First Printed in HAVEN NEWS in September 2016
This month our Minister Rev Peter Thomas is celebrating 30 years of being a Minister. Growing up in Manchester Peter first studied science at Trinity Hall Cambridge, trained to be a teacher there and taught chemistry and computing in Watford for five years. He then studied theology at London Bible College, was ordained as a Baptist Minister in 1986 and served churches in Tunbridge Wells, Borehamwood and Brentwood before coming to Chelmsford in 2010. He is particularly interested in the relationship between science and the Christian faith and in helping people meet Jesus for themselves.
Peter is married to wife Ruth who is a schoolteacher in Wickford and they have three children. Lizzie is a teacher in Cambridge, David is in London studying for a PhD researching Alzheimer’s Disease, and Susie lives on a farm in Colchester where she breeds dogs, cats, sheep, rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets and pythons.
Peter also serves on the Council of the Eastern Baptist Association and he is Treasurer of the national College of Baptist Ministers. His second major book has just been published. In “Prepared To Give An Answer” he discusses the most common questions people have about Jesus and the Christian faith.
This is how Peter first met Jesus back in 1973.
“God, change me!”
When I was growing up our family never went to church or Sunday School. By the time I was studying science in the sixth form I was convinced that science had proved that God didn’t exist.
Then some friends invited me along to their church youth club. I also went along to their Bible Studies to show them that their ideas about Jesus were all wrong. I won all the arguments, but they never got angry with me. And then one night I realised that these friends were all nice people, the kind of person I wished I could be, but I wasn’t. For the first time in my life I prayed to the God I didn’t really believe in: “God change me!”
The next morning I woke up and the world was different. I knew God existed and that He loved even me. And God had forgiven me for all the things I do wrong and all my selfishness and pride. My life is still a “work in progress” but I am grateful that God is indeed changing me.