April 15, 2021
Rev. Dr. Ashley Cook Cleere
Named New Executive Director
The Executive Director Search Committee and the Board of Directors are pleased to announce the selection of Rev. Dr. Ashley Cook Cleere as the new Executive Director of the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches (NACCC). The selection was made after a national search process, numerous interviews, and thoughtful deliberation.
Jodee Lord, chair of the Search Committee said “We were excited what we learned about Rev. Dr. Cleere through the interview and through conversations with her references. She is passionate about and experienced in the NACCC. Ashley is a leader who is willing to be part of the team. She is a reliable and good administrator but also a visionary and innovator.” Jodee explained that the committee was particularly impressed and excited by the comments to questions related to visioning that the Rev. Dr. Cleere presented to the committee during the process. She was a unanimous choice of the Search Committee.
Ashley’s personal resume most recently includes work as Chaplain, Director of Church Relations, and Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Piedmont College. Her role at Piedmont included strengthening ties with the NACCC, promoting student recruitment to establish a more diversified student body, and partnering with students, faculty, staff, and community organizations to effect change in the college community. While chaplain Ashley worked with budgets and goals, personnel selection and evaluation, fundraising, and programming.
Ashley has also served as Interim Senior Pastor at Central Congregational Christian Church in Atlanta GA; Founding Minister at Covenant Congregational Church in Demorest GA; Minister of Congregational Life at South Congregational Church of Hartford CT; and Pastor of First Congregational Church of Etna in Pittsburgh PA. She is a graduate of Hamilton College, Union Theological Seminary, and Columbia Theological Seminary.
At the time of Ashley’s selection, she was serving as President of the Board of Governors of the Congregational Foundation. As President, she was a voting member on the NACCC Board of Directors and served from 2017-2020. Other work included serving as a member of the Nominating and Annual Meeting and Conference Committees, Missionary Society, and Congregational Foundation for Theological Studies (CFTS).
Rev. Art Ritter, NACCC Board of Directors Chair stated, “We are excited about the choice of Ashley Cleere as the new Executive Director. Her experience within the NACCC will be helpful as we deal with the unique issues of our time and we look forward to her leadership in helping us define and work toward a bright future. We are grateful for the excellent work of the search committee.”
The members of the Search Committee and the Board of Directors ask that everyone keep the Rev. Dr. Cleere in prayer as she begins her new position on June 1st. Her selection will be on the agenda for ratification by the Delegates at the virtual Annual Meeting and Conference on June 19, 2021.