World Evangelical Alliance
The information on this page was last updated 5/26/2023. If you see errors or omissions, please email: [email protected]
Bringing together evangelicals across geographic and denominational boundaries, the WEA serves as a global platform for collaboration. WEA seeks to strengthen local churches through national alliances, supporting and coordinating grassroots leadership and seeking practical ways of showing the unity of the body of Christ.
World Evangelical Alliance
PO Box 3402
New York, NY 10008-3402
Email: [email protected]
CEO/President: Bp. Dr. Thomas Schirrmacher
Chairman: Rev. Goodwill Shana
Board size: 17
Ruling year: 1978
Tax deductible: Yes
Fiscal year end: 06/30
Member of ECFA: Yes
Member of ECFA since: 1980
Our Vision: Evangelicals united globally for Gospel transformation.
Our Aspiration: The fullness of life for every person. A healthy church for every people. An equipped leader for every congregation. The shalom of God for every nation.
Fostering unity in Christ, strengthening identity, voice, and platform for Gospel witness and discipleship.
Statement of faith
The Holy Scriptures as originally given by God, divinely inspired, infallible, entirely trustworthy; and the supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct.
One God, eternally existent in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit
Our Lord Jesus Christ, God manifest in the flesh, His virgin birth, His sinless human life, His divine miracles, His vicarious and atoning death, His bodily resurrection, His ascension, His mediatorial work, and his personal return in power and glory.
The Salvation of lost and sinful man through the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ by faith apart from works, and regeneration by the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the believer is enabled to live a holy life, to witness and work for the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Unity of the Spirit of all true believers, the Church, the Body of Christ.
The Resurrection of both the saved and the lost; they that are saved unto the resurrection of life, they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.
Donor confidence score
|Does the organization have a statement of faith consistent with historic Christian creeds and is that statement of easily found on its website?||Yes||3/3|
|Does the board have no more than 2 non-independent members?||Yes||8/8|
|Does the board have at least four independent board members for every non-independent member?||Yes||3/3|
|Does the board contain between 5 and 11 members?||No||0/8|
|Does the organization file a Form 990 and make its Form 990 available to the public?||Yes||20/20|
|Does the organization make its audit or review (if annual revenue is more than $1-m) available on its website?||No||0/3|
|Is the organization a member of the ECFA?||Yes||15/15|
|Is the CEO/President's compensation within one standard deviation of the median compensation?||Yes||3/3|
|Did the organization operate at a net profit (revenue greater than expenses) in the most recent year?||Yes||3/3|
|Does the organization refrain from owning or leasing a private aircraft, or having fractional interest in one, that is primarily used for travel by the organization's leaders?||Yes||3/3|
|For the past five years, has the organization been free of any lawsuits or administrative actions filed against it by an employee, client, board member, vendor, donor, or other related party?||Yes||3/3|
|Are author royalties and speaking engagement fees paid to the organization, and not the individual?||Yes||3/3|
|Does the organization require its employees to affirm upon hiring the statement of faith of the organization?||Yes||3/3|
|Is the board chair an independent member of the board?||Yes||3/3|
|Does the board have term limits?||Yes||3/3|
|Have there been no public accusations of misdeeds against the organization, founder, CEO, senior pastor, or board members in the past five years?||Yes||3/3|
|Has the organization refrained from the use of non-disclosure agreements?||Yes||3/3|
|Does the organization have an overall financial efficiency rating of at least 3 stars?||No||0/10|
|Total donor confidence score||79/100|
Financial efficiency ratings
Sector: Foreign Missions
|Category||Rating||Overall rank||Sector rank|
|Overall efficiency rating||1002 of 1097||131 of 142|
|Fund acquisition rating||987 of 1099||128 of 143|
|Resource allocation rating||1078 of 1099||140 of 143|
|Asset utilization rating||562 of 1097||70 of 142|
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|Receivables, inventories, prepaids||$147,116||$147,116||$228,000||$837,244||$45,103|
|Other current assets||$0||$0||$0||$0||$0|
|Total current assets||$1,501,830||$1,501,830||$1,565,199||$1,644,178||$204,626|
|Other long-term assets||$0||$0||$0||$0||$0|
|Total long-term assets||$7,052||$7,052||$1,600||$8,800||$13,600|
|Payables and accrued expenses||$45,466||$45,466||$14,257||$15,236||$9,112|
|Other current liabilities||$0||$0||$0||$54,040||$0|
|Total current liabilities||$45,466||$45,466||$14,257||$69,276||$9,112|
|Due to (from) affiliates||$0||$0||$0||$0||$0|
|Other long-term liabilities||$0||$0||$0||$0||$0|
|Total long-term liabilities||$0||$0||$0||$0||$0|
|Without donor restrictions||$640,611||$640,611||$615,766||$247,251||$108,803|
|With donor restrictions||$822,805||$822,805||$936,776||$1,336,451||$100,311|
|Revenues and expenses|
|Program service revenue||$0||$0||$0||$0||$1,564|
|Total other revenue||$2,038||$50,971||$40,802||$57,158||$47,135|
|Management and general||$452,084||$452,084||$358,351||$288,835||$183,779|
|Change in net assets||2022||2021||2020||2019||2018|
|Other changes in net assets||$0||$0||$0||$0||$0|
|Total change in net assets||($89,126)||($89,126)||$63,581||$1,374,588||($3,508)|
|Raymond Swatkowski||Chief Financial Officer||$104,080|
|Joanna Bartovic||Director of Finance||$69,774|
|Peirong Lin||Dep. Sec. Gen Operations||$62,315|
|Dr Thomas Shirrmacher||Sec. General & CEO Eff. 3/21||$37,562|
|Godfrey Yogarajah Dep Sec||Gen. Ministries Thru 2/21, Trustee||$5,000|
Compensation data as of: 12/31/2021
No response has been provided by this ministry.
