NEW YORK – The American Bible Society announced Thursday the affirmation of its new president and CEO, the Rev. Dr. Paul G. Irwin, ending a yearlong global search for the ministry head. In a unanimous vote by the Bible Society Board of Trustees, Irwin stepped into the permanent position as the ministry was celebrating 190 years of mission.
"Paul Irwin is very knowledgeable about the American Bible Society and is deeply committed to the Bible cause. I am extremely please with his selection," said the Rev. Dr. Lamar Vest chairman of the Board of Trustees, in a released statement. "He will energetically push forward the mission of the Bible Society to share God's Word with the world."
Irwin had assumed post in July 2005 as interim president and CEO during the presidential search. In less than a year, he has helped catalyze the ministry's mission while drawing more of the public eye. Upon the celebration of the ministry's 190th year on May 16, Irwin was officially named into presidency.
In an earlier statement, Irwin commented, "It is a privilege and an honor to be a partner with the dedicated supporters and devoted staff of the American Bible Society. This is a wonderful opportunity to join forces with thousands of committed Christian people who have and will continue to advance the Bible cause in this country and around the world."
Part of the advancement plan is fulfilling the Great Commission in the next decade. Announced during a weeklong anniversary celebration last week at the Bible Read-a-Thon, the American Bible Society has committed to reach virtually every man, woman and child, whether literate or illiterate, with Scripture by their 200th anniversary.
"We are committed to completing this mandate by the year 2016 when we observe 200 years of accomplishing our missions," said Irwin who is taking the organization's focus on Jesus' command of going into the entire world to preach, teach, baptize and bring people to faith.
The new head is also making efforts to make the mission of the American Bible Society's mission known to the public. The organization recently launched a new television series – American Bible Society Presents – to enlighten viewers on relevant issues and topics of interest. With Irwin as host, the weekly show is aired on more than 300 cable systems around the country.
Christian radio stations in the New York area have also been utilized as a medium to raise awareness on the ministry's mission. The recent Bible marathon was partly broadcasted on radio waves with Star 99.1 FM and WMCA 570 on site at the Bible House. The Read-a-Thon itself was conducted on the street of Broadway where thousands of drivers and pedestrians got a taste of Scripture.
With the affirmation of the new president and CEO, the American Bible Society has also affirmed its emphasis on the 190-year-old mission of making the Bible available to every person in a language and format each can understand and afford, so that all people may experience its life-changing message.