Baptist minister is EA’s new One People Commission director
The Revd Israel Oluwole Olofinjana has been announced as the Evangelical Alliance’s new One People Commission (OPC) director
From 1 April Israel will be taking over from the pioneering work of the Revd Canon Yemi Adedeji, who welcomes this appointment.
The One People Commission exists to celebrate diversity while promoting unity, seeking to "reflect, celebrate and serve the ethnic diversity of the church in the UK by helping to reshape the focus and the feel of the Evangelical Alliance and its membership."
Israel will work with the Evangelical Alliance’s OPC network of key national church leaders across ethnic backgrounds to support and equip the UK church as it seeks to become more integrated, effective and unified.
Israel is an ordained and accredited Baptist minister and senior pastor of Woolwich Central Baptist in London. He is the founding director of Centre for Missionaries from the Majority World, an honorary research fellow at The Queen’s Foundation for Ecumenical Theological Education, and he is on the executive team of Lausanne Europe, advising them on matters related to diaspora ministries in Europe. He has authored several books on themes such as reverse mission and is highly experienced in networking and connecting Christians for mission, training and resourcing mission organisations and other ministries.
Israel said, ‘I am very excited about my appointment to the role of OPC director. I strongly believe in my heart that it is a calling from God at this critical moment in history. We have a window of opportunity to speak prophetically with one voice as a church, to address racial inequality in both church and society, and to exercise holistic healing in a world that is divided.
'The OPC is positioned as one of the best models of intercultural church unity movements in the UK and I look forward to building on this pioneering legacy.’
Gavin Calver, CEO of the Evangelical Alliance, spoke of his excitement about this“fantastic appointment”.
‘Israel will bring so much to the work of the OPC and the wider Evangelical Alliance,’ Gavin said. ‘I so look forward to serving together in the years ahead and am praying for him as he prepares to take up this role.’
Dr Tani Omideyi, chair of the Evangelical Alliance board, said, ‘In the last 10 years the OPC has spearheaded the Evangelical Alliance’s drive and made enormous strides in bringing together church leaders of different races and cultures across the UK, but there is so much more to be done.
‘We are excited about the unanimous appointment of Rev Israel Olofinjana to this newly created role of OPC director and believe that the next season for the commission is in good hands.’
Baptists Together General Secretary the Revd Lynn Green said, ‘I am so delighted to hear that Israel Olofinjana has been appointed to this key role. This is not so much a loss for Baptists Together as a win for God’s Kingdom and I look forward to working together for unity and justice in new ways in the future!’
Israel contributed a piece to the autumn 2020 edition of Baptists Together magazine. Access it via the link below, and listen to Israel talk about the piece in the short video:
Discerning the prophetic: perspectives of Majority World theologies on suffering and discipleship
If the church is going to do discipleship and mission well in this Corona-climate, we need to grasp Jesus’ understanding of suffering and sacrifice – and listening to Majority World voices is essential, writes Israel Olofinjana