American Bible Society Appoints President to Replace the Recently Fired Doug Birdsall
January 21, 2014
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"And appoint one leader from each tribe to help assign the land." Numbers 34:18
Recently we reported on the surprise firing of American Bible Society (ABS) Doug Birdsall after he had spent just six months on the job (click on this link to see that Update: http://www.ministrywatch.com/articles/abs2.aspx). We noted ABS would signal if it was intending to continue drawing closer to evangelicals with whomever they chose to replace Birdsall with. With the recent announcement of ABS hiring Dr. Roy Peterson as its new president, donors can be assured that ABS's board has not diverted from the new path it had embarked upon when it first hired Birdsall. Peterson comes to ABS after having served as President and CEO of The Seed Company, an arm of Wycliffe Bible Translators that was formed to hasten the translation of the Bible into every language. As such, Peterson has deep roots in the conservative end of the evangelical spectrum which should serve him well as he seeks to steer ABS in the right direction and raise the funds necessary to do so. While ABS has long been a cash rich ministry, it has also struggled with unusually high fundraising costs. We believe Peterson's presence will enable ABS to attract funding in a more cost effective manner as he is able to implement his approach in the years to come. We will be monitoring ABS's situation for signs of change and trust one day, under Peterson's leadership, this ministry will be setting the standard for others in both effective programs and financial efficiency. At the moment, ABS's financial efficiency remains one of the lowest of all the ministries we cover in our database. There is much work for Peterson to do but we suspect he is up to the task. Hopefully, unlike Birdsall, he can both accomplish this work and maintain a good relationship with ABS's board.