Awana CEO Transition



Jack Eggar Transitions Out

Streamwood, IL (March 9, 2016) – The Awana Board of Directors is announcing a transition regarding the role of its President and CEO. After much discussion and prayer with the Board, Jack Eggar has chosen to resign from his position as President and CEO, as of March 7, 2016.

Mr. Eggar and his wife Dona joined Awana in 1997. When he began his service at Awana he entered into the organization as the Director of International Missions. In 1999 he was promoted to the position of President and CEO. Among the many outstanding accomplishments during his seventeen-­‐year tenure as CEO, some of them include:

In 2001 Mr. Eggar led the Awana board through a process of repositioning the ministry to its original vision. This opened up Awana to serve thousands of more churches globally. His courageous decision is ultimately what has allowed Awana to establish a large global footprint today. Of this major accomplishment, board chairperson David Branton said, “Jack Eggar’s unique skillset led our ministry through this season back in the early 2000’s. His fearless leadership catapulted the ability of Awana to extend our Gospel reach to children in some of the most forgotten corners of the world. Awana leaders will be thanking God for Jack’s foresight on this one decision for generations to come.”

Another one of Mr. Eggar’s major accomplishments took place in 2007 when he played an instrumental role in launching the Awana “Leader Based Strategy” (LBS) outside of the United States. Prior to 2007 the ability for Awana to grow abroad was limited due to methodology that was built upon a product-­‐based approach to running children’s ministries. Now the LBS is running full speed: Equipping leaders to reach kids with the Gospel and engaging them in lifelong discipleship. At the time LBS was launched, Awana was reaching 400,000 children weekly outside of the U.S. in ongoing, discipleship. Today, the number of children reached and engaged weekly has grown to 2.3 million children outside of the U.S.

A third major achievement was the successful transition of Awana from the leadership and direction of its cofounder, Art Rorheim, to a new era of leadership today. Awana board chair David Branton said, “Anyone who knows Jack Eggar, knows that he’s always sought to honor Art by understanding, appreciating and interpreting the past while leading Awana into a new generation of leadership.” In Mr. Eggar’s role, he honored Art Rorheim’s legacy by remaining relentlessly focused on equipping leaders to reach kids with the Gospel and by keeping Scripture memory a key attribute of Awana’s programs and curriculum.

The Awana family appreciates the service and ministry of Jack Eggar, and his leadership that shaped the DNA of Awana for generations to come.

After prayerful consideration, effective March 8, 2016, the Board of Directors has employed Valerie Bell as the Interim President and CEO. She brings to Awana an extensive background in leadership including years of service as Chairperson of the Board of Directors of MOPS International. Mrs. Bell is a lifelong advocate for children and family and has authored several books on those topics. She will shepherd the senior leaders and their teams to ensure the continuity of ministry operations while a national search for a new President and CEO is conducted. Mrs. Bell has resigned from her service on the Awana Board of Directors to accept this interim role.

With Valerie Bell’s selection, the Board of Directors reaffirms the continued direction of the Awana strategic plan. By remaining focused on ministry health, the strategic plan serves as a way for Awana to discern ministry goals and strategies that lead to equipping more leaders to reach kids with the Gospel. Ninety-­‐seven-­‐year-­‐old Awana cofounder, Art Rorheim pointed to the future as he said, “We are asking God to give us better days than we even had in the past, because God has great things ahead for Awana.”

For more information on Valerie Bell, go to:

As we move forward, the entire Awana family remains committed to seeing every boy and girl come to know, love and serve the Lord Jesus Christ.

May God’s favor continue upon the ministry of Awana in the days ahead,

The Awana Board of Directors

Awana is a global, non-­‐profit children and youth ministry committed to the belief that the greatest impact for the Gospel starts with kids who know, love and serve the Lord Jesus Christ. Reaching more than 3 million kids and youth each week with the Gospel, Awana equips parents, volunteers and leaders with proven integrated programs, tools and training. Evidenced by stories of life, family and community transformation, God is changing the world through the ministry of Awana. As a non-­‐profit ministry, Awana is funded by donations and revenues that enable God’s Word to reach kids and change lives globally. Today, the ministry of Awana takes place in 35,000 churches and more than 115 countries worldwide. To learn more about Awana for your home, church or community outreach or to support reaching kids with the Gospel globally, visit us at To watch the compelling documentary of God at work reaching kids with the Gospel through trained leaders, visit