Bill Sutter to Retire
After 25 years of faithful service to The Friends of Israel, Rev. William E. Sutter will retire May 1 as president and executive director. Bill’s retirement was announced recently by The Friends of Israel’s board of trustees. Bill said his decision to retire was “of the Lord and simply a part of God’s continued oversight and direction of FOI’s great and unique ministry.”
Board Chairman James P. MacLean said the trustees “accepted Mr. Sutter’s retirement with the highest commendation and thanks to him for his godly and capable service to the Lord and the FOI ministry; and, as a measure of the board’s esteem for him, he has been elected to continue service as a member of FOI’s board of trustees.”
Under Bill’s leadership, God has expanded the organization’s global outreach and forged a bond between The Friends of Israel and the Jewish community that is unprecedented in Christian work. His sincere love for Israel and the Jewish people, his strong stand against anti-Semitism, and his unwavering commitment to the truths of God’s Word have made him one of the most highly respected evangelical leaders to the Jewish community.
“Bill’s incredible impact on the ministry of FOI cannot be overstated,” said James A. Showers, FOI’s chief financial officer and executive vice president. “Bill is leaving an undeniable mark of great stewardship and wise leadership. It is the measure of this faithful servant of God.” The board of trustees has appointed Jim to succeed Bill as president and executive director.
Bill came to The Friends of Israel in 1987 as chief financial officer and its first director of finance, leaving his highly successful consulting practice where he served many Christian ministries. Later he was named executive vice president and chief operating officer. He became FOI’s fourth executive director in 2001 when Elwood McQuaid stepped down to devote more time to writing and to his positions as editor-in-chief of Israel My Glory and head of FOI’s radio broadcast ministry.
“Bill has demonstrated that loving Israel, the Jewish people, and the worldwide ministry of FOI was much, much more than a job to him,” said Elwood, who himself retired several years ago and is now consulting editor for The Friends of Israel. “It was a passion that has grown with the years. Bill’s unique association with Jewish leaders in Israel and the United States is a worthy legacy that can be claimed by a very few in Christian circles. It has been my distinct pleasure to serve with him, and my prayers go with him and Annette as they move into a new phase of their lives and service for Christ.”
Bill is a 1964 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business and holds a master of business administration degree from New York University. He also holds a master of divinity degree from Faith Theological Seminary and is an ordained minister.
As a testimony to Bill’s wise and skillful leadership, The Friends of Israel received certification as a best Christian workplace in 2009 by the Best Christian Workplaces Institute and was honored by the Christian Leadership Alliance for its “high level of trust between senior leadership and employees.” The Friends of Israel also has been a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability since 1989.
“Many times I’ve thought how it has been a privilege beyond belief to be vitally associated with such wonderful servants of the Lord at The Friends of Israel,” Bill said. “It is a ministry whose mission is unquestionably close to the heart of our Savior.”
Bill’s wife, Annette, retired last year from the School District of Philadelphia after 44 years of teaching.
All of us at FOI are sad to see Bill relinquish his responsibilities in the day-to-day operation of the organization, but we wish both him and Annette God’s peace and mercy in their retirement and thank him for his 25 years of service to the Lord through The Friends of Israel.