The Board of Directors of Mennonite Central Committee (MCC)’s East Coast region announces the appointment of Hyacinth Stevens of West Haven, Connecticut, as the next MCC East Coast executive director.
She will begin her role in early March, replacing Bruce Campbell-Janz, who is stepping down after leading the region for 10 years.
Board Chair Ruth Lesher of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, says, “The MCC East Coast Board is excited about Hyacinth bringing her leadership skills to the role as executive director. The search committee especially noted Hyacinth’s passionate articulation of our Anabaptist faith and practice in her local churches and community.
“She is a great communicator of vision in the development of just and compassionate communities and organizations. We trust her leadership skills and gift of vision to carry MCC East Coast into the next phase of ministry,” says Lesher on behalf of the search committee.
Stevens holds a master’s degree in public administration and public affairs from Metropolitan College of New York and a bachelor’s degree in education and theology from Nyack College. For the past seven years, she has worked as MCC’s New York City program coordinator.
In her New York City role, Stevens helped to build community and capacity within the New York City Council of Mennonite Churches as they worked together to address the needs of the city’s Anabaptist churches. She helped the New York Mennonite Immigration Program achieve nonprofit status and secure Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) accreditation.
Stevens also served as an MCC Summer Service participant at Camp Deerpark in Westbrookville, New York, in 1996 and has mentored many Summer Service participants since then.
For 12 years, Stevens was a pastor at King of Glory Tabernacle in Bronx, New York, affiliated with LMC (formerly Lancaster Mennonite Conference). She is a Bishop Member-at-Large on the Conference Executive Council for LMC, becoming the first female and woman of color to hold this position in the denomination. Prior to this appointment she provided oversight to five LMC congregations.
“I’m excited to be transitioning into this new role within MCC,” says Stevens. “Inspired by a faith foundation of reconciliation, I have spent most of my life yielded to opportunities that blended my core values and profession. I have kept an internal commitment to using my gifts, talents, education and resources for God-inspired work. MCC is God-inspired!”
As executive director, Stevens will work with East Coast churches and supporters to strengthen MCC’s international relief, development and peacebuilding mission. She will also provide oversight to MCC’s East Coast programs, which are especially focused on immigration direct services and training, restorative justice education, young adult work and peacebuilding.
Stevens states, “MCC has a legacy of global partnerships walking alongside people and communities around the world. The gift of collaborative leadership is a world-changing ingredient.”
Bruce Campbell-Janz has worked with MCC for 24 years. Campbell-Janz, a member of East Chestnut Street Mennonite Church in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, received broad and consistent affirmation during his tenure.
The Board noted his careful attention to finances, including his work with donors, and his efforts in “greening” the MCC East Coast Material Resources Center in Ephrata, Pennsylvania. He also facilitated a significant increase in diverse staff leadership in the East Coast as part of a focus on the Board-mandated “Leadership Development Plan.”
Lesher states, “The Board continues to be grateful for the good leadership of Bruce Campbell-Janz, for his contribution to leadership development in the East Coast region and his commitment to making this transition successful.”
Campbell-Janz says he is delighted that Stevens is bringing her spiritual gifts and program experience to the new role.
“Hyacinth’s work in New York City in recent years has taken MCC’s engagements there to another level. I’m excited to see how the spirit she brings to all her work and her leadership skills will also propel the work of the region to more faithfully and strategically reach out with relief, development and peace in the name of Christ.”
In the U.S., four MCC regional offices connect directly with supporters and the church to carry out local programming. MCC East Coast works in partnership with Anabaptist churches and organizations in 18 states along the east coast of the U.S. and the island of Puerto Rico.
The region is also home to seven material resources centers, including the one in Ephrata, Pennsylvania, which is the primary shipping location of MCC humanitarian aid collected across the U.S. The region has 17 MCC Thrift shops, four relief sales, and hosts 10 mobile meat canning sites. MCC East Coast’s primary office is in Philadelphia.