The Brotherhood of St. Andrew has hired Thomas Welch as its new executive director, and will move its headquarters from Ambridge, Pennsylvania, to Louisville this summer. Welch is a member and lay eucharistic minister at St. Philip’s Church in Jackson, Mississippi.
“We are very excited about the ability to make a statement about expanding the men’s ministry movement throughout the country,” said Jeffrey Butcher, president of the brotherhood. “We need men to adopt a more active role in their spiritual journey.”
Butcher added: “This hiring is a statement that tells the church and our members we are very serious concerning the challenge to disciple men and youth to Christ. We are now stepping up to the plate like our Lutheran and Methodist counterparts. The brotherhood has not had a director for more than a decade.”
Welch has led Cursillo retreats for Episcopalians and Methodists. He has worked with Camp Funshine (a camp for pediatric burn victims) and Camp Bratton-Green, and was director of Camp Hardtner in Louisiana.
Welch previously worked for the John Hancock Financial Network, advising clients on risk management, planned giving, college planning, long-term care and retirement planning, and protection.
Welch began his duties with the brotherhood on June 19.
“These days young adults aren’t going to have breakfast on Saturday mornings with a bunch of buddies,” Welch said. “They are grabbing premium coffee at the café on their way to play lacrosse, followed by a full weekend of other activities.
“Why not reach out to them in late evenings during the week? We see other areas of the church have great success in changing the time and even the location of evangelism efforts, though the mission is still the same.
“It’s the vision of how we picture the environment that may need to adjust. If we can get them interested, we can get eventually get them to a brick-and-mortar church on Sunday. When we’ve done that we have strengthened the local parish. When we strengthen the local parish leadership, we grow the church.”