Dr. Cristian Chirla, Chairman
Born in Oradea, Romania, Cristian immigrated with his family when he was 17 years old. His undergraduate years at Lynchburg University gave him a Bachelors degree in Biology and Chemistry. Yet, he would soon realize that the impact those years had on his life reached beyond that: it sealed his heart and love for the ministry.
He married Adina in 1992. Their family was blessed with 4 children, but one day the Lord asked Cristian to open his arms and hand Him their first daughter. That was to be yet another stepping stone in Cristian’s life. In 1997 he graduated from Case Western University School of Dental Medicine and was blessed with a succesful practice in Ohio, in the Cleveland-Akron area. The Lord placed three passions in his life: his family, the ministry, and practicing dentistry!
Val S. Monafu, MDiv, President
Val Monafu began his ministry as a youth pastor in 2004 at the Romanian Baptist Church of Anaheim (Los Angeles), CA where he served until 2016. During this time, in addition to ministering to the youth of the local church, he was involved in many missionary activities in Romania and Mexico, particularly in short term mission trips with the youth, serving in orphanages.
From 2012 to 2014 Val has served as President of the Romanian Baptist Youth Association and is still very involved in this ministry from an unofficial position.
In 2014, Val has received his Master of Divinity degree from Biola University, Talbot School of Theology.
In 2016 he was called to the Romanian Baptist Church of San Francisco, Bay Area where he was ordained to serve as Assistant Pastor, and where he still serves.
Starting in 2017 he became involved in Apologetics conferences in Moldova and Romania, organized by the Romanian Missionary Society. In June 2020, Val started serving as RMS President.
Currently he resides in Northern California with his wife, Christine and their two sons, Timothy and Michael.
Dr. Livius T. Percy
Dr. Percy was born in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Growing up under Communism, he faced discrimination and persecution because of his commitment to Christ and his involvement in the youth ministry of the local church.
He came to the United States in 1981. The same year he got married to Mariana, started graduate school at the University of Illinois in Chicago, and became involved in the ministry of RMS as a translator. He translated over 40 books and also contributed to the evangelical radio broadcasts over Radio “Free Europe” in the 1980s. He continues to be involved in the radio ministry and his sermons are broadcast over many Christian radio stations in Romania and Moldova.
In 1984 he became a member of the Board of Directors of RMS and in 1987 he earned a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Chicago. An ordained minister since 1990, Livius has served for 15 years as pastor of a Romanian church in Hickory, NC, and is currently senior pastor of the Romanian Baptist Church of Charlotte, NC. He is also working on a Doctor of Ministry degree in apologetics, at the Southern Evangelical Seminary, under the direction of Dr. Norman Geisler.
In October 2004, the Board appointed Livius Percy as the new President of RMS, upon the retirement of Dr. Josef Tson. Dr. Percy travels extensively to Romania and Moldova, ministering to youth and to churches.
Dr. Percy has served as RMS President until June 2020, when he retired and remained on the Board as Missionary at large.
He and his wife, Mariana have one daughter, Patricia.
Doris Laurentiu, Executive Director
Doris Laurentiu grew up in a Christian home Timisoara, Romania. In 1971 she completed her studies, earning a M.A. degree from the University of Timisoara, upon which she taught English and German language in junior high and high school. After working over a decade as a translator for a research institute in her home town she and her family came to the USA in 1987 to translate Christian literature for RMS. During those years of communism Christian literature was prohibited in Romania.
During the following years, Doris translated, and edited numerous books among which, The Gospel According to Jesus, Evangelism Explosion, The Cross of Christ, The New Bible Dictionary, etc. After RMS opened a publishing house in Romania, Doris assumed new responsibilities in our Wheaton office. She coordinates the RMS pastors and students sponsorship programs, secures copyrights and serves as liaison for all contracts with American and European publishers whose books continue to be translated and published by Editura Cartea Crestina, our Christian Publishing House in Oradea, Romania.
Doris lives in Forest Park, IL.
George Hancock-Stefan started working with the Romanian Missionary Society as the Executive Director from 1982 to 1989. He is currently the Associate Professor of Church History at Palmer Theological Seminary, the Seminary of Eastern University. He has also taught at Princeton Theological Seminary, New York Evangelical Seminary, New Brunswick Theological Seminary, and Wheaton College Graduate School.
Dr. Hancock-Stefan started his pastoral ministry as the Minister of Christian Education at First Baptist Church of Hightstown from 1977-1982. While working at the RMS, he also served as the pastor of the First Romanian Baptist Church in Chicago. He has been the pastor of Central Baptist Church in Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey, since 1990. Dr. Hancock-Stefan is very involved in denominational and ecumenical life and serves as the convener of the Area Association of Community Churches and the North Shore Association and the president of the American Baptist Churches of New Jersey.
Dr. Hancock-Stefan’s doctoral dissertation, The Impact of the Reformation on the Romanian People from 1517-1645, was translated into Romanian in 2003 and is being used as a seminary textbook. He is also one of the contributors to the book Three Views on Eastern Orthodoxy and Evangelism, which will be translated into Serbian in 2019. Dr. Hancock-Stefan and his wife Ginny live in Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey and have four daughters and three grandchildren.
Valentina developed an interest in the needs of people around the world when interacting with Christian missionaries hosted by her family in the early 90s, and while seeing her parent’s faith put in action in their communities. In high school and college, she was increasingly preoccupied with Christians’ relevance to contemporary issues. While a member of Vox Domini Church and the OSCET student association in Timisoara, she was involved in student outreach and debate events, as well as social projects and short-term missions.
Her passion for social justice and holistic ministries to communities in need was solidified during a discovery trip to Kenya in 2008, after encountering the devastating poverty and realities in the Kibera slum in Nairobi, as well as the amazing ministry, school and feeding programs run by the Tumaini church there. Her return with a group of students in 2009 turned into a 11 years partnership between the Tumaini Kibera church and the student movement in Romania.
Later that year, she started her MA in Intercultural Studies at Biola University, graduating in 2011. This was followed by an internship with World Vision in the Humanitarian and Emergency Affairs department, which was the beginning of her professional career in Humanitarian and Development work.
In the past 8 years, Valentina has worked for international non-governmental organizations designing and implementing assistance programs in various contexts across Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, including in South Sudan, the cross-border Syria Response (based in Turkey and Jordan), Nepal.
Currently, she is the Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for Asia Pacific for CARE, based in Bangkok, Thailand. In her role, she provides technical support to 21 countries with CARE presence in the region. She’s recently deployed to the Philippines, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Sri Lanka to support their humanitarian response and preparedness efforts to natural and man-made disasters.