Dr Bezzant is Dean of Missional Leadership and lecturer in Christian Thought at Ridley Melbourne, and the founding director of the Jonathan Edwards Centre for Australia. His paper will take us back to a crucial period in evangelical history – the early nineteenth century – when a group of wealthy London Anglicans moved into the same suburb and formed the nucleus of a protest movement with the goal of abolishing the slave trade. Their petitions, mass publicity, networks and sheer determination left a lasting impact on the British Empire and the evangelical movement worldwide. William Wilberforce, one of the greatest speakers in English history, embodied the spirit of the forward-looking revivals but was not able to secure successors for the movement: a fascinating case study of leadership and its limits.
Dr Kuan holds degrees in arts, law and theology, and a doctorate in history. He is currently serving as the State Director of the Church Missionary Society, Victoria. His paper will evaluate Alf Stanway, a man described by an Archbishop of Sydney as one of the most gifted, devoted and dynamic servants of the Gospel of his generation. Missionary bishop and statesman in East Africa, college deputy-principal in Melbourne, and college founder in Pittsburgh are but three job titles that barely describe the span of his activity. Stanway was converted and nurtured through the ministry of the CMS League of Youth in Melbourne. The League was perhaps the most powerful force for evangelical spirituality in Melbourne through the middle of the twentieth century. Its story, and Stanway’s, provide insights into the way in which evangelical societies like CMS functioned to encourage and enable leadership for the wider church.