Longest-serving leader will retire this year with Christian relief organization poised to help millions more than before.
After two decades as president of one of America’s largest charities, Richard Stearns has announced his plans to retire from World Vision at the end of 2018.
“I feel privileged to have had this opportunity to serve with some of the most amazing faith heroes on the planet—my colleagues all across the world,” tweeted Stearns, who has led the prominent Christian relief organization since 1998. “Thank you Lord!”
World Vision has launched a national search to select its new CEO, and Stearns will continue at the helm until the organization has brought in his successor, according to a statement.
“Rich Stearns put compassion over career, leaving business leadership to serve the poor and vulnerable,” Leith Anderson, president of the National Association of Evangelicals, told CT. “His Christian faith has been strong and practical from the board room to backwaters of the world. Truly a man of world vision.”
During Stearns’s time as CEO, World Vision’s annual revenue grew to more than $1 billion, and the ministry reports that it is on track to serve more than 30 million children by 2022. During his tenure, World Vision has responded to global poverty, human trafficking, the refugee crisis, water sanitation, famine, and dozens of natural disasters.
“Rich was a pioneer. He helped World Vision evolve in both growth and scale without losing its values and focus,” said former World Relief president Stephan Bauman. “They really stayed anchored in the gospel.”
“When World Vision speaks, people listen,” he said, adding that this sentiment “only increased during Stearns’s time there.”
Prior to World Vision, Stearns had little …
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