Eglan Brooks, currently Ministerial Association director for the British Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (BUC), has been elected to serve as the region’s new president. He succeeds Ian Sweeney, who has been called to serve as field secretary in the Trans-European Division (TED).
As the BUC Executive Committee considered the person to succeed Sweeney, members shared the qualities they sought in the leader they were looking for: integrity, humility, commitment, a spiritual person with vision, confidence, and a passion for ministry and mission.
After working and praying through a process that considered many possible candidates, on December 9, 2021, they voted for Brooks to serve in the role of president to lead the Adventist Church in the United Kingdom and Ireland for the next five years.
The session of the masked and socially distanced committee members widely dispersed among the pews was for many a vivid reminder of our time. Opening prayers contained support for an individual and a family grief-stricken by the pandemic. As Sweeney noted, “We need the Comforter. We need God’s guidance and wisdom today.”
In his acceptance remarks to committee members, Brooks stated, “These are challenging times for us as a church. I reckon that we will have some difficult days ahead of us. I think that there will be some issues that need to be resolved.”
TED president Raafat Kamal, who chaired the nomination process, noted, “One of the main purposes for the existence of the British Union Conference as enshrined in its constitution is to ‘proclaim the everlasting gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,’ ” He went on to affirm that “Pastor Brooks has been trained and equipped by God and His servants, who called him for such a moment in history to lead the work in making God known to the 73 million people within the territory of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.
“The election of Pastor Brooks is one I wholeheartedly welcome,” Kamal continued, “and one in which I look forward to deepening the working partnership that exists between our largest constituency and the Trans-European Division.” Of the 88,419 baptized Adventist members in the TED, the BUC membership stands at 40,233.
With the welcome came a request. “I humbly request from our members, pastors, and leaders to join me in lifting Pastor Brooks and his family before the Lord Almighty,” Kamal said.
Training and Experience
Brooks began his training for ministry at Northern Caribbean University (formerly West Indies College), completing his graduate studies with a master’s degree in Old Testament Studies and Pastoral Administration at Newbold College in 1991.
In 1998 he was appointed Pathfinder and Teen Ministries director at the South England Conference (SEC). For the next five years, the Pathfinder movement grew rapidly. Brooks facilitated the training of district and local leaders to effectively minister to children and teens. This was foundational for future leadership responsibility. Under his tenure in 2001, the Pathfinder Handbook was commissioned and is still used by Pathfinders today.
From 2003 to 2006, Brooks returned to local church ministry in south London as pastor of six churches, and then in the Cambridge and Harlow district.
At the 2006 BUC session, Brooks was called to serve as Personal Ministries director. The role included promoting evangelism, church growth, and the then BUC Life Development initiative, an evangelism and discipleship resource aimed at connecting with secular people.
As a continuing resource to support the life and witness of the church year-round, in 2011, Brooks created the British Union Training Resource Evangelism Centre (BUTREC), which coordinated the production, sale, and distribution of evangelistic resources.
Connected with BUTREC was the launch in 2012 of the annual literature distribution initiative, whereby every member in the UK and Ireland is invited to share a magazine or book with a friend. Beginning with the “Power of 31,000,” the initiative is now embedded into the church calendar, continuing to today as the Power of 40,000. It serves as a continuing legacy to Brooks’s commitment to personal witness and mission. This emphasis enhanced his skills for this new role, for which he’s committed to training members for ministry through utilizing their spiritual gifts.
From 2017 onward until his most recent appointment, Brooks served as BUC Ministerial Association director. As he begins his new role leading Adventist members in the UK and Ireland, he expressed confidence “that in all that will happen, the Lord Himself will lead this church. I am also confident that this church can make a difference in this world,” he said.
Brooks has been married to Tina for 32 years, and they are the parents of Melody, Jasper, and Kyle.