The Board of Pensions of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has named a longtime servant of the denomination to the position of Vice President, Church Relations. The appointment of the Reverend Dr. Douglas Portz, most recently a Senior Church Consultant at the Board, bolsters the agency's ongoing efforts to provide strength and stability to support the changing Church.
"I look forward to expanding our engagement with ministers, congregations, and church councils as they navigate the evolving work of ministry," said Dr. Portz, who will oversee the development and nurturing of relationships between the Board of Pensions and church employers, mid councils, and other PC(USA) agencies. "It's a challenging time in the life of the Church."
Dr. Portz joined the Board of Pensions as a Church Consultant in 2015 and was named Senior Church Consultant in 2017. Based in Pittsburgh, he served the Synod of the Trinity (except the Presbytery of Philadelphia) and supervised three Church Consultants. He will now direct the full staff of Consultants, who are key to guiding church employers in supporting their ministers and employees through the Board of Pensions.
"We are fortunate to have Doug here to fill this role," said Andrew J. Browne, Senior Vice President, Church Engagement. "In seven years with Church Relations, he's helped guide church employers through the remade church Benefits Plan, introduced in 2017, as well as the ongoing addition of new benefits and the expansion of assistance. He's also been there to help employers adapt to technological change as more of our operations move online."
Before joining the Board of Pensions, Dr. Portz served more than eight years in a pastoral and administrative role with the Pittsburgh Presbytery, where, today, he serves on the Committee on Ministry. Previously, he served as Senior Pastor at Hampton Presbyterian Church, Gibsonia, Pennsylvania, and as co-pastor at Deerhurst Presbyterian Church, in Buffalo, New York, and Third Presbyterian Church, in Troy, New York.
Dr. Portz holds a bachelor's from Grove City College, a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry from McCormick Theological Seminary. His wife, the Reverend Lynn M. Portz, retired in May 2022 after 40 years of ordained ministry, serving most recently as Associate Pastor for Parish Life at Shadyside Presbyterian Church, Pittsburgh. Their daughter, the Reverend Bethany Harbaugh, serves as Parish Associate for Elfinwild Presbyterian Church, Glenshaw, Pennsylvania.