Shifting Seasons, Steady Leadership: CGM Offers Goodbyes, Extends Greetings
The signals are often subtle, yet they convey critical meaning: an emerging flower, a crimson leaf, or the first snowflake. Seasons come and seasons go, yet each change reflects qualities uniquely beautiful—and uniquely necessary—in its time. So it is with ministry. Shifting seasons necessarily propel the cycles of life forward, harnessing the special tapestries of gifts, strengths, and personalities required to meet the transitory and perpetual needs of a people, an organization, or a local church. Church of God Ministries finds itself once again at an equinox, a solstice of sorts. At such a critical juncture, the Lord has once again gone before, ensuring providential provision for steady leadership.
Ann Brandon, executive director of operations and innovation for Church of God Ministries, has submitted her resignation in anticipation of a new season of life and ministry. At the same time, Church of God Ministries offers sincerest welcome to Alecia Swoope, daughter of the late Rev. Dr. Diana Swoope, but a minister of the highest caliber in her own right.
Departing the offices of the Movement which has raised her up in life and ministry, Ann Brandon isn’t taking leaving lightly. Her contributions to the Church of God in various capacities for Anderson University, local congregations, and Church of God agencies cannot be understated. Especially in recent years at the helm of the amplified efforts of communications for the Movement, Ann’s high-profile visibility yet cheerful demeanor and heartwarming hospitality has endeared her to pastors and leaders from coast to coast, and far beyond the borders of the United States and Canada. “I am so grateful for the relationships and experiences the Lord has given me through my work in the Church of God,” she reflects. “It has profoundly shaped who I am, how I view the church, and how I see my role in the community.”
Of Ann’s profound influence on the staff of Church of God Ministries and the pastors and congregations CGM serves, Jim Lyon, general director, beams. “Ann has been a rock star on the Church of God Ministries team, in both seasons of her tenure here (before I arrived on the scene and since),” Jim says. “She is loved, respected, and admired, far and wide. We trust her sense of the Lord’s leading, absolutely, but still will grieve not seeing her and hearing her voice on the team in the days ahead. Her contributions to the work of the General Assembly and its office at Church of God Ministries are extraordinary; she leaves solid foundation stones in every department in which she has served and led. She has been key to many, many wins, for heaven’s sake.”
Ann’s final day in the office will be August 12, but her work will continue remotely through September 1. Though the shoes Ann wore will be impossible to fill, the back-to-back announcement of Alecia Swoope offers salve to ease the discomfort, and so much more. In fact, the news of Alecia Swoope joining Church of God Ministries puts spring in the steps of the staff, who rejoice at such a stellar selection to follow in the footsteps of Ann.
Jim Lyon explains: “We are pleased to announce that Alecia Swoope has joined our team as Chief Operating Officer. Alecia will be stepping into several of Ann’s ministry shoes—and also into some of Natalie Royer’s shoes, as well. She is brilliant, with a smile to light up every room, an unmistakable heart for Jesus and his work, and a sharp mind clothed by grace and courage. She is moving from Atlanta to the Anderson office to help anchor the place. She is in her 30s, unflappable, pastoral, visionary, and animated by holy ambition.”
Adding to the excitement, Alecia comes to Church of God Ministries from roles combined that establish her as the perfect candidate for the present pivotal moment in which the Movement finds itself. Under Geremy Dixon at Center of Hope (First Church of God) LA in California, Alecia honed her administrative, leadership, and shepherding skills. At the Atlanta Mission in Georgia, she managed and inspired whole teams and stakeholders. Empowering groups for the Alliance for Greater Works in Dallas, Texas, Alecia further prepared her whole self for the present moment. “Alecia stands tall in her own right,” Jim comments, “but you will inevitably be reminded of our late General Assembly chair Diana Swoope when you cross Alecia’s path.”
As one season concludes and another begins with tender goodbyes and enthusiastic greetings, thank you, Church of God, for your prayerful support.