He is the ninth general secretary in the WCC’s history since the fellowship of churches was founded in 1948.
Pillay is currently dean of the Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria. A member of the Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa, he is from South Africa.
Pillay was one of two candidates standing for election to the WCC's highest administrative post. The other candidate was Dr Elizabeth Joy. Pillay will replace outgoing acting general secretary Rev. Prof Dr Ioan Sauca, who began serving in that position in April 2020, when the previous general secretary, Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, was appointed as the presiding bishop of the Church of Norway.
Dr Agnes Abuom, WCC central committee moderator, shared words of congratulations and blessings in Pillay’s new ministry.
“May the WCC global fellowship warmly welcome you, pray for you, and show you in every way that we care for you as you take on important leadership in our ongoing journey toward Christian unity,” she said. “You and the ecumenical movement are making history—and forming a future in which we can live out God’s love for one another and for all.”
The general secretary serves as the WCC’s chief executive officer, and leads the WCC’s work, including final responsibility for WCC’s work and its staff.
Dr Pillay will take up his position 1 January 2023.
Name: Rev. Prof. Dr Jerry Pillay
Occupation: Dean of the Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria
Church: Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa
Country: South Africa