Deaf Bible Society President and Chief Executive Officer J.R. Bucklew announced last week that the Board has accepted his resignation from the organization. The Board of Directors has appointed Mrs. Chantel Pagan, who serves as Chief Development Officer, and Mr. Adan Burke, who serves as the Chief Program Officer, as Co-Interim CEOs, effective immediately. Bucklew will finish out his administrative leave until May 2020. Thereafter, he will continue to be an advocate to the organization where the Lord leads him.

Bucklew stated, “My heart still longs to see every Deaf person presented with the Gospel message in their sign language!” He also shared, “It has been my life’s privilege to be used by the Lord to serve Deaf Bible Society for the past seven years. I remember the first time I stepped out of an airplane onto the mission field in Northern Ethiopia, little did I know then, how the Deaf ministry work that began through me in Ethiopia would result in the formation of the organization Deaf Bible Society. I’m amazed at what has been accomplished, and I am encouraged by the ways that I’ve experienced collaboration bring forth a growth that can and should only be accredited to God.

With sincere gratitude, I want to express my thanks to the staff, ministry and resource partners, and the Board of Directors, for walking this journey alongside me. Thank you for placing your trust in me and allowing me the privilege to lead this organization. I will forever be a bearer of the fruit of your gifts in my life and witness to the hope that Christ has/is for Deaf people.

The decision for resignation did not come easily or lightly. Both Word and Spirit have prompted me to enter a season to rekindle my identity in Christ. It is a season of restoration, rest, and replenishment. The Board of Directors has asked me to thoughtfully and prayerfully consider returning in May of 2020 to serve in another capacity. I would ask you to please be praying for my family as we seek how the Lord would have us serve Him in this next season of our lives. We deserve to be used by Him as He directs.”

Deaf Bible Society Board Treasurer, Mel Morris, said, “J.R. Bucklew has served DBS with dedication since 2012. He grew the organization from a department under Faith Comes By Hearing to a thriving organization. He has also been dedicated to serving the Deaf Bible cause since day one, and his service to Deaf Bible Society and the Deaf community at large is a reflection of that dedication, and we are so thankful.

The Board of Directors will engage in an executive search to identify a new President and CEO and will work closely with Deaf Bible Society’s Interim Co-CEO’s to facilitate an effective transition.

John Dickinson, Board Chairman, said, “J.R. has served as an inspiration and visionary for providing God’s Word in every sign language. He has brought light to the great need of my fellow Deaf communities around the world. He helped not only to put Deaf people groups on the map but also in the hearts of Bible translation organizations around the world. I am excited to see what vision God births in him next.”


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