Leslie Keegel (center)

After nearly seven years as chair of the Foursquare Global Council, Leslie Keegel of Sri Lanka has concluded his time serving in this capacity. Randy Remington, president of The U.S. Foursquare Church, has accepted the role of chair from Leslie; Randy recently presided over his first executive committee meeting in Miami earlier this month.

Longtime Global Council advisor Raul Irigoyen, based in Panama, says Leslie will remain in the role of elder. The elder position was created so that when national church leaders conclude their formal role, the Global Council can retain the benefit of their wisdom and experience.

While Leslie retains position as national leader of The Foursquare Church in Sri Lanka, he is preparing to pass the baton off in the next few years. Under his leadership, the church expanded from a single congregation to approximately 2,000 prior to the pandemic.

“Leslie is a very spiritual leader who has a way of making things practical for people. He will continue as an elder because we need him, but by having this transition to Randy, we feel like we’re getting the best of both worlds.” —Ted Vail, D.I.S., senior vice president of global operations

“He’s a pioneer in his nation,” says Raul, a former pastor and longtime missions leader in Panama. “In selecting Leslie (in mid-2017) we had an apostolic figure who was very well recognized and loved by the whole global family.”

Leslie notes that he loves the phrase, “I have a dream,” since those words symbolize how the Holy Spirit has led him to minister His love to the world. As chair of the Global Council, Leslie says God filled his heart with dreams that called Foursquare to unity as the highest priority.

“This dream is often not easy to accomplish,” states Leslie. “We need a strategy—a path—a way through. My prayer and heart are to see the continued focus and release of ministry.

“As we stride forward under our global Foursquare banner, I am confident that the Lord will pour out His Spirit like rain, not only upon the Global Council, but upon our worldwide family,” Leslie prophesies. “The vision is magnificent, and its magnitude is of His limitless kingdom—all of which will help to transform our entire world through His sovereign grace!”

Being the first non-American to chair the Global Council, Leslie set things in a distinct trajectory, says Ted Vail, D.I.S., senior vice president of global operations for The U.S. Foursquare Church.

“Leslie is a very spiritual leader who has a way of making things practical for people,” says Ted, who also facilitates the Global Council. “He will continue as an elder because we need him, but by having this transition to Randy, we feel like we’re getting the best of both worlds.”

Global Council appointments

As part of the transition, Dawn Vail has been appointed chair of the Global Council Women’s Committee, which was organized in 2018 by Leslie’s wife, Belen. A former senior pastor, Dawn hopes to grow this committee out of a relational focus to engaging women in their individual callings and giftings.

“We do that through training men and women—whether single, married, young or old—in a global and contextually diverse movement,” states Dawn. One aspect is providing training for women around the world who want to make a difference, both in and outside of leadership roles. “This is focused on unity—men and women, image-bearers of Christ—working together for the common goal of sharing the Gospel,” Dawn adds.

Growing together, working together

Raul says Leslie pushed growth and discipleship, the latter identified in a global Foursquare study as the area where focus is most needed. The five committees organized under Leslie include global prayer, shared missions, administrative structures, training and education, and the women’s committee.

Since the council affirmed and embraced its Global Distinctives in 2012, international leaders and regions have been working together, something Raul says was unheard of in the past.

“The nations tended to work in isolation,” explains Raul. “Now, because of the Global Council and regional councils, nations are getting together, dreaming together and partnering. A key nation in the West Africa Region, Nigeria, is teaming up with Central Africa to open up two nations in the Central Africa Region. These kinds of things rarely happened before.”

Ted agrees, saying the global Foursquare church has made tremendous strides in recent years in missions, training, women’s initiatives and prayer gatherings.

“To see these areas flourish is a major accomplishment,” affirms Ted. “Leslie has provided oversight and a big-picture vision of trust and global empowerment. We’re holding on to our spiritual identity and values.”

Not only was establishing a global prayer network a “huge” factor in moving Foursquare forward, Ted says Leslie helped launch advocacy for persecuted believers. Pentecostals are among the most persecuted religious movements worldwide, so naturally this affects Foursquare.

“Leslie was also behind the global education and training we do,” Ted states. “He brought it to the table, got behind it, and made sure it got the resources and had the traction needed.”

In addition, he says Leslie grieves at disunity, something Ted sees as an apostolic trait in the Bible—not just to reach, train and send people, but also to contend for unity.

“It goes back to the collaboration we’re experiencing in Africa and all regions,” Ted says. “Leslie’s ethos and heart for unity and collaboration has jumped us ahead.”

The Global Council has a short but impactful history, and they are excited about this season with newly appointed chair Randy Remington. “Randy is an awesome leader who has always cared for the lost, loved the world with a missionary heart, and who believes in the local church and the calling of the global Foursquare movement,” Ted affirms.

is a freelance writer and book editor in Huntington, W.Va.