This article was originally published by The Mennonite

Stanley Green, executive director of Mennonite Mission Network, to retire

Stanley Green (right) delivered greetings and proclaimed our oneness in Christ to the Assemblée Evangélique Le Rocher (Evangelical Church of the Rock), an African immigrant church in Paris on May 23, 2004. The pastor of the church, Emmanuel Botolo, is on the left. Translating is Neal Blough of the Paris Mennonite Center.

Photo: Stanley Green, right, speaks at Assemblée Evangélique Le Rocher (Evangelical Church of the Rock), an African immigrant church on May 23, 2004, in Paris. The pastor of the church, Emmanuel Botolo, is on the left. Translating is Neal Blough of the Paris Mennonite Center. Photo provided by Mennonite Mission Network.

Stanley W. Green, who has served 19 years as leader of Mennonite Mission Network, will retire at the end of July 2020. The Mennonite Mission Network board of directors announced Green’s decision at its July 1 meeting in Kansas City, Missouri.

Stanley W. Green in the pulpit preaching at the first church he pastored in Oudtshoorn, South Africa, in 1977. Photo provided by Mennonite Mission Network.

Green became Mennonite Mission Network’s executive director in 2000, after serving as president of Mennonite Board of Missions (a predecessor agency of Mennonite Mission Network) for seven years. Green, 64, will leave a legacy of important accomplishments as a steady and familiar presence to many members of the historic peace church that, in association with Mennonite World Conference, connects with more than 2 million Anabaptists globally. Green guided the mission agency of Mennonite Church USA through periods of uncertainty, growth and sustained success, as the denomination has endured changing times that have affected all parts of the church.

Green gave key leadership in securing an office facility for Mennonite Church USA in Elkhart, Indiana. He also shepherded the agency in its transition to a more intentional networking and partnership approach in mission based on mutuality and respect with partners. Green’s leadership extended beyond North American mission; he played a key role in nurturing the vision for and securing the resources that made it possible for convening a global mission gathering in Guatemala. This became a predecessor to the Global Mission Fellowship and Mission Commission of Mennonite World Conference, which he now chairs. In a letter of thanks to the Mission Network board, Green offered his prayers for the agency’s continued success.

“I feel wonderfully privileged and honored to have served in this role,,which saw a convergence of my own personal sense of call and the agency’s mission and vision,” Green writes. “… I am grateful for the staff teams who gave of their best and whom it was a joy to lead. I give thanks for our workers, volunteers and donors who made the mission possible.”

John Powell anoints Stanley Green during the communion service at an African American Pastors Gathering in Elkhart, Indiana, in 2015. Photo provided by Mennonite Mission Network.

Born and reared in South Africa, Green was part of the student movement that helped dismantle the legal apartheid system. Prior to taking the helm at Mission Network, Green served as pastor, conference minister and mission executive in South Africa, Jamaica and the United States.

Green and his wife, Ursula, have two adult children and are members of Waterford Mennonite Church in Goshen, Indiana.

“Stanley Green has seen gifts in others and has encouraged and empowered them,” says Madeline Maldonado, board chair for Mission Network. “A Christlike leader, Stanley has been a gift to this denomination and the church as a whole.”

Mission Network’s board of directors will begin a search for Green’s successor immediately.

In 2002, the merger of the General Conference Mennonite Church (GCMC) and Mennonite Church (MC) denominations was completed,,bringing together the predecessor mission agencies, Commission on Home Ministries, Commission on Overseas Mission and Mennonite Board of Missions. The newly formed agency, Mennonite Mission Network, was inaugurated Feb. 4, 2002.

Mission Network, with offices in Elkhart, Indiana, and Newton, Kansas, has strong relationships in 56 countries and partners with 119 organizations worldwide. Its service programs have provided opportunities for thousands of volunteers of all ages to serve in the United States and abroad. This year marks the 75th anniversary of Mennonite Voluntary Service, one of the agency’s programs. Mission Network, with its partners, is engaged in global and domestic church revitalization, growth, leadership development, and peace and justice initiatives, such as race relations and refugee resettlement.

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