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Mike Rakes comes to Evangel from Winston-Salem First in North Carolina.
Provided by Evangel University
Mike Rakes comes to Evangel from Winston-Salem First in North Carolina.

Evangel names next president

Posted online

Evangel University hired an Assemblies of God church pastor and Oral Roberts University trustee as its next president.

Mike Rakes, who has led Winston-Salem First Assembly of God in North Carolina since 2006, is scheduled to begin his tenure at Evangel to start the fall semester next month, according to a news release.

Rakes was selected from a pool of around five finalists, said Evangel spokesperson Erin Hedlun.

“Mike has a breadth and scope of experience and vision that make him a tremendous choice as the next president of Evangel University,” said George Wood, interim Evangel president and former Assemblies of God general superintendent, in the release. “He is a strategic leader with unparalleled integrity and wisdom. Mike makes things happen and will bring a positive ‘can do’ attitude to the presidency.”

Wood has served as interim president of Evangel since the retirement of Carol Taylor late last year. Rakes is slated to become the fifth permanent president in Evangel's 65-year history.

Rakes' higher education experience includes founding Bridges Christian College in New Orleans in 2009 and serving as vice president for student development at Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida, according to the release. He also previously served as board chair for Oral Roberts University.

Rakes, who recently resigned from his post at Oral Roberts, is credited with helping the school lead racial reconciliation talks, according to the university’s website.

Rakes is a graduate of Central Bible College and the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, which consolidated into Evangel in 2013. He earned a bachelor’s degree in pastoral ministries and a master’s in Biblical literature

“I am so impressed with the academic organizations and programs at Evangel that demonstrate innovation and thought leadership,” Rakes said in the release. “I look forward to connecting with the Evangel family and working with outstanding students, faculty, staff, alumni and donors to create a purposeful and strong future for Evangel.”

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