Dr John Tucker, Carey’s Principal, is on Sabbatical and Research Leave during the first semester of this year. Sabbatical or research leave is a normal rhythm for tertiary institutions, allowing academic staff to pursue strategic research and larger writing projects. During this period John plans to make substantial progress on a biography of the Baptist pastor-politician, J.K. Archer.

“Archer,” John writes, “was a truly remarkable leader. He served as a very effective local Baptist pastor while also serving as mayor of Christchurch. He held office both as President of the Baptist Union of New Zealand and as President of the New Zealand Labour Party. He was Secretary of the New Zealand Baptist Missionary Society, and a member of the Legislative Council of New Zealand.

I’m inspired by his vision to see the lordship of Jesus proclaimed in all of life and all of society. In a sermon he preached to the gathering of New Zealand Baptist churches in 1910, he declared, ‘Jesus, rightly understood, interpreted, applied, is the solution of all social, national and international problems.’

I love the sermon’s conclusion, which very much captures the shape of Archer’s entire life and ministry: ‘We must claim all life for Jesus, home life, business life, political life, and recreative life, as well as religious. We must destroy the distinction between sacred and secular…. Let us give Him, not merely place, or prominence, but pre-eminence in our life. Then let us try to secure Him pre-eminence in all life.’

My hope and prayer is that through this research and publication Jesus will encourage, instruct, and strengthen his church and his rule throughout Aotearoa.”

John will be on research leave until the end of June. If you have any questions in his absence, please direct them to either Chris Berry, Executive Director, ([email protected]) or Academic Director, Rob Ayres, ([email protected]).