Bell follows the Rev. Dr. Stan Slade, who held this position from October 2011 through September 2017. Slade will continue with IM as global consultant for Theological Education, a role he maintained even during his service as AED for Global Mission.
AED for Global Mission is a key leadership position at IM reporting to Executive Director / CEO the Rev. Sharon Koh. The AED is responsible for leading and providing oversight for IM’s Global Mission Team (GMT), which provides guidance, care and leadership for IM’s 114 global servants, oversees a variety of programs and serves as liaison to IM’s 240+ global partners. The AED works closely with and supervises the area directors, World Relief officer and Global Personnel and Services team, which includes Vocational Development and Short-Term Mission.
“Jim’s pastoral heart, rich history with our Global Mission Team and prayerful approach to leadership will be an asset to our leadership team as we press forward with our strategic operational plan, Responding to the Call,” comments Koh.
“I am honored to be both called by God and entrusted by my colleagues at IM with the responsibility of serving as AED for Global Mission,” says Bell. “The opportunity is before us to build on IM’s long and rich heritage of faithful service to the cause of Christ as we implement the goals and strategies outlined in Responding to the Call. I am looking forward to supporting and encouraging our current global servants, facilitating the sending of new personnel and cultivating ever more effective relationships with our international and U.S. partners.”
Bell has served with IM since 2005, first in the role of mission partnership coordinator. In 2012, Bell became the director of IM’s Vocational Development team. Under his leadership, the team recruited, trained and equipped more than 50 new IM global servants and their children from 2012 to 2017. He worked closely with IM’s area directors to identify needs around the globe and to match candidates’ skills and abilities to those needs. Bell and his team came alongside those candidates as they discerned their calls during the annual Hear the Call conferences and beyond; accompanied candidates and their families during the time of initial applications and interviews through assignment, often a one- to two-year process; and provided support and training until they set out on their journeys as first-term IM global servants.
Bell’s qualities as a dedicated leader and trusted servant have uniquely qualified him for the AED position that he holds today. “Many of us have experienced Jim’s pastoral heart and kind, shepherding presence,” says Koh. “I have a deep respect for Jim’s knowledge of IM’s 203-year history and missiology and his understanding of and appreciation for IM’s strategic goals.”
Bell became a follower of Christ at the age of 10 and sensed a call to youth ministry in high school. He graduated from Barrington College in 1984 with a B.A. in Youth Ministries and Biblical Studies. He earned an MDiv/CE from Southern Seminary in 1995.
From 1984–1997, Bell served as the director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries at the First Baptist Church of Hamilton, Ohio, where he was ordained in 1996. It was through leading short-term youth mission trips during this period that he became involved in global mission through IM.
From 1997–2005, Bell and his wife, Karen, planted CrossWay Community Church (ABCUSA) in Harrison, Ohio, and he served as its first pastor. He also worked as chaplain and firefighter/EMT for the Crosby Township fire department in the same town.
Bell, his wife and one of their three children, Katie, live in the Richmond, Virginia, area. Their eldest daughter, Emily, is married and has two sons. Their son, Jonathan, is a recent graduate of Messiah College.
Please join IM in welcoming Jim Bell to his new role! He can be reached by email at email@example.com.
International Ministries, also known as the American Baptist Foreign Mission Society, works cross-culturally to invite people to become disciples of Jesus Christ and to proclaim, through both word and deed, God’s reign of justice, peace and abundant life for all creation.
American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with approximately 5,000 congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.