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Who’s Who

The Team

Beth Powney, EBA Team Leader and Regional Minister

Revd Beth Powney

Regional Minister Team Leader
and Regional Minister for the Northern Sector
T: 01842 754953 M: 07415 478231
Email Beth

Stephen and I married in 1980 and moved to Billericay in Essex, at this time I was working as an Occupation Therapist for the NHS. We soon settled as members of Billericay Baptist Church and there we remained and took on a variety of roles. Our family grew as Emma, our daughter came along and Rich our son, in due course, not forgetting my stepsons, regularly visiting.

I returned to work as an OT when the children were older working in a variety of roles for 11 years, including a spell as a Tutor in Occupational Therapy ending my career as a Head OT for Community Services across the Basildon and Thurrock area.

In 2001 the Lord called me into fulltime Christian ministry, when I accepted the role of Gap Year Co-ordinator with Viz-A-Viz ministries, based in Basildon. I had a delightful and exciting seven years with them as I worked both with the young people on their Gap year and more widely with the leadership of the charity. Then in 2008 God led me into pastoral ministry as I started my training with Spurgeon’s College as an ordained minister. It was at this time that we moved away from Billericay and went to live in Sandy in Bedfordshire. In Sandy I have served the local church for the last 8 years, seeing God restore and renew Sandy Baptist Church. In local church ministry in Sandy I have loved working with our community, including becoming a school Governor, working with the council and with the other churches across this rural area, as well as forming relationships with many people who are seeking to grow in the their knowledge of Jesus.

Stephen has now retired and our family now live in different parts of the country and has grown to include five grandchildren, who we delight to spend time with. Stephen is a keen photographer, I love to sew and we both enjoy swimming and eating out together.

Revd Graeme Ross

Regional Minister for Central Sector

M: 07724 763020
Email Graeme

Graeme grew up in Wolverhampton where his father was the Pastor of a thriving multicultural church. After leaving school he spent two years with the Operation Gideon scheme run by Youth For Christ, the first year based in a church in Reading and the second based with Lincoln YFC.

In 1993 he went to London Bible College to study theology and this is where he met his wife to be Tracey. Following his graduation in 1996, Graeme was called by Burnt Oak Christian Fellowship as an assistant Minister with responsibility for youth work and they also released him to pastor Yeading Christian Fellowship (less than 10 members) as their Minister. He has also been the Minister of Grove Free Evangelical Church, Bildeston Baptist Church and Orchard Baptist Church, Colchester. For the past few years Graeme has been a member of Eastern Baptist Association’s Council with responsibility for Mission Strategy.

In 2018 Graeme accepted the call to join the Regional Team in the EBA and he brings a variety of experience of ministry in churches of different sizes and theological backgrounds.

Graeme has always considered himself to be a Minister in the community and not just for the church and he is especially interested in how we can make church accessible to people who have no background understanding of Christianity. One of his priorities is to help churches to become communities that can disciple people in a way that is relevant to them living out their faith in the 21st Century. He is passionate about creativity and good communication and he has written a resource to help churches to think about how we can communicate in a world where people have so many different learning styles. He blogs at

Graeme and Tracey have 4 children, some rabbits, a terrapin and not a lot of peace and quiet. Some of their children are adopted and some have additional needs including being on the autistic spectrum.

Tracey and Graeme enjoy walking together as a way of escaping from the busyness of life. Graeme also enjoys watching films and chatting with people about the big themes of life that films raise.

Nick Lear, EBA Regional Minister

Revd Nick Lear

Regional Minister for the Southern Sector
T: 01268 769848 M: 07941 071965
Email Nick

Nick was born in Devon and raised in a Christian family, attending a Baptist Church for as long as he can remember. He gave his life to Christ at the age of 6, at a beach mission on Exmouth Beach. He was baptised as a believer at the age of 13 and not long after that first felt God’s call to be a Minister.

He was (wisely) advised to get some experience of life and so pursued his passion for justice by studying for a law degree and then working in the litigation department of a busy provincial form of Solicitors back in Devon. He met Sally while they were studying for their degrees at Kingston Upon Thames and they married in 1989. The following year they followed God’s call and Nick began training for Ministry at Spurgeon’s College.

After graduating from Spurgeon’s Nick was called to Brighton Road Baptist Church, Horsham, to work as part of the team there as Youth Minister. During their time in Horsham Nick and Sally were blessed with two children: Tom and Hannah. From Horsham (to his great surprise and delight) Nick was called to work at Baptist House in the Mission Department as a Mission Advisor – focusing particularly on encouraging and supporting churches in their work with children, young people, families and young adults. From there he was called in 2008 to serve as the team leader at Colchester Baptist Church. In 2014 he was called by the EBA to serve as Regional Minister in the Southern Sector of the Association. Nick is committed to encouraging churches to be as healthy as possible in order that they can be free samples of Jesus for their communities

Nick likes to express his creativity in different ways. He is the lead author of ‘Making a Splash’, the Baptist Union’s guide to Believer’s Baptism, and writes his own blog ( – all views are his own!). He enjoys watching films and most sports, and is also a keen performer of magic tricks ( which he particularly enjoys using with churches to help share the good news of Jesus.

