Your new-look ADVANCE
Ray Hawkins - The Point Christian Fellowship
An Interview with Ray Hawkins
Ray Hawkins, and his lovely wife Mary, attend The Point Christian Fellowhip in Beauty Point, on the Tamar River.
Ray retired as Pastor of the Fellowship in 2018, and now his son Craig, and daughter-in-law Rachelle, assist with leadership. Craig and Rachelle run the popular tourist attraction Seahorse World, also in Beauty Point.
Ray frequently writes beautiful poetry for the ADVANCE. You can read one of his poems HERE >>>
When people ask you how you spend your time, what do you say?
Being retired for some years I have kept myself occupied the following ways:
- Cleaning seahorse and other fish tanks.
- Being a 'go-for' for the family business.
- I'm involved, now not as much, with the Beauty Point Church.
- I'm President of the local Probus club and
- I like to write devotionals.
What has been your role in the Baptist Church?
When I arrived in Tasmania our son Craig and daughter-in-law took us to Newstead Baptist Church. This fine congregation gave me the opportunity to preach. Over the following years I've had the privilege of speaking in probably 10-12 other churches. The Newstead leadership encouraged us in our thinking about beginning a Fellowship at Beauty Point. It happened in 2006.
How long ago did you retire from being the pastor at The Point?
2018 took me into retirement from active pastoral and preaching work at the Beauty Point Church. This proved fortuitous as I was hospitalised from September to December 2018, and I have been out of action, but not fellowship/worship, ever since.
Tell us a little about your family.
Mary and I were married on 19 December, 1964. We met in the Churches of Christ, Woolwich NSW Bible College. I was in fourth year when she came to do a two-year course. We have two boys and one girl. The three of them are followers of Jesus.
You write a lot of poems, some of them published in the ADVANCE. What is it about writing poems that you most enjoy?
I disliked poetry in high school. However, the call to ministry can allow God to do strange and surprising things. I love the psalms and I enjoy words, their history and meaning. Then, in all honesty, marriage to Mary and then having our children caused me to create sentences, which grew.
Whatever people think of my poems now, my early ones were terrible. But they were initially only for me so it didn't matter.
I like to write to honour my Lord, and testify to His faithfulness, over 50-plus years of ministry and marriage. Plus there are times when I enjoy writing about the non-serious aspects of life and relations.
What changes and / or opportunities might we see for the church in the coming years?
How do I see the Church in coming years? I think it will face persecution for standing true to the person and work of Christ at Calvary.
I think that as believers we will need to build ourselves up in our most holy faith, Jude 20: But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit.
We also need to know Him in whom we have believed 2Timothy 1:12: That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.
Where were you born and what was it like growing up there?
I grew up iun Rockdale, approx. 11 kilometres south of Sydney. In my childhood it was a working-class suburb. As WWII had concluded, life was rather subdued. But as a child I had a happy growing up time, played sport and went to local Church of Christ Sunday School. I began work at 15 in a car engine repair shop, and then helped dad when he commenced a light steel fabrication business. I entered Bible College at 21.
What do you enjoy most about living in Tasmania?
Being retired in Tasmania with some of our family is great. We love history, of which this State has plenty. The environment and its diversity is a delight. As we mainly are involved with the church scene we have been enriched in spirit, in friendship and service by God's people.
I also enjoy Tasmania's history, its environment, its challenges to the Faith to tackle. And as with elsewhere, I enjoy God's servants and congregations.
What is your favourite winter / weekend activity?
My favourite winter / weekend activity is age related: Time with family and friends, and writing.
How have you spent your time during isolation?
Isolation would have driven me 'insane' if I was younger and fitter. However, as I'm now older (and wiser) I use cyberspace to keep in touch, discuss, share, enjoy YouTube and write.
What superpower do you wish you had?
If you would call it a 'superpower' I would like to have the ability to know, speak, understand languages, and translate the Scriptures into them.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received?
The best advice I've received? That's too broad a question!
In ministry John 15:3 - "You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you."
In marriage, 'love your wife'.
As a dad, 'Be godly'.
When I've let the side down and feel the frown of the Heavenly Father, 1 John 1:9 - "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."
Short and Sweet
*I'm looking forward to . . . seeing Jesus face to face.
*I'm worried about . . . nothing much.
*I'm confident in . . . the integrity and inspiration of the Bible.
*I would like to change . . . my ignorance into knowledge. (Working on it).
*I am at my best . . . when relaxing and reminiscing with family and ministry friends.