LCMS pastor, professor, and speaker Dr. John Arthur Nunes will become the fourth president of Lutheran World Relief, Baltimore, on July 1. LWR is a ministry of the LCMS, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, individuals, and parish groups in international relief, development, advocacy, and social responsibility.
Nunes, 44, succeeds Kathryn Wolford, who left the post last fall to become president of the McKnight Foundation in Minneapolis. LWR’s board of directors elected Nunes May 21.
Born in Montego Bay, Jamaica, Nunes is assistant professor of theology at Concordia University Chicago, River Forest, Ill., and pastor of Bethany Lutheran Church, Chicago. He also serves Wheat Ridge Ministries, Itasca, Ill., as staff associate for Urban Ministry Research.
“We are thrilled to announce the presidency of Rev. John Nunes,” said Kirk Betts, vice chair of LWR’s board of directors and chair of LWR’s presidential search committee. “His passion for the mission and ministry of Lutheran World Relief — combined with his incredible ability to engage others in our quest to create a world where each person and every generation can live in justice, dignity, and peace — will serve our partners, friends, and supporters well.”
Rev. Matthew Harrison, executive director of LCMS World Relief and a member of the LWR board of directors, expressed “sincere and heartfelt congratulations to Rev. Nunes at this momentous point in his life and in the life of an organization which has been such a tremendous blessing for so many for so long.”
Harrison said the choice of Nunes “is an affirmation of Lutheran identity for the organization. I anxiously await pending announcements on new partnerships, possibilities, and projects to benefit those in need around the world.”
A graduate of Concordia College (now University), Ann Arbor, Mich., Nunes earned a master of theology degree from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC), and a master of divinity degree from Concordia Seminary, St. Catharines, Ontario. He received an honorary doctorate from Concordia University, Ann Arbor, and is a doctor of philosophy candidate at LSTC.
Nunes is author of the book Voices from the City, a contributing scholar for Modern Reformation magazine, and a member of the American Academy of Religion. He writes and presents on topics related to urban mission, social theology, and ministry among youth.
“As excited as I am about this call — I get to work alongside an incomparable cadre of committed and creative women and men — I’m even more honored to have been chosen to lead an entity as venerable as Lutheran World Relief,” Nunes told Reporter. “I mean, we have a 62-year track record of engaging in works of love in the name of Jesus, works growing from the root of our faith, works that produce the transforming fruit of self-sustaining communities and individuals.”
Nunes added that he seeks “the prayers and support of God’s people in our Lutheran churches for our common mission of building such livelihoods around the world.”
Nunes and his wife, Monique, principal of St. John Lutheran School, Forest Park, Ill., have four daughters and one son.
Posted May 30, 2007