Who Are The Preachers?
Ah, they are coming to you from different backgrounds and age spans – and each with their unique story! Take American GEORGE VERWER - first inspired by Billy Graham - and whose Operation Mobilization has involved thousands of Christians in the taking of Gospel materials to every corner of the earth.
Or take PHIL CHADDER. No itinerant – he is chaplain of one of Britain’s leading prisons, instantly likeable, and renowned for his winning pastoral manner and his deep knowledge of the Bible. But speaking of prisons, there is also STEPHEN LUNGU of Malawi. As a man of violence and a ruthless gang leader, he came to faith at the very meeting he had gone to blow up with explosives! Now leader of African Enterprise, his preaching is heard by thousands, in countries world-wide.
Some are convention speakers – like LIAM GOLIGHER of Duke Street Church near London, England, and MARK PRENTICE of Northern Ireland. From India is intrepid church-planter, K.P. YOHANNAN of Gospel for Asia.
The preachers include theologians and writers, such as GORDON BRIDGER, formerly Principal of a British theological college and now a contributor to The Bible Speaks Today commentaries, edited by John Stott and Alec Motyer.
Another scholar is Dr PAUL BLACKHAM, pronounced dead at the age of seven after a road accident – only to be revived by a Muslim doctor; “I’ve had a special love towards Muslim people ever since!” smiles Paul. Also seven was RICHARD BEWES when sensing his own call to ministry at his early home in Kenya. He would one day become Rector of London’s All Souls Church in Langham Place, next door to the BBC. Another Londoner – but first hailing from South America - is the Rev RICO TICE, who heads up the work of Christianity Explored.
There is Australian, JOHN MASON, currently leader of Christ Church in Manhattan, only yards from New York’s Ground Zero. From the other side of America comes RANDY ROBERTS of the 7000-strong University Church of Loma Linda.
Look out for ALASDAIR PAINE, whose highly successful career in education was overtaken by the stronger call to preach; ALEX ROSS, whose preaching has taken him to many countries; LUKE IJAZ, who came into Christian ministry from another belief-system altogether, or STEPHEN WOOKEY, brilliant sportsman turned preacher.
Also among us are ROGER CARSWELL - in massive demand across Britain; STEVE LEVY, whose vibrant church in South Wales is seemingly filled with young rugby footballers; TOM PARSONS, ministering in the one-time slave centre of Whitehaven; ROGER CHILVERS, with long experience of missions with Billy Graham – and whose close associate is open-air exponent MARTIN DURHAM.
What do these preachers – and others who are pledging their assistance in the future – have in common? In these churches and organizations, large or small, each is known as a proven preacher, and each is committed within ‘The Sermon’ programme to draw and build others into the wider fellowship of God’s kingdom. Never to themselves. The arrows are pointing outwards!