Celebration of Colin Baker 14 years’ service as Pastor of Grays Baptist Church
Attended by members of the congregation past and present, the Mayor of Thurrock, councillors, a participant of Celebrate Recovery, ministers and members of Thurrock Leaders Prayer and Friends.
The official proceedings were overseen by Dia Frank and commenced by some of the congregation performing a rap. This was followed by speeches of appreciation by the Mayor and Councillors Cathy and John Kent, Elders Dia Franks and John Burt, a participant of Celebrate Recovery and several members of the congregation and a poet concluding with a further rap.
Mayor Tunde Ojetola
Thanked Colin for the invitation and commented he would have been here anyway then welcomed ward councillors Bukky Okunade, John and Cathy Kent.
He recalled some of the highlights of Colin’s time such as; breaking a world record for carol singing, the charity sales the church runs, the consistent prayer for borough of Thurrock Leaders Prayer, the work of Celebrate recovery and finally for chairing the organisation of Rock Thurrock where the grandson of Billy Graham, Will Graham, spoke and over 300 committed of their lives to Jesus.
Spoke of how Colin had supported work in the local community by providing a base for the Grays central forum for their meetings and also attended all the meetings. For his support of the charity AOFAC which raise awareness of the Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura foundation in Thurrock. Her final memory was of his work in clearing the back alleyways around the local area and she concluded saying “He is an amazing citizen to Thurrock as pastor to church and to the community”.
A participant of Celebrate Recovery
Gave moving story. He married in 1997 and had a loving family, enjoyed his work in IT, and was member of a thriving church, As the years passed he was working in Houses of Parliament long hours in IT support and in a culture that easily lead to excessive social drinking and more. The job had a lot of stress and the default coping mechanisms was to turn drink.
In early 2007, on the day of their 10th wedding anniversary, God spoke though the bible passage Matthew18v9 and vowed to stop drinking. His wife said that was the best wedding anniversary gift ever.
He knew he could not do this without support and found out about Celebrate Recovery. The testimony of others and the support from local group enabled him to break the hold of the drink addition. He closed with “Thank you for faithful service here and your work in Celebrate Recovery“
Recalled that they had first met in a sauna and said that “Grays’s loss is Cavendish’s gain, good luck and God bless”.
Steve a member of the congregation
Related a dream he had as a very new Christian. When he heard that there was a man from Scotland to talk to the church he prayed and asked God what to do. That night he had a dream and in that dream God told him that Colin is a special person I want you to welcome to his new church in Grays. He said Gods told me that Colin was our new pastor and
Colin is a people's person not just for this church but for the community.
An ex P.E. teacher turned poet brought a poem based on Genesis’s album 11 track 6
The teacher / poet had arrived in Grays Baptist church just before Colin and had been baptised during Colin’s early years.
Colin then spoken and mentioned that many of his year at bible college had talked about the honeymoon period between pastor and church, he had found his 4 years in Scotland an
exciting time. Coming to Grays thought perhaps this is where the honeymoon would end but it never has and it had been their thrill to be part of the community of Grays. He concluded with “Be yourself for everyone else is taken ….. It is a pain to say goodbye, sad to say goodbye …..You guys have changed me”.
Rector Andy Higgs
Closed the eulogies with a prayer of blessing and thanks giving