An Account of David Allen’s work for the TBS
09 May 2019
Dr David Allen has been a TBS Deputation Speaker for many years, and as he approaches retirement, he has written the following account:
I was converted in April 1968 having had no previous church background. I had been given a Bible in December 1965 (Authorised Version) and was challenged to read it for myself. For the next two and a half years as I read the Word of God I was convicted of my sin and of my need of a Saviour. It was through reading the Bible, not through hearing sermons, that I was converted, ‘The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul’ (Psalm 19.7).
Shortly after my conversion I was introduced to the work of the TBS by my esteemed Pastor, Dr. Eric T. Gurr at Melbourne Hall, Leicester. Therefore for over fifty years I have been a supporter of the Society. When called to the pastorate of Free Grace Baptist Church, Belvedere in Kent in 1983, one of my congregation was the late Jack Baker. Jack was a zealous supporter of the TBS and organised Deputation meetings in the Bexley, Bromley and Lewisham areas of London. He would frequently invite my dear friend Graham Bidston and myself to speak at these meetings. Graham, when he left the pastorate of West Woolwich Baptist Church, after a brief time working in TBS’s warehouse was appointed as Deputation Speaker. After many years of faithful service for the Society, Graham himself felt the time had come for him to ‘slow down’, and I was approached and appointed in 2000 to succeed him as Deputation Speaker. Mr. Bidston continued to represent the Society throughout Wales and London and the south-east for a further five years.
After leaving Belvedere, I took a job in teaching whilst continuing to preach most Lord’s Days. I was appointed as Senior Master in a large 14-18 Comprehensive School, and because I was spearheading the School’s negotiations with the Department for Education, I was unable to commit myself full-time to the Society until August 2001. Therefore, from September 2000 through to July 2001, I worked part-time for the Society, taking more distant meetings during the school holidays, although there were many occasions when I had to take far away meetings in term time, which meant I arrived home at 3-4 a.m. but was still able to be in school for 7.30 a.m. During that first year I was enabled to fulfil over seventy TBS engagements.
My first year of full-time work for the Society enabled me to travel to Ulster and Scotland and speak in churches that had never had a TBS Deputation meeting before. I fulfilled in that first year 2002 over one hundred and forty TBS meetings and covered in excess of 28,000 miles.
When Mr. Bidston stepped aside from the work of the Society, I was covering the whole of the United Kingdom, but in more recent years, with the appointments of Graham Chewter and Daffyd Morris, my main focus has been Ireland, Scotland, the north of England and East Anglia, and I have been privileged to represent the Society in:
- 40 churches throughout Scotland
- 113 churches throughout Ulster and the Republic of Ireland
- 44 churches in the Midlands and the north of England
- 48 churches in East Anglia
Following major bowel surgery in September 2015 and five months of chemotherapy, I advised the Committee that they needed to make it a matter of prayer to look for someone to replace me. The Committee kindly advised me to try and cut back on the number of engagements, and consequently over the last three years the number of meetings has reduced to between 110 and 120 each year.
In addition, my annual mileage has been reduced:
- 2013 = 20, 246
- 2014 = 19,386
- 2015 = 20,353
- 2016 = 10,977 ( greatly reduced as I was laid aside for five months following major bowel surgery and chemotherapy)
- 2017 = 19,246
- 2018 = 19,034
- 2019 = 18,552
Taking an annual average mileage of 19,000 over the nineteen years it equates to 361,000 miles. Given that the circumference of the earth at the equator is 24,901 miles (I was a Geography teacher) it means that I have effectively driven around the earth 14.49 times over the past nineteen years.
We would give thanks unto the Lord for all the work that Dr David Allen has been able to undertake for the Society and wish him the Lord's richest blessings through retirement.