Desmond Ford - Biography - Early Ministry

Early Ministry

Ford was sent to help build a new church in the coastal town of Coffs Harbour, NSW. He lived in a caravan (trailer) with his mother, who insisted on accompanying him. In 1951, still in his first year of service, he was sent to Newcastle, NSW, then an industrial city, to assist evangelist George Burnside. While Burnside was a dynamic presenter, Ford's biographer Milton Hook describes him as a fundamentalist (see: historic Adventism), and draws an analogy with a rugged, gung-ho cowboy like a John Wayne character. Ford questioned him on some end-times interpretations, resulting in conflict between the pair – a sign of further things to come. Later he sold books in the Lake Macquarie and nearby Upper Hunter regions, which he found challenging work.

He worked as a pastor in various churches and as an evangelist programs for about 7 years in NSW, Australia rural towns

In 1952 Ford pastored the Coffs Harbour area, under a supervisor. His mother returned to Queensland. In December he married Gwen Booth, with whom he had shared a budding friendship and romance since their meeting at Avondale, where she studied teaching. Gwen had been raised in humble circumstances in Yass, and was a quiet achiever who cared about others, and had a deep faith in Jesus. The following year they moved to the country town of Quirindi, where Ford pastored the church. From 1954 to mid-1955, Ford pastored in the Gunnedah area, then moved north to Inverell. There a public debate with Burgin, a Church of Christ minister and a "formidable opponent" of Adventists, brought Ford respect. The topic was the Sabbath, with the specific topic "Is the Seventh Day or the First Day Binding on Christians?" Arguably Ford won the debate; and he later baptised some of Burgin's church members. He was ordained. The couple stayed till the end of 1957, living on a meagre income throughout this whole period.

Read more about this topic:  Desmond Ford, Biography

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