It was a delight to attend the appointment of Bishop Collin Maloney as General Secretary of the International Ministerial Council of Great Britain (IMCGB) at Calvary Charismatic Baptist Church in Poplar, London on 11 March 2023.
It was a particularly joyous occasion given the sudden and unexpected passing of their previous General Secretary, Bishop Onyekwelu Obika, who had held the position since 2000.
The meeting was led and hosted by Bishop Francis Sarpong who convened it along with Bishop Sheila Douglas.
It was a particular joy for me to address the gathering on behalf of Churches Together in England (CTE). I paid tribute to both the work IMCGB did in the early days of the formation of CTE and in particular to the ministry of Honorary President Bishop Sheila Douglas. Bishop Sheila has, over many years, made a huge contribution to the position Pentecostal churches now hold within CTE and in the wider ecumenical space in the UK.
Bishop Collin Maloney hails from Trinidad and Tobago and had previously had a career in the military. He preached an inspiring word with all the echoes of classic Pentecostal teaching. The meeting concluded with the convocation sharing communion together having been reminded by Bishop Collin that this was an ordinance of the church and that we should “do this until He comes”.
I left with an overwhelming sense that, as Pentecostals, we stand on the shoulders of giants. IMCGB was formed in 1968 and has provided a route through which black church leaders could not only obtain ministerial status but belong to a vibrant Pentecostal movement. My prayer is that IMCGB will continue to flourish as the baton has been passed into the capable hands of Bishop Collin Maloney.