Yinka Oyekan has been elected president of the Baptist Union of Great Britain for 2020-21.
Oyekan is the senior pastor of The Gate, a Baptist church in Reading, England, and was one of two nominations for the post; the other nominee was Dawn Cole-Savidge, communities minister at Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church in London.
Voting closed at the end of March; General Secretary Lynn Green informed both candidates of the result this week.
During his ministry at The Gate, Oyekan has spearheaded The Turning, the evangelistic street mission that began in 2016 and has now taken place in dozens of towns and cities in the United Kingdom and abroad.
In his profile, Oyekan said he has a long history in equipping and training individuals in evangelism and mission and has a particular interest in the third part of the Baptist Union’s Declaration of Principle. (“That it is the duty of every disciple to bear personal witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to take part in the evangelization of the world.”)
Responding to his presidential election, Oyekan said, “I am grateful for the trust you have placed in me to encourage greater gospel proclamation across our family.
“There has never been a revival in the history of the church without two key elements being present – prayer and a deeper hunger for the Holy Scriptures. I believe a great renewal is coming to our Baptist family because I sense a hunger for both is increasing.
“I am so excited to serve at this time because I believe the waters of renewal are stirring, and because of the Beacons of Prayer initiative.
“I look forward to serving Lynn Green and Ken Benjamin (current vice president) in his presidential year.”
Oyekan will now serve as vice president for 2019-20 before assuming the presidency at next year’s Baptist Assembly.
The current president is Dave Gregory, whose theme has been “Divine Windows: Glimpses of God in Life, the Universe… and Everything.”
Benjamin, senior minister at Chichester Baptist Church, will succeed Gregory at this year’s Baptist Assembly on May 18-19 in Telford. The theme for his presidential year is “Where Do We Grow From Here?”
Oyekan hopes to build on this theme. “It is with interest that I am following the very excellent question posed by our current vice president,” he wrote in his profile. “If elected, I would love to contribute to the conversation with a follow-up question: How do we grow from here?”
The president’s main role is as a communicator and facilitator of the Baptist Union’s vision and mission. The president travels around the Union, engaging with local churches, regional associations and colleges.
A key part of the role is leading the Baptist Steering Group (BSG) Accompanying Group, which provides prayer support and shares in spiritual and missional reflection with BSG.
Paul Hobson is editor of The Baptist Times of Great Britain, the online newspaper of the Baptist Union of Great Britain.