Bishop announces appointment of RISEM DS

February 26, 2017

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:

Greetings in the precious name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

I am pleased to announce that I intend to appoint the Rev. Dr. Andrew L. Foster III as District Superintendent of the Rhode Island/Southeastern Massachusetts District, effective July 1, 2017. 
Dr. Foster

Dr. Foster, an elder in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference, currently serves as Senior Pastor of Janes Memorial United Methodist Church in Philadelphia. He will follow the Rev. Dr. Seok Hwan Hong. 
The RISEM District Committee on Superintendency requested a superintendent gifted in administration and nurturing spirituality, as well as someone who understands and embraces cultural diversity and draws out the strengths and gifts of all while equipping the district with the resources to excel. 

Dr. Foster brings gifts in all those areas as well as fulfilling my ex-pectation of a commitment to connectional giving, prayer, and disciple-making. Additionally, this strategic appointment brings needed diversity to the Cabinet and the New England Conference's leadership.

Dr. Foster was the first African American pastor to serve at Clearview United Methodist Church, a cross-cultural appointment in Philadelphia. He also served as Assistant to the Pastor of the historic Tindley Temple UMC, and as Senior Pastor of Grace Community UMC in Chester, PA, where he founded the Resource & Empowerment Center, Inc., a community development corporation.

A native of Philadelphia, Dr. Foster comes from a long line of Methodist pastors. He earned an AAS in Business Management from Peirce College in Philadelphia and a BA in Political Science from Rutgers University in Camden, NJ; he holds an MDiv from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wynnewood, PA, and a D.Min in Marriage and Family Counseling from Palmer Theological Seminary (formerly Eastern Baptist). 

He is the author of two books: "So You've Answered the Call, Now What?" and "So, You Say You Want To Get Married." 

Dr. Foster has served the church in many capacities: as a delegate to the Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference in 2012 and on the 2016 NEJ Planning Committee, as chair of the Provisional Membership of the EPA Board of Ordained Ministry and of the Conference Nominations Committee. He served on the Conference Committee on Finance and Administration and District Committee on Ministry. He is a Certified Lay Minister Instructor and a trained coach and mentor.

In the community, he has served on the board of the Neighborhood Interfaith Movement and as a member of the Northwest Community Collaborative for Youth. He is also an adjunct professor at Palmer Theological Seminary.

Andrew’s wife, Lorraine, is a Certified Lay Minister, and currently serves as pastor of Montgomery Square UMC. They have four adult children and five grandchildren. 

The RISEM District Superintendency Committee and I are very excited to be working with Dr. Foster.  

Please join me in prayer for the Fosters, the Hongs, the congregation of Janes Memorial UMC, and the RISEM District during this time of transition.  

In Christ's love,

Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar