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02 March 2012

Unity not uniformity: Mapping out a more diverse future for the Evangelical Alliance

Unity not uniformity: Mapping out a more diverse future for the Evangelical Alliance

The Evangelical Alliance has committed to a future which better represents the ethnic diversity of the evangelical community in the UK, following meetings with national church leaders.

Senior staff from the Alliance have been meeting with key leaders in the months following the closure of the African and Caribbean Evangelical Alliance (ACEA) in May 2011 after 25 years of existence.

Faced with this void, General Director Steve Clifford, senior staff and Board members felt the need to address the issue in conversation with senior leaders from the black majority churches and to seek their input in mapping out a strategy for how best to reflect our diverse community.

Following an initial meeting on 6 October with a wide range of leaders, a commission including Bishop Eric Brown (national overseer of the New Testament Church of God), Bishop John Francis (senior pastor of Ruach Ministries), Bishop Wilton Powell (Church of God of Prophecy), Dr Tani Omideyi (Temple of Praise) and Pastor Agu Irukwu (senior pastor of Jesus House) met on 25 November to discuss and bring forward a report and recommendations as to the way forward for the Evangelical Alliance.

Steve Clifford said: “The feedback from these key leaders has been tremendously encouraging with a real sense that this was God’s timing and that we had to meet in order to seek God, hear from each other and find a way forward.

“We have used the opportunity to build relationship as, together, we seek to make an impact on our world and be a part of the prayer Jesus prays in John 17 that ‘we may be one’.

 “This is about unity and not uniformity. This is a unity which recognises we’re family together. We are about a unity which challenges the norms of our society.”

The wider group met again on 28 February to receive the report, which will now go to the Evangelical Alliance Board and Council later this year to agree the recommendations before they are made public.

Speaking at the meeting in October, Pastor Agu said: “I have been excited to witness the Alliance’s journey of bringing unity. All of us have come to the place where we have realised that we cannot do this on our own. I am passionate about unity because I know that if we can harness our potential together, we can achieve so much more.”

Full list of Commission members:

Bishop Eric Brown (National Overseer NTCG)

Steve Clifford (General Director Evangelical Alliance)

Bishop John Francis (Senior Pastor, Ruach Ministries)

Pastor Agu Irukwu (Senior Pastor, Jesus House)

Dr Dave Landrum (Advocacy Director, Evangelical Alliance)

Dr Tani Omideyi (Senior Minister, Love & Joy Ministries/EA Council)

Pastor Ade Omooba (Co-founder Christian Victory Group)

Bishop Wilton Powell (National Overseer COGOP)

Rev Matt Summerfield (Chief Exec. Urban Saints/EA Board)

Rev Mike Talbot (Vicar Emmanuel Church, Northwood/Chair of EA Board)