‘Should I? I mean, really, should I?’
It’s early in 2011 and I’m considering a radical step. Leaving my job as Pensions Director for the Mars Group- and starting a Masters in Theology at Mattersey Bible College.
Roh, my wife, looks on as I pontificate. She knows she doesn’t need to say anything. I’ve made my mind up. I’m just trying to rationalise it!
It was a bold step, but out of it came much more than a Masters. My final dissertation was on the house church movement. It was 57 years since Arthur Wallis wrote his ground-breaking In the Day of Thy Power. My dissertation title seemed quite clever at the time: 57 Years of Restorationism in the UK: Ongoing Legacy or 57 Varieties?
The dissertation gave me access to a number of the house church pioneers- Peter Lyne, Terry Virgo, David Matthew…. And Gerald Coates.
I was grateful for the day spent with Gerald. I left him a copy of my last biography, Cheating Death, Living Life – Linda’s Story, a story of God’s miracles in what could have so easily been a tragic life. And I said that if ever he wanted a biography done, to let me know.
I heard nothing.
We corresponded on something else via Facebook. I suggested the book again. Nope.
And so it was.
Starting with reams of wallpaper to plan out the timeline, two further days spent with Gerald and Anona, a lot of recording, a glass or two of wine, a contract with Malcolm Down Publishing, rewrites, rewrites and rewrites… and finally a book.
Gerald’s is an important story. It tells of God’s goodness and the work of the Holy Spirit in our generation. I’m grateful to have had the privilege of writing it.