I have been married for 36 years to Gilson and we have been blessed with four children and three beautiful grandchildren. We brought up our children the same way as we were brought up and we thank God that they are all practising Christians.


I was brought up in a Christian family, where going to church every Sunday was the norm. I received the Lord Jesus Christ as a teenager and since then I have never looked back.  While at secondary school, I had the   wonderful opportunity of attending Scripture Union Conferences. I was an  active member of Nashville Baptist Church in Zimbabwe and when we moved to the UK, we transferred our membership to Laindon Baptist Church, in Basildon.


As a result of my background, I’ve been actively involved in the church since I was teenager, from singing in the choir, taking Sunday school, presiding, leading praise and worship, preaching, leading bible studies, speaking at women’s fellowship, organizing women’s world day of prayer events, organizing church trips, cooking meals for church events, hosting & organizing a Christmas meal for the homeless and most importantly supporting my husband in his ministry.


My experience within the church has sparked continued interest in any ministry related work. In 2014,  I was co-opted into the EBA council, a position that I have held since then.

I left school, and began training to become an Accountant. I  started in a professional firm of Accountants but within twelve months, I moved to Dunlop Rubber Company, where I stayed six years as part of an Accountancy Apprentice Scheme. Although I never fully qualified, I did pass the intermediate exam of the A.C.C.A. and the first part Final of the I.C.W.A. I eventually became Company Accountant, at the same time, of two industrial companies in the Birmingham area.

During this time, I was fully involved in the life of Warley Baptist Church, and became Youth Secretary of the West Midlands Baptist Association. Then came the call to ministry.

For nearly three years I studied at Bristol Baptist College, before leaving to commence a ministry at Clarence Road Baptist Church, in Southend-on-Sea. I stayed there for fourteen years, initially being supported by Home Mission, and only felt the call to move on, after serving the Essex Baptist Association
firstly as the Youth Secretary and then as President. That time made me aware that the need was greater outside of Clarence Road, rather than inside.

In 1985 I was asked to become the Home Mission Secretary of the Baptist Union. In year one, I was responsible for just the publicity side of Home Mission but for the next three years the overseeing of the Home Mission Grants also became my responsibility. This aspect of my ministry came to an end quicker
than I had expected when the Baptist Union moved from London to Didcot.

In 1989 I became the minister of Catherine Street Baptist Church in the centre of Plymouth, where I ministered for twelve years before retiring and moving to Okehampton where my wife became Church Secretary and I became Church Treasurer, as well as serving in other ways. After eleven years, I felt that
the Lord was calling me back into full-time ministry and was called to be the pastor of Corfe Castle Congregational Church in Dorset.

This suddenly came to an end when, twelve months ago, my wife had a serious stroke that caused her to spend two months in hospital, followed by her needing the daily care of a Nursing Home. I chose to move from Dorset back to Essex because, at that time, we had three daughters and five granddaughters all living in Essex.

Since returning to Essex I have become a member of Braintree Baptist Church and have recently become a deacon, as well as serving in other ways.

Hayley Beckett, EBA Secretary

Hayley Beckett

Association Secretary/Website Editor
Email Hayley

Hayley was born in Fordham, East Cambridgeshire, has lived on the North Norfolk coast and now lives in Godmanchester, West Cambridgeshire.

A true East Anglian girl. She is married to Daniel a Youth Minister and has three children, Mark, James and Sarah and a rabbit called Keith (named by the children).

When not working for the Eastern Baptist Association she enjoys watching period dramas on TV, Disney films, reading, baking, flower arranging and genealogy, and one day would love to take a ride in a hot air balloon.

Diane Forsyth

Association Safeguarding Lead
07735 860804

Diane is the Safeguarding Lead in EBA and her role is to support and advise Churches if they have safeguarding concerns and are not sure what to do next. She grew up in Northern Ireland where she attended a local Presbyterian Church and became a Christian at the age of thirteen.

After completing a BSC in Nursing at the University of Ulster she joined the NHS as staff nurse on a paediatric ward. While on a Christian holiday in Italy she met Ian her husband and moved to Surrey when they married. They have been blessed with three sons and four delightful grandchildren who bring much joy. She is a member of Gunton Baptist Church where her husband is the minister.

Throughout her career in nursing, teaching and educational leadership and management she has gained a wide experience working with safeguarding policies and practice in the day to day work environment, and experienced the importance of ensuring that safeguarding is applied to every situation. While working in a large multicultural College and University Centre she taught safeguarding as a specialist subject across a range of courses including the Early Years and Education Degree courses.

In her spare time, she enjoys visiting her grandchildren to spend time playing with them and seeing them develop their individual personalities. She enjoys walking particularly in the mountains and along rivers and more recently she has appreciated daily walks to her local beach.

Over the last few years she has become more interested in family history and has just started to collate inherited photographs to be able to develop a useful insight in the family history for her children and grandchildren.