New President Will Lead Organization into Its Third Century of Ministry
NEW YORK, Nov. 20, 2012 - After a yearlong search, the board of American Bible Society has unanimously selected the organization's 27th president and CEO: S. Douglas Birdsall. He will be replacing the retiring R. Lamar Vest as the leader of one of America's founding ministries.
"Doug will join American Bible Society in March 2013, building on 30 years of leadership focused on pointing people to the message of the Bible," said American Bible Society Board Chairman Pieter Dearolf. "We are excited to have found someone so well-suited for guiding the ministry into a new century of work around the world."
American Bible Society will mark its 200th anniversary in 2016.
Birdsall is currently the executive chairman of The Lausanne Movement and the founding director of the J. Christy Wilson Jr. Center for World Missions at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Through his leadership with Lausanne, Birdsall chaired the Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization: Cape Town 2010, which brought together 4,200 church leaders from 198 nations and was reported by Christianity Today to be "the most representative gathering of Christian leaders in history."
Prior to his current roles, Birdsall's ministry experience included service as a missionary to Japan and as a mission organization's president, both with Asian Access.
Birdsall holds a bachelor's degree from Wheaton College, a Master of Divinity from Gordon-Conwell, as well as a Master of Theology from Harvard. He is currently completing doctoral work at the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies where he is scheduled to defend his thesis in February.
"I have long been impressed with the work of American Bible Society and particularly its commitment to Scripture engagement and ability to work across the full expanse of the Christian community," said Birdsall. "I am honored that the board has selected me to work with this dynamic organization at this exciting time in its history."
About American Bible Society:
Headquartered in Manhattan, the 196-year-old American Bible Society exists to make the Bible available to every person in a language and format each can understand and afford, so all people may experience its life-changing message. One of the nation's oldest nonprofit organizations, today’s American Bible Society provides interactive, high- and low-tech resources, enabling first-time readers and seasoned theologians alike to engage with the best-selling book of all time.
Christy Lynn Wilson