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Bible Society appoints new CEO

Grant Thomson to take BSA into the next chapter

Hillsong Church executive Grant Thomson has been appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer of Australia’s longest running organisation, Bible Society Australia.

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Thomson leaves his position as Global Marketing Director for Hillsong Church, a role that has seen him lead an international team of staff and volunteers serving Hillsong’s various commercial brands. He held the role for almost eight years.

Thomson will remain a member of the Hillsong Australia Board.

“I have a quiet belief that in the next season of the Bible Society, God is going to do something phenomenal in and through all of us.” – Grant Thomson, new Bible Society CEO.

“I am genuinely humbled and a little overwhelmed to come and help lead the Bible Society as CEO,” Thomson said. “I have a quiet belief that in the next season of the Bible Society God is going to do something phenomenal in and through all of us.”

In 2000, Thomson left a lucrative role as a product manager in the pharmaceuticals industry to join Hillsong’s pastoral team. He went on to be Campus Pastor for Hillsong’s Hills Campus – the largest of all the church’s campuses.

Along with his professional experience, Thomson will lead the Bible Society equipped by the significant study he has undertaken. A voracious learner, Thomson holds a Master of Arts in Biblical Studies (Sydney College of Divinity), a Master of Business Administration (Deakin University), a Graduate Certificate in Marketing/Management (Harvard Business School) and is currently undertaking a Graduate Entry Bachelor of Law (Honours) via distance study with Queensland University of Technology.

In a letter to Bible Society Australia (BSA) supporters, Board Chair Anne Robinson said Thomson was selected from more than 70 candidates from Australia and overseas.

The letter describes how Thomson brought a weathered leather Bible to one of his interviews – the first Bible he purchased from a Koorong Bookshop as a new Christian in his late teens. He told the Board about his faithful Presbyterian grandmother who prayed for her grandson every day when, as a boy, he was growing up in a non-believing family.

God continued to knock on his door through an Anglican Scripture teacher at primary school and his Catholic neighbours who took him to Mass. Later, Thomson responded to an altar call by pastor Brian Houston at Hillsong Church, who led him to giving his life to Christ.

Thomson succeeds long-serving CEO Greg Clarke who stepped down from the position at the end of June. Acting CEO Melissa Lipsett will return to her role as BSA’s Chief Operations Officer.

“Grant is not just an outstanding businessperson who understands spread sheets, digital marketing, publishing and strategic planning, he is a phenomenal Christian leader who facilitates and enables people,” Anne Robinson, BSA Chair.

The appointment is a change of pace for the 202-year-old organisation that merged several state Bible Societies into a single national organisation in 2010. Robinson said the Board is excited about the qualities and expertise that Thomson will bring to the organisation, believing he is the right person to take BSA into its next season.

“Grant is not just an outstanding businessperson who understands spread sheets, digital marketing, publishing and strategic planning, he is a phenomenal Christian leader who facilitates and enables people,” Ms Robinson said. “The board is excited about the possibilities presenting themselves under Grant’s headship.”

She said that Thomson “is a man who loves God and the Scriptures. He already spends his life living the vision of Bible Society – championing the Bible to share the love of Jesus.”

Thomson will take up the role on 1 October.

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