Earlier this month, Habitat for Humanity announced that its new CEO, Jonathan Reckford, would replace fired founder and president Millard Fuller. For the last two years Reckford has served as executive pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church of Edina, Minnesota. Before that, he held senior positions at Best Buy, Circuit City, and Disney.
How did you transition from the business world to the church world?
I would describe it as an evolution. I started about 15 years ago with what grew into an avocation of helping priests and pastors on the management side of church work. Actually the process really started when I was the senior warden at an Episcopal church in Florida while I was working with Disney.
Later, I worked closely with a priest in a mission church in Richmond, Virginia, and we became great friends. The church was growing very fast, and we spent a lot of time praying together and talking about how to handle all that growth. That continued when we moved to Minnesota, and I started as a lay volunteer with the church staff and elders at Christ Presbyterian, a very large Presbyterian church.
On the business side, my company was acquired by Best Buy. After a year of helping with the transition, I came to a crossroads, and we had a sense that God was calling our family to move into some more direct area of ministry, though in an undefined direction. While doing the discernment and listening process, I started doing more and more volunteer work at Christ Presbyterian. And that led to a conversation with the senior pastor, who had become a good friend, and the church created the role of executive pastor and asked if I'd be willing to serve in that role.
I want to be very clear that I'm not an ordained pastor. I came from the marketplace. ...1