During the course of my life I have encountered a number of Pastors / Church groups who have helped my significantly in my faith journey. Here is a Chronological order of what they have meant to me..
Ages 6-13 Went to Sunday school at a Anglican Church…. I still have the original KJV Bible that was given to me.
14 – 16 Anglican Church in Picton.. High School ministry. The Minister Rev Barry Schofield had a double decker bus; in which he would pick us up from High School to take us to the church for a film and talk… I initially accepted Christ on one of these bus trips.
16 –18 I was involved with Boys Brigade… I had some significant talks with the chaplain during this time..it was during this time I heard God calling me in a time of private devotions…I felt / heard God say “Craig; I’m calling you, I’m calling you, I’m calling you.” In sharing with the minister about this experience; I knew I had told the biggest lie of my life when I said “…but I know God hasn’t called me to be a minister or priest”…
18-30 Two main people come to mind.
1) A Church of Christ minister at Narrellan NSW. It was through his ministry that I learnt about unconditional love… I had lost my licence through drink driving… and he would personally make a 90 minute round trip to pick me up and take me home from church and Bible Study…He baptised me in a dam at Teen Ranch Cobbitty and was the pastor who came and prayed through my house when I encountered some demonic manifestation Note while I underwent believers baptism…I don’t believe I became a Christian until a few years later
2.) Presbyterian Minister at Queenbeyan NSW. I was a sales rep for an insurance company and his church made me welcome in a new town… he taught me the value of praying with the greater denominational community.
30 – 43… back to the original Anglican Minister / Church where I accepted Christ on bus during school ministry… Under his ministry I learnt how to pray with people. It was during this time I experienced the Baptism of the Holy Spirit… and learnt to use the Gifts of the Spirit.
He retired and was replaced with Rev Alan Wood. He gave me my first preaching break. Under his ministry he coached me to preach and built up my confidence in regards public ministry and church administration; asking me to become a Church Warden and Synod Representative. He also introduced me to many of the other local pastors through a combined prayer meeting and I was honoured to know them also.
He moved into missionary work and I left the Anglicans and fellowshipped with a Pentecostal church. Pastor Graham Young taught me about passion. No matter what he did; he did it with passion. He also taught me the value of generosity…during my time in hospital and ongoing recovery he often took up a offering for us.
Shit hit the fan with the break up of my marriage and debilitating illness. A uniting church Pastor; Ron Brookman again taught me unconditional love. He taught me the power of lamenting prayer and the power of accepting all people as they are. He is still my mentor today.
Pastor Ken Hall…. He was the pastor of my girlfriends church (Baptist) and later married us in June 2010. He has taught me the value in being just down to earth and honest in the face of turmoil…he is my pastor and I think he is good value.. this church alongside Pastor Ron’s was instrumental in restoring my life and faith once again…
During this time there have been the countless lecturer’s and teachers who have taught me and spoken into my life during my time of studies at various colleges and who have encouraged me to continue in my studies and future ministry.
It is the work of these ministers, congregations and teachers who under God have shaped me to be the man I am today. And so I want to honour these people as being men and woman of God.