The information below was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 5/26/2023. To update the information below, please email: [email protected]
Unique among evangelical organizations, WEA is characterized by five charter qualifications. First, a doctrinal confession guides it-grounding it in historic evangelical affirmations. Second, it has constitutionality-governed by Bylaws and General Assembly delegates, which guarantee historical continuity. Third, it is a church-based movement-listening to its constituency as its core authority. Thus, it is not an organization established and maintained by individuals. Fourth, its constituency is global-rooted in 143 national and nine regional alliances, more than one hundred affiliate members, and an increasing number of commissions and networks. Finally, it functions as a network while providing the services of an alliance-through its resources, departments and commissions. WEA is the broadest organizational and global manifestation of what it means to be an evangelical.
1. The Evangelical Alliance, 1846-1951
WEA's roots began in 1846 with the establishment in England of the Evangelical Alliance, incorporated in 1912 as the World's Evangelical Alliance (British Organization).
The 1846 historical context is instructive. The English conscience was disturbed by growing social injustices, especially working conditions and child labor. The Church of England experienced the Scottish Disruption and the Tractarian Movement exodus. Darwin was developing his evolutionary theories, and Marx and Engels published the Communist Manifesto in 1848; France, Germany and Italy all experienced revolutions in 1848.
The Second Great Awakening (1791-1842) created a desire for Christian fellowship across the boundaries of church and geography, especially in the British Isles and USA. "It was a time that called everywhere for the influence of an [sic] united and powerful Christian Church." (Ewing, 12). British meetings starting in 1843 led to the watershed London gathering in August 19-September 2, 1846 at Freemason Hall. Representatives came from England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Sweden, Germany, France, Holland, Switzerland, the US and Canada. Some 800-1000 Christian leaders, representing 53 "bodies of Christians", met for 13 days in worship, preaching and business.
Controversy emerged when British participants moved to exclude slave-holders from membership. The atmosphere was charged by the delayed arrival of Mollison M. Clark, an American negro minister from the African Methodist Episcopal denomination in New York. Given "the right hand of fellowship", he affirmed "...his sense of the value of the newly-formed Alliance and of his privilege in being admitted to its membership...." (Ewing, 19). After six days of heated debate, the final constitution did not address slavery due to American pressures. Howard's judgment: "It is sobering and saddening to realize that disagreement on a social issue such as slavery, which today would not occupy five minutes of debate in a worldwide evangelical forum, should scuttle the attempt to build a truly representative body of evangelicals on a global basis." (Howard, 13) A "confederation" was formed-not a new "ecclesiastical structure"-to express existing spiritual unity, with a doctrinal statement of evangelical convictions. (Howard, 11). For 100 years the Evangelical Alliance operated as an informal structure and platform for evangelical unity under the four "Practical Resolutions". (Ewing, 20)
During 1846-1955, "branches" were established in France, Germany, Canada, USA, Sweden, India, Turkey, Spain and Portugal. General Conferences, focusing on Christian fellowship and unity were held in London (1851), Paris (1855), Berlin (1857), Geneva (1861), Amsterdam (1867), New York (1873), Basle (1879), Copenhagen (1884), Florence (1891).
They emphasized the proclamation and expansion of the Gospel; established the long-lasting Universal Week of Prayer starting in 1861; protested against the "Papacy and Popery"; advocated for religious liberty "...the succor of the oppressed." in Europe, Russia, Turkey, Persia, Japan, Madagascar, Brazil and Peru (Ewing, 58); defended "The Lord's Day", attacking Sunday labor, and "...organised games and amusements". (Ewing, 83); and backed freedom of slaves in the USA, and their resettlement in Africa. Their official magazine was "Evangelical Christendom".
2. World Evangelical Fellowship: 1951-2001 Up to 1951 the Alliance was primarily a British venture, with uneven support in Europe and the USA. Two world wars had decimated hopes for greater unity. Evangelicals lived a new historical context: Americans founded the National Association of Evangelicals in 1942; 51 nations in 1945 signed the UN charter and in 1951 the UN headquarters opened in New York; the World Council of Churches was founded in 1948; Remington Rand delivered the first commercial UNIVAC I computer.
2.1 Holland, 1951
Some 91 men and women from 21 nations met in Holland as the International Convention of Evangelicals to re-envision the old EA into a global fellowship. Leaders included J. Elwin Wright, Harold J. Ockenga, and Clyde W. Taylor from the USA and John R. W. Stott and A. Jack Dain from England. Dain and Stott drafted its threefold purpose: The furtherance of the gospel; the defense and confirmation of the gospel; and the fellowship in the gospel. (Howard, 28-34).
