The information on this page was last updated 10/5/2023. If you see errors or omissions, please email: [email protected]


JAARS is a multidisciplinary team of problem-solvers who are committed to the belief-and the vision-that people's lives and communities are transformed as they experience God's Word in their own language.

We are a community of full-time missionaries, dedicated volunteers, and a few employees who work together to accomplish the Great Commission goal of providing Scripture to every people group on earth in the language they understand best-their heart language. We do that by supporting Bible translation and language development partners globally, and by working with prayer and financial partners in the United States to help make a range of unique on-the-field solutions possible.

What We Do
For decades JAARS has been making Bible translation and language development possible, especially in the most remote and difficult places on earth.

We do that by enabling locally-appropriate and sustainable solutions in transportation, technology, media, and training. Sometimes, our boots are on the ground (or in the air, or on the water). Other times, we're providing expertise, training, logistical support, research and development, project management, or funding. In all cases, we're working hand-in-hand with global field partners to identify, design, test, refine, and implement solutions that can be sustained going forward.

Contact information

Mailing address:
PO Box 248
Waxhaw, NC 28173-0248

Website: www.jaars.org

Phone: 800-890-0628

Email: [email protected]

Organization details

EIN: 560818833

CEO/President: Steve Russell

Chairman: Andrew J. Hood

Board size: 10

Founder: William Cameron Townsend

Ruling year: 2019

Tax deductible: Yes

Fiscal year end: 09/30

Member of ECFA: Yes

Member of ECFA since: 1989


Our vision is that people's lives and communities are transformed as they experience God's Word in their own languages.

Mission statement

Our mission is to make Bible translation and language development possible, especially in the most remote and difficult places on earth. We do that by enabling locally appropriate and sustainable solutions in transportation, technology, media, and training.

Statement of faith

  • We believe the Bible, the inspired Word of God, is completely trustworthy, speaking with supreme authority in all matters of belief and practice.
  • We believe in one God, who exists eternally in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
  • We believe all people, being created in the image of God, have intrinsic value, but as a result of sin are alienated from God and each other, and therefore in need of reconciliation.
  • We believe that Jesus Christ, the son of God, born of the virgin Mary, is fully God and fully human. He demonstrated God's love for sinners by suffering the penalty of death in their place, rose bodily from the dead, and ascended to heaven where He intercedes for His people.
  • We believe all who repent and trust in Jesus Christ alone as Lord and Savior are, by the grace of God, declared to be right with Him, receiving forgiveness and eternal life.
  • We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ will return personally in glory, raise the dead, and judge the world.
  • We believe all people will rise from the dead, those who are in Christ to enjoy eternal life with God and those who are lost to suffer eternal separation from Him.
  • We believe in the Holy Spirit who imparts new life to those who believe in Christ; through His indwelling presence and transforming power He gives assurance and equips believers for holy living and effective service.
  • We believe the Church is the body of Christ, the fellowship of all believers, and is commissioned to make disciples of all nations.
  1. Seek God Above All
    We will demonstrate prayerful dependence on God, abiding in Christ, studying his Word, and seeking his wisdom in all decisions. (Matt. 6:33; John 15:4-5; Prov. 3:5-6)

  2. Serve in Love
    We will follow Christ's example of sacrificial servanthood, looking first to the interest of others, both within our community and toward those we serve. (Phil. 2:3-5; John 13:34)

  3. Act with Integrity
    We will act towards others with honesty, transparency, accountability, and dependability. (Prov. 21:3; 11:3a; Heb. 13:18)

  4. Steward God's Resources with Courage
    We will make bold yet wise decisions as we care for and make best use of people, time, finances, and opportunities. (Matt. 25:14-30; I Pet. 4:10; Eph. 5:15-16)

  5. Pursue Excellence
    We will strive to meet and exceed professional standards and best practices, learning and improving together. (II Cor. 8:7; II Tim. 2:15; Phil. 4:8)

  6. Collaborate with Respect
    As we work together on internal teams and with ministry partners, we will communicate clearly, assume goodwill, and value each other's contributions. (Eccl. 4:12; I Cor. 1:10, 12:12-27)

  7. Create a Culture of Innovation
    Not content with the status quo, we will question assumptions, seek new approaches, and design innovative solutions in all areas. (Ex. 35:30-35; Eph. 2:10; Prov. 22:29)

Donor confidence score

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Transparency grade


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Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Bible Translation Organizations

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating809 of 111313 of 16
Fund acquisition rating598 of 11149 of 16
Resource allocation rating422 of 11148 of 16
Asset utilization rating1094 of 111315 of 16

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Balance sheet
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$948,546$736,589$285,690$470,694$331,253
Short-term investments$0$0$0$0$0
Other current assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total current assets$1,569,059$1,806,982$425,897$799,738$594,402
Long-term investments$2,297,445$2,563,548$0$0$0
Fixed assets$6,557,926$6,949,405$5,468,570$5,401,145$4,931,828
Other long-term assets$1,057,598$1,113,405$6,732,645$5,304,084$5,745,289
Total long-term assets$9,912,969$10,626,358$12,201,215$10,705,229$10,677,117
Total assets$11,482,028$12,433,340$12,627,112$11,504,967$11,271,519
Payables and accrued expenses$204,113$251,045$511,197$441,601$431,245
Other current liabilities$0$0$0$0$0
Total current liabilities$204,113$251,045$511,197$441,601$431,245
Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$0$0
Other long-term liabilities$797,159$649,229$668,530$585,343$594,169
Total long-term liabilities$797,159$649,229$668,530$585,343$594,169
Total liabilities$1,001,272$900,274$1,179,727$1,026,944$1,025,414
Net assets20222021202020192018
Without donor restrictions$8,108,575$7,778,223$8,150,839$7,637,634$7,685,810
With donor restrictions$2,372,181$3,754,843$3,296,546$2,840,389$2,560,295
Net assets$10,480,756$11,533,066$11,447,385$10,478,023$10,246,105
Revenues and expenses
Total contributions$4,980,791$4,996,131$4,804,545$3,228,520$3,446,196
Program service revenue$1,536,547$1,457,670$1,015,180$1,455,578$1,405,174
Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
Investment income$9,946$19,739$100,578$436,378$62,614
Other revenue$52,819($23,057)$552,047$382,069$342,881
Total other revenue$1,599,312$1,454,352$1,667,805$2,274,025$1,810,669
Total revenue$6,580,103$6,450,483$6,472,350$5,502,545$5,256,865
Program services$6,243,327$5,403,964$4,180,133$4,251,744$3,866,177
Management and general$879,631$655,590$874,322$837,568$713,514
Total expenses$7,479,302$6,452,665$5,325,327$5,325,119$4,954,778
Change in net assets20222021202020192018
Surplus (deficit)($899,199)($2,182)$1,147,023$177,426$302,087
Other changes in net assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total change in net assets($899,199)($2,182)$1,147,023$177,426$302,087


