Andrew Miles new minister at Belper Baptist Church
The Revd Andrew Miles has accepted a call from the members of Belper Baptist Church, Derbyshire to be their new minister. The pastorate began on 18 April
Prior to accepting the call to Belper Baptist Church, Andrew was working in Brazil as an itinerant preacher but returned to the UK in the autumn of 2014.
Andrew and his wife Talita had been involved in a serious car crash in Brazil in late September 2014. A drunken driver had fallen asleep at the wheel and smashed into the back of their car at about 35mph as they waited at a red light.
A visit to the local hospital found no apparent injury to either Andrew or Talita. However, in the following weeks Andrew had more and more pain in his lower back and began to loose the use of his right leg.
Further investigations were inconclusive but then Andrew got a message from the UK to say his mother had suddenly died. So Andrew flew back to be with his family. After 18 hours of travelling Andrew was struggling to walk and his family took him to A and E.
After surgery and intensive physiotherapy, in late January of this year, the hospital concluded that there was not going to be any improvement in Andrews’s mobility. But Andrew was keen to get back to serving God and was put in touch with EMBA.
Shortly after Christmas, he met with the church at Belper and, following a unanimous vote, accepted the church’s call to be minister.
Before serving God in Brazil, Andrew has previously been senior minister at Herne Hill Baptist Church in London and prior to that was based at Lochgilphead in Scotland. He has a passion for telling people about Jesus.
Prior to taking up full time ministry as a Baptist minister, Andrew worked in a varied ministry that included working with drug addicts in the Walled City in Hong Kong with Jackie Pullinger, church planting both in the UK and in Spain and teaching in a Bible college.
Belper Baptist Church has been without a minister for just under two years. During that time, the members have been seeking God's will for future ministry within the church.
Andrew’s faith in the living Jesus Christ has led him to be committed to the community in which he lives, and the wider world through his involvement in Brazil, Hong Kong and other places.
He is eager to begin his work in Belper as he, along with the church, firmly believes that God has specifically called him to the town. He depends heavily on his wheelchair to get around but he says it slows him down a bit but doesn't stop him!
When asked how these events have affected his faith, he says, “It has strengthened my faith, I have learned something very precious and in a very real way, God is enough”.
He looks forward to sharing with other Christian denominations in the town and to explore how God is at work in the area.