Richard was brought up in the North East of England and left his home town of Hartlepool at the age of sixteen. After a difficult childhood, Richard left home to join the army and later the RAF.
The next eight years were turbulent times of difficult relationships and bad experiences. Finally in 1982 at his wits end, Richard made a call to the local Baptist Church. With nowhere else to turn he made his way to the church to meet with the local pastor and it was there that Richard gave his life to the Lord.
Later that year, he married June, now both followers of Christ. In 1985 their first son James was born, followed by Luke in 1988. There were further challenges for the family to face as serious illness had an impact, but Richard and June have seen God’s hand at work in wonderful ways as they have continued to trust in Christ’s provision.
June, who herself has been brought through much by God, works as a teaching assistant. Her vision is similar to Richard’s in that she has a real heart for children. Her work brings her into contact with many who are facing problems at home, suffering with low self esteem or lack of confidence. She seeks to express the love of God in practical and caring ways.
Vision and calling
In 1995, whilst on holiday near Thirsk (in the north of England), Richard was driving past a field that was so white and ready for harvesting. God’s words in Matthew 9:37-38 (NLT) struck home: “The harvest is so great, but the workers are so few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send out more workers for his fields.”
Later that month, whilst attending a Good News Crusade family camp, Richard picked up a leaflet about Don Double’s Evangelism Training Course. It became clear that this was the way forward, and God enabled Richard to attend the course in 1996. Then in 1997 – just as the ministry overseas started – he was diagnosed with cancer of the larynx. The Lord intervened for him and after a small operation and subsequent treatment over five weeks, then hospital check ups every six months for five years, he has been discharged by the hospital.
None of this prevented him fulfilling his call from God to be an evangelist.
Through all of these experiences God has healed Richard in many ways, and has taught and trained him to take the love and the healing power of God to a hurting world.
Richard was brought up to believe that he would amount to nothing. But God is a redeemer and in Him everything is possible. Richard has a son from his first marriage and he will admit was not a good dad to him, but believes God gave him a second chance.