Assembly ‘09 voted Charles Hewlett into the office of Principal, Carey Baptist College. Charles takes over the position vacated by Paul Windsor earlier in the year.
Since January 2005 Charles has been the Director of Ministry Training at Carey, responsible for co-ordinating, monitoring and assessing the non-classroom learning experiences of the Diploma of Pastoral Leadership students.
He also organised the course for probationary pastors, has taught adult education and Christian Spirituality papers and is responsible for a weekly pastoral theology class.
Prior to Carey he spent eight years in pastoral leadership at Titirangi Baptist Church and New Lynn Bible Chapel. He began his career as a corporate analyst with Barclays Bank.
Charles has a Bachelor of Ministry in Pastoral Studies from the Bible College of NZ (now Laidlaw College) and a MEd (Hons) from Auckland University.
Beyond the Church he has been involved with the Oaklyn Special School as Board chairman and as consultant for the Taikura Trust, which assists Maori, Pasifika and other ethnicities to access disability support services provided by the Ministry of Health.
He is married to Joanne and they have three children. Janelle died from cancer in 2005 at age 13. James, 15, has severe intellectual disabilities. Their third child, Jessica, is three years old.
In his address at The Gathering, Charles reflected on his experience over the past 12 months of hearing from the God who speaks and how that has changed his life. Twelve months ago he had no idea he would become Principal of Carey but God encouraged him to step out of his comfort zone to take on something fresh and challenging.
“May we be a denomination of people who are unhappy with sitting in a safe place,” Charles said. “May we have leaders who are prepared to take Kingdom risks, to purposefully put themselves in vulnerable situations so that God will speak to us in new ways about new things, so we will be challenged to trust Him more. May our fixation with comfort and the normal not result in us missing out on hearing from the God who speaks.”
Charles went on to tell stories from his working life, and the huge challenges he and wife Joanne have faced in their family lives, to describe how God spoke to him through situations of risk, people of wisdom, difficulties faced, the extraordinary, and the community as he made the decision to take up the Principal position. Most importantly, God spoke through His Word and the person of Jesus Christ.
“My personal experiences are very important to me but God has spoken most fully to me through the Living Word of Jesus Christ,” Charles said. “He has said, ‘Charles, it is not about you but about me and my Kindgom...a Kingdom marked out by going, serving, loving, helping, forgiving, healing and bringing reconciliation. Charles, I have given you a few gifts. Get to Carey Baptist College and train leaders who love the living Word and who love the written Word and who will get out into the world with the good news of Jesus Christ and his Kingdom.’
“That is what He has said to me through the living Word of Jesus Christ.”