The information in this column was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 11/12/2019. To update the information in this column, please email: info@ministrywatch.com


Who We Are
JAARS is a multidisciplinary team of problem-solvers who are committed to the belief-and the vision-that people's lives and communities are transformed as they experience God's Word in their own language.

We are a community of full-time missionaries, dedicated volunteers, and a few employees who work together to accomplish the Great Commission goal of providing Scripture to every people group on earth in the language they understand best-their heart language. We do that by supporting Bible translation and language development partners globally, and by working with prayer and financial partners in the United States to help make a range of unique on-the-field solutions possible.

What We Do
JAARS exists to make Bible translation and language development possible, especially in the most remote and difficult places on earth.

We do that by enabling locally-appropriate and sustainable solutions in transportation, technology, media, and training. Sometimes, our boots are on the ground (or in the air, or on the water). Other times, we're providing expertise, training, logistical support, research and development, project management, or funding. In all cases, we're working hand-in-hand with global field partners to identify, design, test, refine, and implement solutions that can be sustained going forward.

Contact information

Mailing address:
PO Box 248
Waxhaw, NC 28173-0248

Website: www.jaars.org

Phone: (888) 773-1178

Email: info@jaars.org

Organization details

EIN: 560818833

CEO/President: Woody McLendon

Chairman: Andrew J. Hood

Board size: 9

Founder: Mr. William Cameron Townsend

Year founded: 1948

Tax deductible: Yes

Fiscal year end: 09/30

Member of ECFA: Yes

Member of ECFA since: 1989


Why We Serve
Roughly 600 million people still have little-to-no Scripture in the language they understand best.

Bible translation is about giving people the best resource for knowing God-in a language that speaks to their minds and hearts. That's the simple answer. Translation impacts people in many ways, and it looks different for every community. Everything we do goes back to making Bible translation possible in the world's most remote and difficult places to reach.

Mission statement

The JAARS Vision
Our vision is that people's lives and communities are transformed as they experience God's Word in their own language.

The JAARS Mission
Our mission is to make Bible translation and language development possible, especially in the most remote and difficult places on earth. We do that by enabling locally appropriate and sustainable solutions in transportation, technology, media, and training.

Statement of faith

  • We believe the Bible, the inspired Word of God, is completely trustworthy, speaking with supreme authority in all matters of belief and practice.
  • We believe in one God, who exists eternally in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
  • We believe all people, being created in the image of God, have intrinsic value, but as a result of sin are alienated from God and each other, and therefore in need of reconciliation.
  • We believe that Jesus Christ, the son of God, born of the virgin Mary, is fully God and fully human. He demonstrated God's love for sinners by suffering the penalty of death in their place, rose bodily from the dead, and ascended to heaven where He intercedes for His people.
  • We believe all who repent and trust in Jesus Christ alone as Lord and Savior are, by the grace of God, declared to be right with Him, receiving forgiveness and eternal life.
  • We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ will return personally in glory, raise the dead, and judge the world.
  • We believe all people will rise from the dead, those who are in Christ to enjoy eternal life with God and those who are lost to suffer eternal separation from Him.
  • We believe in the Holy Spirit who imparts new life to those who believe in Christ; through His indwelling presence and transforming power He gives assurance and equips believers for holy living and effective service.
  • We believe the Church is the body of Christ, the fellowship of all believers, and is commissioned to make disciples of all nations.
  1. Seek God Above All
    We will demonstrate prayerful dependence on God, abiding in Christ, studying his Word, and seeking his wisdom in all decisions. (Matt. 6:33; John 15:4-5; Prov. 3:5-6)

  2. Serve in Love
    We will follow Christ's example of sacrificial servanthood, looking first to the interest of others, both within our community and toward those we serve. (Phil. 2:3-5; John 13:34)

  3. Act with Integrity
    We will act towards others with honesty, transparency, accountability, and dependability. (Prov. 21:3; 11:3a; Heb. 13:18)

