I spent Monday afternoon in prison, with Brad Franklin, pastor of St Giles Christian Mission. He and Andrew King, pastor of Highbury Baptist Church, visit each week to lead a Bible study with men in the prison who sign up for it. I was there to see what they did.
I had never been in a prison before. It was not quite as daunting as I had anticipated. After the study, Brad showed me round a couple of the wings. What struck me was the numbers of people everywhere and the noise.
The study itself seemed to go very well. It was based on Jesus’s meeting with Nicodemus, as recorded in John 3. Brad had a prepared booklet with the passage, some explanations and then questions. It was run on a discussional basis. All the men joined in willingly and were very engaged with the subject-matter of the passage and the questions. It was most heartening. I left with a sense of great privilege for having been there, met the men and participated in the study.
Our plan and hope is that LTS students will have the opportunity to join Brad and Andrew on a similar visit during their time of study here. The aim is to give our students a taste of this kind of ministry, in the hope that they will want to pursue similar opportunities when they are in ministry themselves. It is part of our developing programme at LTS for encouraging men to be involved in gospel ministries and evangelistic opportunities beyond the immediate bounds of their own local church.
Please pray for Brad and for Andrew on their weekly visits and for the men who come to their Bible studies.
MA (University of Cambridge, Corpus Christi College)
ThM (Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia)
PhD (University of Stirling)
Having trained for the pastoral ministry at LTS, Robert pastored an evangelical church in Banbury for 8 years. Prior to training for the ministry, he was a solicitor in private practice, working in London and Brussels. He has been involved in training pastors in French-speaking West Africa. He teaches New Testament and Greek and also lectures on Contemporary Issues. His doctoral research was on Philip Doddridge and early 18th century Dissent. He is married to Sarah and they have three sons.