MEET YOUR NEW EXECUTIVE
Ella Banton, President Elect
A native Floridian I grew up in various communities in Florida and West Virginia. As the daughter of a Methodist minister. My schooling includes Florida Southern College, Ohio Wesleyan University, Union Seminary (NYC) and Teachers College, Columbia University. As the spouse of a Presbyterian Army Chaplain I have lived in 10 states and 7 years in Germany. As an international volunteer (PCUSA) I spent 4 years in Egypt.
Most of my adult life was spent following my husband’s career. When we went to Egypt in 1998 we were called to that location on the basis of my experience in special education (teacher of the deaf) and vocational rehabilitation. I have also been employed in Christian education and spent one year as lay pastor of Bellflower Presbyterian Church in Missouri Union Presbytery.
I believe that my varied experiences in the PCUSA both home and abroad equip me to consider both the past and the evolving future of our church as it seeks to lead people to a belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. As a mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother I am aware that in many respects we in the PCUSA are not appealing to the younger generations. We have a lot to learn from the coming generations without losing sight of the lessons learned from those who went before us.
Boyd Lowry, Vice President
A member at large of the New York Presbytery, Boyd serves with the Committee on Developing Churches. His ministry began with Church World Service in Pakistan with food distribution through schools, hospitals and small scale development projects for increased food production. After three years, he became the Asia Program Director for eleven countries from Japan to Pakistan. His worked was increased by CWS disaster response for annual floods in the Punjab of India, refugee work near the borders of Bangladesh, Nepal and Kashmir. Simultaneously, in 1963 he became a co-founder of Vietnam Christian Service, then Operations Director for the decade following to the end of the war. Approximately 200,000 volunteers served in the various refugee and project locations in South Vietnam.
In 1978 the formation of CODEL, a Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox consortium of up to 42 mission societies was Boyd’s arena for leadership. The focus for mission cooperation was the United Nations list of 38 least developed countries. In 1994 he resigned this position to address his second melanoma. Subsequently, Boyd recovered his health to take up interim pastor ropes as five different congregations in New York Presbytery.
Academic preparation for this ministry includes Wabash College and McCormick Theological Seminary. The loves of his life are Mary Jane Lowry, their family and traveling together - the most recent was three weeks in Myanmar (Burma)
Delphine (Del) Sefcik, Secretary
After graduation from Trinity University in May 1954, I went home to Littlefield TX and married the Rev. John K Sefcik, pastor of the church in Mays Landing NJ. I planned to work as Christian Educator in New Jersey. Due to the need for a second vehicle to get to the job, I ended up teaching 6th grade in Mays Landing. Our first child was born in New Jersey, and when he was just months old, John accepted a call to Catskill, NY, where we lived for just over 3 years.
The John Hus Presbyterian Church in Binghamton NY extended a call, with the stipulation that John work to make the church bi-lingual rather than Slovak language only. The children were older and I added more activities by taking part in the women’s program and spent 3 years as Sunday School Superintendent. After 13 years bringing English into the worship, and building an educational unit, John was called in 1971 to serve an inner city church in southwest Detroit, a merger of three churches. In Detroit again I was a fill-in Sunday School Superintendent, for 9 years this time!
Wayne State University in Detroit offered a degree program in library science. As soon as possible I enrolled and earned a master’s degree in library science in 1973. My first library job was in Detroit Public Schools beginning in 1973. I continued taking additional library classes as needed, ending up with a master’s degree plus 24 hours of post-masters work. As a librarian I worked 35 years, first in school libraries, then in medical and special libraries, and finally in public libraries. Also, I worked a couple of years as Director of the Resource Center of Detroit Presbytery and 8 years of inputting holdings so the Resource Center could be online!
John K Sefcik died in February 2004. In 2008, after 37 years in Michigan, I moved back to Texas, this time to Dallas where I currently live in Highland Springs Retirement Home. I am a member of St. Barnabas Presbyterian Church in Richardson, TX. One son lives in Frisco, another in Prosper, with the third son still in Michigan.
Ellen Davis, Nominating Committee Chair
Ellen is a teaching elder who retired from North Presbyterian Church in St. Paul, Minnesota and is currently the parish associate for older adult ministry at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Lincoln, Nebraska where she regularly teaches, calls on home bound members and on occasion fills the pulpit as what she calls the “third string quarterback.” She is also a certified Christian educator in the PCUSA and served in that capacity in churches in metropolitan Wichita, KS. She is a graduate of Huron, South Dakota University (BA in English), Friends University (MA in Christian Education), Wichita, and Phillips Theological Seminary (MDiv), a Disciples of Christ seminary in Tulsa, OK. Ellen is married to Lynn, also a retired Presbyterian teaching elder. They have four children, nine grandchildren and one great granddaughter.
Ellen has most recently served ARMSS as Convention Committee Chair. She and Lynn have attended nearly all of the last 10 gatherings of ARMSS.