Steve BiggerstaffVice President of Engagement$118,230
William McLendon JrPresident$72,316
David ReeseChief Financial Officer$50,504
Denise ShockleyV P of Finance, CFO$32,840

Compensation data as of: 9/30/2022

Response from ministry

No response has been provided by this ministry.

The information below was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 10/5/2023. To update the information below, please email: [email protected]


We praise God for a legacy of his faithfulness.

From our earliest days 70 years ago, JAARS' passion has been to reach the unreached-both spiritually and practically. Our founder, Cameron Townsend, believed that all people should have God's Word in their heart language. He devoted his life to that bold vision, trusting at every juncture that God would make the impossible possible. Just reaching and working in minority language communities-sometimes in the most remote, dangerous corners of the world-proved to be an early obstacle.

"Airplanes and radios don't just make translation easier; they make it possible."

- Cameron Townsend, founder of JAARS, SIL International, and Wycliffe Bible Translators

And that's why JAARS exists. For decades now, we've landed planes on narrow rivers and towering mountains. We've outfitted boats and vehicles to reach villages that rarely see an outsider. We've set up radios in the rainforest. Satellite uplinks in the desert. Makeshift recording studios and theaters on islands and mountains alike. Over and over, we've watched God pave the way for people to translate and share his Word anywhere on earth.

God has already been so faithful. We see that in the thousands of passionate, gifted people he's called to partner in this work, much of which happens at the JAARS Center in North Carolina. Our campus itself is a testimony to God's power to work through people: businessman Henderson Belk donated this land for us to build a runway and hangar back in the 1960s. Little did he know how God would multiply his gift! The JAARS Center has grown into a hub of innovation, expertise, and training that benefits Bible translation around the world.

Today, we're blessed to work with dozens of partner organizations that are as passionate as we are about sharing God's Word.

When they have a challenge, we pray, roll up our sleeves, and work together to make translation possible. Sometimes that means designing and building solutions from scratch; other times, we provide the research, program management, or networking that lead to the best possible solution. Now in our eighth decade, we trust God will continue to pave the way for Bible translation. The needs are enormous. Seemingly insurmountable. But we serve the God who makes all things possible-and he calls people like us to take part.

Program accomplishments

Restored and relaunched a boat in Papua New Guinea, working in collaboration with an established local ministry. The Kwadima II, which we first sent in 2008, is now poised for even greater support of Bible translation and other ministry on remote islands.

Launched a new Mission Transportation Software program to make travel safer and more efficient in off-the-grid environments. To start, we're supporting FlightSpan-an iPad app that helps mission pilots plan routes, track changing runway conditions, monitor flights, calculate weight and balance, track cargo, and more.

Acquired and began overhauling a Cessna 206 for ministry. The aircraft was originally headed to SIL Cameroon, but God intervened in a way that left us amazed and grateful. It will now meet a critical need for SAMAIR, our partner in Peru, while paving the way for an even better solution in Cameroon.

Started a new partnership with Faith Comes By Hearing to support Oral Bible Translation in Africa, Asia, and the Pacific. So far this partnership has launched seven new translation projects, and momentum is growing.

Held a water safety training event for over 40 dedicated Filipino missionaries who share God's Word on remote islands. The water travel itself is dangerous enough-and these teams work in areas where bringing the gospel can be punishable by death.

Sent a rugged 4WD to the Central African Republic, where our partner ACATBA is forging ahead with Bible translation in eight languages despite an ongoing civil war.

Began the FAA certification process for a commercial autopilot system to be used in Pilatus PC-6s-long awaited by our partner in Indonesia.

Continued our core support of partners around the world, working amidst COVID-19 restrictions to provide training, research, support for field programs, shipping of critical supplies, and more. Six aviation families also served directly with strategic partners in Brazil and Peru.

Kept every commitment to support ongoing programs that are crucial to our partners' ministry. Thanks to God's provision and your generosity despite the pandemic, we maintained our support for: - workshops to create Scripture websites

  • - two recording studios in South Asia
  • - multi-language IT support for Bible translation in South Asia
  • - training for IT staff in Africa-moved online due to COVID-19
  • - power and internet access for translation centers in Africa
  • - Scripture recording teams in Papua New Guinea

  • Prototyped and tested CrossVenture|Coastal, a new experience to introduce young people to the challenges of maritime travel for missionaries around the world-and inspire them to be part of the solution.

    Launched our new JAARS Fellows program and welcomed the first two cohorts, Alpha and Bravo, for training and service at our campus in North Carolina.

  • Needs

    Thank you for joining us to make God's Word available to all-even in the most remote, difficult places on earth.