Updates - United Bible Societies


The Global Council of United Bible Societies is excited to announce the appointment of its new Secretary General, Dirk Gevers, pending the completion of relevant UK regulatory processes. Dirk will be resigning from his current role as CEO of the Bible Society of South Africa to take on this global leadership role with United Bible Societies.

The Chair of the United Bible Societies Global Council, Elaine Duncan, said the Council feels great confidence in the breadth of experience and the qualities that Dirk brings to this role of leadership within an international, interconfessional, and intercultural ministry.

“Dirk is a wise, respected and experienced leader. He is passionate about Bible ministry and seeing people connect with God and experience life-transformation through the Bible. His gentle manner consistently communicates a love for God and for people. We as the Global Council believe he is the right person to take us into the next season as a global Fellowship.”

Dirk’s background as a church leader in South Africa and latterly as CEO of the Bible Society of South Africa mean he is experienced in working with a wide range of church confessions. He is theologically trained and astute, with a clear focus on mission. He has experienced cultural diversity in all his previous roles and is quick to listen and understand different perspectives.

“Dirk is a leader who has demonstrated, through years of faithfulness, his commitment to Bible mission, and to a posture of humble and collaborative partnership both within our Fellowship, as well as with other agencies, partners, and of course churches. We believe that as we lean into the mission opportunities of our changed world, his wisdom and leadership will help us to be attentive to what God is doing, and open to new opportunities.”

The Bible Society of South Africa is going through some significant changes and Dirk will continue in his role as CEO for the next few months to lead and support the staff and board at this important time. Michael Perreau will begin a handover to Dirk during October or November. Michael has served with extraordinary faithfulness, extending his term at the request of the Global Council during the Covid pandemic. He leaves behind a legacy of great progress within the UBS Fellowship during his more than a decade of leadership.

“This appointment comes at an interesting, exciting and challenging time in the ongoing story of the United Bible Societies Fellowship”, Dirk says. “Together we are praying, discerning and discussing the framework within which our core tasks of translation, publishing and distribution must be carried out in the years ahead, with audience-shaped Scripture engagement very much the pulse of our heartbeat.

“How do we work together in a global Fellowship in such a way that local mission and impact is not only secured but grows? How do we leverage the potential of our uniqueness, within strategic and meaningful partnerships? How do we work with equality and inclusion in an imbalanced world, harnessing the strengths of North and South, East and West? And more immediately, how do we help each other emerge from COVID disconnection, while also holding the gains we have made over the past two years? I’m excited about exploring these and other questions with our global community.”

“I am sad to be leaving the Bible Society of South Africa but grateful for the formative role it has played in my understanding of Bible Society ministry. It is a privilege to follow someone with the sincere faith, calling, competence and profile that Michael Perreau embodies. I look forward to working with the talented and committed team that he has built as we serve and support the UBS Fellowship.”

“I am humbled by, and thankful for, the trust that UBS governance has placed in me. At the deepest level, I am motivated by the affirmation of our Lord that man should live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God, and of Isaiah that the word of the Lord will accomplish that for which it is sent. Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord.”