While celebrating my 61st birthday today I could not help but remember Bruce King who died one year ago today aged 85 years. He was an inspiration to me as I have a speech impediment, just as Bruce King experienced his cleft pallet.
Bruce King was the secretary of the Baptist Union of New South Wales (NSW) when I sought candidacy for Ordination way back in 1976. Bruce King was on the Committee for Ordination of that era and it became immediately evident when Bruce King spoke to me in private that he had a kindred spirit.
Bruce King's pedigree in Baptist work was legendary, he was a national director of Baptist World Aid Australia (BWAA), and a member of the Baptist World Aid Executive Committee of the Baptist World Alliance. The collation of this data essentially came from the highly respected NSW Baptist magazine 'Together in Ministry'.
King served as secretary of the Western Districts Baptist Association before being named secretary of the BU of NSW in January 1958, serving for 23 years, until December 1980. During his time as BU NSW secretary, he helped oversaw a number of major changes, including the relocation of both the Baptist Theological College of NSW and Baptist Church House, the headquarters for BU NSW, the largest of the state Baptist unions in Australia.
He became full time national director of BWAA in 1981, having served as honorary treasurer of its forerunner, Australian Baptist World Aid and Relief Committee, since its inception in 1959.
During 1986-1987 he was president of the BU NSW. After retiring from BWAA in 1990, King became the first general manager of Baptist Investment and Finance, since renamed Baptist Financial Services.
King served the BWA as vice chair of the Baptist World Aid Executive Committee in the 1980s and was treasurer of the Asia Pacific Baptist Federation, one of six regional fellowships of the BWA, from 1994-1997.
In 1999, he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for services to the Australian and international communities and as an administrator in the Baptist church.
Predeceased by wife Lucille, he leaves sons Owen and Graeme, and daughters Helen and Roslyn.
I for one, was indeed blessed by Bruce King and his kindred spirit. I have written previously of my struggle as a stutterer throughout my life. (au.christiantoday.com)
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html