The National Benevolent Association (NBA) has proudly announced it is restoring the use of the NBA name. As a general ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), NBA has had a long and rich history of serving persons in need since 1887.
Since being called to serve as NBA’s president and CEO in January, Mark D. Anderson, has engaged in multiple conversations across the life of the church. Anderson stated that “NBA’s ministry is being transformed as we listen to God’s call to serve those in need.” The Board of Trustees made the decision to restore the name, National Benevolent Association, and launched a new mission for the organization – Creating Communities of Compassion and Care. “How we will carry out this mission will look different from our founding foremothers, but we will keep with their spirit of helping the helpless – to give a home to the homeless, to provide care for the sick and comfort for the distressed,” Anderson said.
In 2004, St. Louis based NBA filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and emerged 14 months later after having sold most of its residential facilities and after having paid its creditors in full and with interest. The NBA Board of Trustees felt at that time that a new name – Disciples Benevolent Services – would lead the organization in a new direction, with a smaller yet more focused vision. However, after six years, the DBS name never seemed to catch on with the wider church.
The staff and the Board of Trustees recognize that NBA is not alone in providing compassion and care, and that partnerships with congregations, Regions and other General Ministries is imperative to be successful. NBA is forging a new working relationship with Disciples Care Network. This network, consisting of historic Disciples-related social service providers, continues to be the hands of Christ to our children, older adults and people with disabilities in our local communities. There will also be new collaborations and partnerships with congregations and regions to strengthen their missional work related to health and human services.
"The embrace of the new-old name ‘National Benevolent Association’ is, I believe, more than reclamation, more than a re-branding. It’s a sign of a transformation and a renewal of hope and, simply, a calling. May we Disciples rise to the challenge of being the NBA in ways we never imagined before," said Rev. Bob Hill, a long-time NBA supporter and Senior Minister at Community Christian Church in Kansas City, Mo.
NBA Development Director, Rev. Patrick Chandler, who spends much of his time traveling across the country meeting with pastors, congregations and individuals, said “there is real energy and excitement about the return of the NBA name, people are looking to the future of NBA with renewed passion.”
This year’s General Assembly in Nashville will provide many opportunities for discussions about creating communities of compassion and care. NBA will host a World Café on Monday afternoon where people will be invited to share their ideas about the future direction of NBA. And, NBA, along with co-host Disciples Care Network, is hosting a booth and a Monday evening dinner when the new corporate identity, mission statement and Web site will be unveiled.
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Contact: Mary Ruth Crawford
National Benevolent Association
314-993-9000 FAX 314-993-9018
e-mail: [email protected]