The Revd Kenneth Balsom: 1921-2018
Baptist minister who came to know Jesus in the Royal Navy during the Second World War, and who served as a preacher until he was 90
Kenneth left school at 14 and started work in a factory making pistons for cars. However, working with aluminium affected his health, and he then became an errand boy. After about a year in order to better himself he took a job with a firm of electricians but more than a year later he was offered work with double his wages and went to work with the Merthyr Relay Co. (Rediffusion).
At 19 he was conscripted and joined the Royal Navy serving as a Petty Officer Radio Mechanic (Radar). Whilst in the Navy he came to know the Lord Jesus as his Saviour and subsequently felt led to enter the full time ministry. While on leave in 1942, he was baptised at Airion Baptist Church in Georgetown, Merthyr Tydfil. During the war his parents moved to Newport and attended Charles Street Baptist Church.
In 1946, after five years in the Navy he entered South Wales Baptist College and after three years gained the Diploma in Theology University of Wales and Mon. During his time at college he served as student pastor at Bethel Penyrheol.
1949 saw his ordination and induction to the pastorate at Bethel Baptist Church, Bedwas.
1958 led him to the Pastorate at Jerusalem Baptist Church Pentrebach, Merthyr Tydfil where he served for almost 30 years.
In 1987 he returned to Caerphilly and served as a preacher in different churches until he was 90 years of age when ill health presented him continuing.
He married Elizabeth Maud Morgan in 1951 and was blessed with two lovely children - David Jonathan and Diane Ruth. There followed a beautiful family of grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Kenneth held a number of offices, including President Merthyr Free Church Council, and President, East Glamorgan English Baptist Association. He was a Coopted member of Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Education Committee.
Kenneth's funeral service took place on 17 August, 2018.
Image | The photo of Kenneth was taken on his ordination service at Bethel Baptist Church, Bedwas 28 July 1949, on his 28th birthday.