A nearly 150-year-old mission organization has announced its next Executive Directory, and for the first time, they are a woman as well as a layperson.

Canadian Baptist Ministries’ (CBM) Board of Directors says that their current Associate Executive Director, Jennifer Lau, will be the new Executive Director, effective November 1, 2020.

Lau has served with CBM since 2002 in various roles, primarily focusing on providing the marketing strategy and direction for all of CBM’s endeavours in Canada, the CBM board says in a release. Lau has served as Associate Executive Director in 2018.

She will be replacing Terry Smith, who has been with the organization since 2003. Smith served in France with the Institut Biblique Europeen previously.

Smith will be staying with CBM and taking on a new role after some time off for rest.

In her time at CBM, Lau created CBM’s magazine, Mosaic, and has travelled across Canada and to many countries around the world, seeking to connect Canadian Baptists to the people CBM serves globally.

"She has continued to bring her deep faith in the Lord, passion to serve the vulnerable, and commitment to excellence, integrity and skill in areas of communications, strategic management, marketing and fundraising to bear as a senior leader in the organization," CBM board president, Heather Rumble-Peterson, says.

"Jennifer brings to this position outstanding leadership capabilities and proven experience in working together with global leaders and churches in responding to the challenges of embracing a broken world with God’s love. Her visionary leadership, character and involvement in overseeing global discipleship and church engagement uniquely positions her to bring Canadian Baptists along in this new role. I believe she is the person God has called to help represent and lead our organization into this next decade."

“I am so excited to be part of this next phase of CBM’s organizational development as its Executive Director," Laus says.

"It is a gift to work with such a remarkable staff team, as we serve together to help meet the needs of the people and partners we work with globally. Being part of CBM is a privilege and I look forward to seeing how God’s Spirit continues to move around the world as we faithfully serve him."