New day for the FIEC
The FIEC has appointed John Stevens, a Birmingham pastor and former law lecturer, to serve as its first ever director, from September 2010.
Educated at Cambridge University, where he became a Christian in his final year, John was a law lecturer for sixteen years until 2007. He combined this role with responsibilities as one of the three pastors of City Evangelical Church, Birmingham, which he helped to found in 1999.
Alongside his other ministries, John is co-chairman of ‘A passion for life’ steering group, a member of the Midlands Gospel Partnership steering committee and runs the Midlands Ministry Training Course.
His appointment, which was confirmed by a special FIEC assembly in November, will involve him leading the FIEC in fulfilment of its core aim of supporting independent evangelical churches, alongside the development of its training and outreach ministries.
In his work as FIEC Director, John will be supported by others, including current general secretary Richard Underwood. Richard will be developing his ministry in support of churches and pastors.
Welcoming the assembly’s confirmation of John’s appointment, FIEC president Rupert Bentley-Taylor commented: ‘John displays a profound understanding of the days in which we live and of the challenges and opportunities that lie before our churches.
‘He has an inspiring and strategic vision of what, under God, can be done to move the gospel forward in our land. He also has a deep theological understanding, a love for God’s Word, and confidence in preaching God’s truth both to strengthen the churches and reach the outsider’.
In parallel with the appointment of a director, the FIEC has approved a number of changes to its governance structure, replacing its 35-member council with an 11-member trust board. In place of its annual assembly, it has launched a leaders’ conference – this year to be held at Swanwick from 20-22 October 2010.
These changes represent the most significant governance changes in the FIEC’s 87-year history. The existing structure had been in place, with only fairly minor variations, since 1931.
The more streamlined governance approach is aimed at enabling the fellowship to be more effective and responsive to the opportunities and challenges of evangelical church life in a godless and increasingly hostile society.