The Reverend Frank Clark Spencer is the first teaching elder to lead the Board of Pensions since the Reverend J. Phillips Noble served as Co-President with Arthur M. Ryan in 1987 and 1988. Rev. Spencer is an experienced business executive with Presbyterian roots that run generations deep.
Before being confirmed as President by the 221st General Assembly (2014), Rev. Spencer served two years on the Board of Directors of the Board of Pensions. He sat on the Investment and Audit and Compliance committees, resigning as a Director prior to his election. Rev. Spencer assumed the presidency July 1, 2014, noting that the role presented a unique opportunity “to bring together my expertise in finance and business and my love for the Church.”
Before joining the Board’s staff, Rev. Spencer served as President and CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Charlotte. The North Carolina affiliate is among Habitat’s largest and most dynamic in the United States. Previously, Rev. Spencer spent 15 years in healthcare real estate with Cogdell Spencer Inc., rising to CEO when the company went public in 2005.
Rev. Spencer’s maternal grandfather, the Reverend Frank E. Clark, was a well-known Presbyterian minister and educator in Appalachia in the early 20th century. His father, Dr. Samuel Reid Spencer Jr., was the 14th President of Davidson College and fifth President of Mary Baldwin College, and served as Chair of the Board of Trustees of what is now Union Presbyterian Seminary.
Born in Staunton, Virginia, Rev. Spencer grew up in Davidson, North Carolina. He wrote in his 2013 book, The Benefit of the Doubt: Claiming Faith in an Uncertain World, that a sermon by the Reverend John B. Rogers Jr. at Davidson College Presbyterian Church set the direction of his faith development when he was 15. “John gave us permission to bring all questions to God,” Rev. Spencer wrote. “The freedom that he gave me on that morning, has allowed me to explore a deepening relationship with God ever since.”
Rev. Spencer has served as a ruling elder and deacon and taught Sunday school to adults and children. He was Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Montreat Conference Center and a member of the NEXT Church National Strategy Team. His home church is Selwyn Avenue Presbyterian Church, Charlotte, where he was ordained by the Presbytery of Charlotte on February 7, 2015.
Rev. Spencer has completed the Master of Divinity at Union Presbyterian Seminary, Charlotte. He holds a B.A. with honors in German from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where he was a Morehead Scholar, and is a Baker Scholar graduate of Harvard Business School.