Greater Europe Mission (GEM) announced recently that Henry L. Deneen will succeed Ted Noble as president, effective 1 September 2007. Deneen has twenty-seven years of experience in law, pastoral ministry and missions.
The search for a new president followed Noble’s announcement in May 2006 of his conviction that, after fifteen years as president, he had completed his work at GEM. It is also a strategic time for the ministry. Because the rate of Christian growth in Europe is one of the lowest worldwide, churches around the world recognize Europe as a priority mission field.
“Believers in Europe are asking for highly trained and motivated individuals to serve alongside them,” says Tim Wilson, GEM’s director of mobilization. “Henry’s experience in Europe is invaluable, and his enthusiasm for the task ahead is contagious.”
Noble agrees. “From the beginning of this transition, my prayer has been, ‘Lord, lead in such a way that we will see you doing this, for only you know our future needs,’” he says. “Based on Henry’s experience, I see many reasons to be excited about his new role with GEM, but most of all because I believe that God has done it.”
Deneen, his wife Celia and their four children lived in France for four years, collaborating with organizations to develop initiatives and strategic partnerships in and around North Africa. In 2004 they returned to the United States, and in 2005 Deneen founded the Center for Global Strategies in Columbia, South Carolina, a nonprofit organization.
“I believe that under God’s leadership GEM can be a part of dynamic, innovative, God-led strategies throughout the world,” says Deneen. “Leading and supporting field workers, staff and administrative personnel at GEM, I envision many opportunities to see dramatic changes take place in Europe and beyond.”
In addition to a law degree, Deneen has a master of divinity degree from Golden Gate Theological Seminary and is working toward a doctorate in ministry from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois.
Before attending Golden Gate Seminary, Deneen worked for thirteen years as a trial attorney and municipal judge. He led weekly Bible studies in the governor’s office for more than fifty government employees and others and oversaw a weekly Bible study for more than two hundred employees from the South Carolina State House.
GEM has more than 444 staff serving in twenty-seven nations of Greater Europe, which includes Russia and countries of the Mediterranean Rim. Its mission is to assist the peoples of Greater Europe in building up the body of Christ so that every person is within reach of a witnessing fellowship.
(This article was edited from a Greater Europe Mission news release.)