Announcing a new Leadership Team for the West Virginia Conference Ministry and Mission

By Sandra Steiner Ball

It is with great excitement and joy that I announce a new leadership team to head the Conference program staff and the office of Connectional Ministry and Mission. Mr. Ken Willard and Rev. Dr. Bonnie MacDonald will be at the helm of the West Virginia Conference, sharing leadership responsibilities for Conference program, mission, and ministry beginning July 31.

One member of this talented duo is already familiar to the West Virginia Conference. Bonnie MacDonald, an Ordained Deacon and member of the West Virginia Conference, will retain some of her current ministry responsibilities and add some new ones, including the oversight, supervision, and evaluation of Conference Program Staff. Her new title is Director of Leadership Formation & Ministry Staff. Bonnie will continue to focus on and give leadership to clergy formation, credentialing, and call. She will also continue to resource the Board of Ordained Ministry and its work.

Bonnie joined the West Virginia Conference staff in 2013, from the Kentucky Conference. She brought experience from serving on the leadership team of a large membership church, supervising staff teams, overseeing faith formation, mission ministries, and congregational care at various points throughout her ministry. She has also served as a hospice chaplain. In addition, Bonnie has served for 25 years as a consultant and trainer in clergy professional ethics, congregational healing, and child abuse prevention, having created training and policy resources for congregations and conferences. Bonnie’s adult children are spread across the miles and use creative means to stay connected with each other and with their mom: Kyle and Becca; Patrick, and Alex. Bonnie loves to explore WV and likes to read and garden when she can.

Ken Willard is new to our staff and will be the Director of Discipleship, Leadership and Congregational Vitality. Ken will be focusing on how discipleship both strengthens and equips the calling of all people. Ken has been a United Methodist all his life. He is a professionally credentialed coach, with experience coaching pastors and churches all over the United States. He is a certified member of the International Coach Federation at the PCC level and a certified Ministry Coach with Coaching4Clergy. Ken is an author with Abingdon Press and has experience creating clergy and lay leadership development curriculum.

Ken has experience facilitating seminars for churches, districts, conferences and other organizations on topics including strategic ministry planning, discipleship pathways, accountable leadership, discipleship coaching, coaching skills, growing new leaders, simplified structures, time management, conflict resolution skills, creating a leadership culture, and more. After more than 20 years in the business world, most of it in the areas of leadership and organizational development, he moved full-time into the church world in 2009. Ken has a heart for churches of all sizes and types, and a passion to equip churches and leaders at all levels to reach those who are not currently connected to a local church. Ken has been married to Mary for 34 years. He likes reading, music, movies, and college football.

Please welcome both of these great leaders into their new positions with West Virginia! The possibilities and potential for expanding ministry under their leadership is exciting. They will continue to help us live into our vision of being a Christ-led spiritual breath of fresh air that changes the world, by holding us true to our mission to discover, develop, and deploy passionate spiritual leaders who make disciples for Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

Grace & peace,
Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball