Willow Creek Association President Jim Mellado accepted the position of president of Compassion International effective September, 2013 and will resign as president of WCA effective June 17. Gary Schwammlein, executive vice-president of WCA’s international ministries will become president in June. Jim fills the CI role that will be vacated by Wess Stafford who will retire as president in 2013. Under his 20-year leadership, Compassion International has grown sevenfold to serve 1.4 million children.
Jim, the president of WCA, has led the organization since 1992 when it served a few hundred pastors and ministry leaders hungry to learn from Willow Creek Community Church how to “do church” to a global ministry that reaches 170,000 leaders and 15,000 churches worldwide.
“The decision for Jim to step into the role at Compassion International was directed by God, so I am at total peace with this transition,” says Bill Hybels, senior and founding pastor of Willow Creek Community Church and Chairman of the Board of WCA. “While we will miss him, his contribution to Compassion’s future will be huge. At the same time, I’ve never been more excited about the potential of WCA to continue its growing influence around the world. None of this is a surprise to God. You watch; He will faithfully guide us into our future.”
Jim will serve with WCA through The Global Leadership Summit 2013 in August and relocate with his family to Colorado in September.
Gary Schwammlein brings vast experience as a corporate executive building and leading companies in many countries as well as 16 years’ experience at WCA where he helped build the ministry to expand beyond the borders of the US and into 90 countries.
“I have no doubt WCA’s mission is well positioned to move forward with great strength to serve local churches and enable them to reach their full redemptive potential,” says Jim.