About Us » Who's who
REV NIGEL FORD & VAL FORD - Telephone 01202 684161
I was Inducted as Minister of Canford Heath Baptist Church in November 2014. My Christian journey began over 40 years ago at a Don Summers rally in Reading. I made a commitment that night, and was baptised soon afterwards. My early adult years were turbulent and I fell away from faith for a while. I spent a year at Birmingham Medical School, before deciding that becoming a doctor was not for me. Looking back I can see that God was beginning a call to pastoral ministry even then. I met Val in 1980, and we moved to Bournemouth soon afterwards. We both became very involved in the life of Lansdowne Baptist Church where I led the music and outreach ministry for many years. It was during this time that God clarified my sense of call, and in 1992 I started training for ministry at Spurgeon’s College in London while working as a Music Director for a lively Anglican church in West Croydon. Pastorates in Stafford, Cirencester and Sudbury (Suffolk) followed, before a joyful return to Dorset and the ministry at Canford Heath. Although I enjoy leading worship from the keyboard, I am a pastor/teacher at heart and know that this is the primary ministry to which God has called me.
Val became a Christian while at school. A missionary from Africa had come to share her testimony with the class. Towards the end of her talk she asked us if anyone wanted to give their life to Jesus. I went forward. The following lesson was Geography, so my first witness was to the teacher when I had to explain why I was late for class! I have worked in a ministry partnership with Nigel for over 30 years now. I appreciate getting alongside women on a one-to-one basis. I have also led retreat days and conferences for women, including events at the Harnhill Centre of Christian Healing in Gloucestershire. While in Sudbury, I joined a church mission team to Soweto, South Africa. I was amazed to find myself in a classroom sharing my testimony with a group of African children, and realised that God had brought me full-circle from my own testimony 50 years earlier. Over the past few years I have been training to become an Accredited Lay Pastor of the Baptist Union of Great Britain. I have undertaken this training to be better equipped for the work that God has opened for me. I hope to be accredited at the Baptist Assembly in 2016.
I am married to Iris and we have two children, Joanna (Jo) and Andrew. Jo is married to Nick and they have three daughters, Hannah(7/11/07) , Emilia(3/11/09) and Laurena(2/10/12) and a son Tobias(19/4/15). Jo is a pharmacist and Nick a building services engineer. They live in Ashbourne, Derbyshire. Andrew is married to Susie and they have one daughter, Eliana(1/11/14). Andrew is a software engineer and Susie is a mental health counsellor. They live in Woking, Surrey.
Iris and I have both retired recently. I worked as a legacy officer for the RNLI and Iris as a teaching assistant at Branksome Heath Middle School.
I became a Christian in 1967. I thought I was a Christian because I was brought up in a Christian home but I knew something was missing because God was not real to me until I went to a Billy Graham Crusade meeting and God spoke to me through him and revealed to me that He loved me so much that he gave His only son Jesus Christ to die for me on the cross so that my sins could be forgiven. I was completely blown away by that amazing truth and went forward to give my life to Jesus and receive God’s forgiveness.
I didn’t understand at first that being a disciple of Jesus meant letting Him have control of my life and I messed up my life as a result of making some wrong choices but God was faithful and never gave up on me. He has guided me along my spiritual journey and enabled me to serve Him in a number of church leadership roles including Treasurer and World Mission Co-ordinator. I am currently the Bournemouth prayer group co-ordinator of SIM (serving in mission) and Iris and I have been involved in working in partnership with local churches in Hungary where we have helped to run English classes as a means of outreach. I was elected to the office of Church Secretary of Canford Heath Baptist Church in January 2011.
My hobbies are walking, reading and listening to music.
I became a Christian at a week long Methodist House Party in Torquay when I was fourteen. It was during one evening through the witness and testimonies of other Christians there that I realised that they had something in their lives that I did not have and thanks to them that evening I prayed and gave my life to the Lord.
My role at Church is that of 'Welcome' which is to head up a team that ensures everyone especially newcomers are greeted, made to feel really welcome and introduced to the life and various activities within the Church
Personal statement to follow
Gregory Padmore - Deacon
I was born on the Caribbean Island of Barbados but have lived in the U.K for many years, the past thirty five years on Canford Heath. I am married to Flo for thirty three years and have five grandchildren from our two children,the late Philip and Chantelle.
I was brought up in a Christian home with loving caring parents and spent my early years following their religion, but this was very unoriented and I did not think I was having a relationship with God.
During my years in the U K I went away from Christianity completely, especially during my college years, but I still had a yearning to give my life to God but did nothing about it for many years although Flo was regularly worshiping at church for many years.
It was a family tragedy when the Canford Heath Baptist Church family entered my life with much love and support. During a support prayer session I had this amazing feeling that I did not fully understand. It was then explained that this was the Holy Spirit. I knew then it was God's calling and immediately started to attend at the Church. I was warmly welcomed and am now very involved with church life.