Nelson Kraybill chosen as President-elect of Mennonite World Conference

Release date: 
Friday, 1 June 2012

After the General Council selected J. Nelson Kraybill (second from left) as MWC President-elect, the MWC officers—President Danisa Ndlovu (left) and Vice-president Janet Plenert (right), along with representatives from North American MWC churches such as Ervin Stutzman (second from right), offered prayers of blessing. – Photo by Merle Good


Bettingen, Switzerland—On May 25, delegates to the Mennonite World Conference (MWC) General Council selected J. Nelson Kraybill of Elkhart, Indiana, USA as President-elect.

He will begin his six-year term as MWC President in July 2015, at the next global Assembly to be held in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. As President-elect, he will participate in the annual meetings of the Executive Committee and in meetings of the MWC Officers—President Danisa Ndlovu, Vice-president Janet Plenert and Treasurer Ernst Bergen.

Kraybill is currently one of three pastors at Prairie Street Mennonite Church in Elkhart. He was President of Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary from 1996 to 2008 and Program Director of the London Mennonite Center in London, England from 1991 to 1996.

He participated in the process of creating a statement of Shared Convictions, which were adopted by the MWC General Council in March 2006.

Kraybill was one of two nominees for the MWC President-elect position. The other nominee was Markus Rediger of Muensingen, Switzerland, a member of the MWC Executive Committee.

When Kraybill was asked to let his name stand for the role of President-elect, he felt as if his calling was complete. He called together a "clearness committee" of close friends in his congregation who helped him discern that he should indeed say yes if the call came.

After being selected in a close vote, Kraybill commented: "I am excited about learning from and with parts of the world where the church is growing," he said. "I want to explore the missional energy of Anabaptism. I've known for a long time that Anabaptism in its origins pointed back to the vitality of the early church as a Spirit-filled, slightly chaotic and subversive mission movement. There are such winds of the Spirit in the world today. I hope my role can be as an ambassador from one part of the world to another, a conduit of insights, and a bridge-builder."

After members of the Executive Committee and the North American delegation offered a prayer of support for Kraybill and thanks for two strong candidates, Rediger came to the stage to embrace Kraybill.

MWC release

Photo 1:   MWC President Danisa Ndlovu of Zimbabwe and President-elect J. Nelson Kraybill of the United States participating in a prayer of blessing after Kraybill was chosen for his position by the General Council. – Photo by Merle Good

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Mennonite World Conference is a communion (Koinonia) of Anabaptist-related churches linked to one another in a worldwide community of faith for fellowship, worship, service, and witness.