Rev. Maxine Allen named Arkansas UMC’s Assistant Director of Mission and Ministry for Mission Field Engagement

Rev. Maxine AllenBishop Gary E. Mueller has appointed the Rev. Maxine Allen to a reconfigured position within the Arkansas Conference, Assistant Director of Mission and Ministry for Mission Field Engagement. This appointment, effective July 1, 2014, will be a full-time position on the Arkansas Conference staff.
Allen’s focus will be in four main areas: Mission Field Engagement; Establishing Ethnic Congregations; New Church Starts; and Ministry to the “Nones” (the religiously unaffiliated–just under 20 percent of all U.S. adults, according to polling by the Pew Research Center). A key element of this new appointment is to guide churches in aligning their ministries with several steps of the Bishop’s Mission Plan.
“Rev. Allen brings diverse gifts to this new role,” said Bishop Mueller. “I’m confident that her work will help guide the Arkansas Conference to reach out to new people in new ways, so that our churches can become transformation agents in the lives of their people, their communities and the world.”
Allen, the first African-American woman to be ordained an Elder in the United Methodist Church in Arkansas, believes that God has called her to be a stained glass ceiling shatterer.
At the age of 39, she returned to school to complete an undergraduate degree in philosophy and religion from Philander Smith College, Little Rock, Ark. At 45, she completed a Master of Divinity degree from United Methodist-related Gammon Theological Seminary in Atlanta, Ga. She has served as a pastor, a teacher of religion and mentor of young clergy, and has participated in mission trips to Haiti, Jamaica, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Russia. She currently serves as the director of the Wesley Foundation, the United Methodist campus ministry at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock; and as ethnic ministries coordinator for the Arkansas Conference. She has served previously as the Conference disaster response coordinator, leading disaster relief efforts in the wake of multiple tornadoes and Hurricanes Gustav and Ike; and as associate chief operating officer and dean of the chapel at Philander Smith College.
She is a gubernatorial appointee to the Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission, and a member of the coordinating committee of Black Clergy Women of the United Methodist Church. She has worked extensively for social justice in her local community, and globally for women, children and those living in poverty, and is an advocate for educational opportunity for all. She has two adult children, Tufara Waller Muhammad and Danita Waller Paige, and a granddaughter.