On March 4, 2020, the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) hosted an inauguration ceremony and reception for NAE President Walter Kim. About 350 people from across the United States attended the event, which was held at the Capital Turnaround in Washington, D.C. The event also installed new board leadership, including John Jenkins as NAE board chair and Jo Anne Lyon as NAE vice chair.

During his inaugural address, Kim noted Jesus’ inaugural address found in Luke 4:14­–21. “God commissioned Jesus to proclaim good news to the world. As you may know, the phrase ‘proclaim good news’ translates a Greek word that is the basis of the English word ‘evangelical.’ Evangelicals are good news people. When Jesus came to proclaim good news, he came as the first evangelical. Of course, he didn’t simply proclaim good news. He is the good news.”

“The first evangelical, the first proclaimer of good news sought out the poor, the prisoner, the oppressed. Evangelicals have long followed Jesus in the marriage of gospel truth and gospel justice,” he said, specifically mentioning the ministry of World Relief, founded by the NAE in 1944.

Kim also referenced President Abraham Lincoln’s inaugural address given 155 years ago to the day. “Every age has its malice; every generation has its need for charity; every person is given a task by God. The NAE has work to do. We are good news people compelled to transform, by God’s grace, our national narrative of racism to the gospel narrative of reconciliation. The true just and lasting peace to which Lincoln alludes is found only through the good news of Jesus.”

In addition to his NAE role, Kim serves as pastor for leadership at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Charlottesville, Virginia. He previously ministered for 15 years at Boston’s historic Park Street Church, and has been a member of the NAE board since 2013.

During the event, Philip Ryken, president of Wheaton College, honored Roy Taylor, stated clerk of the Presbyterian Church in America, who concluded over 13 years as NAE board chair. “We appreciate your theological insight. We appreciate the good humor you bring to our meetings, a sense of reverence, a spiritual quality that we know comes from a love for God,” Ryken said.

Taylor installed Jenkins, senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Glenarden, to the office of chair of the NAE board; and Lyon, general superintendent emerita and ambassador of The Wesleyan Church, to the office of vice chair. Jenkins and Lyon have been served on the NAE executive committee for several years, with Jenkins most recently serving as NAE vice chair.

The event also included music led by a First Baptist Church of Glenarden praise team.

The program of the inauguration ceremony can be downloaded here

Photos from the inauguration can be downloaded here.

Photo credit: Robby Dob Productions, Inc.