“Network pioneer” Fountain gets European Hope Award from Evangelical Alliance


European Union


Jeff Fountain (right) and his wife Romkje (left) with the Hope Award in Sarajevo. Photo CNE.news, Evert van Vlastuin

The European Hope Award for the year 2022 was presented to Jeff Fountain, director of the Schuman Centre for European Studies. The European Evangelical Alliance is convinced that Jeff Fountain embodies the message of “Biblical hope and values of partnership”.

The EEA reported that on Wednesday in a press release. The outgoing and the two incoming General Secretaries of the EEA motivated their choice for Fountain in a video message.

The purpose of the award is to serve as encouragement by giving honour to people and their efforts to increase awareness of initiatives, especially across national borders, which can inspire further ’actions of hope’.

The Hope Award. Photo EEA

Jeff Fountain (1949) is a long-time champion of the church in Europe, the EEA says. Born in New Zealand, he has lived in the Netherlands since 1975 and has travelled and spoken in almost every European country. He is a man who is well acquainted with European history and can trace European Christian heritage and link it to today’s values and behaviours, or lack thereof.

Pioneer in networks

“Jeff is a pioneer in championing the importance of European Christian networks to create synergy as well as networks within nations”, says Connie Main Duarte, one of the new General Secretaries of the EEA. “These are networks of specialists. Networks crossing the boundaries of denomination or type of organisation. Networks who are a great support for churches and National Evangelical Alliances.”

Her General Secretary colleague, Jan Wessels, says in the press release: “Jeff has been the one within our European Evangelical family who has championed hope the loudest and the longest. He has constantly reminded us that if Jesus asked us to pray, ‘Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven’, then it is indeed His will that it will be done.”

Great expectation

The former General Secretary, Thomas Bucher, who has handed over his role to his successors Connie Main Duarte and Jan Wessels during the Hope for Europe conference in Sarajevo last week, adds: “Jeff has exemplified unity in the body of Christ. He has worked tirelessly to ensure that the church lives up to its task of proclaiming the Good News in different ways and channels, in the great expectation that God has yet another Christian chapter in store for Europe.”

Hope 2022 was a special gathering hosted by the European Evangelical Alliance, which normally takes place every three years. The last one was in Tallinn, Estonia, in 2018, and convened hundreds of Evangelical leaders from across Europe to share strategies, best practices and valuable insights and to collaborate. The motto of Hope 2022 was “Builders connecting – Celebrating the Kingdom of God”.

Christian Europe

Fountain is currently the director of the Schuman Centre for European Studies and lives with his Dutch wife, Romkje, in Amsterdam. The Schuman Centre aims to point to the Christian convictions of both the European culture (including the European Union). He has written about this in his book Deeply Rooted.

Jeff Fountain graduated with a history degree from the University of Auckland (1972). He worked as a journalist for the New Zealand Herald (1972-3) and as a travelling secretary for Tertiary Student Christian Fellowship (TSCF) (1973). He laid the foundation of the Hope for Europe-conferences in 2002 and 2011.

Fountain at the podium after receiving the award, praying with Connie Duarte (left), Jan Wessels (right) and Pastor Robbert Jan Perk (second from right). Photo CNE.news, Evert van Vlastuin


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