High-level Bio but definitely not my whole story...
J.R. Bucklew is a visionary. Ideas that he fostered over a decade ago quickly became the standard in other parts of the world. Born a CODA (child of deaf adults), his first language growing up was American Sign Language (ASL), and though hearing, he still considers ASL his heart language.
His desire for the Deaf to know and understand the Word of God has allowed him to travel to many parts of the world, both ministering to and being an advocate for the Deaf.
His trendsetting spirit helped him start a Deaf church in Mekelle, Ethiopia. There, he and his wife, Feven, opened a café that exclusively employed Deaf people, formed two sign language centers, and helped train others to work with the Deaf.
J.R. became the director of Deaf Bible in 2013, and with the blessing of Faith Comes By Hearing, he founded and was appointed President of Deaf Bible Society in 2015. He also serves on the boards of several Deaf ministries in the United States. In addition, J.R. was the architect of the world's premier Deaf mobile app known as the Deaf Bible app. Growing the distribution of Bible content in American Sign Language from 7000 copies on DVD over ten years to nearly 500,000 users within two years through the Deaf Bible app.
He and the team at Deaf Bible Society worked with Bible agencies such as Wycliffe Bible Translators, Deaf Missions, and DOOR International to see that there be a Bible translation in every sign language and that every Deaf person would be engaged with scripture and have the opportunity to know Christ as their Lord and Savior.
In November of 2019, he transitioned out of the Deaf Bible Society to focus on restoration, rest, and replenishment with his family and God.
J.R. currently serves as the Director of Major Gifts for Pioneer Bible Translators and the Chief Steward of Church Mobilization for the illumiNations alliance. His primary focus continues to be on raising awareness among churches, donors, and foundations for the Deaf ministry cause and Bible Translation. He also provides consulting services to multiple deaf leaders and non-profits in major donor relationship coaching, marketing, fundraising, and organizational development.
J.R., his wife Feven, and their daughter Maraki live in the Dallas area.