Dr Robert Aboagye-Mensah is a theologian and scholar, pastor and leader, a thinker for the church and the public square. His career culminated in his being appointed as the Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church in his native Ghana in 2003, a post he held until 2009. But he has vast experience of ministry in various parts of the world, including seasons in The Gambia, and teaching at All Nations in the UK, and being a research Fellow at Yale Divinity School in the US. He has served in various roles with the World Council of Churches and has published several works. But through it all, a constant thread has been that of John Stott.
Jerram Barrs has taught apologetics at Covenant Theological Seminary in St Louis since 1989 and just a few years ago was made the inaugural holder of the Francis Schaeffer Chair of Christian Studies and Contemporary Culture. He was born in the UK and studied at Manchester University.
He was involved in the original L'Abri Fellowship in Huémoz in Switzerland with the Schaeffer family and in 1971 was one of the founding members of the English L'Abri and founding pastor of the International Presbyterian Church in Liphook, Hamphshire, nearby. He has written and taught widely ever since, and in particular, got to know John Stott through their public debates and discussions on Just War and Pacifism.
Stott asked him to be one of the first board members of the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity (LICC, formerly known as Christian Impact) in the 1980s.
Mark Meynell chats to Corey Widmer, from Virginia USA, who was John Stott’s study assistant for three years in the late 90s. For many years, John had a study assistant, usually a young university graduate, and often they were from the states.
Corey is now the lead pastor of a church and recently completed a PhD. He sees Stott as having a great impact on not just his preaching but also his engagement with current social issues.
Listen to the episode for many stories and reflections from someone who worked extremely closely with John Stott and saw different aspects of his life and ministry.
- Book reviewed this episode: The Radical Disciple
- Article Corey wrote to commemorate John Stott’s centenary (Missio Alliance)
John Dickson is a man of many talents. He was the frontman for a band in the 80s and 90s; he’s an ancient historian and theologian, having done a PhD in ancient history and had teaching posts in his native city, Sydney Australia, at Macquarie University and University of Sydney’s Department of Jewish Studies; more recently he had a visiting role in the University of Oxford classics department.
He is also an ordained anglican minister and has led a church in Sydney. But as if that wasn’t enough, he was the founder of the Centre for Public Christianity and is a writer and media presenter, currently known for his excellent Undeceptions podcast. He is passionately concerned to communicate the Christian gospel to sceptics and to that end, has written a number of successful and helpful books.
Yet the primary reason for getting him onto our podcast is that when asked to describe his churchmanship (especially when visiting the USA), he describes himself as ‘a John Stott evangelical’. So naturally, this amongst other things was the focus of our conversation.
For more information
- Some of John Dickson’s books:
- To read René Padilla’s original 1974 Lausanne address, click here.
- An introduction to Casa Adobe in Costa Rica
- CETI (Comunidad de Estudios Teológicos Interdisciplinarios) the institution Ruth leads (in Spanish).
- INFEMIT - the International Fellowship for Mission as Transformation
Gail and Jorge Atiencia speak to Mark Meynell from Ecuador, Jorge's home country, in this episode of The Stott Legacy. Gail is originally from Canada, and the couple met while Jorge was training at Regent's College Vancouver. For many years now, they've lived in Colombia and were involved in Langham Preaching right from the start, helping to establish the movement across Latin America. In this episode both Jorge and Gail speak warmly of John Stott's personal example to them, with anecdotes and stories, including a time in Cuba when John woke at 5.30am to wash dishes for 70 people! We also learn about the sighting of a very rare bird and his willingness to preach the Gospel faithfully even in Cuba.
For more on John Stott's life and ministry visit johnstott.org
(NB: poor sound quality from internet connection)
27th April 2021 is the centenary of Uncle John’s birth in central London, as well as being roughly 10 years since his death. As a special podcast treat, we have dug out an old conversation Mark Meynell had back in 2013 with the one person that John’s ministry could never have done without: Frances Whitehead. Having worked for the BBC next door to All Souls Langham Place, and converted at All Souls in a process that began with her attending a lunchtime concert in the building, the church of All Souls became her life. She was recruited by Stott to be ‘Parish Secretary’ and would spend the next two decades working with him in that role (only addressing him as ‘Rector’). When his ministry began to expand, affirmed by his appointment as Rector Emeritus in 1975, not only was Frances allowed to start addressing him by his first name, but she formally became his secretary and organiser. She typed up every single one of his books from his manuscripts, fielded every phone call and managed all his correspondence, in a working partnership that lasted over 50 years. She was a force to be reckoned with and a dear friend to many around the world.
This is inevitably an edited version of the conversation - if you would like to hear the whole thing, which includes more about her own upbringing and experiences, go to Mark’s blog.
To get hold of the 2nd edition of Julia Cameron’s book, John Stott’s Right Hand: The untold story of Frances Whitehead, go directly to the publisher page.
Mark says: We had a lovely surprise a while back when a mutual friend who used to visit Frances weekly after she had moved out of London said that she wanted us to have a plant from her garden. So, just a couple of weeks ago, we planted this Peony in one of our beds - we don't have great green-fingered credentials but so far so good! It still looks alive!