Oak Hill College has published a special edition of its regular quarterly magazine, Commentary, as a tribute to former principal Mike Ovey, who died suddenly in January 2017.
A copy was given to each of the 800 people who packed out his memorial service at All Souls, Langham Place, on 13 March. The testimonies in the edition have all been written by personal friends of Mike, who worked alongside him for many years.
They thank God for Mike’s life, pray for Oak Hill and urge churches to keep proclaiming the gospel in our time. For example, in his testimony, Don Carson examined Mike’s contribution as scholar, writer, churchman and theologian. Ray Porter emphasised how cross-cultural mission was at the heart of Mike’s vision for theological education.
Fiona Gibson explained how he invested his wisdom, intellect and care in enabling Oak Hill’s students to be the best possible gift to the church. Nick Tucker reflected on Mike’s kindness and called on us to borrow some of his courage as we seek to imitate Christ. Mark Thompson showed how Mike dreamed of an entirely better approach to theological education than he and many of his contemporaries received.
These are just some of the people whose testimonies gave witness to God’s working in Mike’s life and ministry. The memorial service also saw the launch of the Mike Ovey Fellowship Fund, which seeks to raise £500,000 over the next five years to support future faculty members at Oak Hill.
Dr Dan Strange said: ‘Mike was an outstanding educator, who shaped a whole generation of evangelical pastors, teachers, leaders, missionaries, youth workers and church planters across Britain and around the world. He was insistent that “in order to explain the gospel simply, you must understand it deeply”.
‘That is why he was so committed to a rigorous academic training which equips students not just for a few years, but for a whole lifetime of sustained and faithful gospel ministry in a diverse and changing world’.