Church leaders pay tribute to passionate literature evangelist

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Humbled: Mr John Brereton (L) briefly thanks the delegates while SPD president Pastor Glenn Townend looks on.

John Brereton, who is retiring from his role as publishing director for the Adventist Church in the South Pacific, was honoured today during the SPD’s end-of-year meetings at Wahroonga, NSW.

South Pacific Division (SPD) president Pastor Glenn Townend presented an official citation to Mr Brereton, reading it aloud to the delegates. Apart from summarising Mr Brereton’s years of service as a literature evangelist (LE) and LE/publishing manager in Australia, New Zealand and South-East Asia, the citation relayed the views of his colleagues in an impressive list of superlatives.

". . . to retire simply means you continue to work, but without pay!"

“We believe that John has had more to do with putting literature ministry in a positive light in Adventist eyes worldwide than any other single person or means.”

“John is the most enthusiastic, positive thinking publishing director we have ever had! What a dynamic person to work with!”

“John is the most inspirational devotional speaker and LE story-teller that the Publishing Department has ever experienced.”

Mr Brereton said he was “totally shocked” by the recognition he was given and didn’t expect the citation. “I have been totally blessed working for the Church in the literature ministry’s various departments over the past 33 years. If I had it to do over again, I would do exactly the same… only starting earlier! I have learnt to stay focused on Jesus no matter what happens and to totally trust Him at all times,” he said.

While Mr Brereton will be retiring from his publishing director role in January next year, he hopes to continue ministering as an LE, together with his wife, one or two days per week. “I am actually looking forward to spending time with my wife and family after travelling away from home for up to eight or even nine months per year for the past 15 or 20 years,” he said.

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The citation made mention of another of Mr Brereton’s passions, motorcycling, noting his role in establishing an outreach ministry to bikers. “I plan to spend some time with the Adventist Motorcycle Ministry (AMM),” said Mr Brereton, “starting with the very first Adventist Motorcycle Camp to be held in the SPD, March 2017 in the Victorian Conference. I firmly believe Jesus is coming very, very soon and to retire simply means you continue to work, but without pay!”

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