Previous Deacons

Doreen (click for larger picture).

(2008 - 2011)

I was born at the beginning of WW2, in Edmonton, North London, but grew up in the nearby borough of Harringay. I was an only child and lived for my first forty years in the same house. My parents, although not committed Christians, brought me up to regard God and to pray. My father was a lapsed Catholic and my mother a lapsed Anglican. Despite this, I was sent, at an early age, to a Methodist Sunday School! In my early teens I changed to a Brethren Sunday School.

At the age of fourteen I attended the crusade meetings, at Harringay Arena, of the American Evangelist, Billy Graham, where I dedicated my life to Christ and to worshipping and serving the God who loved me and whose Son died that I might be brought into a closer relationship with His Father.

Whilst growing up in Harringay and attending the local school, I met a large family living only a couple of roads away (the brothers and sisters I always wanted!). The youngest girl became my best friend who then introduced me to one of her older brothers who later became my husband.

Victor and I were married in 1959 in the Gospel Hall that we attended. We have two sons and a daughter and now four granddaughters. Our eldest son worships in a Baptist Church and our youngest son worships in a Free Evangelical Church in Canterbury. We have spent most of our married life serving God as Sunday School and Bible Class teachers and then as Youth Leaders, Victor combining that with a teaching and preaching ministry.

In December 1984 we moved to Whitstable and became members of Tankerton Evangelical Church where Victor became a Deacon. We were Prayer Secretaries for Mission East Kent, in the eighties, organising prayer triplets and prayer sessions for the Mission, and producing a newsletter.

In 1989 we were invited to assist in the running of Herne Bay Court Conference Centre, Victor as Assistant Manager and myself as Housekeeper. Soon after we arrived, the Manager was taken ill and decided to retire and we became the Managers. This lasted until April 1995, when the Court was taken over by another group of Conference Centres. For a number of reasons, it did not prove possible for us to stay under the new management.

When we left the Conference Centre, I went away from the Lord (feeling that He had left me) vowing that I would never do anything for Him ever again. In the takeover of the Centre, I felt that He had let me down, taking away the very thing I thought I was born for! After several years of being angry with God, Victor decided that we should give the Baptist Church in Middle Wall a try and, for a couple of years, he attended regularly but I only infrequently. All the while the people were praying for me and, finally, like the prodigal, “I came to my senses” and started to think about where I was going. One day, when I went to another Baptist Church, the sermon was about going round in circles. It likened my life to being at a roundabout, going round in circles - was it time to choose an exit?

I decide to choose and get back to my relationship with God. I asked forgiveness and from then on I had a new perspective on life, a new purpose and a renewed love for Him.

In serving as a Deacon, God has given me a second chance to serve Him for which I am profoundly grateful and very humbled.

I never want to go through such a desert experience again but pray that God can use my experience, during that time, to help others.


© Tony Harris 30/04/2013