Friendship Ministries announced on July 1 that Tom VanWingerden will be its new executive director. A press release noted that VanWingerden has been involved in Friendship Ministries for more than 20 years as a leader and mentor. He previously worked in administration at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich., for 14 years.
“My passion for Friendship’s mission, my professional gifts, and my desire to hear and follow God’s calling have led me to Friendship Ministries,” said VanWingerden. “I am very grateful for this opportunity and look forward to growing the mission and work of Friendship across the world.”
Friendship Ministries has spent the last year searching for a new director following the sudden death of long-time director Nella Uitvlugt.
Friendship Ministries grew out of the Christian Reformed Church. It now serves 75 denominations in 28 countries, providing resources and curriculum to help churches include individuals with intellectual disabilities in their faith communities.