09 October 2013
First pentecostal president for Churches Together in England
Jamaican born Bishop Eric Brown was installed as the first pentecostal president of Churches Together in England (CTE) on Monday 7 October at the annual national church leaders meeting, held at Lambeth Palace.
Dr Brown is the administrative bishop of the New Testament Church of God, a black majority pentecostal church celebrating its 60th anniversary in the UK since being planted here by Caribbean migrants during the 1950s.
CTE presidents provide spiritual leadership to the national ecumenical movement that facilitates closer working together by the churches in England. Bishop Brown's appointment brings the total number of CTE presidents to six. He joins existing presidents Archbishop Vincent Nichols, Archbishop Justin Welby, Bishop Jana Jeruma-Grinberga, Rev Michael Heaney and Archbishop Gregorios of Thyateira and Great Britain.
At the annual meeting the presidents signed a covenant committing themselves to "pray to God to lead us, with all our sisters and brothers in Christ, towards communion in faith, life and witness; so that, united in one body by the one Spirit, we may together witness to the perfect unity of his love."
Commenting on his appointment Bishop Brown said: "Service in the kingdom of God at any level is the greatest privilege. I am delighted that I have been elected to serve as a CTE president and take this opportunity to say thanks for this expression of confidence.
"With the help of almighty God, and the knowledge and experience gained from over 40 years of service in the Church, I am committed to give my very best and to work with my colleagues in the presidency to ensure that the spiritual welfare of the nation is our priority."
Steve Clifford, general director of the Evangelical Alliance, said: "This appointment is great news, reflecting the increasingly diverse nature of the UK Church. Bishop Eric is both a friend and a wonderful support and encouragement in our work at the Evangelical Alliance and has been an integral part in the development of our One People Commission."
Pastor Yemi Adedeji, director of the Evangelical Alliance's One People Commission, said: "At the One People Commission we are passionate about promoting unity while celebrating the ethnic diversity of the UK Church. The appointment of Bishop Eric Brown - an inspiration and an amazing man of God – is a great one."