The President of the Baptist Union of Great Britain is elected annually and usually takes office at the annual Baptist Assembly held in May. Our current President, Yinka Oyekan, took office on 10 May 2020 during our regular online prayer broadcast
, due to the cancellation of Assembly during the Coronavirus. Geoff Colmer was also welcomed as our new Vice-President.
The President’s main role is as a communicator/facilitator of our Union’s vision and mission. The President travels around our 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. Click here for more information about the role of our President
There will also be occasions when the President will provide a symbol or focus for unity of our Union, and as such will represent our Union at various civic and ecumenical events.
President: The Revd Yinka Oyekan
Vice President: The Revd Geoff Colmer
I am the senior minister at The Gate - one of the Baptist churches in Reading. I am honoured to have been called to the office of President in our amazing Baptist family. I was born in Edinburgh of dual heritage. My mum is Scottish, and my dad was Nigerian. I was in Edinburgh studying accountancy when I was saved in 1984 through the ministry of Wester Hailes Baptist Church. I then with their support attended the Bible Training Institute in Glasgow (BTI).
I am particularly excited by the third declaration of principle. It makes clear that 'It is the duty of every disciple to bear witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to take part in the evangelisation of the world'. And so, it is with interest that I am following the very excellent question posed by Ken Benjamin (our former President) as the theme for his presidency 'where do we grow from here' with a follow-up question 'how do we grow from here
'. Whatever models or forms of mission or activity we embrace in our various congregations, the testimonies coming out of many of our Baptist churches are a great encouragement. Although we have reason to rejoice we can always do so much better. I see a great challenge in our third principle of declaration namely how do we enable and empower every disciple to be able to bear a personal witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ and to take part in the evangelisation of the world.
My main passion throughout my ministry has been in Church Planting because the building of a strong community of disciples is the ultimate goal of evangelisation. Through church planting, Fiona and I planted several communities from scratch. Indeed it was to rescue a failing Baptist Church that brought us to Reading in the first place. In 2008 the church in Reading experienced an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, followed in 2016 by a second evangelistic outpouring of the holy spirit labelled The Turning. This second outpouring has resulted in thousands of believers across many denominations and streams going out onto the streets and sharing their faith with their communities.
Of course, while I am proud of my Baptist heritage, I realise that the job of mission will only truly ever have the biggest impact through working with others in our towns and cities in a collaborative manner. Partnering with other churches and streams (church groupings) will have the greatest impact in reaching the lost..
Find out more about Yinka's theme for his year as President at www.howdowegrowfromhere.com
One of the Presidential themes is 'A Healing Approach', led by Alastair Mitchell-Baker (Chair of Trustees for the Baptist Union). This is a weekly podcast and can be found here. More information can be found here.
Click here to access a list of former BUGB Presidents
Ken Benjamin's theme for his year as President 2019-20 was Where do we grow from here? Ken also produced a series of videos and studies for small groups to follow the theme
Please click here to find out more about 'Divine Windows' - the theme for Dave Gregory
's year as President 2018-19.
Please click here to access 'As in heaven' - the theme for Dianne Tidball
's year as President 2017-18.
Click here to access 'Anointed to do good' - the theme for Rupert Lazar
's Presidential Year 2016-17.
Click here to access letters from Jenni Entrican and guest blogs on the Daring Greatly theme
of her Presidential year 2015-16.
Click here to access the blog posts from Chris Ellis
during his Presidential year 2014-15.
Click here to access the blog posts from Ernie Whalley
during his Presidential year 2013-14.