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Why We Exist

The gospel has yet to reach the ends of the earth. Currently, more than 3 billion people have little or no access to the gospel. We advance the gospel to the least reached by identifying, connecting and partnering with indigenous leaders in more than 30 countries.

Our History

In the late 1930s, as WWII loomed, Japan invaded China. At this time, many western missionaries in China found themselves forced out due to the war. One of the last missionaries to leave China, Duncan McRoberts, had a deep burden to see the gospel reach the lost. He gathered a group of businessmen to support the existing Chinese church. Together, they formed a partnership model that allowed western Christians to fuel the vision of indigenous leaders in China. The China Native Evangelistic Crusade (CNEC) was formed in 1943 with Calvin Chao as their first leader. Partnerships quickly multiplied and by 1949 there were 150 indigenous leaders in China supported through this model.

In 1960, Allen Finley became the first president of CNEC, and partnership expanded throughout Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Allen focused on coming alongside indigenous leaders to truly fuel their vision for their community—our partnership model that still exists today. In the mid-1980s, CNEC officially became Partners International, and in 1999 God gave a new vision to reach those in the world who do not have access to the gospel. At this time, the least reached became our sole focus. Today, working in over 30 of the least reached countries, we continue to fuel indigenous leaders through resources, training, and prayer, aiming to reach the 3.2 billion people who have not yet had an opportunity to hear and respond to the gospel.

In the past 25 years

30,000

Churches Started

15,000

Small Groups Started

1.6m

New Jesus Followers

5.9m

Assisted Through Relief & Development

Vision

A thriving community of Jesus followers in every people group on earth.

Mission

We connect Kingdom investors with builders of Christ’s Kingdom to advance the Gospel among the least reached.

Leadership

Dave Stephens

Chief Operating Officer & Interim Chief Executive Officer

Dave graduated from Marquette University with a BS in Business Administration and later from the University of Minnesota with an MBA in Finance & Accounting. He spent 20+ years in human resources working for large multinational corporations, most recently as the Chief HR Officer for a Fortune 500 industrial manufacturing company. Dave left the corporate world in 2017 and felt led to pursue a new path that would allow him to be more directly involved in building God’s kingdom. He volunteered at several organizations in the non-profit world helping them improve their systems and processes while learning how they operated differently than the corporate world he came from. Dave and his wife, Kathy, have three children and live in Southlake, Texas.

John Burrough

Vice President of Emerging Partnerships

John Burrough is an international leader, strategic thinker and kingdom builder. His career started in the NFL as a defensive end for the Atlanta Falcons and Minnesota Vikings. He then founded and led multiple businesses before being called into full- time ministry. John served as a director on the missions’ staff at North Point Community Church, leading partnerships in 22 countries. Most recently, John was the CEO of HOI, a faith-based nonprofit in Central America. He is eager to serve at Partners because of his deep calling to advance the gospel to the people living in the 10/40 window. John lives in the suburbs of Atlanta with his wife and two high- school-aged children.

Dana Brennan

Chief Engagement Officer

With over 15 years of experience in leading and developing high-performing teams, Dana is passionately dedicated to engaging people for global impact. He transitioned from a corporate leadership role in recruiting and staffing to serve the Church. He served on leadership at Passion City Church, leading teams to create opportunities for community engagement. Most recently, as the VP of Mobilization for Scatter Global and Operation Mobilization USA, Dana oversaw strategy, marketing, operations, and partnerships, empowering Jesus followers to serve in remote areas globally. Dana’s mission is to inspire, mobilize, and support people to use their gifts and talents to serve God and His Kingdom. He lives in Atlanta with his 2 young children, Josie and Cayden. 

Derek Bell

VP of Development

Derek has spent nearly three decades in nonprofit leadership, serving large and small organizations. His career began in Christian and business publishing, followed by a role as a pastor at Fellowship Bible Church. The most recent decade, Derek has been in leadership in two organizations focused on impactful work in Uganda, Africa. Collaborating closely with author and philanthropist Bob Buford for the last 14 years of his life, Derek is also the co-author of “Millennials Calling: Helping the Largest Living Generation Find Their Place,” aligning with his life’s calling helping individuals find and walk into their “Ephesians 2:10 calling.” Derek and his wife, Jennifer, live in Brentwood, Tennessee, with their teenagers, Macy, Parker, and Grayson.

Robert Mullen

VP of Strategic Partnerships

Robert’s relationship with Partners began decades ago when he pastored a church in Virginia. He supported Partners’ strategy of investing in indigenous leaders rather than sending Westerners who did not know the language or culture. Before serving as a pastor, Robert spent nine years as an attorney concentrating on commercial litigation and representing Christian ministries.

Robert holds a B.S. from Liberty University, a Juris Doctorate from the University of Virginia School of Law, and an M.Div. from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is passionate about helping Kingdom investors understand the incredible opportunity to share the Gospel with the least reached through Partners. He and his wife, Anne, have two grown children and live in Virginia.

Our Board

Jennifer Holloran

Wycliffe Bible Translators, COO | Board Chairman (Orlando, Florida)

Bryson Vogeltanz

Consultant, fortyforty (Atlanta, Georgia)

David Sykora

Chick-fil-A, Operator (Waco, Texas)

Doug Hunter

Doug Hunter, LLC, Connector and Coach (Atlanta, Georgia)

Elaine Lo

Philanthropist (San Jose, California)

Lennell Perry

Gallagher, Partnership & Business Development (Atlanta, Georgia)

Mary Pudaite Keating

SIL International, Global Generosity Strategist (Wheaton, IL)

Meredith Brock

Proverbs 31 Ministries, CEO (Charlotte, North Carolina)

Robert Huggins

Senior Vice President, Bank of America

Audited Financials

As a charter member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, Partners is audited annually by a certified public accounting firm. Partners is a 501(c)(3) organization and contributions are tax deductible for U.S. income tax purposes.

FY2023 Financials

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