By: Beth Rivers
Reverend Keith Garner AM who has served as CEO of Wesley Mission for the past 15 years, and a total of 40 years in the field of leading faith-based organisations, retired in December – leaving some big shoes to fill.
Hailing from the UK, Reverend Garner has been responsible for leading almost 2000 staff members and more than 4000 volunteers across 130 different Wesley Mission centres, since he began as CEO in 2006 – of which he said has been a ‘calling’ more than a career.
“Mr Garner has thoroughly immersed himself in the life and work of Wesley Mission, inspiring those who serve alongside him through his passionate teaching and preaching, and mobilising others through his role as social advocate and spokesperson,” Wesley Mission
Reverend Garner said in an interview what he believed to be the organisation’s biggest accomplishments during his time in leadership.
“The most important things to me, in terms of business, there are some things we’ve done in terms of incorporation and developing the life of Wesley Mission and retaining a strong Christian emphasis at the heart of things,” he said.
“But, for me, I’ve always felt a passionate heart for those in trouble so to think when it’s all over and I’ve walked away from Wesley Mission, if it were, that we still have that very special place for people who are in need… that for me really counts as such a lot.”
“Calling on faith and business skills, Keith and his team steered Wesley Mission through dramatic government outsourcing and policy changes, the global financial crisis, soaring numbers of vulnerable Australians, Royal Commissions, and COVID-19, to build a resilient organisation, both financially and culturally, serving more Australians in need,” Wesley Mission
His Wesley Mission Highlights
During his 15 years as CEO and Superintendent of Wesley Mission:
- The amount of support provided by Wesley Mission to Australians increased more than 60 per cent
- The organisation moved from an $11 million deficit in FY06/07 to a $4.8 million surplus in FY18/19
- For the past five years, the average annual surplus has been $5.3 million. The balance sheet now holds $220 million in assets
- The organisation consistently ranks as one of the most reputable charities in Australia
Reverend Keith Garner officially finished in his position of Wesley Mission CEO at the end of December 2020.
ACCTV viewers watched Rev Garner weekly over the years on TV series produced by Wesley Mission media including Praise, Prayer and Preaching, Rise and Shine, Wesley Impact and annual Easter Sunrise services, along with various documentary features and short series. Rev Garner hosts The Man of Galilee which is available to watch on ACCTV NOW. In the series, he explores the ministry of Jesus in the context of first century life, explains biblical stories, and considers the questions asked of Jesus by his followers and adversaries, and which challenge the Christian faith today. Watch HERE.
Article supplied with thanks to Hope Media.
About the Author: Beth is a digital manager, and writer from Sydney, Australia.