Kingsley Appiagyei, the new president of the Baptist Union of Great Britain (BUGB), has challenged Baptists to prepare for the revival of the Church in the United Kingdom.
At the opening celebration of the Baptist Assembly in Bournemouth on May 1, Appiagyei, who has planted the two largest churches in the Baptist Union, was inducted as BUGB president for the next 12 months. In his presidential address he challenged the Baptists of the U.K. to become “an expectant community.”
Appiagyei is senior minister of Trinity Baptist Church in West Norwood in South London, which he originally started in a home with eight people. The membership now exceeds 2,000. Kingsley also planted Calvary Charismatic Baptist Church in Plaistow, East London.
This year Baptists worldwide are celebrating the 400th anniversary of the formation, in Amsterdam, of the first ever Baptist church in Europe. Quoting from William Carey, one of the founding fathers of the Baptist tradition in Britain, Appiagyei said, “This is a time to expect great things from God, and also to attempt great things for God.” He added, “Remember, the God of our past is still the God of our present and forever he will be the same God for our future.”
In his assessment of the state of the country in which the British Church finds itself today, he said, “Unfortunately today, in our own nation, the Church has almost been taken captive. Anything today that is distinctly Christian is now regarded as offensive to non-Christians and therefore must be removed. Coupled with the economic (crisis) and surging crime rate, we are willing to turn to anything but God to solve our problems.”
However, the president gave the delegates a voice of encouragement saying, “God is a faithful God. This is the dawning of a new era, and as we put our hands together and believe God, God will visit his people afresh. God will forgive his people and heal our land. There will be a revival and a fresh awakening.”
Listening to the address was Zed Grant-Essilfie, acting high commissioner to the U.K. for Ghana. Appiagyei is originally from Ghana and is currently building an orphanage complex there as well as a well-equipped clinic and vocational school. Trinity Choir, from Appiagyei’s church in West Norwood led the worship.
The Baptist Assembly is the joint gathering of the Baptist Union of Great Britain and BMS World Mission.