Evangel University announced that Dr. Mike Rakes has been unanimously selected by the Board of Trustees as the university’s fifth president.
For the past 15 years, Rakes has led the diverse and thriving Winston-Salem First in the North Carolina AG Ministry Network. Under his leadership the church has cemented itself as a community partner, providing compassionate care and resources to those in need through a variety of outreach and service-focused opportunities. In ministry, he has served as a church planter, consultant, and curriculum writer.
Rakes is also a proven leader in higher education.
A graduate of Central Bible College and AG Theological Seminary, Rakes earned a M.Div. and a D.Min. from Biola University, as well as completed extensive doctoral studies in business management. He served as a vice president at Southeastern University (2000-2006) and board chair at Oral Roberts University (2015-2021). Rakes also founded Bridges Christian College, accredited by the Association for Biblical Higher Education, in 2009 to prepare students for full-time ministry.
Rake believes education is a worldwide language that provides the body of Christ an opportunity to share God thoughts with people far from God through challenging both the mind and the heart. He defines Christian Higher Education as the planting of grammar, a vocabulary of the Spirit’s activity in the learner’s heart that unlocks the blind spots in their life and leads to transformation.
“The secret sauce of Spirit-empowered Christian education is not just learning facts but the learner’s actual interaction during their formal academic years with the person of the Holy Spirit,” Rakes stated.
AG General Superintendent Doug Clay and Evangel Interim President George O. Wood both expressed praise in the selection of Rakes as the new president, each noting they were confident that he was the “next God-ordained leader” for the university. Clay also offered his appreciation for Wood’s “outstanding leadership” he provided as interim president while the search for a new president was conducted.
Rakes will begin serving as president in conjunction with the start of the 2021 fall semester. A presidential inauguration, recognizing Rakes and his wife, Darla, will be held as part of Evangel’s Homecoming festivities in Springfield, Missouri, on Oct. 22-23. For details about Evangel’s Homecoming events, click here.