The following tribute to E. LeBron Fairbanks, retiring education commissioner, was read at the 89th Session of the General Board, Church of the Nazarene:
Dr. E. LeBron Fairbanks served as education commissioner at the Global Ministry Center from March 2008 through September 2011. Before coming to the GMC, he, along with his wife, Anne, had a distinguished career as an associate pastor, senior pastor, academic dean, and president of Asia-Pacific Nazarene Theological Seminary, Manila, Philippines. (They are currently in the Philippines on a volunteer assignment).
Dr. Fairbanks also served for 17 years as president of Mount Vernon Nazarene University, Mount Vernon, Ohio, USA, where upon his retirement he was designated president emeritus by their Board of Trustees.
Along the way his career and service to the Church of the Nazarene and higher education include a distinguishing characteristic of servant leadership with a strong emphasis on personal integrity.
After graduating from Trevecca Nazarene University, Dr. Fairbanks began as an associate minister at Grace Church of the Nazarene in Nashville. Tennessee, USA. His experience broadened as an editor in the Church Schools Department in Kansas City, Missouri, USA; as a pastor in Pennsylvania; Academic Dean at European Nazarene College, Schaffhausen, Switzerland; and through teaching and administrative roles at Southern Nazarene University, Bethany, Oklahoma, USA.
In addition to Fellowships at Harvard and Yale Universities, Dr. Fairbanks holds earned degrees from Scarritt College, Nazarene Theological Seminary and Princeton Theological Seminary.
When it came time to make some of the difficult employee decisions at the GMC, Dr. Fairbanks stepped forward and offered to retire from his position as education commissioner, allowing the Board of General Superintendents and General Board to make changes with IBOE and Clergy Development.
Dr. and Mr. Fairbanks have a son, Steve, who is employed at Nazarene Publishing House. The Fairbanks now call Florida home when not on special assignments.
Dr. Fairbanks is now founding director of BoardServe.Org.