The Rev. Giovanni Arroyo, Team Leader for Program Ministries at the UMC’s General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR) will become its next General Secretary August 31. With his election, Dr. Arroyo, born in Puerto Rico and raised in New York City, will be the first-ever Latinx person to head a denomination-wide agency.
Arroyo has resourced and taught at anti-racism events across the denomination, including several Eastern PA Conference Cross-Racial/Cross-Cultural Ministry (CRCC) workshops. And he provided consultation and support for our anti-racism Call to Action Initiative and our Racial Justice Transformation Project, including our 2018 racial equity audit.
“His experience, talent, and lifelong commitment to the work of dismantling racism is invaluable at this critical juncture in the life of the church and the world,” said Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi, president of the Commission’s board of directors, in making the announcement July 6.
An elder in the Baltimore-Washington Conference, Arroyo was GCORR’s Team Leader for Monitoring and Advocacy before becoming Team Leader for Program Ministries in 2013.
“We rejoice with the Rev. Dr. Arroyo as he assumes the General Secretary position,” said the Rev. Dawn Taylor-Storm, the Eastern PA Conference’s Director of Connectional Ministries. “He has been instrumental in supporting Eastern PA Conference’s anti-racism and cross-cultural development work, providing coaching, support and training to our conference. We know his work will continue to bless our denomination and we look forward to our ongoing partnerships.”
Arroyo began working with our conference in 2013, when he “enthusiastically encouraged, supported, resourced, and facilitated the development of CRCC ministries,” recalled the Rev. Anita Powell (retired), a former Director of Connectional Ministries and Cabinet member. “As a result of his leadership efforts on behalf of GCORR, we have received training, funding and access to other denominational resources which heightened awareness and propelled forward the work on intercultural competency and anti-racism in EPAC. Truly, God has prepared Rev. Arroyo to lead GCORR and the denomination.”
Bishop Peggy Johnson found Arroyo to be most helpful in another related area of concern to her and others. “I am particularly happy about the selection of Dr. Arroyo because he assisted the denomination’s Committee on Disabilities to become a part of GCORR when they needed to find a new agency home,” she said. ”He understands the intersectionality between race and many other marginalized communities of society and church.”