The information on this page was last updated 1/12/2023. 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.
PO Box 248
Waxhaw, NC 28173-0248
Email: [email protected]
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.
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.
- 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)
- 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)
- Act with Integrity
We will act towards others with honesty, transparency, accountability, and dependability. (Prov. 21:3; 11:3a; Heb. 13:18)
- 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)
- 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)
- 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)
- 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
|Does the organization have a statement of faith consistent with historic Christian creeds and is that statement of easily found on its website?||Yes||4/4|
|Does the board have no more than 2 non-independent members?||Yes||10/10|
|Does the board have at least four independent board members for every non-independent member?||No||0/4|
|Does the board contain between 5 and 11 members?||Yes||10/10|
|Does the organization file a Form 990 and make its Form 990 available to the public?||Yes||15/15|
|Does the organization make its audit or review (if annual revenue is more than $1-m) available on its website?||Yes||4/4|
|Is the organization a member of the ECFA?||Yes||9/9|
|Is the CEO/President's compensation within one standard deviation of the median compensation?||Yes||4/4|
|Did the organization operate at a net profit (revenue greater than expenses) in the most recent year?||Yes||4/4|
|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||4/4|
|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||4/4|
|Are author royalties and speaking engagement fees paid to the organization, and not the individual?||Yes||4/4|
|Does the organization require its employees to affirm upon hiring the statement of faith of the organization?||Yes||4/4|
|Is the board chair an independent member of the board?||Yes||4/4|
|Does the board have term limits?||Yes||4/4|
|Have there been no public accusations of misdeeds against the organization, founder, CEO, senior pastor, or board members in the past five years?||Yes||4/4|
|Has the organization refrained from the use of non-disclosure agreements?||Yes||4/4|
|Does the organization have an overall financial efficiency rating of at least 2 stars?||Yes||4/4|
|Total donor confidence score||96/100|
To understand our transparency grade, click here.
Financial efficiency ratings
Sector: Evangelism Support
|Category||Rating||Overall rank||Sector rank|
|Overall efficiency rating||915 of 1031||29 of 37|
|Fund acquisition rating||613 of 1032||25 of 37|
|Resource allocation rating||703 of 1032||23 of 37|
|Asset utilization rating||1007 of 1031||35 of 37|
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|Receivables, inventories, prepaids||$736,589||$285,690||$470,694||$331,253||$454,326|
|Other current assets||$0||$0||$0||$0||$0|
|Total current assets||$1,806,982||$425,897||$799,738||$594,402||$801,762|
|Other long-term assets||$1,113,405||$6,732,645||$5,304,084||$5,745,289||$4,602,938|
|Total long-term assets||$10,626,358||$12,201,215||$10,705,229||$10,677,117||$9,907,507|
|Payables and accrued expenses||$251,045||$511,197||$441,601||$431,245||$171,082|
|Other current liabilities||$0||$0||$0||$0||$0|
|Total current liabilities||$251,045||$511,197||$441,601||$431,245||$171,082|
|Due to (from) affiliates||$0||$0||$0||$0||$0|
|Other long-term liabilities||$649,229||$668,530||$585,343||$594,169||$594,169|
|Total long-term liabilities||$649,229||$668,530||$585,343||$594,169||$594,169|
|Without donor restrictions||$7,778,223||$8,150,839||$7,637,634||$7,685,810||$7,768,236|
|With donor restrictions||$3,754,843||$3,296,546||$2,840,389||$2,560,295||$2,175,782|
|Revenues and expenses|
|Program service revenue||$1,457,670||$1,015,180||$1,455,578||$1,405,174||$1,411,694|
|Total other revenue||$1,454,352||$1,667,805||$2,274,025||$1,810,669||$1,898,841|
|Management and general||$655,590||$874,322||$837,568||$713,514||$434,917|
|Change in net assets||2021||2020||2019||2018||2017|
|Other changes in net assets||$0||$0||$0||$0||$0|
|Total change in net assets||($2,182)||$1,147,023||$177,426||$302,087||$878,317|
|Stephen Biggerstaff||V P of Engagement||$124,353|
|David Reese||Chief Financial Officer||$111,930|
|William McLendon Jr||President||$54,432|
Compensation data as of: 9/30/2020
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 1/12/2023. 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.
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
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.
Thank you for joining us to make God's Word available to all-even in the most remote, difficult places on earth.