October 19, 2020

Eastern Mennonite Missions Board of Directors appoints new president

Written by  EMM Communications
Eastern Mennonite Missions Board of Directors appoints new president Joe Hollinger/EMM

SALUNGA, Pa. — The Eastern Mennonite Missions (EMM) Board of Directors announces the appointment of Dr. Marvin Lorenzana as the organization’s ninth president. Lorenzana brings extensive multicultural leadership, discipleship, and mission experience to his new role as EMM president.

Brian Martin, chair of the EMM Board and the presidential search team said, “Dr. Lorenzana is a well-equipped visionary and change leader called to lead EMM during these challenging times facing the church and global missions. We praise God for His provision of a Christ-centered and Holy Spirit-filled leader at this unique time.”

Reflecting on his appointment as president, Lorenzana said, “I can only marvel at the way the Spirit of God has led all of us through this amazing process. I can’t wait to see what we can build together in the name of Christ to further God’s reconciling mission both locally and globally.”

Lorenzana will begin his role as EMM president on February 15, 2021. He is replacing Gerry Keener who has been EMM president since January 2019. Keener is retiring from the role of president to focus on serving the church in Vietnam, developing a post-high school, Anabaptist-oriented training curriculum, and serving in missional capacities stateside.

EMM is the mission agency of LMC: A Fellowship of Anabaptist Churches. Keith Weaver, moderator of LMC said, “I was delighted to learn about the remarkable alignment between Marvin’s vision for mission and LMC's new mission statement: ‘A Spirit-led movement to: make disciples of Jesus, mobilize every member as a missionary, and multiply faith communities locally and beyond.’ I look forward to working with Marvin to continue building a strong LMC-EMM partnership in missional engagement locally and around the world.’

Lisa Zimmerman, a member of the EMM Board and the presidential search team said, “I believe Dr. Lorenzana will lead the organization with humility, but also with a strong sense of Jesus’ call for the church to make disciples. His experience and gifts will enable EMM to build on its 100-year legacy of spreading the gospel and to adapt to ever-changing realities.”

Since 2013, Lorenzana has worked with Mennonite Mission Network as minister for discipleship initiatives. In that role, he functioned as a coach for church leaders who are interested in developing a culture of intentional disciple-making within their local congregations.

In 2009, Lorenzana founded the Mennonite Hispanic Initiative, a ministry of Virginia Mennonite Missions that seeks to develop Hispanic church leaders with a mindset for local missions and planting new missional communities within Virginia Mennonite Conference.

Lorenzana’s previous experiences have included serving as director of the multicultural student services office at Eastern Mennonite University (EMU), director of learning, exploring and participating at Eastern Mennonite Seminary, and advisor for Latinos with multicultural students at EMU.

Lorenzana has also served as youth pastor, associate pastor, senior pastor, and church planter with assignments in New Orleans, El Paso, Tex., Miami, and more recently in Harrisonburg, Va.

Born in Tegucigalpa, the capital city of Honduras, Lorenzana felt a calling from God in 1994 to become a missionary to the nation with the second-largest Hispanic population in the world — the United States.

Lorenzana has a bachelor’s degree in management and organizational development from Eastern Mennonite University, a Master of Divinity degree from Eastern Mennonite Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Asbury Theological Seminary where he was a Beeson scholar.

For his service as EMM president, Lorenzana will be recognized as an ordained minister in LMC. Lorenzana and his wife, Mariana, currently live in Harrisonburg, Va. They will be relocating to Lancaster, Pa.

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