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Compassion Chooses Olympic Decathlete Turned Willow Creek Leader as New President

Current president Wess Stafford will retire in September after 20 years leading the international organization.

Compassion International has announced that Jim Mellado will succeed president and CEO Wess Stafford when Stafford retires from his role later this year. Mellado currently serves as president of the Willow Creek Association, a ministry that serves local churches.

Stafford has worked at Compassion for 35 years, including 20 years as president and CEO. Now, he says, he is "certain that Jim [Mellado] will both wisely steward the ministry of Compassion and boldly lead us into new areas of kingdom impact."

According to a press release, Mellado will be only the fifth president in Compassion's 61-year history. The full text of releases by both Compassion and WCA appear below this post.

"As I look back on my life experiences, I can see how God has been leading, stirring and preparing me for this role," said Mellado, a native El Salvadorean.

But Mellado's past experiences wouldn't appear to predict a Compassion presidency: Mellado studied engineering at Southern Methodist University, and then went ...

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