A personal reflection on the ministry of Peter Jeffery
It was my privilege to attend the recent thanksgiving service for the life of Rev Peter Jeffery. Like many in pastoral ministry, I have benefited from Peter’s preaching and writing gifts through the years. During the service Pastor Neil Tallamy reminded us that:
Peter was a faithful preacher who saw many conversions. His ministry was an example of spirit anointed preaching. Neil recorded that the church at Railway Terrace, Rugby increased from 50 to 300 members. Peter’s ministry at Rugby also resulted in three church plants.
He was a contemporary gospel minister. Whilst keeping to the ‘old paths’ theologically, he was not afraid to embrace change to reach the rising generations.
He was creative. When ill health restricted his powerful preaching ministry (and what a blow that must have been), Peter increased his output of written material. He was a writer who was both original and able to make the material of others more accessible. The result is a legacy of books and hundreds of tracts.
He was a mentor to younger gospel preachers. Peyton Jones spoke, via video from America, of the profound influence Peter’s preaching and theology had upon him. It determined his own aspirations for gospel ministry and revealed Peter’s pastoral heart in supporting such men.
Two of Peter’s colleagues and friends, Neville Rees and Norman Millership spoke movingly of their relationship and reminded us of the joy in ministry of having a ‘band of brothers’ to pray with and confide in. I’m grateful for the gospel legacy these men, and others of their ilk, have left to a younger generation of pastors in Wales.
Pastor Tallamy spoke incisively from Rev 19 concerning the Hallelujahs at the end of time when God will reveal His fearful yet just judgement on a sinful world, but invite his people to the glorious wedding of the lamb. It was a privilege to extend that invitation to a recently retired solicitor who sat next to me.
A solo by Philip Parry and a tribute from Peter’s grandson Jon Parry added to the joy of the occasion. My prayer is that many left saying with me ‘Oh to die the death of the righteous!