CHICAGO, IL (January 26, 2016) — Josef Rasheed, pastor of CrossRoads Covenant Church in De Soto, Texas, has been named Serve Globally’s new regional coordinator for Africa, executive minister Al Tizon announced Tuesday afternoon at a general session of the Midwinter Conference.
Rasheed’s selection was announced during an hour and half session reserved for president Gary Walter’s remarks to Covenant pastors.
Tizon noted that choosing Rasheed was an “out-of-the-box” selection because it is the first time that a regional coordinator would also continue to serve their church. Afterwards, Tizon said, “Josef’s global vision, particularly for Africa, his pastoral heart, and his gift of leadership to oversee Serve Globally’s efforts, missionaries and national partnerships, were some of the factors at play in selecting him. Also, his African American heritage has the potential to more deeply engage the African American Covenant churches in global mission.
In his brief remarks to the gathering, Rasheed described how moving it was for him to travel to the Democratic Republic of the Congo the first time. An elderly member of one community said to him, “Welcome home.” Rasheed said he later sobbed for a half hour.
In an interview, Rasheed said he was interested in serving as the regional coordinator because, “I saw many opportunities to help a people ravaged by wars, devastated by poverty, yet trusting God in a most unique and precious way. I wanted to return to Africa to help people—my people—to learn more about God and more about experiencing the joy of serving him.”
Regional coordinators help oversee the ministry of their area and serve as pastors to the missionaries. It is a role he relishes.
“I wanted to inspire the missionaries and their families as they serve in difficult circumstances, often separated from loved ones,” Rasheed said. “Because I have a pastor’s heart, I want to console those in need of comfort, pray with those in times of conflict, and bless those who are rejoicing over successes, regardless of the size.”
Rasheed planted CrossRoads in 2005 and will continue serving as its pastor, as the leadership team focuses on more of the day-to-day duties. “CrossRoads is accustomed to sharing their pastor since I have served as a member of the worship teams for Midwinter, Annual Meetings, and many other Covenant gatherings,” he said.
Rasheed is going through the missionary application process and is expected to be commissioned at the Annual Meeting in June this year. He began his duties in January and already has traveled to Kenya and Cameroon with Dave Husby, director of Covenant World Relief.
He was consecrated to the position on January 3, and during the service, Southeast Conference superintendent Robert Owens told the CrossRoads congregation that choosing Rasheed was a historic event because it is the first time an African American has served in the role for the Covenant.