MYSTERY surrounds the sudden resignation of John Mohan as the chief executive officer of Siloam Mission.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 3/12/2009 (4309 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

MYSTERY surrounds the sudden resignation of John Mohan as the chief executive officer of Siloam Mission.

The downtown mission issued a short statement Thursday afternoon that Mohan resigned Nov. 21 for unspecified personal reasons.

John Mohan

MIKE.APORIUS@FREEPRESS.MB.CA

John Mohan

Mohan could not be reached Thursday.

As head of the mission at 300 Princess St., Mohan has led Siloam Mission into one of the higher-profile private organizations providing emergency shelter, daily meals, food, clothing, and training to the homeless, the unemployed, and other people living in poverty in the city's core.

Mohan's resignation surprised the Siloam board, board chairman Riley Coulter said from Calgary.

"I really respect John and the work he's done. I have to respect his privacy," said Coulter, chancellor of Ambrose University College, a Nazarene institution in Calgary. Siloam is the compassionate ministry arm of the Nazarene church, he explained.

"John resigned for personal reasons. Out of respect for him, I'll leave it there," Coulter said. The resignation took effect immediately and came with no forewarning. "It's John's story to tell -- I'll leave it there."

Mohan's wife, Brenda Mohan, is still with Siloam Mission as the senior administrative officer, Coulter said.

Brenda Mohan could not be reached Thursday, but her biography on the Siloam website says Brenda and John Mohan have been married for more than 30 years, have three adult children and one grandchild.

Social activists were surprised by the news.

"Advocates don't come much better. In terms of a job well done, John is responsible for a lot of profile" that Siloam has gained, declared Wayne Helgason, the executive director of the Social Planning Council of Winnipeg and a board member with the Aboriginal Council of Winnipeg.

Helgason said he had no idea why Mohan left the mission.

The social planning council first got involved with Mohan eight years ago when he was on the North Main task force, said Helgason. "He's really taken it places, he's really attracted money, he's promoted it."

Winnipeg Harvest executive director David Northcott was openly taken aback when he learned the news Thursday.

"All I can measure by is the contribution he made to the community, which is significant," said Northcott.

The story apparently first broke on christianweek.org, a Winnipeg-based online Christian news website.

Christianweek.org reported Mohan had also stepped down voluntarily as an ordained Nazarene minister.

Coulter confirmed that, but would not comment further.

Coulter said Siloam chief operating officer Sherwood Armbruster has stepped into Mohan's former job temporarily. "We've struck a search committee," Coulter said.

nick.martin@freepress.mb.ca