FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (9/04)
Centenary Names Rev. Donald L. Meeks Director of Center for Theological Studies
SHREVEPORT, LA—Through a grant from the Louisiana United Methodist Foundation and private donations, Centenary College is embarking on a pilot year for its new Center for Theological Studies. Newly named director, the Rev. Donald L. Meeks, will develop this program, having begun his duties as director on Aug. 1.
The Center for Theological Studies is an ecumenical ministry and research institute designed to enhance theological education and ministry in the Northwest Louisiana region. The Center provides continuing educational opportunities for lay persons, clergy and other religious professionals and hopes to eventually offer graduate theological coursework in partnership with accredited seminaries and divinity schools.
An ordained elder in the Illinois Great Rivers Conference of the United Methodist Church, the Rev. Mr. Meeks comes to Louisiana with 16 years of experience in local church leadership. Most recently he served as director of development, European Project, for International Education Consulting Group of St. Louis, Mo. Before that, he helped establish Living Waters Fellowship, a new United Methodist church in O’Fallon, Ill. He was also the three-year pastor of First United Methodist Church in Lebanon, Ill., where he worked as the editor for the McKendree Pastoral Review, a journal for pastors produced by McKendree College.
The Rev. Mr. Meeks earned a bachelor of arts degree in religious studies with a music minor from McKendree College in 1985 and was named Bothwell Scholar. He is also a graduate of Emory University, Candler School of Theology, where, as a Shermann Scholar, he received his master of divinity degree, magna cum laude in 1989.
He has broad experience in the United Methodist Church. He was a general and jurisdictional conference delegate for the Southern Illinois and Illinois Great Rivers Conferences, serving on the Ordained Ministry and Global Ministry Legislative Committees in 1996 and 2000, and a director for the General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM) from 1996-2004, serving in the area of evangelization and congregational development.
The Rev. Mr. Meeks also served on the North Central Jurisdictional Episcopal Elections Committee, has been a director for the United Methodist Development Fund, served on the Hispanic Ministries Task Force of GBGM and played a role in redefining financial support for missionaries to strengthen the relationship between global missionaries and the local church.
On the district and annual conference levels, he was a member of the Mississippi River District Ministry Committee, served as a Mentoring Pastor for the Candidacy Process, participated in the Superintendency Committee and the Conference Academy, and was a dean, director and curriculum writer for Conference Camping Ministries.
Rev. Meeks and his wife, Trudie, moved from Illinois to Shreveport with their two daughters, ages 12 and 9. Trudie is a registered nurse with a bachelor of science in nursing from Southern Illinois University. She has 18 years of nursing experience, with certification in Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care.
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