As Senior Minister of Central Baptist Church, Chelmsford, Essex (1993- ) he transformed a traditional declining town-centre church members into a strong, vibrant and growing fellowship with over 375 members.
Under his leadership the premises underwent a £2 million redevelopment, with the result that the church is now a seven-day-a-week operation, heavily engaged in the community and visited by some 25,000 different people over the year. Chelmsford is the county town of Essex, 35 miles North-East of London, with a population of around 180,000. For further details see www.centralbaptistchelmsford.org.
As part of his wider ministry Paul is also Chairman of Ministry Today, an interdenominational organisation, whose aim is ‘to provide a supportive resource for all in pastoral leadership, so that they may not only survive, but also grow and develop, becoming more effective’ in their ministry, and General Editor of its journal, Ministry Today, which appears three times a year, both in hard copy as also as e-journal. For further details see www.ministrytoday.org.uk.
Paul is a prolific author. With over 400 articles to his credit, he is a regular contributor to Ministry Today and also writes for a wide variety of other publications, for the most part reflecting on the practice of ministry.
In Who’s Who? Paul lists as his interests cooking, travel and parties! His four grand-children, Jemima, Felix, Raphael and Clara, are also another major interest!
Married to Caroline, HM Coroner for the County of Essex and Thurrock, he has four grown-up children: Jonathan, who teaches Latin American studies at University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada; Timothy, who is a senior lecturer in European philosophy & culture at University College, London University, and married to Charlotte, a lawyer — they have two children, Felix and Clara; Susannah, a senior social worker specialising in child protection in East London, is married to Rob, an artist — they have two children, Jemima and Raphael; and Benjamin, a free lance journalist.
Paul is an active member of Rotary (Rivermead, Chelmsford).
He is a patron of the Society of Mary and Martha, a retreat centre based at Sheldon, near Exeter, which specialises in supporting ministers experiencing stress, crisis, burnt-out or break-down (see www.sheldon.uk.com), as also a patron of the J’s Young Adults Hospice (www.thejshospice.org.uk).
As a member of the Society of New Testament Studies as also of the Tyndale Fellowship for Biblical Research, Paul retains his interest in New Testament studies.
As Principal of Spurgeon’s College, London (1986-1993) he doubled the student enrolment, increased the faculty by one-third, and developed new patterns of ministerial training.
As Pastor of Altrincham Baptist Church, Cheshire (1973-1986) he enabled a small declining church to develop into a strong virile church, quadrupled in size (from 83 to 300+ members).
As a BMS Missionary in Congo/Zaire (1990-1992) he taught Greek and New Testament in the Protestant Theological Faculty of the National University.
Prior to going up to Cambridge Paul served as a ’Time for God’ worker with the German Baptists (1962-63), helping with Baptist youth work in Southern Germany.
Paul read Modern Languages (German & French: Part 1 of the Tripos) & Theology (Parts 2 & 3 of the Tripos) at Jesus College, Cambridge (1963-1967). He then trained for the Baptist ministry, first at the Northern Baptist College, Manchester (1967-1969) and then at the International Baptist Theological Seminary, Ruschlikon-Zurich in Switzerland. In 1970 he was awarded a PhD in New Testament studies (“The Lordship of Christ over the World in the Corpus Paulinum”) from Manchester University, having spent the final year of his doctoral studies at Zurich University.
|Born:||14 March 1944 in London (Ilford)|
|Baptised:||November 1957 in Zurich (Salemskapelle, Zurich)|
|Married:||26 August 1967 in Wrexham (The Old Meeting)|
|Ordained:||10 October 1970 in London (Holmesdale Road Baptist Church, South Norwood)|
Turning the Tide: An Assessment of Baptist Church Growth in England (Bible Society, 1980) co-authored with Alan Wilkinson; Pastors under Pressure (Kingsway 1989); Dynamic Leadership (Monarch 1990; translated into Swedish); Faith & Festivity: A Guide For Worship Leaders (Monarch 1991); A Call To Excellence: An Essential Guide To Christian Leadership (Hodder & Stoughton 1995); Power For God’s Sake? Power & Abuse In The Local Church (Paternoster 1998); and Fearless for Truth: A Personal Portrait of the Life of George Beasley-Murray (Paternoster 2002). He edited Mission To the World (Baptist Historical Society, 1991); Anyone For Ordination? (Monarch 1993); and along with others co-edited Prayers For All Peoples (Oncken 1993).
© Paul Beasley-Murray, 2010 - 2013.
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