A California woman who grew up on the mission field has been named new leader of American Baptist International Ministries.
The International Ministries board of directors announced April 5 the unanimous election of Sharon T. Koh, senior associate pastor of mission and community life at Evergreen Baptist Church in Los Angeles, as executive director of the oldest Baptist missionary organization in North America.
She succeeds Reid Trulson, who has held the post since 2006 and retires at the end of August. Koh is the first woman to hold the title executive director and the first female leader since the Women’s American Baptist Foreign Mission Society and the American Baptist Foreign Mission Society merged in 1955 to form what is now known as International Ministries.
An ordained American Baptist minister, Koh was born to missionary parents in Singapore working with Cru, known outside the United States as Campus Crusade for Christ, International. While she was growing up they also served in the Philippines and South Korea, as well as California and Ohio.
Koh has completed two master’s degrees at Fuller Theological Seminary and is working on a doctorate. Since 2004, she has served on the staff of Evergreen Baptist Church of Los Angeles, working alongside senior pastor Ken Fong.
Board President Reginald Mills, who chaired the search committee, said Koh “has a passionate heart for God’s mission and is an effective team builder, who understands how to mobilize people for God’s work.”
“I am so delighted to be partnering with people who care as passionately about God’s mission as I do,” Koh said. “I look forward to working with all of IM, our American Baptist family, and all of God’s children to embrace and usher in God’s Kingdom on earth. This has long been God’s call on my life, and I am eager to share that passion and conviction in this new context.”
International Ministries, founded at the First Triennial Convention in 1814 to support pioneer mission work in Burma, now called Myanmar, today counts more than 1,800 short- and long-term personnel serving in Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East and the Americas and works with partners in more than 70 countries.
— With American Baptist News Service
This story was edited after posting to correct an error.