1967-1969 / Melbourne College of Divinity Diploma, NZBTI Diploma (Honours), (Henderson Campus)
The staff were so supportive and helpful. I deeply appreciated Rev. John Pritchard's week-long mission in my first parish, Balclutha. It also reminded me of the tennis doubles I made up as the fourth player on a Friday with John, David Stewart and Rob Kirkby. They were all men of substantial presence, but it was this lightweight man who crashed into the net and caused it to break.
I will always remember Rev. David Stewart with endless gratitude for his interest in my study and my life. Even in his older years he would write a note to me from time to time and I found this most encouraging.
I appreciate the photographs I have from that time – of the hospital happy-hour team, Tokoroa holiday mission teams and other events.
While the study was very helpful, it was the people that I met and shared with that impressed me most. For instance, in my first year, next door to my room was Neil McNabb who, with his wife Shirley, went to serve with CMS in Africa. And on the other side, equally mission-minded Barry Tetley who did sterling work with Sowers in the Philippines. We have a nice photo of Barry and Christine at our place in Blenheim.
And who can forget the cars that disappeared down the back of the orchard, courtesy of the mischief maker Isaia Vakururu. Some people took to putting booby traps over their door to act as a signal to be aware that Isaia was about. I cannot forget the sound of the boiling of the jug at 5.30am each morning, courtesy of Kipper/Arthur, an Englishman holding up the proud tradition of the early morning cup of tea.
My time at BTI vastly increased my knowledge of the Bible and its application. All of my ministry up to this point has been influenced by that.
Following BTI, I went into ordained ministry in the Methodist church and then later in the Anglican Church. Most of my parishes were rural ones. I have enjoyed watching my three sons growing up in the various places where we have lived.
I am now retired from parish ministry but am still involved in teaching and prayer ministry with my wife, Dawn, within our present church, The Well (a Wesleyan Methodist church), and Ellel Ministries (an interdenominational global organisation).
I am so grateful that God led me to BTI, and then has continued to lead me as I try to make sure I am always listening and following the leading of the Holy Spirit in my life. I haven't always done this as well as I would like, but God has always been gracious, forgiving and encouraging.