(Senior Pastor, Frodsham, Cheshire)
Both Ann and I were born and raised in provincial New Zealand in the City of Wanganui. We met when in our early teens, fell in love quickly, married and now 33 years later have four grown children and five grandchildren.
My personal conversion experience took place when I was a few weeks short of my 21st birthday. I always had a sense or awareness that there must be a God or Higher power, though if challenged I would argue as an atheist. I did so and often especially with a friend that had lived with us briefly some years before who had while living with us attempted to take her own life. While she was recuperating in the home of a lovely older Christian lady she had a conversion experience. At 21 and living in less than satisfactory conditions Ann and I met this young lady again; now a Christian and married she invited us to come and live with them while we got on our feet.
One thing led to another and I was invited to a meeting where I made a commitment to Christ - more as a gesture to our friends for their generosity than because I actually knew what I was doing! I then told a friend that I had become a Christian and his response was, "You don't just become a Christian!" This response took me by surprise and caused me to question what I had done. The following day I was invited to my first church service and as I approached the front door of the church I said in my heart to God (if indeed there is a God) "If I am not different when I leave tonight and if you don't make yourself known to me then I won't be back."
The Lord in His grace accepted my naive challenge and I had a God encounter in that meeting that has gripped me and held me these last 30 years.
Eventually I trained for the ministry and pastored a great country church where we saw God move in our midst and we had a wonderful time there. From there we felt led to plant a new work in the South Island's largest city - Christchurch. What a wonderful, stressful, gloriously challenging journey that was, and praise God the church is still going from strength to strength.
In our heart of hearts we have always believed that God would take us to the northern hemisphere. In 2009 we took the giant leap believing that the Lord would have a place for us where our gifts and talents matched the needs of a local church. Having seen an advert for a new Pastor at King's Church in Frodsham, Cheshire we believed that King's could well be the one. After our first visit we were sure it was but we were open to whatever the Lord might have.
We started our ministry at King's in September 2010 and we know we are in the right place at the right time. We count it a privilege to have been chosen for this great task of leading King's Church into a great future in Christ as we together seek to impact this generation with the Good News of Jesus.