Last week, denominational leaders and businessmen from across the Atlantic Provinces of Canada gathered to officially launch The Buckingham Leadership Institute. Guests showed their enthusiastic support through gifts and pledges that covered the institute’s entire budget for the first year and over half of its baseline budget for the next five years.

Guests included leaders of: The Wesleyan Church, the Convention of Atlantic Baptist Church, the Presbyterian Church, Pentecostal Assemblies, Salvation Army, the Nazarene Church, independent churches, Acadia University, and Crandall University.

The evening was hosted by co-founders of the institute, Dr. and Mrs. Laurel D. Buckingham. Until retiring from pastoring last year, Dr. Buckingham served for 44 years as senior pastor of the Moncton Wesleyan Church, during which time it became a leading church of the Atlantic provinces. At the launch of the institute, the Buckinghams presented the mission of revitalizing churches by developing the kinds of leaders that help churches to succeed. This newly established ministry arm of Kingswood University will seek to inspire and equip leaders in local churches across North America, beginning in Atlantic Canada.

“This evening was historic in marking the first time so many different denominational leaders in Atlantic Canada have come together for one purpose, equipping leaders to revitalize our churches,” said Mark Gorveatte, president of Kingswood University.

Rev. Jerry Reddy, senior pastor of Hillside Baptist Church in Moncton, New Brunswick, is convinced about the person – Pastor Buckingham – and the cause. “Pastor Buckingham is a builder for the kingdom. He is burdened for the church and he is a believer that the church can win. He is bold with his audacious dream. I believe the hand of God is on his life and his best days of kingdom influence are yet to come.”

In casting his vision, Dr. Buckingham passionately declared, “The church ought to be the most alive, innovative, creative, and growing organization in a community!”

The Buckingham Leadership Institute will help pastors and leaders in local churches through personal coaching. Churches will also be assisted by consultations to help them identify specific ways to grow and impact their communities. Additionally, the institute will host leadership conferences for encouraging Christian leaders in both the church and the workplace.

“Leadership is influence,” said Dr. Buckingham. “I believe that any situation, any condition, can be turned around with the right leadership.”