2.2 WEF from 1951-1982
Word spread of this new, global body, with its Executive Committee, co-international leaders, and four commissions-evangelism, missionary, literature, Christian action. WEF's leaders traveled indefatigably, establishing and expanding the new global evangelical body, always with scarce funding.
Executive leadership and office headquarters for WEF
1. Roy Cattell (England) and J. Elwin Wright (USA), co-secretaries, 1951-1953
2. A.J. Dain (England) and J. Elwin Wright (USA), co-secretaries, 1953-1958
3. Fred Ferris (USA), International Secretary, USA,1958-1962
4. Gilbert Kirby (England), International Secretary,1962-1966
5. Dennis Clark (Canada), International Secretary, 1966-1970
6. Gordon Landreth (England), interim International Secretary,1970-1971
7. Clyde Taylor (USA), International Secretary, 1971-1975
8. Waldron Scott, (USA) General Secretary, 1975-1980
9. Wade Coggins, (USA) Interim General Secretary, 1981
Howard traveled the world with the dream of evangelicals in common cause. Scores of alliances were visited and some 40 founded. Regional alliances grew and the International Council's role matured. Howard's title became General Director, and later International Director. Travel was grueling, and the organizational and financial crisis hit hard in 1985, in spite of new vision casting with a fresh mission statement (Howard, 156). Howard's ten year (double the tenure of any previous executive!) legacy is strong: he established integrity, fiscal responsibility, pastoral vision while growing his team of commission and alliance leaders, and the IC. He will be remembered for moving headquarters from the USA to Singapore in 1987, for WEF was now finally to the global church epicenter.
In Manila 1992, Filipino Agustin "Jun" Vencer became ID until 2001. A Majority World leader! Vencer's commitments: to establish and strengthen national alliances, reflecting his Philippine experience; to embody Biblical wholism, integrating Gospel and social concern. Commissions and self-supported staff grew under his tenure. The Religious Liberty commission and the leadership training department began. One commission was phased out. Tireless travel characterized Vencer's nine years. The historic funding challenges re-emerged with three offices: Singapore, Manila, USA.
Vencer's tenure concluded at the Kuala Lumpur 2001 General Assembly, without a successor, but with a new name-World Evangelical Alliance. An interim operating team was capably led by IC Chair, David Detert, (France-based American executive), for a year. The Asia offices were closed and headquarters returned to the USA.
Early in 2001 WEA asked Interdev for a comprehensive evaluation of the movement; the report was presented by Interdev's Gary Edmonds. At a 2002 WEA gathering in England, the International Council invited Edmonds himself to become WEA's new Secretary General. Edmonds reduced debts by closing the Wheaton office and moving it to Seattle. He negotiated the decision to sell the Singapore property. Edmonds worked to revamp WEA, a move that didn't garner the desired support. Ironically the Interdev report recommendations were not implemented. Edmonds resigned early in 2004 and WEA found itself again in leadership and funding uncertainty.
A new era began in 2005 when Canadian Geoff Tunnicliffe became International Director. The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada invited WEA to move it administration and financial functions to Toronto and provides vital support. WEA now grows with new human and financial resources from alliances and affiliates. Tunnicliffe brings a singular gift mix and collegiality to WEA. Offices opened near Vancouver, Canada (Leadership), San Francisco (Information Technology), Washington, D.C. (Global Press), and Geneva (United Nations). WEA Affiliate member, the Christian Media Corporation, offered its services in media, communications and technology.
3. An evaluation of WEF/WEA
Howard's book, "The dream that would not die" is well named. WEA's Biblical vision for practical unity is driven by Christ's John 17 prayer. Its strengths go beyond those presented in the first paragraph. WEA embraces the tectonic shift in the epicentre of global Christianity in its constituency and leadership, regional and national alliances and commissions. Leadership grapples anew with the meaning of "evangelical", even as they sort out relationships to evangelicals in other communions, to the World Council of Churches, to Lausanne and other global groups. Commissions are being strengthened, with the Mission Commission and its reflective practitioners setting the standard. WEA's Religious Liberty Commission and presence in the United Nations represent bold public advocacy voices. WEA serves as both alliance and network. WEA is defined and recognized as representatives of a distinct worldwide constituency, and participates in the annual Conference of Secretaries of World Christian Communions.
WEA has its weaknesses. Some considered it a "gated community" not welcoming the broader evangelical family into membership; others perceived it as an inflexible ecclesiastical structure. As it struggles with perennial financial limitations, will its constituencies "own" WEA to provide necessary human and financial resources for it to serve its purposes excellently? Some still perceive it as too Western-driven and funded, and it has suffered from uneven leadership.
Today however, a new day dawns upon a revitalized WEA with its regional and national alliances, commissions (theology, religious liberty, mission, youth, women, information technology), affiliated specialized ministries, and organizational ministries. WEA today is a network of churches in 143 nations that have joined to give a worldwide identity, voice and platform to more than 600 million evangelical Christians.