  4. Steward God's Resources with Courage
    We will make bold yet wise decisions as we care for and make best use of people, time, finances, and opportunities. (Matt. 25:14-30; I Pet. 4:10; Eph. 5:15-16)

  5. Pursue Excellence
    We will strive to meet and exceed professional standards and best practices, learning and improving together. (II Cor. 8:7; II Tim. 2:15; Phil. 4:8)

  6. Collaborate with Respect
    As we work together on internal teams and with ministry partners, we will communicate clearly, assume goodwill, and value each other's contributions. (Eccl. 4:12; I Cor. 1:10, 12:12-27)

  7. Create a Culture of Innovation
    Not content with the status quo, we will question assumptions, seek new approaches, and design innovative solutions in all areas. (Ex. 35:30-35; Eph. 2:10; Prov. 22:29)

Transparency grade


To understand our transparency grade, click here.

Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Evangelism Support

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating550 of 84426 of 48
Fund acquisition rating453 of 84430 of 48
Resource allocation rating410 of 84419 of 48
Asset utilization rating634 of 84432 of 48

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Balance sheet
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$471,471$331,254$454,325$216,359$712,058
Short-term investments$4,097,332$4,220,134$3,528,504$4,444,827$3,795,040
Other current assets$0$298,621$71,276$14,486$130,611
Total current assets$4,897,069$5,110,669$4,391,511$4,932,473$4,911,252
Long-term investments$0$0$0$0$0
Fixed assets$5,401,145$4,997,842$5,380,013$4,040,408$4,665,540
Other long-term assets$1,206,752$1,163,001$937,745$926,581$484,462
Total long-term assets$6,607,897$6,160,843$6,317,758$4,966,989$5,150,002
Total assets$11,504,966$11,271,512$10,709,269$9,899,462$10,061,254
Payables and accrued expenses$351,550$431,243$171,082$225,483$293,307
Other current liabilities$0$0$0$0$0
Total current liabilities$351,550$431,243$171,082$225,483$293,307
Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$0$0
Other long-term liabilities$675,399$594,169$594,169$608,278$618,108
Total long-term liabilities$675,399$594,169$594,169$608,278$618,108
Total liabilities$1,026,949$1,025,412$765,251$833,761$911,415
Net assets20192018201720162015
Temporarily restricted$2,840,388$2,560,295$2,175,781$2,202,276$1,963,132
Permanently restricted$0$0$0$0$0
Net assets$10,478,017$10,246,100$9,944,018$9,065,701$9,149,839
Revenues and expenses
Total contributions$11,085,955$11,272,069$10,987,163$9,761,175$9,148,284
Program service revenue$1,732,069$1,725,312$1,793,652$1,872,860$1,934,823
Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
Investment income$69,572$62,614$49,948$61,927$50,712
Other revenue$472,384$22,743$55,240$43,144$43,594
Total other revenue$2,274,025$1,810,669$1,898,840$1,977,931$2,029,129
Total revenue$13,359,980$13,082,738$12,886,003$11,739,106$11,177,413
Program services$11,206,746$10,735,144$10,098,262$9,530,110$8,979,790
Management and general$1,356,620$1,386,873$1,056,198$1,103,159$1,481,784
Total expenses$13,182,555$12,890,483$12,007,686$11,583,816$11,402,245
Change in net assets20192018201720162015
Surplus (deficit)$177,425$192,255$878,317$155,290($224,832)
Other changes in net assets$54,492$109,827$0($239,428)$1,440,222
Total change in net assets$231,917$302,082$878,317($84,138)$1,215,390


Steve BiggerstaffVP of Engagement$125,301
David ReeseCFO$65,027
Grace GorethDirector$61,028
William McLendon JrPresident$54,127
Craig WhaleySecretary$38,182

Compensation data as of: 9/30/2019

Response from ministry

No response has been provided by this ministry.

