Christmas Day reminds us that limiting miracles to some medical situation bears no credence to the innumerable occurrences linked to timing and doors opening for ministry that Christians have testified to over centuries.
By reading our ‘early journey’ of faith through our own ministry illustrates time and time again how the Lord's touch blossomed a situation where the only response was to offer praise to the Almighty. Indeed, why we celebrate the baby Jesus.
Christian Ministries and Missions across the centuries can point to similar outcomes which has resulted not so much in new buildings but in both the intangible and tangible such as changed lives for Jesus or the excess of alcohol converted into children's shoes.
Initially, our family genealogy illustrates Christian commitment as far back as Norway (Trondheim) to France and to Ireland where the Estate hosted a Presbyterian Tronson clergyman for several generations. The family tree parchment from 1572 to 1792 can be viewed at
My more immediate family, my parents, (late) Seymour and Joan Tronson were also committed Christians and he grew up with an ever present conversation about financial support for missionaries and ministries.
My own minister in the 1960's at Canberra Baptist Church the (late) Reverend F P McMaster MBE was very influential, as was the church hockey club coach, Bill Hellier (late) and John Williams. Their stories can be read in his People of Influence and Angeles Unawares series published in Christian Today Australia in January 2011.
It was while as a train driver on the New South Wales Government Railways that I believed I was Called by the Lord Jesus Christ to Christian ministry, and apart from my Christian commitment, I was the first to admit there wasn't much going for me in terms of what might be deemed ‘worldly’ success.
I thoroughly enjoyed hockey and track & field where I did rather well at state and national level including writing hockey the Illawarra Mercury and then The Australian newspaper as a stringer for 24 years to 1994 and wrote 5 books on hockey. When a locomotive engineman I undertook tertiary studies at the University of Wollongong as a mature aged student and as a stutterer undertook a speech therapy course at Clinical Sciences at the University of New South Wales - this part of my story can be read at:
In February 1977 Delma and I married and began our ministry at Morling College (Seminary) – NSW Baptist - ultimately earning a degree, an honours award, two theological prizes with First Class Honours and two doctoral dissertations. We had 4 children and are now grand parents.
When still writing hockey, in 1982 I was invited to an international sports mission congress in Hong Kong by those within a Sydney Christian sports fellowship with links to US sports ministry. Brian Booth the former Australian cricket team captain was part of this fellowship group.
By this time I was ministering for two days a week with the InterChurch Trade and Industry Mission (ITIM) as the industrial padre at Shell Australia in Sydney and serving as the Minister at the Warragamba Baptist Church. I submitted the Hong Kong invitation to both ITIM and the Baptist Union of Churches who endorsed my attendance, both of whom sought a report on my return as to the possibilities of ministry to professional sport.
After my return, a process fell into place where the Director of ITIM the (late) Reverend Kenneth L McDowell and I visited the Heads of Churches so as to initiate the Sports and Leisure Ministry. There was an 18 month period of theological reflection including various seminars and in 1984 we moved from parish responsibilities to establish the sports ministry.
As there were no finances available, we believed the Lord had his hand upon us and moved to full "faith financial ministry" where our income derived from $ giftings from those who supported us in this new ministry. We produced a monthly newsletter. We had a young family and owned our own home in Wallacia (far west of Sydney, lower Blue Mountains) as a result of property investments we both independently made as young people.
The miracles associated with these sports ministry developments are astonishingly numerous, but they can be traced through this remarkable story.
They range from my speech therapy course - to a wonderful woman of God in marriage - to those in Baptist leadership who saw something in me when I applied for seminary - the sports fellowship group who invited me to Hong Kong - to Heads of Churches who gave me their confidence - to our faith to trust the Lord for finances.
The reality is that from the end of this story - 1991 – is a whole new story of similar miracles –
Australian cricket team chaplaincy - moving to Moruya NSW south coast 1992 to establish Basil Sellers House for AIS athlete respite - Basil Sellers Art Centre in Moruya - relocating in December 2005 to Tweed Heads and SE Qld AIS Units - Life After Cricket from 2000 - Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 - Whitsundays Missions Laguna Quays Respite 2011, and much more.
The young writers ministry has now celebrated 10 years and this year 2019 the Australasian Religious Press Association presented to the young writer ministry their premier award ‘The Gutenberg’.
Christmas Day celebrates many things – the Christ child provides hope and opportunity - it also celebrates how very ordinary people (a train driver with a stutter and an stenographer with 80% low tone deafness) get envisioned to follow the Lord's leading in His service. Astonishing really.
It’s happening all over the world with millions upon millions of His followers. Christmas Day is pretty special.
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 mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand. Dr Mark Tronson’s Press Service International in 2019 was awarded the Australasian Religious Press Association’s premier award, The Gutenberg.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html
Dr Mark Tronson - a 4 min video
Chairman – Well-Being Australia
Baptist Minister 44 years
- 1984 - Australian cricket team chaplain 17 years (Ret)
- 2001 - Life After Cricket (18 years Ret)
- 2009 - Olympic Ministry Medal – presented by Carl Lewis
- 2019 - The Gutenberg - (ARPA Christian Media premier award)
Gutenberg video - 2min 14sec
Married to Delma for 44 years with 4 children and 5 grand children