ORLANDO, Fla., – Jesus Film Project® today announced Josh Newell as Executive Director, succeeding Dr. Erick Schenkel, who has served in in the position for six years. Schenkel announced in February 2018 he would transition out of the role as Executive Director for health reasons.
“Josh and I are thoroughly enjoying the process of leadership transition as Josh becomes Executive Director of Jesus Film Project,” stated Schenkel. “The Lord has perfectly prepared Josh for this role, and he is the right person to lead Jesus Film Project forward during this crucial season in fulfilling Christ’s Great Commission.”
Newell, who becomes the fourth leader of Jesus Film Project, served previously as its Communications and Marketing Director and Director U. S. Strategy. He is a graduate of Indiana University’s School of Journalism and the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He began his career with Cru, the parent organization of Jesus Film Project, in 1998.
“I’m thrilled to lead and serve a global ministry focused on one thing: helping the body of Christ fulfill the Great Commission,” Newell said. “Without a doubt, God is moving in powerful ways to draw people to Himself, and we get to play a small, yet critical role in helping everyone, everywhere see Jesus.”
Before stepping into the role of Executive Director, Newell previously served as Marketing and Communications Director for Jesus Film Project, supporting the goals of the ministry by creating messaging and tactics for public relations, content strategy and social media.
Newell and his wife Holly and their four children have served in a variety of roles with Cru, the parent organization of Jesus Film Project, notably internationally in the North Africa, Middle East and Central Asia region, where he gave direction to the church planting initiatives of the ministry.
The direction of the ministry will remain the same, yet will take on more of a digital emphasis, Newell said. “We believe that everyone deserves to hear about Jesus, so we are committed to reaching them, wherever they are. To do that will take focus on providing tools in heart languages spoken in the world, and media engagement strategies that can break through the noise of our digital world and point people to spiritual truth.”
Since its inception, Jesus Film Project has helped more than 1,800 mission agencies, denominations and churches see over 2 million churches planted through the use of its films and strategies.
Jesus Film Project is best known for its “JESUS” film, which was envisioned by Dr. Bill Bright, co-founder of Cru, and was produced in cooperation with The Genesis Project. “JESUS” is the most watched film according to “Guinness Book of World Records” and is available in more than 1,600 languages, and is the most watched movie ever with 8 billion viewings. Jesus Film Project continues to carry out Bright’s vision of showing this film to people in every country of the world. For more information on Jesus Film Project, visit www.jesusfilm.org.