Early in 2022, Chris Brown announced her retirement from the Michigan District’s Commission of Deacon Qualifications (CDQ) as its Registrar. At the Deacon/Ministry Assistant Program Conference In September, she was recognized for her contributions and service in building the Deacon, MAP, and SMP training programs. There are very few Deacons/Ministry Assistants who have not been touched by her service, dedication, and personal interest in their lives and their service to the Lord.
Chris Brown reminisces in her farewell article of the Deacon/MAP Program newsletter:
I can only thank God for the wonderful opportunity and the many blessings I have been given over the last 20 years as I served as the Deacon/MAP registrar. I never imagined what God had in mind when I received a phone call from Rev. Dr. Robert “Bob” Schultz to serve on the Commission of Deacon Qualifications (CDQ) back in 2002. As we interviewed men to become Deacons, it became apparent we needed a Lutheran school for all the Deacons to have the same Lutheran doctrine knowledge to share in their congregations.
It took months of planning to develop the school. Dr. Bob, the late Dr. Ron Jahnke, and I created the training. Rev. Ted Beiderwieden and Deacon Bill Storm also provided much insight and help and the first Deacon class was on November 8, 2003 with 19 students.
Over the years, the largest class held was in 2004 with 32 students. The first Commencement service was in 2005 with five students commencing. In 2016, Jewel Richardson of Beautiful Savior, Wellston was the first to commence as a Ministry Assistant. Our largest group to commence was in 2019, with 13 Deacons and 3 Ministry Assistants.
Accreditation of the Deacon/MAP Program became a priority with the CDQ and a new master’s degree program for Deacons/MAPs was developed through Kairos University. In 2021, Deacon Al Renard was the first student to commence from Kairos with his master’s degree. In 2022, Deacon William Bible was the first student to commence from Kairos AND be accepted into the seminary.
Rev. Dr. Robert Kasper, Assistant to the President–Congregational Mission and Ministry, says, “I am grateful to the Lord for Chris, for her amazing capacity and focused concern for the details in providing for students in our Deacon Training Program. She provided me with tons of ‘program history’ when I first came to my position at the Michigan District. She has been a key servant leader in the history of this program and continues to be a great champion and supporter of lay leadership development.”
Chris Brown will be replaced by Deacon Al Renard. For more information on the program, visit michigandisrict.org/missional.
May the Lord’s continued blessings be with Chris, always guiding her according to His will.
Photo by Elisa Schulz/Michigan District, LCMS