jim-mellado jim melladoOur Global Board of Directors announced Jim Mellado as our new President and CEO earlier today. They made the unanimous decision after a global search that began late last year when Wess shared his plans to retire after 35 years of service at Compassion, 20 as President and CEO.

Jim becomes only the fifth president in our 61-year history. He will formally take the position in September.

For 20 years, Jim served as president of the Willow Creek Association (WCA), a not-for-profit ministry dedicated to helping local churches thrive. During his tenure leading the WCA, the ministry grew significantly.

  • Worldwide ministry income increased from $2 million to more than $20 million.
  • Membership grew from 860 churches to over 7,000.
  • Annual conference attendance jumped from approximately 10,000 to more than 180,000.

“I’ve known this remarkable man for 20 years. I’m certain that Jim will both wisely steward the ministry of Compassion and boldly lead us into new areas of kingdom impact.” ~ Wess Stafford

We are sad to be saying goodbye to our beloved Papa Wess but look forward with anticipation to where Jim leads us in service to our God and the children He loves.

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  1. Jeff Hoerr
    Mar 13, 2013
    at 10:24 am

    What a remarkable story of God’s provision for a new leader! Welcome aboard Jim! May God give you His peace and direction in the days and years ahead!

  2. Mar 13, 2013
    at 10:24 am

    I’m very excited about this announcement! Praying for everyone involved during the next few months of transition.

  3. Mar 13, 2013
    at 10:47 am

    We are so excited for this next chapter in Compassion’s ministry! May the Lord continue to bless Compassion in the days, months, and years ahead! :)

  4. Nick
    Mar 13, 2013
    at 10:58 am

    Hallelujah. God is good! Excited to see God´s next tool to end child poverty!

  5. Cheri
    Mar 13, 2013
    at 11:16 am

    Praise God for blessing this decision! Welcome to Jim and thank you to Wess. Can’t wait to see how God will continue to bless Compassion’s ministry!

  6. Fidel Botchway
    Mar 13, 2013
    at 11:17 am

    To God be the glory. I am very excited to read this

  7. Petra Kooistra
    Mar 13, 2013
    at 12:08 pm

    What a historic moment for our ministry and what a blessing! Watched it live from the Dutch office, it felt like we were there in the chapel with you all! Many blessings to both Jim and Wess in the transistion process.

  8. Mar 13, 2013
    at 12:10 pm

    Whoa! Crazy! Congrats Jim and Compassion. Blessings!

  9. Mar 13, 2013
    at 1:03 pm

    Thanking God for His Love, Wisdom and Provision! As a friend of many at Compassion, I know the prayer and sincere hearts that sought God’s Will in this decision! And so I join with all in welcoming Jim to Compassion – as God’s choice…God’s fabulous choice – as CI’s newest servant-leader of this powerful ministry!
    my heart and prayers always through Christ, Sylane

  10. Daniel Gbegbe
    Mar 13, 2013
    at 1:05 pm

    God has spoken through His men and women who were involved in the selection of our new CEO, we can only anticipate continuous blessings. God bless you Jim and may He be with you like He was with Joshua from where Moses left off. Amen! You are welcome aboard.

  11. Mar 13, 2013
    at 1:15 pm

    Compassion, you are truly blessed. Jimmy is the real deal–humble, brilliant, articulate, deeply in love with Jesus, a great dad and husband. Our family will sorely miss the Mellados, but I gotta say, as soon as I heard, I thought, “This is the perfect fit for Jimmy. He was created for this.” Blessings, Jimmy & Leanne. Will never forget how you have marked our lives.

  12. Mar 13, 2013
    at 1:41 pm

    Congratulations, Jim! Thank you, Wes! You served Compassion with immense integrity and dignity and a real heartfelt compassion.

  13. Stephen Muchami
    Mar 13, 2013
    at 1:44 pm

    Papa Wess, we will fondly remember you. You inspired me personally as an LDP student. Jim, Congrats – May God fill you with his wisdom to lead this global ministry. God bless!

  14. Mary Chacha
    Mar 13, 2013
    at 3:00 pm

    I vehemently anticipate continuous contagious compassion to the children and divine blessings even through the transition and ultimate change in Leadership.Will miss Papa Wess, May God richly reward you both the outgoing and incoming with great health wisdom and peace. Blessings!

  15. Jenny
    Mar 13, 2013
    at 9:24 pm

    Congratulations Jim, and hope and pray that heart of God for children always be with you and may His lead of be a servant be with you too, amen.

  16. Jenny
    Mar 13, 2013
    at 9:27 pm

    For Papa Wess, thank you for your service, may God lead you always as you retired and find a new path. I am blessed with your service and reading your book. It is my favorite book and inspire me to love children more. Thank you!

  17. Mar 14, 2013
    at 8:00 am

    Wow, where have I been? I don’t think I’d heard about Wess retiring! Just many, many thanks to Wess Stafford for the organization he has guided. The Compassion I know and love is a credit to him and his personality. I am so grateful for all of his hard work. Sending prayers for him as he continues on with the next phase of his life. I’m sure God will continue to use him in amazing ways. And welcome to the new President. You have big shoes to fill! :)

    • Mar 16, 2013
      at 7:34 pm

      LOL! Lisa, welcome back to Compassion’s world! :-) I was able to hear some of the chapel service, and there’s a link, somewhere, where you can watch from just after the music, through at least Jim’s message. I heard most of that through the streaming-live service, but I haven’t been able to watch through the link. So I don’t know whether the recorded video includes message following Jim’s.

  18. David Herrera
    Mar 14, 2013
    at 1:37 pm

    GOD bless you, Mr. Jim Mellado! To GOD be the glory alone!

  19. Linda Dimit
    Mar 14, 2013
    at 11:50 pm

    It is always good to move out of transition and into a more permanent state. I trust Compassion’s leadership and am thankful that they have chosen God’s man for the position. Thank you and blessings to Wess for your faithful service to Compassion and your great love for the needy children of the world. You have made a difference in their lives and in my life as a sponsor.

  20. Chris Cooper
    Mar 16, 2013
    at 4:34 pm

    Congrads Jim and Leanne. Compassion has a great new leader in Jim. I’ve appreciated walking under his leadership at the WCA and I’m excited to see Compassion International will experience Jim’s leadership too.

  21. Mar 26, 2013
    at 10:38 am

    Congratulations , Compassion on selecting the New President. It is time to look at your GELCO. Inject young bloods there and same goes to your Program Leadership.

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