Region Office Staff
Regional Executive Minister: Rev. Dr. Marie Onwubuariri
The Reverend Dr. Marie Onwubuariri has been serving as the Regional Executive Minister (REM) of the American Baptist Churches of Wisconsin since August 2014. What originally drew her to ABC/WI is the region’s mission statement highlighting the centrality of the love of God known in Jesus Christ, and the call for covenantal unity (not uniformity) and for a shared faith and missional journey. What continues to compel and excite her about this ministry call are the people who strive for these values and the multiple avenues and expressions available in the region to live into this mission. Rev. Marie understands her role as REM is to build upon this strong foundation and shepherd a new chapter of associational life in which the region office, its staff, and leadership continually become an effective resource that compels and equips our ministers and ministries toward rootedness, collaboration, growth, and transformation for the sake of a relevant and engaging Christian witness in Wisconsin and beyond.
In her pastoral, administrative, and educational ministries Rev. Marie strives to embody an approach that integrates cultural self-knowing, interpersonal and organizational practices that affirm the value of and ensure equity for all people, and a deep trust in the work of the Triune God. She has been shaped through her work experiences as a seminary admissions director, Pastor and ministerial staff member at three America Baptist churches in the San Francisco Bay area, crosscultural competency trainer, volunteer in various roles within the denomination, executive in the retail industry, and from a lifetime of straddling the intersections of multiple cultures. She also offers her gifts in bridge-building, gracious and collaborative leadership, hospitality, communication, and holistic administration.
Her educational training includes a BS in Business Management at Binghamton University (NY), and a Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry at ABSW (Berkeley, CA). She looks forward to continue to develop her doctoral work focused on raising up a new generation of holistic intercultural transformational leaders through a character-forming spiritual practice incorporating cultural self-knowing and negotiation, cross-cultural competency, and self-care.
Rev. Marie is grateful for the diverse realities within her region, among her ministry networks, and in her personal life as wife, mother, family member, friend, and community member, which all continue to teach her and keep her accountable to the justice call of the Good News of Jesus Christ. Her balancing grace is each opportunity she can take to share her gifts as poet, photography, and pianist with others. Rev. Marie’s home is in Brookfield, Wisconsin where she lives with husband Franklin, children Anaya and Sol, and dog Winnie.
Associate Regional Minister - Camping: Rev. Carolyn Dugan
In this role, I try to keep the past, present and future of camping in mind as we plan the summer youth camps, winter youth retreats, work with various rental groups and offer retreats. I have been attending, volunteering and working at Camp Tamarack since I was in 5th grade and I realize there is a nostalgia and sense of home when it comes to Camp Tamarack for anyone that has been there. I also realize change is inevitable as we evolve the Camp into what the Region and the campers, leaders and staff need in the 21st Century. I am reminded of the words in Deuteronomy 6 and 11 where we are commanded to teach the words of God to our children in all matter of life. I believe we are all children of God and Camp Tamarack is a place where this teaching and learning can occur in many different ways for individuals and groups.
In Numbers 9:18 the Lord commanded the people of Israel to camp, so we should too.
Prior to working for American Baptist Churches of WI, I used my BS in Zoology from UW-Oshkosh working for Covance Laboratories 18+ years in Toxicology and Human Resources as a Study Technician, Supervisor and Manager. In these capacities I learned various leadership skills and was able to use them working with clients, regulatory agencies and delivering training to several laboratories in the U.S. as well as working with laboratories in England, Germany and Shanghai.
During my tenure as part time Director of Camping Ministries from Jan 1, 2012 –Dec 31, 2016, I was also the Christian Education Director for The Federated Church of Green Lake, a basketball coach for the Fall River School district, delivered leadership training at several sites around the US for ICON Laboratories and provided Pre-Leadership Development for Covance Laboratories virtually as well as working in their BioAnalytical Department in Madison, WI.
In May of 2016, I graduated from Central Baptist Theological Seminary with a Masters of Divinity. During the ceremony I was awarded the Harvey E. Dana award for writing.In August of 2016, I was Ordained within the American Baptist Churches - USA Denomination at The Federated Church of Green Lake.
I live on a 5 acre farmette with my husband Jim, daughter Emma and various furry and feathery pets including a donkey, llama, sheep, mini horses, 3 dogs and many cats. Taking care of and being part of Creation is a big part of my identity. I also enjoy working out, photography, indulging in my geek side, finding ways to be creative and listening to my family make music and watching my daughter compete in marching band and play volleyball.
I am looking forward to continuing the work of Camp Tamarack along with the many partners that call the space home.
Associate Regional Minister - Education: Rev. Dr. John Jones IV
Rev. Dr. John A. Jones IV was appointed as Associate Regional Minister-Education, effective January 1, 2017. This appointment includes responsibilities of the Site Coordinator of CENTRAL Wisconsin CBTS, inclusive of the Hispanic Lay Institute and the Korean-Language program that meets at the Elm Grove offices. Prior to assuming this position, John has taught classes at CENTRAL since 2008.
Originally from the south, John grew up in Georgia, graduating with a B.A. from Mercer University in Christianity, Psychology, and Greek in 1991. He enjoyed a year at Regents Park College of Oxford University in England before pursuing the M.Div. degree at the Baptist House of Studies of Duke Divinity School in North Carolina where he graduated in 1995. Soon thereafter he received Southern Baptist Church ordination through his home church Shirley Hills Baptist Church in Warner Robins, Georgia. He served as pastor of Crystal Hill Southern Baptist Church in Virginia for about one year before moving back to Georgia to be with his father after the passing of his mother from cancer.
In Georgia, he taught middle school mathematics, coached softball and soccer, and prepared to continue studies in theology and ethics. In 1999, John moved to Milwaukee to begin a doctoral program at Marquette University. He successfully defended his dissertation, The Costly Witness of the Church in 2006. Prior to that defense as well as in the time since, he has had the opportunity to teach as an adjunct instructor at various local schools including Marquette University, Lakeland College, Cardinal Stritch University, Mount Mary University, Viterbo University, and CENTRAL Wisconsin seminary.
In 2008 he had the good fortune of marrying Katherine Valentyn. They have two daughters, Martha and Alicia, who teach them valuable lessons daily, helping them be better parents and better people by providing both laughter and challenge. The family is involved in the congregational lives of both First Baptist Church of West Allis and St. Benedict the Moor in Milwaukee. John very much enjoys cooking for the family and trying to do some running or cycling to work off all that good food. During summer holidays you can usually find the family camping in one of the wonderful Wisconsin State Parks.
The position of Associate Regional Minister – Education is a new position in the ongoing growth and evolution of the Region ministries. The hallmarks of rootedness, growth, and collaboration that lead to transformation are built into the responsibilities of CENTRAL Seminary site coordinator, and they have been born out through John’s experience over the last several years teaching students responding to God’s call. Our rootedness in the story of God’s work in the world enables growth to meet new challenges through collaboration – we need each other to let our faith shine. That makes possible transformation: personal, communal, social. John considers it an honor to serve in this position.
Student Recruiter for CENTRAL Seminary, Wisconsin - Education: Ericka Davis
Assistant Minister of Education: Patrick Roberts