Tributes paid to Norfolk evangelist Bob Humphries
Bob Humphries, described as “a passionate and fearless evangelist whose life touched multitudes of people in the UK and beyond,” died peacefully in his sleep at home in the early hours of Tuesday morning, June 27, aged 76, reports Mike Wiltshire.
The extensive ministry of Bob and wife, Linda, was supported by numerous churches in Norfolk and London in their vision to reach hurting and needy people. It all began when Bob’s home church in Canterbury, Kent, sent him for further training in Christian outreach work with the late Rev Dr Bob Gordon and the King’s Coach evangelistic venture. It was through the Coach ministry that Bob first met Linda, and they eventually married in Norwich.
In 1996, Bob and Linda moved from Norwich to work in South London with the Salvation Army, helping the homeless and those suffering from drink and drugs.
While there, they worked with ex-offenders and prisoners in HMP Wandsworth. In 1998 they became prison mission partners at St Mark’s Battersea Rise and led more than a hundred people into the prison ministering to inmates, especially those that were prone to self-harm and suicidal behaviour, which they saw as a massive problem in prisons.
After eight years of prison work, the couple started Kedesh Ministries (Kedesh is one of the cities of refuge given to Joshua) and in February 2005 they opened a Drop-in Centre in Magdalen Street, Norwich working under the St Mark’s church leadership. They also fed the poor and saw ‘miraculous provision’ of food while serving Christmas meals.
Born in Gravesend, Kent, Bob’s working life gave him credibility among streets traders, political activists, and some of neediest people in society. “He was an inspiration – he longed to see people delivered and set free by God’s power from all manner of issues and problems,” said a friend.
Bob and Linda were also leaders of a “prayer-walking” initiative around the City Gates of Norwich. News of their prayer and healing ministry often brought them calls from across the UK. Many people found their way to the Kedesh Ministries team in Norwich for prayer, encouragement and counselling.
Despite a heart attack in December, 2012, followed by several years of physical decline, Bob never complained but maintained a lively interest with many friends in fellowship life in Norwich. Intensely optimistic, he shared funny stories and wrote newsletters during the final stages of his illness.
There have been many tributes to Bob who leaves two sons, Neil and Glen, and a daughter, Denise. In a moving family tribute, Neil, who is also battling cancer, wrote about Bob as a “Dad, Grandad, Great Grandad and true friend. Loved and respected by so many. He touched and saved so many lives in his work that he loved so much - a truly devoted Christian evangelist. Goodbye Dad. Love you always.”
Bob’s funeral is provisionally planned for Thursday, July 13 at St Faith’s Crematorium at 2pm, followed by a Thanksgiving Service at Wroxham Road Methodist Church at 3pm.
Read our previous stories about Bob.
Pictured top is Bob Humphries and, above, with Linda outside the Kedesh centre in Norwich.
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