Aurora, Illinois—November 19, 2013— The Board of Directors of Lutheran Bible Translators today announced the appointment of Michael K. Rodewald Ph.D. as Executive Director. Currently serving as Regional Director-Africa with LCMS Office of International Missions, Pretoria, Rodewald succeeds Marshall R. Gillam who is retiring from his post on December 31, 2013 after 17 years with LBT, 14 as Executive Director.
Rodewald brings over 30 years of experience in Africa where much of LBT’s translation and literacy efforts are focused. For 23 years he and his wife, Cindy, served together as LBT missionaries in Liberia, Botswana, and South Africa where he oversaw several translation and literacy projects, worked with partner organizations, and advanced the work of LBT. In his current role, Rodewald oversees and is responsible for Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod mission projects on the African Continent.
“The Board is delighted to have found someone with Michael’s background, accomplishments, and commitment to lead LBT’s vital work and oversee the global reach of this ministry,” remarked The Rev. Dr. Wayne M. Braun, Chairman of the LBT Board of Directors. “His years of faithful and effective leadership in Africa and his relationships with missionaries, donors and church leaders make him the ideal candidate for the job. He is a true man of God.”
David Snyder, LBT Director of Program Ministries, will serve as Interim Executive Director until June 1, 2014 when Rodewald is scheduled to begin his duties. A native of Missouri, Rodewald holds a Ph.D. in Missiology from Concordia Theological Seminary, an M.A. in Linguistics from the University of Texas, Arlington, and a B.A. in Music Education from Southeast Missouri State University. He and Cindy have three sons.
“The vision of LBT to make God’s Word available to those who otherwise would never have a chance to hear is one in which I remain honored to participate,” remarked Rodewald. “I look forward to serving with the board, missionaries, staff, donors, and friends in the years ahead that others may hear God’s message and in the doing, come to know the saving power of the gospel through the working of the Holy Spirit.”
Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2014, Lutheran Bible Translators has 41 missionaries and 31 associate missionaries serving in 15 countries. With a mission to “make God’s Word accessible to those who do not yet have it in the language of their hearts,” LBT focuses its efforts on four priorities: Scripture translation, literacy, Scripture engagement, and local ownership. It is currently managing 22 Bible translation and 50 Scripture engagement projects among 51 language groups. Since 1964 LBT has provided 7 million people access to God’s word due to its translation efforts.