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Alban Institute Founder Dies at Age 88

Loren B. Mead -- priest, educator, author and founder of the Alban Institute -- died at age 88 at his home in Alexandria, Virginia, on May 5, 2018. [Read his last interview]

A native of South Carolina, Mead attended the University of the South, the University of South Carolina, and Virginia Theological Seminary, before being ordained an Episcopal priest. He served for fifteen years in parish ministry before he was appointed by the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church to direct the denomination's experimental "Project Test Pattern" for its full three-year life. The project sought to renew congregational vitality by pooling information, sharing ideas, developing alternative strategies for ministries, and deploying consultants to work in and alongside congregations.

With his learnings from Project Test Pattern, Mead went on to found the Alban Institute in 1974, developing its national, ecumenical and interfaith work of research, publishing, education, and consulting. He taught globally and developed a number of resources still widely used by congregations and denominations about the role and work of the interim pastor, the use of conflict management, clergy stress and burnout, concepts of change and development in congregations, and training methods for senior church leaders and bishops. He published more than ten books, including his most recent The Parish is the Issue (2015).

He was also instrumental in the founding of the Interim Ministry Network, the Consortium of Endowed Episcopal Parishes, and the National Association of Endowed Presbyterian Churches, all of which continue their ministries today.

When he stepped down as president of the Alban Institute in 1994, the Institute had over 8,500 members in North America, Europe, and Australasia. At that time, the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church Edmond Browning called him "one of the greatest thinkers and innovators in the history of the Episcopal Church."

Mead was married to the former Polly Ayres Mellette. They were the parents of four children, grandparents to seven, and great-grandparents to four. [Read More]

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