The Revd John Bedford: 1931-2013
John was born in Coventry 16 June 1931 and educated at Banbury Grammar School and Leicester University.
Through the Christian Union he encountered Jesus and following university, he felt called to the Methodist ministry and trained at Hartley Victoria College in Manchester.
While in training he met Miss Audrey Nickless who was teaching in Eccles. The couple married in July 1960 and later that year John was ordained and took up the pastorate of two village churches in Hingham, Norfolk and, in 1962, Nelson Methodist Church.
John became increasingly uneasy with some Methodist policies: after much prayer he applied to the Baptist Union and in 1966, was called to the pastorate of Brandhall Baptist Church in Oldbury which was a church plant from Warley Baptist Church.
John began to pioneer charismatic renewal, modern worship, restoration, communal households and inner healing. Under his leadership the church grew rapidly and a local church plant was established.
In 1982 the church released John from the leadership of the church and he with Audrey began an international ministry which included Italy, Guyana, Venezuela, Malaysia and Hong Kong. John served on the board of Christian Prayer Ministries and with Connections.
The couple celebrated their Golden Wedding anniversary in 2010 with their three children Helen, Jeremy and Philip and six grandchildren.
Though in their eighties, their undimmed passion was to introduce people to Jesus and train leaders. Sadly, they were taken home together after a tragic motoring accident on May 23.
Their impact cannot be underestimated and they will be sorely missed.