Darrell Winger named director of Canadian Regional Conference

—On behalf of the Canadian Conference Leadership Team, chairman Tennyson Sider is pleased to announce that Darrell Winger, who has been serving as the Conference’s interim bishop since August 2009, has accepted the nomination and been confirmed for a six-year term as the full-time director of the Canadian Conference of the Brethren in Christ Church in North America. Winger’s work will officially begin in June 2010.
Darrell Winger, director of the Canadian Conference

“Darrell has a long and rich history of leadership within the Canadian Conference and the BIC Church,” Sider notes. “Not only did he most recently step in as interim bishop during a time of transition in the Conference, but he had previously—and very ably—served as our bishop for seven years. We rejoice in the opportunity to welcome this dynamic administrator back into Canadian Conference leadership.”

Growing up in Kitchener, ON, Winger was a member of the Rosebank BIC congregation and later the Westheights BIC Church. In 1986, he graduated with honours from Wilfrid Laurier University (Waterloo, ON) with a B.A. in psychology. After receiving his Master of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary (Wilmore, Ky.) two years later, Winger returned to Canada to become senior pastor at Stayner (ON) BIC from 1989 until 1993.

From 1993 until 1995, Winger and his wife, Anna, served with BIC World Missions (BICWM), in language instruction in Lisbon, Portugal, and then offering leadership training for national pastors in Mozambique and Malawi. He also held an interim position as BICWM’s Regional Administrator for Africa for nine months.

Returning to North America, Winger began his first term as Canadian Conference bishop in 1997. Over the next seven years, his gifts in leadership, administration, communication, and development brought deep unity and common vision to the Conference. BIC churches in Canada saw the establishment of an expanded Conference staff, which provided the resources and support necessary to enable the Conference to welcome in 10 new congregational initiatives (including church plants, adopted congregations, and satellite congregations, three of which were multicultural in composition) and celebrate a 62 percent increase in giving to Cooperative Ministries, the Conference’s shared giving fund.

During and after his years as bishop for the Canadian Conference, Winger assumed a number of leadership roles in the Church: Assistant Moderator for the General Conference (2000–2002), General Secretary of the General Conference (2004–2006), and a member of General Church Board (2006–2009). He also served on various committees with Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), the international relief and development organization for Anabaptist congregations, and in 2008, co-led an Equipping for Ministry Impact Seminar on Brethren in Christ political involvement entitled “Left, Right, and Jesus.”

Most recently, Winger has served as community development pastor on staff at The Meeting House, a growing network of BIC congregations in the greater Toronto area. As such, he’s mentored the team of lead pastors serving at each site.

In addition to his role at The Meeting House, Winger has worked on a voluntary basis as the executive director of the International Brethren in Christ Association (IBICA). His previous international and denominational leadership experiences provided him with the necessary background to assist in the formation of this new global forum for BIC National Church leaders. During his tenure of involvement with IBICA, Winger directed the processes of registering the fledgling association as a charitable organization and of hiring its first full-time staff person.

Winger has also been pursuing a doctoral degree in Systematic Theology from the Toronto School of Theology.

Winger and Anna, his wife of 25 years, live in Oakville, ON, with their three children, Samuel (21), Abbie (17), and Jesse (14). He enjoys reading, following politics, and gardening.

In moving into this new role with the Brethren in Christ Church in Canada, Winger states, “It is wonderful to see the vision of the Canadian Conference and its openness to making bold, creative changes so that the Church is better positioned to pursue the many opportunities that are ahead. I look forward to creating a strong team of leaders who are able to equip our pastors and congregations to increased health and growth, initiating a new church planting movement, and developing a new generation of mission-focused leaders.  The next few years are very exciting ones for the Church!”