Rev. Dr. Roy Medley’s Biography


General Secretary Emeritus 

Rev. Dr. A. Roy Medley is one of the longest serving General Secretaries (2002-2015) of American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA),  having  retired  January 4, 2016, as the pastoral and administrative leader of the 1.3-million-member denomination.

In 40 years as an ordained minister Dr. Medley served as associate pastor of First Baptist, Trenton, NJ; interim pastor of Christ Congregation, Princeton, NJ; national director of the American Baptist Neighborhood Action Program; World Mission Support and Area Minister, American Baptist Churches of NJ; Executive Minister, American Baptist Churches of New Jersey; as well as General Secretary, American Baptist Churches.

In response to the changing cultural context in which the churches in North America live and serve, Dr. Medley led the denomination in the “Transformed by the Spirit” initiative. Transformed by the Spirit invites congregations into prayerful discernment and committed action in their communities and the world. “The church cannot live as a gated community,” remarks Medley. “A church with a sole goal of privilege and prestige, a church which has forgotten the cross, is a church with no spiritual power.”  Within American Baptist life, he has urged growth both in personal spirituality and in doing justice, peace, and mercy as those who confess “Jesus Christ is Lord”.

American Baptists’ history of peacemaking led him to be in the forefront of building relationships of mutual respect and understanding between Baptists and Muslims. As a result, he has led three national dialogues between Baptists and Muslims.  Noted as an advocate for human rights and religious liberty, Dr. Medley was invited to address an interfaith audience in Beirut, Lebanon in 2010 on the topic of Baptists and Religious Liberty in the United States.  In addition, he has led groups to the Middle East and the Republic of Georgia as an advocate for peace between Christians, Muslim s and Jews.   He was a founder of Shoulder to Shoulder, a coalition of Jewish, Christian and Muslim faith groups committed to ending Islamophobia in the US.  In 2016, he was one of 50 Christian leaders invited to Morocco for the unveiling of the Marrakech Declaration and later that year he led training sessions in interfaith relations for community leaders from across Egypt.  In 2015, Dr. Medley was honored by the Islamic Society of North America for his efforts in Christian-Muslim relations.  In February, 2018, he participated in the Alliance of Virtue meeting in Washington, DC , a follow-up to the Marrakech gathering.

Dr. Medley is an untiring advocate on behalf of the Christian community and others in Burma who have suffered human rights and religious liberty violations under the military.  He has frequently visited refugees from Burma in the Thai-Burma border camps and in Malaysia.  In 2015 he met with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to discuss the military’s abuse of the human rights and freedom of religion of both the Christian community and the Rohingya.

From 2016-2017 served as chair of the National Council of Churches of Christ, the country’s foremost ecumenical organization, and now chairs Friendship Press, a publishing house related to the National Council of Churches.   In addition, Medley carries a number of responsibilities with the Baptist World Alliance including service as chair of the Commission on Interfaith Relations, and  chair of the membership committee. 

Dr. Medley holds an A.B. degree in psychology from the University of Chattanooga and M.Div. degree from Princeton Theological Seminary.  He is also a graduate of the Ecumenical Institute of the World Council of Churches in Bossey, Switzerland.  He has received honorary degrees from Alderson-Broaddus College, Central Baptist Theological Seminary, Central Philippine University, Palmer Theological Seminary, and Franklin College in recognition of his service to Christ and the world.

Dr. Medley is married to Rev. Dr. Patricia Stauffer Medley, an ordained Lutheran pastor.  They have two sons. Their older son, Ethan, is married to Urbi and they have a son Isaiah, and a daughter, Olivia Grace .  Jordan, Dr. Medley’s younger son, is helping found a medical start-up firm.   Dr. Medley is a member of First Baptist Church, Freehold, NJ.