GEM leadership


GEM’s International Executive Team consists of men and women serving from various locations throughout Europe and North America, providing oversight and leadership globally for Greater Europe Mission.

Rev. Jon Burns, CEO

Yarm, UK

Thad McAuley, COO

Tennesse, USA

Chris Tweedy, CFO

Kandern, Germany

Rachelle Neal, VP of Europe
Frankfurt, Germany

John Gilberts, SVP Internationalisation
Colorado, USA

Sarah Robins, VP of Growth

Texas, USA

Margré Hays


International board

GEM’s International Board exists to provide oversight and directional guidance to the organisation. The Board contributes not only operational and practical stewardship, but also spiritual care which enables GEM to catalyse Gospel efforts across Europe.

Rev. Jon Burns
President & CEO, GEM

Ms. Karina Clausen

Mrs. Emily Firnstahl
Operations Chair

Mr. Corey Grindal Sr.
Finance Chair

Mr. Carl Hefton
Vice Chair

Mr. Charlie Lyons

Mr. Duane Martin


Rev. Karl Martin

Mr. John Rhodes

Kathy Sharp

Rev. Eric Wakeling


Jon Burns, CEO

Jon was appointed to the role of President of Greater Europe Mission in January 2015.

Jon’s background is as a pastor and church-planter. He was a senior pastor of a church in England for 10 years, Director of Evangelism for Youth for Christ for six, also in England. He was also heavily involved in More Than Gold for 3 years, working with several hundred churches and organisations, raising several million dollars for the effort.

He is the founder of the ‘Lionsraw’ movement ( Jon was recognized for his work with Lionsraw in 2014 as a CNN Hero of the year, and in 2015, he was honored by her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II with the prestigious BEM award (British Empire Medal) for his work around the world with children and communities.

Jon and his wife of 25 years, Sandra, have two daughters, Rosie and Emmie. Jon and Sandra, who are originally from Northern England, have spent many years in London.

Jon is a huge football (soccer) fan, as well as an international preacher and a global mission enabler. He loves to travel, watch sports and spend time with his family and friends.

Our history

You could say that the seed for Greater Europe Mission was planted in France during the Second World War. It was in 1944 when a U.S. Navy chaplain’s motorcycle struck a landmine. Bob Evans was the first Navy chaplain to enter combat zones during WWII, and it was while he was recovering he realised the deep spiritual needs of Europe would only increase after the war.

Following the Lord’s leading to equip Europeans for Gospel work after World War II, Bob established the European Bible Institute in Paris in 1949. The following year, he established Greater Europe Mission emphasising educating, training, and discipling Europeans to reach Europe with the Good News of Jesus across post-war Europe. Under Bob’s leadership spanning 30 years, GEM started additional Bible institutes in Germany, Sweden, Spain, Italy, Greece, and Austria, adding graduate-level seminaries in Germany.

After establishing fruitful European Bible Institutes, GEM missionaries began recognising deeper spiritual needs across Europe and embraced different expressions of Christian ministry and outreach throughout the continent. Greater Europe Mission broadened the scope of ministry from education to include evangelism, creative outreach including sports, camps, music, the arts, business as mission, church planting, and discipleship multiplication.

Accentuating GEM’s defining shift towards becoming a truly international mission, Jon Burns became the first European to lead the organisation as GEM President and CEO in 2014.

Then, in 2022, GEM closed its US office and relocated the International Headquarters to Frankfurt, Germany. Furthering the belief that they must continue to engage European Christians in missions.

Today’s Greater Europe Mission holds to its historical vision: to see Europe transformed by the love of Jesus. As geopolitical and economic shifts change the landscape of Europe, GEM presses forward with missionaries from North America, Europe, and other parts of the world to see more Gospel workers in more fields across Europe, sharing the love of Jesus and making more disciples.

Historic European style houses are pictured along a stretch of water. Gondolas can be seen in the sky above them.
The founder of GEM in an older black and white photo. He is wearing a black suit and is in the midst of speaking into a microphone whilst looking off camera.