Churches Together in England elects first Pentecostal president

Bishop Eric Brown with other Presidents of Churches Together in England, from l-r: Archbishop Vincent Nichols, Archbishop Justin Welby, Bishop Jana Jeruma-Grinberga and the Reverend Michael Heaney

Churches Together in England has made the historic appointment of its first Pentecostal president.

Bishop Eric Brown was installed on Monday at the Annual National Church Leaders Meeting, held at Lambeth Palace.

Jamaican-born Bishop Brown is the Presiding Bishop of the New Testament Church of God, a black majority Pentecostal church celebrating 60 years since its founding in the UK by Caribbean migrants during the 1950s.

He joins five other CTE presidents, Archbishop Vincent Nichols, Archbishop Justin Welby, Bishop Jana Jeruma-Grinberga, the Reverend Michael Heaney, and Archbishop Gregorios of Thyateira and Great Britain.

CTE presidents provide spiritual leadership to the national ecumenical movement that facilitates closer working together by the churches in England.

Commenting on his appointment, Bishop Brown said, "Service in the Kingdom of God at any level is the greatest privilege. I am delighted that I have been elected to serve as a CTE President and take this opportunity to say thanks for this expression of confidence.

"With the help of Almighty God, and the knowledge and experience gained from over 40 years of service in the Church, I am committed to give my very best and to work with my colleagues in the presidency to ensure that the spiritual welfare of the nation is our priority.

"I believe that it is the spiritual wellbeing of the nation that determines its economic and social progress and we will work together to ensure that, in so doing, the name of Christ is exalted."

At the annual meeting, the presidents also signed a covenant committing them to "pray to God to lead us, with all our sisters and brothers in Christ, towards communion in faith, life and witness; so that, united in one body by the one Spirit, we may together witness to the perfect unity of his love".