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The Rev. Cheryl Barnes is named World Mission’s Africa Area Coordinator

Her appointment is effective in mid-June

by Scott O’Neill | Presbyterian News Service

The Rev. Cheryl Barnes

LOUISVILLE — The Presbyterian Mission Agency’s World Mission ministry announced Wednesday that the Rev. Cheryl Barnes will become the agency’s new Africa Area Coordinator effective June 19.

Barnes will take over for interim co-coordinators Jeff Boyd and Doug Tilton, who have mutually served in that role for more than two years.

“After an extensive search process, we have discerned who God is calling to serve in this role, so it is with great excitement, joy, and gratitude to God that we named Rev. Barnes to her new role today,” said Ellen Sherby, acting associate director, Global Connections. “Her experiences in education, business and as a Minister of the Word and Sacrament are valuable steppingstones to this new path God has called her to take.”

“I love Africa, her citizens, and her cultures,” said Barnes. “In this new role, I will listen and seek creative ways to support and uplift African partnership. It is my desire to fulfill this call in a way that honors God and I am grateful for this opportunity to serve.”

For the past four years, Barnes, in her role as a mission co-worker serving Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, has been an education facilitator with the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian General Assembly (CCAP GA). Her work with CCAP has encompassed several areas, including education, where she strives to improve the quality of primary school education under the CCAP umbrella.

In her partnership with the education secretaries of the CCAP, Barnes helped to develop and implement a project called “Educate Our Girls.” This initiative financially supports the education of young girls who can no longer afford to attend school due to unplanned pregnancies. She has been instrumental in efforts to safeguard children’s rights by developing protection policies, including a sexual abuse prevention program in the CCAP primary schools called “Valuable to Jesus.” In addition, she’s accompanied the CCAP in its work to improve the denomination’s infrastructure by implementing income-generating activities and developing an events garden on the denomination grounds.

Prior to entering ministry, Barnes taught special education. She is a native of Georgia, holds a Master of Divinity from Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia, a bachelor’s degree in Special Education from Morris Brown College in Atlanta and a Master of Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Barnes is a member of the Northeast Georgia Presbytery and can be contacted at

Boyd and Tilton will continue their roles during the transition period ending on June 18 and will continue to serve the Presbyterian Mission Agency’s World Mission ministry as regional liaisons going forward.

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