SANTA ANA, Calif. – After nine years at the helm, Carl Moeller is stepping down as president and CEO of Open Doors USA, an international ministry based in Southern California that supports persecuted Christians in the most oppressive countries in the world.
Moeller told The Christian Post on Wednesday that he is leaving an organization that he feels is a critically important ministry. However, he feels just as strongly about his new position as president and managing partner of Sequoia Global Resources located in Irvine, Calif. The newly formed group is aimed at fulfilling the global need for strategic alliances between international business and philanthropy, he said.
"As the last thing I told my Open Doors staff when I left [on Tuesday] is that as we really look at this transition we don't [need to] look at it as if I'm leaving Open Doors and I'm joining another organization – we [as Christians] still have the same boss and I'm just changing departments. This is a Kingdom work. I will be forever grateful for my time at Open Doors, for the relationships, and for the opportunities I've had to serve the suffering church.
"I get to do that in a slightly different set of work skills right now, but it's still the same boss and it's still the same job. God bless us all for doing things of greater work for the Kingdom."
The Open Doors USA Board announced that board member Steve Ridgway has been appointed interim CEO during the transition period. Ridgway is executive director of Northwest Network Foundation in Puyallup, Wash. The foundation is a nonprofit organization that mentors existing and emerging leaders. Ridgway has been an Open Doors USA board member for nine years.
"For the past nine years Carl Moeller has been a voice for Christ followers living in the midst of persecution," said Ridgway. "Through the artistry of his vision and voice, he has clearly and vividly painted a picture of what the church looks like where following Jesus is both difficult and deadly. Carl's presence will be missed, but his vision will remain."
Ridgway added: "The future of Open Doors USA will be to move forward in filling the CEO's position during this transition and to continue to support our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ throughout the world."
Open Doors International CEO Jeff Taylor stated: "Carl's passion for persecuted Christians was evident in his nine years as president of Open Doors USA. He desperately wanted the American church to be more aware of the persecution of Christians, but he also wanted the church to mobilize on behalf of our brothers and sisters suffering for their faith in Jesus Christ. I know Carl will take that same passion and desire to his new ministry role."
Open Doors states that an estimated 100 million Christians worldwide suffer interrogation, arrest and even death for their faith in Christ, with millions more facing discrimination and alienation. The ministry organization supports and strengthens believers in the world's most difficult areas through Bible and Christian literature distribution, leadership training and assistance, Christian community development, prayer and presence ministry and advocacy on behalf of suffering believers.
When asked about his new managing partnership position with Sequoia, Moeller said, "The exciting part for me is to be able to present the investment and philanthropy community in the United States with projects and investment opportunities in South Africa that primarily have such an incredible level of excellence that they are striking to all of us at Sequoia as some of the best projects around."