Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) missions chief resigns
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A top official of the Louisville-based Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) says her resignation "has little to do with recent events" that include an ethics investigation involving employees under her supervision.
Linda Valentine, executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, announced her resignation is effective July 10. She made the announcement Tuesday in a video and a statement on the PMA's website.
"It is time for the organization to have a leader with new enthusiasm and imagination to lead and for me to go where God calls me," Valentine said in the statement.
In April, Valentine's bosses on the board of the mission agency received a report of an independent investigation into whether four PMA employees violated agency policy. Valentine was not one of them. The report looked into the creation of a non-profit corporation and the handling of church funds. The report's conclusions have not been released publicly, PMA spokesperson Kathy Francis said.
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) announced June 1 the four employees were no longer employed by the church but could not say if they resigned or were fired. The church does not discuss private personnel matters, Francis said.
One of the employees, Valentine's deputy executive Roger Dermody, filed a defamation suit against the church in late May. Dermody claimed in the lawsuit that church administrators found no evidence that he acted unethically. The suit also said no employees attempted to misuse church funds that were later accounted for. WDRB News reported on the suit in a June 2 story.
Valentine, confirmed for the post in 2006 and again in 2014, is the longest-serving executive director of the PMA and its predecessor organizations. She is 65 years old and is a member of Highland Presbyterian Church in Louisville.
The PMA board will appoint an interim director and begin a search for a new director, Francis said.
Board chair, the Rev. Marilyn S. Gamm, praised Valentine's service.
"Linda and her leadership team have reshaped the Mission Agency from one that does mission on behalf of the church to one that 'inspires, equips and connects' the church to serve Christ in the world," Gamm said in a statement.
The Presbyterian Mission Agency is one of six agencies that make up the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Each has its own executive director.
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