About Des

Desmond Henry is a missional thought leader, Professor of Missiology, author and speaker who serves the global church in evangelism and mission.



Desmond, Des or Dr ‘danger’ Des is happily married to Lara who is an accountant by training and currently serves on the teaching staff of a local Christian high school.

Both Lara and Desmond are committed to serving and advancing God’s Kingdom in their vocations. They have three beautiful daughters; Gabriella, and twins, Olivia & Annabella.

The Henry family enjoy hanging out together, watching movies, travelling, gardening and being outdoors together


2013 Doctorate (Ph.D.), University of Pretoria.

2010 Master of Arts (M.A), University of Pretoria.

2007 Bachelor of Theology (B.Th.), Baptist Theological College of Southern Africa.

2006 Diploma in Theology (Dip.Th.), Baptist Theological College of Southern Africa.

2004 Certificate of Theology (Cert.Th.), Baptist Theological College of Southern Africa.

Institutional Affiliations: North-West University; Wheaton College Graduate School


“It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else’s foundation.”

Romans 15:20


This verse has been a great encouragement to me over the years and has become somewhat of a ministry compass.


Desmond grew up in Florida, Johannesburg, and was first introduced to church through a bus ministry of Florida Baptist Church. After completing high school, he was involved a mission outreach to North Africa where he got to live within context of a Muslim nation on a short term basis. Shortly after returning he accepted the post as Youth and Worship Pastor at Florida Baptist Church and then took up an Assistant Pastor role while at Seminary at Grace Community Church, Johannesburg.

After graduating with his both a Diploma and Bachelor of Theology (Hons.) from the Baptist Theological College in Johannesburg, South Africa, Desmond was accepted onto the Baptist Union Ministry list in 2007. After qualifying, Des and Lara accepted a call to the Open Baptist Church in Gaborone, Botswana, where he served as an Associate Pastor in this international church with multiple sites around the country. He was able to work alongside his mentor, Norman Schaefer here. Norman was instrumental in shaping Desmond’s heart for missions and for working in, through and with the local church. Through Open Baptist Church, both Lara and Desmond were involved in a ministry called ‘Face the Nation’ which addressed the HIV/AIDS pandemic through peer-on-peer outreach and discipleship. Lara served as the Treasurer, and Desmond taught in the School of Discipleship. This program grew into a large ministry with support from a coalition of more than 30 churches from around the world known as Partners to the World. Through this partnership, we saw an amazing move of God throughout the nation that you can read more here. This initiative won the Willowcreek Courageous Leadership award in 2008 for being the most innovative Faith-based ministry to people with HIV in Africa. Their permits were denied for renewal and the Henry’s moved back to South Africa, where, for an interim period, they served at Eastside Community Church in Pretoria East where Desmond worked as their Executive Pastor.

Since working at Open Baptist, Desmond taught part time at the Baptist Theological College, helping establish their first learning community outside of South Africa, in Botswana. Desmond’s leadership and teaching gift brought him to the Baptist Theological College full time in 2012 where he taught missiology, New Testament and Practical Theology. After a short stint as Deputy Registrar, he served as Provost and Missiologist until he left in 2019.

Parallel to his role at the Seminary, Desmond served as an Interim Pastor  (Moderator) with a great team at Ridgecrest Family Church, where he has been strategically involved in the revitalization of a local church he helped to plant in the early 2000’s. During this same time, he served as honorary teaching pastor of Crosspoint Family Church in Gaborone. Academically, Desmond currently serves as an ‘Senior Lecturer’ for postgraduate studies at the North-West University where he supervises PhD’s and in 2017 was given the status of Visiting Professor at the Billy Graham Centre at Wheaton College, where he taught in the Master of Missional Leadership and Evangelism Graduate degree programs. Desmond serves on the Editorial Board of Conspectus, the Journal of the South African Theological Seminary.

In 2019 Desmond commenced work with the Luis Palau Association as a senior staff member and the Director of the Global Network of Evangelists. Desmond has the distinct privilege of working with leaders in evangelism from all walks of life and from countries around the world. GNE exists to identify, affirm, equip and mobilize evangelists globally and desires to elevate evangelism in 150 nations and over 50 cities around the world in 2020-2030.



Desmond is passionate about engaging the world through all forms of evangelism and mission and  embraces the axiom of the Global Network of Evangelists; ‘one message, many expressions’. God’s global mission fires him up and Desmond has enjoyed leading hundreds of Believers on short-term experiences to proclaim and demonstrate the Gospel and encourage local believers in close on 20 nations over the years. These mission trips have led to the formation of strategic partnerships for sustainable and ethical missions. Desmond has served as a church consultant for a number of churches in Southern Africa and has served on the Board of Directors for the Baptist Missions Department (2015-2019).


I am a convictional Evangelical (conservative) that upholds four important doctrines that unify the Christian Faith:

  1. The centrality, final authority and importance of the Bible for matters of life and faith.
  2. The atoning death of Jesus on the cross is central to life-transformation and living in the abundance of God promised (Jn. 10:10).
  3. Conversion is the necessary work of the Holy Spirit resultant from faith and repentance on the part of the Believer.
  4. Activism is our generous response to the overtures of God’s love, where we act as responsible stewards for the Kingdom sake- as His ambassadors (2 Cor. 5:17f).



Desmond Henry launched the Missional Collective with a desire to serve churches and other faith-based organizations in the areas if consulting, speaking and training. ‘TMC’ desires to provide a platform for innovation and change management for evangelicals.

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Desmond Henry

"It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else's foundation."
Romans 15:20 NIV