The Revd Dr Kate Coleman, the first black woman to be an accredited Baptist minister, followed that significant milestone by becoming the first black female President of our Baptist Union six years later (2006-7).
Kate, who was born in Ghana before moving to England, has long had an interest in leadership. She was called into leadership very soon after becoming a Christian when she was studying biochemistry and pharmacology at Southampton University.
Her first pastorate was at Chalk Farm Baptist Church in London, and it was here that she achieved accreditation. She moved to Birmingham and planted The Regeneration Centre, an innovative local church plant, in 2000.
As President her theme was 'Stay Focused'. Kate spoke at the time of her passion for 'prayerfully staying focused', particularly in the areas of leadership, mission and diversity. “Jesus himself modelled these themes,” she said, “they are therefore vital to our Christian reflection and engagement.”
Following the Presidency, Kate founded Next Leadership, an organisation committed to providing leaders in the public, private, voluntary, and church arenas with opportunities to develop their leadership to its God-given potential. Next Leadership continues to deliver leadership programmes and offer one-to-one and small group coaching and mentoring.
Kate is passionate about working with leaders across a variety of spheres and sectors. She has had the privilege of preaching at both the opening services of the Labour and Conservative Party conferences. In this season she has worked increasingly in the Global South (Africa in particular) and also has a particular interest in women in leadership 'because I am one'. In 2010 she published 7 Deadly Sins of Women in Leadership
, a title that explored many of the unique challenges faced by women leaders. "It was the book I could have done with reading before I started on the road to leadership, and came face to face with some of my own deadly sins,” Kate explained. Many women have benefitted from the book and the programme accompanying it, which has also been run in several Associations.
Her expertise has been recognised by the United Nations, with whom she has worked on creating leadership development curriculum for women leaders.
Kate now has more than 30 years of leadership experience in the church, charity and voluntary sectors. A popular speaker and lecturer, Kate has gained a reputation as a visionary and an inspiration to many. In 2017 she was recognised as one of the 20 most influential black Christian women leaders in the UK, and her network extends across all sectors and church denominations.
Kate also completed a term as Chair of the Evangelical Alliance Council (2012-2014), is a Certified Stakeholder Centered Coach and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA).