The Board of Willow Creek Association (WCA) announced that 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 vacated by Wess Stafford, who retired as president in 2012 and now serves the world-wide ministry in a part-time capacity. Under his 20-year leadership, Compassion International grew sevenfold to serve 1.4 million children.
Mellado, the first president of WCA, has served the organization from its beginning in 1992 when it served a few hundred pastors and ministry leaders hungry to learn how to “do church” from Willow Creek Community 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 Association 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.”
Mellado will serve with WCA through The Global Leadership Summit 2013 in August that includes faculty members General Colin Powell, Mark Burnett (executive producer of The Bible mini-series, Survivor, The Apprentice, The Voice, Shark Tank) Dr. Brené Brown (best-selling author and research professor), Patrick Lencioni, (president, The Table Group and best-selling author), and more.
Gary Schwammlein brings to his new role vast experience as a corporate executive building and leading companies in many countries as well as 16 years’ experience at WCA where he helped expand the organization beyond the borders of the United States to 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 Mellado.