Thomas Schirrmacher will be next head of World Evangelical Alliance

(Photo: © Peter Kenny)Thomas Schirrmacher in Pretoria, South Africa on June 16, 2017.

The World Evangelical Alliance says that Dr. Thomas Schirrmacher is to become its next Secretary General from March 2021 when he takes over from the current CEO Bishop Efraim Tendero.

Schirrmacher lives in Germany and studied theology in Switzerland and the United States.

In a letter announcing the appointment, Dr, Goodwill Shana, chair of WEA’s International Council, said: “He enjoys working with groups of diverse people and seeing people work together to advance the aims of the WEA.

“He is committed to building partnerships and seeing WEA contribute to the development of the global Christian community.”

After his appointment, Schirrmacher said: “Beside all my academic and socio-political involvement, the center of my convictions has always been the transforming power of the gospel of Jesus Christ for each individual and the whole world.

“And I see WEA as the best place to serve the Church.”

One of the first people to congratulate Schirrmacher was World Council of Churches interim general secretary Rev. Ioan Sauca.

“I have had the pleasure to meet and work with you and other representatives of the World Evangelical Alliance at several occasions as we explored possibilities of working together facing developments in society and churches,” wrote Sauca.

The relationship between the WCC and the World Evangelical Alliance has strengthened as the organizations have identified various ways of collaborating to respond to needs around the world, while stressing the significance of strengthening Christian witness, Sauca noted.

“In the light of the current global realities, we acknowledge anew the importance of joint actions and responses to a suffering and disrupted world,” Sauca wrote.

“God is calling us in many ways to give witness of his love for every human being and to bring healing, unity and reconciliation.”

Schirrmacher has served in various roles in the WEA since 1999, and is currently the WEA’s Associate Secretary General for Theological Concerns.

Prior to this, he was a member of the Religious Liberty Commission, developed the International Institute for Religions Freedom, built up WEA’s Office for Intrafaith and Interfaith Relations, is chair of WEA’s Theological Commission, and WEA’s Ambassador for Human Rights.

“Evangelicals emphasize the importance of an individual and personal relationship with God that is not defined by any political, cultural or social association, nor automatically given by way of nominal membership of any specific denomination,” says WEA on its website.

Tedero commented on Schirrmacher’s appointment, “I saw in him the charisma, competence and capacity that is matched by the character, conviction and calling from God that are needed for such a global task.

“I have full confidence that he will lead the WEA as empowered by the Holy Spirit in advancing the Good news of the Lord Jesus Christ to all nations, and effecting personal, family and community transformation for the glory of God.”

(Photo: © Peter Kenny / Ecumenical News)World Evangelical Alliance Secretary General Bishop Efraim Tendero photographed in Tirana, Albania on Nov. 4, 2015.
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