Ken and Julia Brown (née Davidson)
1989-1991 / Bachelor of Theology (ACT), (Henderson Campus) - Ken
1968-1970 / NZBTI Diploma, DipRE (ACT), (Henderson Campus) - Julia
A memory of my time at NZBTI is our Quaker breakfast, designed to make us more thoughtful of others’ needs at the table. Miss Jaggers (the matron) had a great desire that we all graduate with excellent manners! I’m not sure that the Quaker breakfast helped fulfil her mission, but it was heaps of fun!
I greatly valued my time at Bible College; the excellent teaching by Dr Stewart and the other lecturers, the camaraderie with likeminded young people, and the opportunity to share in various practical outreaches. All helped prepare me for the work God called me to.
After study I became a fulltime worker with the Māori Evangelical Church, serving first on the North Shore for a year, under the watchful tutelage of Bill and Ruth Williams. Jennifer Thomson (1968-69) and I then shared in the work in Manurewa and Papakura for a year. I was then appointed to Kaitaia for four years. During a year’s sabbatical I cared for Zoe and Frank Grants’ five young lads, whilst they smuggled Bibles into a closed country. I was then appointed to Porirua Māori Evangelical Church. In all these M.E.C. postings my task was to minister to the women and children, and to train children’s workers. I used “Mission Publications of Australia” material which was very suitable for Māori young people.
From 1980-82 I welcomed the opportunity to work at the Manurewa Baptist Children’s Home under John and Meryle Davidson.
After my Dad’s death in 1982, mother and I moved to Te Atatu Peninsula and I rejoined the Māori Evangelical Church, working from their base in Henderson. I also became involved as a volunteer with the West Auckland branch of the Christian Ministries With Disabled (CMWD).
Through CMWD I met Ken Brown, a fine Christian man, who hailed from Perth, West Australia. After our marriage in 1988, Ken also spent time as a student at BCNZ. I hastily learned braille so that I could assist in putting his notes into braille. In 1992 Ken graduated with a BTh. Mr Ian Kemp kindly enabled Ken to teach with him at an evening Bible School at Northwest Baptist in Hobsonville.
My 14 years with the Māori Evangelical Church, plus Ken’s Bible teaching experience, were to stand us in good stead, when in 1996 we moved to Botswana to serve for three and a half years with the Africa Evangelical Church. We were based at a Bible School in the north of Botswana until 2000, and had the joy of encouraging some fine young people in the Lord.
Ken and I have been in Raglan for 15 years now. After starting a church in our home, we amalgamated with another group. We’re now serving in the leadership of the congregational church here.
I have so very much to thank God for. After working in a rural African setting, I realised how tremendously blessed I am to have been brought up in NZ. We have so much here, which I had previously taken for granted. I’m exceedingly blessed to have Ken as my husband, with his wise spiritual counsel and knowledge of the Word. With our different gifts we complement each other’s ministries – a good team.
Another major blessing was to discover in the 1980s that those peoples and churches who, for the Lord’s sake, blessed Abraham’s descendants (Israel), Yahweh will bless in return. The Lord has given us the privilege of visiting Israel in 1997 and in 2018, and we have experienced this blessing firsthand.
Thursday 22nd February 1968 - In the interests of learning etiquette (i.e. to see the needs of others at the meal table without being asked) we had a "silent", though hilarious, Quaker breakfast.
Photo 1: With our wide collars and bonnets we assembled expectantly in the courtyard
Photo 2: Sonya Van der Schaar, Janice Chang, Mary Mary Chang, Mar Khoe and Christine Koch some of the overseas students attending the Quaker breakfast
Photo 3: Mr Stewart and Miss Jaggers arrived in style in an old jalopy! The head prefects were carried in under a canopy!
Photo 4: Peter Gordon, David Gee, Laurie King and Gary Bradley broke the silence with their merry music
Photo 5: A strange cow with carrot udders broke loose in the dining room! Most amusing!
Photo 6: Horrors! Vigilant policeman caught Alison Green and others in the act of speaking, placed them in the stocks and threw flour at them!
Photo 7: Could the men be counted to wait upon the ladies? You've guessed it! It was all a bit of a farce! We were obliged to take over.
After all the frivolity we still had a full morning of lectures.