New Ecumenical Award at the Ministers’ Appreciation Ball 2024

General Secretary Bishop Mike Royal reports on the inaugural CTE award for Outstanding Ecumenical Leadership.

The Ministers’ Appreciation Ball is an annual event which celebrates the contribution that Christian leaders make to their communities. It is focused on Black Church leaders, although not exclusively, and aims to highlight ministers who are doing work that may have gone unnoticed. This year CTE was offered the opportunity of sponsoring a new ecumenical award. How could we say no?

In cooperation with our Racial Justice Working Group co-Chairs Rev Dr Lurliene Miller (Joint Council of Churches for All Nations) and Bishop Moses Owusu-Sekyere (Apostolic Pastoral Congress) and its Facilitator, Min Shermara-Fletcher-Hoyte, we felt we should honour Pastor Dr Akpo Onduku for his exemplary work as National Ecumenical Officer for the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG). RCCG leads the way as a Pentecostal denomination in the way they have embedded ecumenical engagement throughout their church network in the UK. Pastor Akpo is also very active in local ecumenism as the Coordinator of a Churches Together forum in Bradford.

We managed to keep his award, for Outstanding Ecumenical Leadership, a secret. And so Pastor Akpo and his wife Pastor Andrea were delighted when his name came up on the screen and he was invited forward to be presented the award by Shermara.

It was wonderful to see Pastor Akpo celebrated by a gathering of ecumenical colleagues from across the CTE family.

Pastor Akpo responds…

“I want to thank God for this special recognition and appreciate the Churches Together in England family, the sponsors of the award. I was deeply in shock on the night as I never saw this coming. This award has come with a call for greater sacrifice and commitment in our collective desire to appreciate and unite the diverse expressions of the Body of Christ. I am of the firm belief that unity is attractive and in unity we are stronger. So, here we go!”

Learn more about the Redeemed Christian Church of God in the UK.

Find out more about Pastor Akpo’s church in Bradford, Chapel of Grace.