Late Sunday night, one small but significant word was changed on the Wikipedia page of evangelical missions leader Doug Birdsall. The "is" in the opening sentence, "Rev. Dr. S. Douglas Birdsall is the president of American Bible Society," now says "was."
CT noted when Birdsall became leader of ABS this past March after organizing the most diverse meeting of global evangelicals ever for the Lausanne Movement's Cape Town 2010 congress. But today, weeks before his Nov. 8 inauguration ceremony at ABS, he wrote in an email to "Lausanne friends":
I am sorry to tell you that the plans for the inauguration have been cancelled. Last week the Board of Trustees at American Bible Society brought my service to a close.
ABS confirms Birdsall's departure and will release an official statement soon, according to The DeMoss Group.
Birdsall, who was named Wheaton College's alumnus of the year this past May, explains how he "left what I considered to be the best job in the world of missions to take on this new challenge in New York City," and has "enjoyed working with [ABS] outstanding leadership team and staff." But he wrote:
I was excited about giving this decade of my career to leading the American Bible Society into the future with a strategic vision for cultural engagement.However, there are times when the vision and style of a new leader does not mesh satisfactorily with the culture of an established organization or with the expectations of a board. Unfortunately, things did not develop as we had hoped.Now, we must deal with a new reality and look to God for comfort and guidance.
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SOURCE: Christianity Today