th, and Kelly will begin his service on July 1st.