BIRMINGHAM, United Kingdom -- Thousands of delegates at the Baptist World Centenary Congress witnessed the induction of the new Baptist World Alliance president on Saturday.
Rev Billy Kim, the past BWA president, led the crowd in welcoming David Coffey, the general secretary for the Baptist Union of Great Britain, as their new head.
Coffey was brought up on stage along with his wife to accept a blessing from Kim and other Baptist leaders, and was later joined on stage by his whole family in a heart-felt acceptance of the new position.
Coffey had no other challengers, and had been nominated as the president-elect for over an year. Nonetheless, an emotional Coffey recieved the position with gratitude.
"It is with gratitude...that I humbly accept the call," declared Coffey. "I seek the annointing of the Holy Spirit at this time, but there is no higher calling than to be called as a disciple of Jesus Christ.
"May God grant us all the grace we need to live by him alone. Amen," he added.
The entire Coffey family then joined together in a huddle to pray together.
To welcome the new president, the stadium sang out 'Be Thou My Vision' in full voice, followed by an empowering prayer by Rev Kim for Coffey and the BWA.
South Korean pastor Rev. Kim, who served as the BWA president from 2000-2005, urged the Alliance to "support [Coffey] as you have supported me, with your love, and with your prayers."
Coffey, meanwhile, also led the thousands of Baptists in a huge round of applause for Kim and testified him as a great leader and one "whose shoes are far too big for me to fill."
Coffey will now oversee the fellowship of 211 Baptist unions and conventions, which comprise a membership of more than 34 million baptized believers and a worshipping community of more than 110 million Baptists.
He will also preside over the Baptist World Congress, the General Council and the Executive Committee.