Sunday, 12 March 2017

Mike Eastman: in memoriam

Somehow the original text has disappeared into cyberspace. It has been deleted, but I have attempted to write my tribute again.

Friends, family and members of Romford Baptist Church with others in the Christian community are mourning the death of Mike Eastman, who died last week at Parkside, Main Road, Romford.

Mike will be remembered for his service in the Kingdom of God as a deacon, school teacher, youth worker. authority on youth ministry, leading light in Frontier Youth Trust/ Scripture Union, conference speaker and writer on evangelistic initiatives, particularly urban and inner city mission.

Mike loved cricket as a player, batting for the first eleven at school (Royal Liberty, where he was headboy and games captain) and Brentwood. He played for Romford Baptist, when they occasionally had a team. I think he was still coaching boys into his eighties at the Royal Liberty School. Mike supported Essex CCC, and loved to watch them at Chelmsford, and was looking forward to seeing them this coming season, with his grandson, in the top division of the county championships. I did tease him about the superiority of Middlesex, but he remembered the glory days of Essex under the captaincy of Graham Gooch, when Essex slaughtered Middlesex, under Gatting. (Yes, the days of the England G force: Gooch, Gower and Gatting.) Mike's father, in fact, played for Essex CCC.

I have happy memories of conversations with Mike, going back to the 1970s. He gave me helpful advice and encouragement when I was a deacon and youth leader at Harold Hill Evangelical Church.
Mike steered me away from premillennialism, especially fanciful views of Hal Lindsey and the secret rapture fiction. We had some interesting talks about eschatology, and he recommended works by his brother in law ( Dr S. Travis) on the subject. Mike was always helpful when it came to sharing views on Christian literature. Well, he did work for Scripture Union!

I will be attending, DV, the thanksgiving service for the life of Michael Eastman at Romford Baptist Church on Saturday afternoon, 8 April, 2017.

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