Dear Ecumenical friends,
It is with heavy hearts that we received the news of the death of the Reverend Dr. Wallace Ford on November 28, 2020. Our sympathies are with his wife, Valerie and the family circle now grieving. May God give comfort and peace to their souls and healing with hope to their hearts
The Rev. Dr. Wallace Ford, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), was the second Executive of the New Mexico Conference of Churches following the organizing of the ecumenical endeavor by judicatory heads and the calling of an Executive, the Rev. Harry Summers, a Presbyterian who served from 1964 - 1981. Wally’s tenure at the Conference covered the years from 1982 to 2000, a period for growth as an ecumenical witness with various innovative ministries.
Among the efforts of the Conference, under Wally’s leadership, are the development of effective legislative advocacy work, research and theological reflection on poverty in New Mexico, approval of numerous ecumenical protocols to guide public witness on issues such as Capital Punishment, Responsible Citizenship, Affordable Housing and about a dozen other topics (all agreed to by the member denominations); as well as, new emphases on AIDS ministries, Caring and Inclusive Congregations, Marriage and Family Life, Religious Pluralism and Public Education, Eco-Justice, Solidarity with Women, and Ecumenical Theological Education. Many of these emphases developed into programs independent from, but in long standing partnership with, the Conference of Churches.
Wallace Ford was known throughout the state and nation as a strong ecumenical voice speaking and reflecting on theological issues present in contemporary society. He not only thought and taught from a theological perspective, he moved theology into the world through the creation of ministries that integrated faith, stewardship and community. He was a leader, a faithful disciple and a friend in Christ to many.
There will be many times in the coming years when Wally will be remembered – and you may be one whose life was touched by his strong, yet kindly spirit. I am seeking information in order to establish an “En Memoriam” page in Wally’s honor. I request your remembrances and will carefully curate the material on the page. For now, let us give thanks and praise that we were his companions. Then, let us continue to reach out and to remain faithful to our commitments.
Grace and Peace, Kay Huggins, Interim Executive Director