With the unexpected resignation of Mike Baird as Premier, the State has lost an outstanding leader.
A man of principle and of mature Christian faith, Mike Baird has ‘made the difference’ that he intended to make when he entered politics a decade ago.
His bold agenda for improving the infrastructure of our cities and our transport networks will stand the State in good stead for the next half century. His willingness to eschew short term political gain in order to do the right thing for the citizens of NSW is a model for political leaders from all sides.
Yet leadership of this calibre naturally attracts its critics, especially when powerful minorities are challenged and chastened as to their genuine concern for the common good, rather than their own sectional interests.
For Mike Baird, his commitment to his family is both serious and important, not a smokescreen for a resignation due to other reasons. Mike Baird is trustworthy and while I am personally sorry to see him leave the office of Premier, I thank God for the impact he has made over the past ten years, and especially the last three years as Premier.
May God raise up more leaders like Mike, a person of transparency and genuine concern for the long term good of the citizens of NSW.
Archbishop Glenn Davies.
“The funeral of Mike Ovey will be held at Enfield Evangelical Free Church on Monday 23 January 2017 at 1.00pm. This will be a chance for Mike’s family, close friends, colleagues and local community to celebrate his life.
We are aware that a much larger group, including former students and the wider church network, will want to give thanks for Mike’s life and work. A wider thanksgiving service will take place at a larger venue in the coming months. Details to follow.”
– Read the full notice from Oak Hill College.
“When we cease to rage against death, we have given up on life. Death is the horrible reality of our life that screams: “There’s something wrong with the world!” We try to hide that scream; silence it with distractions, pretend it’s not happening with anti-aging creams, and rationalise its existence with meaningless platitudes. We question the sanity of those who want to die but there is no greater madness than thinking we can avoid death. …”
– Phillip Jensen shares his reflections on the heartbreaking loss of a grandson.
Update: Phillip has also published the text of his sermon from Nathan’s funeral.
“The Oak Hill College community has been in shock and mourning since the news broke on Sunday morning that our greatly-loved Principal, Mike Ovey, had unexpectedly collapsed and died at home on Saturday night. …
Several evangelical leaders have paid tribute to Mike in the days since he died. …”
– From Oak Hill College.
Image: Screenshot from a sermon by Mike Ovey on Acts 20:17-38 at an Ordination service at St. Helen’s Bishopsgate, March 2015.
He explains Summer School to those unfamiliar with it, speaks about the need for reform in the Church of England, and reflects on the terrible loss, this week, of Mike Ovey.
30 minutes. Listen here.
Mike was my dear friend and brother, my boss and co-conspirator, my mentor and inspiration. I just wanted to say a few personal words which I know reflect the thoughts of our community at Oak Hill College. …”
– At the Oak Hill College blog, faculty member Dan Strange shares some thoughts and a meditation from C.H. Spurgeon.
Here’s a Public Statement released by Archbishop Glenn Davies on the death of Dr Mike Ovey, Principal of Oak Hill College:
“Dr Mike Ovey was a gifted student of God’s word whose ability to convey the truths of Holy Scripture and their contemporary application was outstanding.
Mike’s scholarly analysis of current trends in philosophy and theology was astute and penetrating, always with a view to strengthening the Christian’s understanding of the nature of God’s kingdom and his sovereign rule over our lives. A gracious and godly leader, Mike’s presence and counsel will be sorely missed not only at Oak Hill College, where he served as Principal for a decade, but throughout England and the world.
We in Sydney have lost a true friend whose frequent trips to our city will be sadly missed.”
Take the time to thoughtfully watch this challenging and Christ-honouring address, given by Dr. Ovey, at GAFCON II in Nairobi in October 2013, to see why. Watch it here, courtesy of Anglican TV.
“My first really significant encounter with worldwide Anglicanism came at theological college.
It was 1990 and an east African priest was on secondment with us. He preached in the college chapel. He posed a question. Which gospel, he asked, which gospel do you westerners want us to believe? The one you came with or the one you preach now? Which gospel? I was horrified, not because what he said was not true. I was horrified because it was true.
My east African brother’s question has nagged away at me ever since. But how has it come about that we have a different gospel now from the one we first preached. What is this difference between what we westerners say now and what we said then? …”
Full text PDF from GAFCON.
Dr Ovey taught at Moore for three years (1995-98) before returning to the UK to join the Oak Hill faculty. He was appointed Principal in 2007.
Dr Ovey has been author or contributor to numerous books, has contributed regularly to the journal Themelios, as well as producing many scholarly and popular articles for other journals. He has been the clearest and strongest voice in contemporary English evangelical theology.…”
– Read it all at the Moore College website.
And Lee Gatiss, Director of Church Society, has written this longer tribute.
A graduate of Moore College, and then a member of the faculty, Mike returned to the UK to teach at Oak Hill.
Mike was also a key member of the GAFCON theological team. He was due to return to Sydney to speak at the NEXUS Conference in April.
He will be sorely missed, and his death is a blow for English Evangelicalism.
Please uphold Mike’s family in prayer at this time – as well as the communities at Oak Hill and Moore College, and Mike’s many friends around the world – pray that they may cling to Christ, and receive the comfort and hope only he can give.
From Oak Hill:
‘Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his faithful servants’ (Psalm 116:15).
It is with profound shock and sadness that we announce the sudden and unexpected death of our Principal, the Revd Dr Mike Ovey, at the age of 58.
As the Oak Hill community comes to terms with the loss of our dear brother and leader, we cling on to the promise that ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life’. It reminds us that for Mike, death is not an end but a glorious beginning.
Please hold in your thoughts and prayers Mike’s wife Heather and their three children Charlie, Harry, and Ana. More details about Mike’s funeral and thanksgiving will follow in the coming days.
Mark began by asking Vaughan about the relationship between UK and Australian evangelicalism in his own ministry.