Changes at Associated Ministries
The following press release went out to media and supporters of Associated Ministries on January 23, 2015. A follow-up story was published in The News Tribune on February 3, 2015.
As Associated Ministries continues its development and pursues the mission of building stronger communities in Pierce County, its Board of Directors has decided to take a different direction and so has its Executive Director, Chris Morton. Chris will no longer be serving as Executive Director.
This information was shared with the full staff Thursday morning, according to Dr. Chris Gilbert, Board President. Chief Operating Officer Molly Archer, who has been at Associated Ministries for over four years, will serve as interim Executive Director for now while a nationwide search begins for a replacement, Gilbert said.
Gilbert credited Morton with strengthening the organization, from restructuring the board to adding critical staff and community service programs – including the opening of a Lakewood office. Morton also led Associated Ministries from a primarily Christian organization to an interfaith one.
“We look to continue our excellence in providing vital community services, both locally and across Pierce County, while uniting people of faith,” said Gilbert, who represents the interfaith board. “We are poised to take advantage of new opportunities to accomplish that mission.”
Morton was in his sixth year with the organization. He took over when Rev. David Alger retired after 30 years. Under Morton’s tenure, the non-profit expanded its services to the homeless through the Access Point 4 Housing program with Pierce County. AM also directs a variety of annual community events including the Hunger Walk, The Lead the Way Home Breakfast, a fundraiser for youth homelessness, and Paint Tacoma-Pierce Beautiful.
The organization also moderates community discussions on controversial issues, like the event that was just held on Sunday at UPS: “Interfaith Conversation on Israel-Palestine.”
The organization has a staff of over 30 people working diligently on 25 programs and assets of about $1.5 million. Associated Ministries was formed in 1969, although it has its roots in a ministerial alliance in Tacoma which goes back to the 1880s.