In 2015, shortly after turning 60 years old, Dr. Familiaran - in conversation with his wife, Maria Fe -began discerning God’s leading in his spirit to explore the possibility of taking a little early retirement. As God would have it, several insights started coalescing for his contemplation: the deep desire to devote back time to his family and young grandchildren, the importance of attending to physical health and wellness at this later stage in life, to be finally granted the space needed to complete a half-finished book and attend to emerging and fertile plans for other writing projects, to engage fully with his beloved hobbies and artistic forms of expression, and motivated by new and creative ways of contributing on a personal level to the preparation of future leaders of the church. The thought of being freed up from the responsibilities of full-time leadership to pursue these new life goals ultimately helped to crystallize God’s new calling upon his life to retire from full-time service at age 62. That would have been 2017.
Having served as Associate Regional Pastor and Area Minister since 2004, Dr. Familiaran agreed to stay on staff at ABCNJ a little longer and took on the responsibility of Interim Executive Minister in June of 2017 when Dr. Lee B. Spitzer, ABCNJ Executive Minister at that time, was called to be the General Secretary of ABCUSA. After a year and a half of shepherding the region through this transition, and seeing the search process for a new Executive Minister through to completion in the call of Rev. Miriam Méndez, Dr. Familiaran now fulfills his goal of early retirement after the end of this year with deep gratitude to God’s faithfulness.
A graduate of Northern Seminary in Chicago and New York Theological Seminary in New York City, with extensive training in Clinical Pastoral Education and post graduate studies at Temple University’s School of Religion, Dr. Familiaran has served during these almost 39 years of ministry in a pastorate at North Shore Baptist Church in Chicago, on the executive staff of the American Bible Society in New York City, the American Baptist International Ministries, and now with the American Baptist Churches of New Jersey.
We are deeply grateful for the leadership and guidance Dr. Familiaran has provided in the last 14 years with ABCNJ. On Tuesday, December 11, 2018 from 9:30 AM-4:30 PM the Region office will be hosting an “Open House” to honor Dr. Familiaran. At 10:00 AM we will pause to celebrate through a brief time of worship and express words of appreciation to Dr. Familiaran. Please stop by at your convenience anytime during the day and join us in saying, “thank you Dr. Familiaran” for your servant leadership with ABCNJ. Refreshments will be served.