(FALLS CHURCH, VIRGINIA, USA – January 6, 2023) Following a global search process, the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) has selected Jenny Stewart of Australia/United Kingdom as its first Director of Ministries and Chief Operating Officer.
Working closely with the General Secretary/CEO, this new position will provide leadership to the five BWA ministry areas – Worship, Fellowship, and Unity; Mission and Evangelism; Aid, Relief, and Community Development; Religious Freedom, Human Rights, and Justice; and Transformational Leadership and Theological Reflection. The role will be responsible for collaborating together with each ministry’s personnel regarding strategy and finances, ensuring alignment with the BWA’s overall mission for meaningful impact.
“We are blessed to welcome Jenny Stewart to the BWA team and look forward to how the Lord will use her gifts and experience to further God’s global mission,” said BWA General Secretary Elijah Brown.
Stewart comes to the position with wide-ranging experience in finance, communications, event coordination, and nonprofit management. With a financial and accounting management background, she has served several ministries in her career. From 2002-2010 she was the Events Manager and Communications and Publications Manager for the Baptist Union of Great Britain, followed by her role as the Operations Director for Scripture Union International from 2010-2019.
Stewart has been active in the ministry of the BWA since 1998 when she attended her first BWA meeting, the International Worship Conference held in Berlin, Germany.
“It was an incredibly challenging and blessed experience as the Baptist family from around the world came together and shared their worship traditions with each other – new and old. We all had so much to learn. It certainly encouraged me to continue my BWA involvement as I could see how much more we could impact the world for Christ by working together and learning from each other,” said Stewart.
She was a key leader in the planning of the centennial Baptist World Congress held in Birmingham, England, in 2005, and she has served in a contract role as Special Projects Coordinator (SPC) for the BWA since 2020. As SPC, Stewart worked with the General Secretary on projects including governance, membership, and department reviews; development of an updated Human Resources Policy and Manual; and assistance with transitioning the 2020 Congress from an in-person to virtual event. Before her recent contract role, Stewart also served extensively on BWA committees.
“It is a great honor for me to accept the appointment to the role of Director of Ministries/Chief Operating Officer for the BWA,” said Stewart. “I am grateful for the gifts and experiences God has given me over the years and I see them all coming together in this role. I look forward to using them as I play my part in supporting General Secretary Elijah Brown as well as facilitating both individuals and the various BWA groups to be well connected and to flourish in their ministry as we continue to grow and explore new ways to achieve our mission together.”
Stewart’s appointment, with a start date pending obtaining the necessary work visa, was announced in July 2022 at the Executive Committee meeting preceding the Annual Gathering held in Birmingham, Alabama (USA). Later in the week, she was also included in a special General Council commissioning prayer time. Having successfully obtained her work visa, she has relocated and is serving at the BWA Headquarters in Falls Church, Virginia, effective January 1, 2023.