Leadership Spotlight: The Rev. Dr. Winfield Bevins

Clergy and laity of the Anglican Church in North America represent diverse gifts and approaches to ministry in their local contexts, demonstrating the breadth of Anglicanism at its best.  As a church planter, coach, consultant, author and highly successful networker, Winfield Bevins is an example of the strong leadership base that makes up the province. Senior Pastor at Church of the Outer Banks, North Carolina, Winfield is fairly new to the Anglican world but has found a home in the newly formed Diocese of the Carolinas.

Expressing the Great Commandment and Great Commission in an accessible way, Winfield’s vision extends to the congregation whose members commit to “Love God, Love Each Other and Live on Mission.”  This commitment is close to Winfield’s heart.  He didn’t become a Christian until he was 19 years old and had no church involvement.

“I was a radically unchurched person and God used that to give me DNA to really get out of the box and reach lost people,” Winfield explains.  “So I am passionate about mission and keep it at the forefront—everything is secondary to the Great Commission.”

“Gathering and building relationships are the keys to effective church planting,” Winfield says. He has been quite creative in his gathering methods, including hanging out in coffee shops and serving as a designated driver of a 15-passenger van serving a company transporting individuals to professional baseball games.  Winfield was intentional about building relationships and within a year, 10 to 15 of the passengers were believers and church members.  He understands the power of strategic connections.

Winfield notes that the western Church has not been doing well in making disciples.  For him, church planting is a discipleship movement in which people are gathered, led to Christ and trained as disciples.  At church of the Outer Banks, members who joined in their early twenties are now having children, changing the needs and ethos of the congregation.

“This represents a great strength, blessing and newness of life for us,” says Winfield.  “But it is also a challenge for us to help families raise up children in the way they should go.”

imageThis need became the genesis for Winfield’s book on discipleship entitled, Creed: Connect to the Historic Christian Faith, which ties the needs
of the changing, current culture to the historic faith of the church.

“It began as small group bible study,” Winfield explains.  “It’s very simple, readable and written in a way anyone could pick up and understand.  It follows the Anglican path of focusing on the Creed, the Ten Commandments and the Lord’s Prayer.”

While in college, Winfield sensed a call to serve overseas as a missionary and to train missionaries in other countries.  As his ministry unfolded, however, he realized that he was being led to fulfill the vision from God in North America.  As a result, he left Tennessee where he was a pastor and college professor, and he and his wife Kay founded Church of the Outer Banks in 2005.  The congregation has served as a launching pad for training and planting dozens of churches in the last four to five years.

Winfield serves as President of Plant NC, an interdenominational church planting network in the state.  The organization has planted 40 churches in a little over two years. He also has a proven track record as a coach, and he credits a strong spiritual gift of discernment that enhances his effectiveness.

Winfield’s mission and ministry mirror the Anglican Church in North America’s emphasis on church planting, ecumenical relations and developing disciples through catechesis.  But he has found his unique niche and style that fits coastal North Carolina and is influencing a generation of new leaders dedicated to kingdom ministry.

Christian Leaders Cross Denominational Lines

DALLAS, TX - 10/25/2012 - An ecumenical summit of leaders from Anglican, Lutheran, Methodist and Presbyterian churches and organizations affirmed common theological ground and sought practical ways of working together during a recent conference in Dallas, TX. 

In their statement, titled “Jesus Christ: Our common ground and common cause”, the leaders said “Even as we fully acknowledge the imperfections of Christian institutions and the broken nature of our collective witness to the world, we commit to strive together for a faithful way of being the Church together. Our hearts are burdened for the millions of our neighbors who are estranged from God and the Church.”

The gathering formed working groups and listened to plenary sessions on ecumenical relations and theological education, engaging North American culture, church planting and mission as well as social witness during the four-day meeting. Participants affirmed an ecumenical statement that addresses each of these subjects on the summit’s final day. The leaders agreed to explore working together in areas of church planting, theological education and training. They also committed to meet again for a second summit in 2013. While each of the participants endorsed the statement they were not necessarily doing so on behalf of their respective churches/organizations.

The group of 32 met from October 22-25 and included leaders from the following churches and organizations:

  • Lutheran CORE
  • North American Lutheran Church
  • The Presbyterian Lay Committee
  • Presbyterian Church in America
  • The Evangelical Presbyterian Church
  • The Evangelical Association of Reformed and Congregational Christian Churches
  • ECO: a Covenanted Order of Evangelical Presbyterians
  • The Institute on Religion and Democracy
  • Good News (United Methodists)
  • The Confessing Movement within the United Methodist Church
  • Lifewatch (Taskforce of United Methodists on Abortion and Sexuality)
  • American Anglican Council
  • Anglican Church in North America
  • The National Covenant Association of Churches

Click here to view the Ecumenical Leadership Summit Statement [PDF]

A list of summit participants (as they appear in the above photo) is as follows:

Top row (left to right):

