General Secretary of the World Evangelical Alliance Thomas Schirrmacher resigns

General Secretary of the World Evangelical Alliance Thomas Schirrmacher resigned from his position in the prominent global Christian organization for health reasons.

Schirrmacher stepped down as secretary general of the 600 million-member organization on Sunday during his first term, which was scheduled to expire on February 28, 2026.

In a statement on Monday, the WEA announced that the WEA International Council unanimously accepted his resignation due to the effects of prolonged COVID-19.

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Bonvolo Shana, the president of the WEA International Council, will serve as interim head of the WEA for a period not expected to exceed six months while the council's Human Resources Committee launches a review process of the Office of the General Secretary, which is expected. lead to an election process for a new general secretary and CEO.

“Schirrmacher has had a long and productive relationship with the WEA, its national members and committees,” the WEA statement reads. “His erudite writings reinforcing biblical truth were an encouragement to many.”

“The WEA International Council looks to the prayers and support of the WEA family and friends to navigate the way forward with God's direction, wisdom and grace.”

A native of Germany, professor and Anglican archbishop assistant, Schirrmacher took office in 2021, replacing general secretary Efraim Tendero, who served a single term. Before Tender, Geoff Tunnicliffe and Jun Vencer each served two terms.

As executive chairman, Shana will oversee a team of two deputy general secretaries (Peirong Lin and Samuel Chiang). The undersecretaries general role was created in the term of Tender to form the Office of General Secretary and continued in the term of Schirrmacher.

Schirrmacher won four doctorates: one in ecumenical studies in 1985, one in cultural anthropology in 1989, one in ethics in 1996 and one in sociology of religion in 2007. He also has three honorary doctorates.

Before becoming head of the WEA, Schirrmacher served the global evangelical body as general secretary for Theological Concerns and Interfaith and Interfaith Relations.

He is assistant archbishop of the Communio Christiana under Archbishop William Mikler, a global independent Anglican community with a Reformed and Charismatic emphasis. In that role, he works closely with the Communio Messianca, which connects churches of Eastern background in 75 countries.

“I am humbled that so many esteemed leaders are placing their trust in me,” Schirrmacher said in a 2021 statement. “Having been part of the leadership team for a long time, I already feel very much at home in the WEA.”

During his inaugural speech in 2021, Schirrmacher described the Bible as the “confession of the church” and the “paper” that dictates the beliefs of the faithful.

“We are proud to have a Paper Pope because the Paper Pope ensures that none of us, including me, is above the Word of God,” he said at the time. “We all submit to the Word of God; no one is above it.”

Schirrmacher also wrote a series of articles for The Christian Post in October 2015, documenting his experiences at the Vatican Synod on the Family, which took place in Rome.

WEA general secretaries are appointed by the organization's International Council to serve a five-year term. They may also serve several consecutive terms.

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