James Alsop - biography
I was born into a Christian home and very loving environment. My parents were (and remain) a great example to me, putting God first in both Christian theory and day-to-day practice. I struggled from a young age with a sceptically minded tendency, questioning if God was real, even though I very much wanted to believe that he was and that life had real purpose and meaning. I believe I was converted sometime in my mid-teens (though looking back I find it hard to be certain), but I do know that I became increasingly convinced that Jesus Christ was God the Son in human form with unique authority to give us right standing with God the Father.
I was a teacher for nearly two decades and just under half-way through this period, I began to think that I should carefully consider entering the Christian ministry. This intensified, reaching a critical point in the summer of 2009. But I did not begin preaching regularly until 2013. I first preached at Ebenezer, Melksham in June of that year. On September 1st 2014, I became the pastor of the church, and feel privileged to serve God in this way. Furthermore, my fellow church officers, members and congregation are a God honouring and very caring group of Christian people, for which I give thanks.
I have been married to Kate for 20 years and we have two daughters, Evangeline and Isabella, both of whom have made very clear professions of faith in Jesus Christ as their personal saviour.
John Moody - biography
I was born into a Christian family in 1944 and was brought up to regular worship and attending Sunday School at Zion Chapel, Trowbridge, where my parents were members. My father was a deacon and later was sent into the ministry and supplied many churches.
In 1955 I moved, with my parents, to Ebenezer Chapel, Melksham, where my late father took the oversight, continuing until his death in 1975. I made an open profession of faith by baptism in 1970 and became a deacon in 1973 together with fellow member, the late Mr David Julyan and had the responsibility of maintaining the work at Ebenezer until, in 1995, Mr Christopher Buss became the Pastor and I was made an elder at that time. Beginning with Mr Buss and continuing with our present Pastor, Mr James Alsop, we have been quietly endeavouring to bring the church into the 21st century.
My parents were farmers in the village of Holt and I have continued in that profession all my adult life, farming a dairy herd of 100+ milking cows until 1989. Since then I moved to keeping a suckler herd of South Devon cattle on the same farm. I married Liz in 1967 and together we have enjoyed many years of God's goodness and mercy in providing for us in both church and farming life and by the Grace of God we continue.
Alan Gilmore - biography
I grew up in Northern Ireland and attended my local Presbyterian Church. When I entered University, I began to seriously question my beliefs but God provided for me a group of friends who, by their lives, showed me that they had a genuine faith in Jesus Christ as their Saviour. Through their lives and their conversations, for the first time, I came to understand that trying to be a good person was not going to save me from God’s judgment. I asked one of the girls in our group if we could start going out together but when she said that she could not agree to this because she believed that I was not a Christian, I was really offended. However, God used this to progressively convict me of my sin and my need of Christ as my Saviour and I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ’s control on Easter Sunday 1972.
I quickly discovered that the person most thankful about my salvation was the girl I had previously asked out. When asked again, she readily accepted and Elizabeth has now been my wife for 41 years. During our married lives, we have moved with my employment from Northern Ireland to Pakistan to the North-east of England and finally to Gloucester. We have three married sons and currently six grandchildren.
In 2005, I took early retirement in order to become more involved in the work of my own church (Trinity Baptist, Gloucester) and to help other churches without pastors. When asked to assist in the leadership of Ebenezer church in 2011, I agreed to become a teaching elder and to help the church prepare to call a full-time pastor. With God’s help, this task has now been completed so Elizabeth and I are slowly reducing our time commitment to the church but still greatly enjoy helping the church to grow by God’s grace.
Jon Woodger - biography
I grew up in a small village 8 miles west of Salisbury. I’m the youngest of 4 brothers and my Christian parents took us all to church from a very young age. Growing up I went to Sunday School and learnt about the Bible. Although I believed the Bible and what it said about why Jesus came to die, I didn’t apply it to me. During my teens I started to become more concerned about my standing before God. I began to think seriously about my need for forgiveness knowing that I couldn’t get to heaven on my own strength. I became a Christian when I was 15 years old and was baptised a year later.
I’ve lived in Melksham since 2004 along with my wife Sarah and two daughters. We’ve been members at Ebenezer since 1998 and I’ve been a Deacon for over 12 years. We’re a very friendly bunch of people and look to share the message of the gospel to those who meet with us.
I work full time in Emerson’s Green, Bristol for a car leasing company. When I’m not commuting to and from Bristol, I like to spend time at home. I enjoy cooking when I get the chance and spending time with family and friends.
Colin Chapman - biography to follow
Phil Alsop - biography to follow