  • Mr. Robert Lundy, Communications Officer, American Anglican Council, Atlanta, GA
  • Mrs. Carmen Fowler LaBerge, President, Presbyterian Lay Committee, Lenoir, NC
  • The Rev. Canon Phil Ashey, Chief Operating Officer, American Anglican Council, Atlanta, GA
  • The Rev. W. Stevens Shipman, Director, Lutheran CORE, Dillsburg, PA
  • The Rev. David Wendel, Assistant to the Bishop for Ministry and Ecumenism, North American Lutheran Church, Hilliard, OH
  • Dr. Robert Benne, Roanoke College, Lutheran CORE, Roanoke, VA
  • The Rev. Dr. Roy Taylor, Stated Clerk, Presbyterian Church in America, Atlanta, GA
  • The Rev. Clark Lowenfield, Anglican Church in North America, Houston, TX
  • The Rev. Kevin Rudolph, President, The National Covenant Association of Churches, Houston, TX

Middle row:

  • Mr. Brian Walsh, Anglican Church in North America, Fairfax, VA
  • The Rev. Jim Barnes, National Minister, The Evangelical Association of Reformed and Congregational Churches, St. Louis, MO
  • The Rev. Tom Lambrecht, Vice President, Good News, The Woodlands, TX
  • The Rev. Mark Chavez, General Secretary, North American Lutheran Church, Landisville, PA
  • The Rev. Keith Allen, Anglican Church in North America, Madison, MS
  • The Rev. Mike Walker, Board Member, Good News, Dallas, TX
  • The Rev. Paul T. Stallsworth, President, Lifewatch, Whiteville, NC
  • The Venerable Canon Dr. Jon I. Lumanog, Canon for Provincial and Global Mission, Anglican Church in North America, Ambridge, PA
  • The Rev. Dr. Ed McCallum, Stated Clerk, The Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Livonia, MI

Bottom row:

  • The Rev. Ryan Barnett, The Confessing Movement within the United Methodist Church, Corpus Christi, TX
  • Dr. Alex McFarland, Director of the Center for Christian Worldview and Apologetics at North Greenville University, Greenville, SC
  • The Rev. Gemechis Buba, Assistant to the Bishop for Missions, North American Lutheran Church, Columbus, OH
  • Mr. Mark Tooley, President, The Institute on Religion and Democracy, Washington, D.C.
  • The Rev. Paull Spring, Bishop Emeritus, North American Lutheran Church, State College, PA
  • Mr. Alan Wisdom, Fellow, Presbyterians for Faith, Family and Freedom, Washington, D.C.
  • Mrs. Lynn Kickingbird, Chair of the Steering Committee, Lutheran CORE, Edmond, OK
  • Mrs. Kathryn Kiser, Board member, Good News, United Methodist Church, Dallas, TX
  • The Rev. John Bradosky, Bishop, North American Lutheran Church, Dayton, OH

Present but not pictured

  • Mr. John Lomperis, Institute on Religion and Democracy/United Methodist Action, Washington, D.C.
  • The Rev. Canon Alan Hawkins, Provincial Director, Anglican 1000/Anglican Church in North America, Ambridge, PA
  • Mr. Steve Beard, Editor, Good News Magazine, Dallas, TX
  • The Rev. Dr. Dana Allin, President, ECO: a Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians, Houston, TX
  • The Rt. Rev. Ray Sutton, Reformed Episcopal Church/Anglican Church in North America, Dallas, TX

Press Release courtesy of the American Anglican Council

Assurance of Prayers and Solidarity

23rd October, A.D. 2012
Feast of St. James of Jerusalem

Dear Friends in Christ,

I wanted to write an open letter to assure you on behalf of your brothers and sisters of the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh, and of the Anglican Church in North America, of our prayers and solidarity with you.

Pittsburgh and South Carolina have very different histories and sociologies.  Yet, in the last generation, we have shared a common vision that created and sustained the Seminary at Ambridge, that produced the two evangelizing and mission focused engines that are our dioceses, that changed the dynamics of the Episcopal Church, and that now share a common and painful rejection by the Church we loved and to which we contributed so much. 

The Anglican Church in North America has not been a fellowship whose life or development we have been able to share in common.  You have been within the Episcopal Church; we have not.  Nevertheless, I can assure you of the prayers all of us in the Anglican Church have always prayed – and will continue to pray – for the Diocese of South Carolina.. We also want to express our emotional and spiritual support for you as you wrestle with your path forward. 

The Diocese of South Carolina has much to consider as it seeks to build its post-Episcopal Church life.  I know you well enough to know that you will wisely take your time.  In this new season we offer the assurance of our prayers and a statement of solidarity that whatever we can do for you and with you we will.

The vision of a biblical, missionary, and united Anglicanism in North America – surely God’s vision for us – remains ours to labor for and to fulfill. 

Faithfully in Christ,
+Robert Pittsburgh

Archbishop, Anglican Church in North America
Bishop, Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh