Dr. Bob Gordon was a Scottish internationally evangelist, Bible teacher and ordained minister in the United Reformed Church. Kerygma Trust, the charity under which he operated, was dedicated to spreading the Word of God in the Holy Spirit power. He was a graduate of Bible Study School in Manchester University, and had a Postgraduate degree in Theology and Religious Education. Before becoming director of Old Testament studies in London Bible College, he was chaplain in Durham University for nine years. He wrote a number of books, including an extensive study on discipleship.
A great man of faith, he was at heart a Revivalist Preacher, whose encounter with the Holy Spirit and the Charismatic Revival dramatically changed the course of his ministry. Believing that God could provide every need, he had a particular gift of faith for finance, frequently seeing miraculous and often large financial provision as a result of prayer, (but often at the last minute!) Those who joined him on his ‘team’ were expected to exercise the same faith for their own provision.
In 1986 he was the Director of Roffey Place Christian Training Centre, and was extremely charismatic, both in his faith and his personality. The college had been bought for £600,000, the finance for which had been provided without fundraising or advertising, but through answer to prayer by both Bob and his ministerial colleague, Colin Urquhart. His passion and enthusiasm for the Kingdom of God, along with a superb ability to communicate Bible teaching was very infectious.
His vision of ‘taking the Gospel to the heart of the nation’ would involve the conversion of five double decker buses, each with a team of evangelists that would tour the country with the aim of not just explaining the gospel, but praying for people in the streets and seeing miraculous results.
Here is Bob speaking in 1988 (unscripted!) about his vision for the buses. I made this video on a VHS tape with extremely limited editing facilities. Sadly it was never really used, due to lack of funds. (No surprise!)
Bob asked Donna and I to join his ministry half way through our year as students, and shortly after we found out Donna was pregnant. My role would be to produce the exhibition area that occupied the lower half of the bus. The top half being a coffee lounge where people could be counselled and prayed for, or could watch evangelistic videos. I was also to produce any publicity along the way, books, video’s or any media that was necessary. All without a budget of course, and it went without saying that we were to be self-supporting!
The bus industry had recently been deregulated, so it had just become possible to buy and operate a public vehicle. I designed the overall ‘look and feel’ to the ministry, and even had to get a team together to apply the vinyl graphics on the outside of the bus, which I had never done before. I had never worked in exhibitions, or in producing video’s but learnt as I went along. As I look back today, after the digital revolution that completely changed the face of publishing and graphic design, I realise what a challenge it was, montaging photos and text into a permanent display.
On top of my Graphic Design work, I was also expected to participate in missions. This was also due to the fact that I was the drummer in the worship group. For two years, we crossed the country from one side to the other, sharing our faith and praying for people. It was at times very exhausting especially as at the end of the day, we were also leading the worship at the evening events. On one notable occasion, I was so tired that during the sermon I arranged the drums in a circle so that I couldn’t be seen and had a nap on the stage. Each mission I would pray with people and see them make a commitment, so it was also very fulfilling.
Here is a sample of the worship, taken from a mission to Warrington.
Back at the college flat Donna was not so happy, as the college didn’t really catered very well with young families, ‘the ministry’ often dominating people’s lives. However the friendships that were created went very deep as a result of our shared experiences and we were greatly assisted by our friends, John and Angie Hindmarsh who were Bob’s ‘right hand couple’ and a single lady from our old church at Redhill, ‘Wacky’ Jacqui Baker, who lived with us for a while. Together we shared food, tears, money and laughed and prayed a lot together.
Bob was at his best when preaching. A ‘no nonsense approach’ and a good sense of humour meant he could easily hold the attention of any size of congregation and often say the most outrageous comments if he felt that was needed.
Here is one of his sermons on the Cross, taken from one of the ‘Faith’ camps that we participated in. It is one of the more serious ones, and at an hour and twenty minutes, is one of the longest.
Here is a much shorter sample, just to give the flavour.