The information below was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 11/12/2019. To update the information below, please email: info@ministrywatch.com


We praise God for a legacy of his faithfulness.

From our earliest days 70 years ago, JAARS' passion has been to reach the unreached-both spiritually and practically. Our founder, Cameron Townsend, believed that all people should have God's Word in their heart language. He devoted his life to that bold vision, trusting at every juncture that God would make the impossible possible. Just reaching and working in minority language communities-sometimes in the most remote, dangerous corners of the world-proved to be an early obstacle.

"Airplanes and radios don't just make translation easier; they make it possible."

- Cameron Townsend, founder of JAARS, SIL International, and Wycliffe Bible Translators

And that's why JAARS exists. For decades now, we've landed planes on narrow rivers and towering mountains. We've outfitted boats and vehicles to reach villages that rarely see an outsider. We've set up radios in the rainforest. Satellite uplinks in the desert. Makeshift recording studios and theaters on islands and mountains alike. Over and over, we've watched God pave the way for people to translate and share his Word anywhere on earth.

God has already been so faithful. We see that in the thousands of passionate, gifted people he's called to partner in this work, much of which happens at the JAARS Center in North Carolina. Our campus itself is a testimony to God's power to work through people: businessman Henderson Belk donated this land for us to build a runway and hangar back in the 1960s. Little did he know how God would multiply his gift! The JAARS Center has grown into a hub of innovation, expertise, and training that benefits Bible translation around the world.

Today, we're blessed to work with dozens of partner organizations that are as passionate as we are about sharing God's Word.

When they have a challenge, we pray, roll up our sleeves, and work together to make translation possible. Sometimes that means designing and building solutions from scratch; other times, we provide the research, program management, or networking that lead to the best possible solution. Now in our eighth decade, we trust God will continue to pave the way for Bible translation. The needs are enormous. Seemingly insurmountable. But we serve the God who makes all things possible-and he calls people like us to take part.

Program accomplishments

Some outcomes in 2018:

JAARS Aviation Training in the Americas
150 - Individual courses
102 - Pilots and/or aviation maintenance personnel trained
13 - Different mission organizations served
8 - Countries served

Media (recording studio) in Asia
3 - Audio New Testament portions recorded (with more than 4 million speakers)
3 more - JESUS film dubbings
Hundreds - New worship songs composed in songwriting workshops

Technology in Africa
58 - Language projects
12 - Countries impacted by technology solutions


Ways To Engage
What if you could help someone experience the Bible for the very first time?

Many places on earth still lack the basic infrastructure that supports the creation and sharing of God's Word. Being almost completely isolated from the outside world, the work of missions and Bible translation in these places is very difficult. We have five strategic ways you can join us in making Bible translation possible. Will you partner with us to make this work happen?

Like every mission, we are completely dependent upon God. We pray daily, both individually and corporately, for the people we are working to reach, for our partners around the world, and for the effectiveness of our own work. We depend on your prayers for these things, too.


Scores of key positions are ready to be filled by godly people doing "regular," everyday things to support Bible translation. Serve short- or long-term, from home or at our center in North Carolina. Opportunities range from project management to IT, hospitality, graphic design, writing, audio and video production, human resources, R&D, fundraising, aviation, and more.


JAARS is investing in the eternal destiny of men, women, families, and entire people groups around the world, but we are only scratching the surface of the support needed to reach them. We're asking God for partners who can invest any amount of resources faithfully, significantly, and eternally in this mission.


We depend upon volunteer, part-time advocates in cities and towns across the United States to talk about JAARS in their own spheres of influence: churches, schools, Bible studies, and small groups. We'll train and support anyone with a heart to collaborate and share.


Advisors are people with special expertise or networks who can 1) pick up a phone or review a document, 2) help us resolve a question, and then 3) go back to their own work. If you want to contribute but your schedule doesn't allow for a regular commitment, advising may be the perfect fit.