Week of Compassion has called Rev. Dr. Joe M. Hendrixson as Minister for Disciples Development


A native of Hutchinson, Kansas, Joe comes with years of experience in ecumenical and interfaith leadership as well as pastoral ministry. Since August 2013, Joe has served as the minister of West Side Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Topeka, Kansas. Prior to this role, he served as the Executive Director of Kansas Ecumenical Ministries, then Director of the Great Plains Regional Office of Church World Service (CWS), where he gained direct experience with one of Week of Compassion’s major partners. Eventually, he was appointed Managing Regional Director for CWS with supervisory responsibilities for twenty-six states west of the Mississippi River. His offices provided community based resource development and program interpretation for CWS’s 37 member- communions, the broader religious community, and the public.  

Week of Compassion Executive Director, Vy Nguyen, describes Joe as “a Disciple to his core, who has lived his life crossing ecumenical and interfaith lines out of his deep commitment to social justice.” 

Indeed, Joe has long been interested in social justice and the unity of the Church. He has a passion for bringing people together to face the great divisions of our time: poverty, hunger, racism, and threats to educational and food systems. Joe’s years of first-hand experience in ecumenical, justice-focused partnerships contributed to his interest in working with Week of Compassion. “I have a deep appreciation for how Week of Compassion works with partners here and all over the world to serve those in need,” Joe explains. 

Joe brings to his new role gifts in speaking and preaching and interest in engaging groups in dialogue about the ecumenical mission of the Church. He also looks forward to “developing a vision for what an endowment can do for the long-term future of Week of Compassion and finding ways to guarantee that this work goes on for the next 50 years and beyond.” 

Joe is a graduate of Texas Christian University and the Claremont School of Theology. He is married to Bobbie Lynn Graff-Hendrixson, and has a son, Caleb. Outside of work, he enjoys astronomy and classical music.

Vy and the Week of Compassion staff look forward to working with Joe: “The work of justice requires us all to work together. I am glad that Joe will bring his lifelong experience in ecumenical work to our team so we can continue serving our sisters and brothers….as best we can.”  Joe will begin with Week of Compassion July 5th.