Rob and Shirley Corder

    Rob CorderUpon graduating from BI I joined the staff of the YMCA in Johannesburg in 1967, but soon discovered that particular branch to be very materialistic (the ‘C’ could quite easily have been dropped from their title). I returned to my former employment in the Standard Bank.   
    Shirley and I got engaged whilst I was in my final year at BI and we were married in August 1967. In 1969 I was invited to succeed Terry Philip as pastor to a Congregation of the Presbyterian Church in Cape Town, which was the start of 37 years in the fulltime ministry of the Presbyterian Church. During those years Shirley and I ministered in Bridgetown (Cape), Kimberley, Harare (Salisbury), East London, Krugersdorp and finally in Elgin (Cape). 

    Of these varied congregations the most blessed ministry was the Hatfield Congregation in Harare. It was at the height of the ‘terrorist’ war when the country was suffering under sanctions. Errol Wesson was also ministering in that war-torn country at the time. Despite negative comments that Rhodesia was about to the crumble we built a large octagonal church to God’s glory.   Members of the congregation from that time are today engaged in serving the Lord in Scotland, England, Australia, New Zealand, Benin and here in South Africa.

    My wife Shirley was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1997 and after several weeks of radiotherapy and a year of chemotherapy the Lord instructed her to share her cancer journey in a book. In 2012 after having attended two Christian Writers conferences in the U.S.A. her book “Strength Renewed” was published by Revell Baker Publishing. Apart from sharing her story in a form of devotions Shirl has been published in numerous anthologies, has written for several daily devotionals including the U.K. Scripture Union Notes.

    As mentioned we have ‘retired’ to PE where we are involved in a choir which entertains at Retirement Villages, Church groups, Social Clubs and Chronic Sick Institutions around PE. We are members of St James Church (a REACH congregation), where until last month I served on the Church Council along with another former BI student Vernon Light.  Shirl and I both run a monthly club for seniors (‘Prime Timers’ – 50 plus) and attend a weekly prayer meeting, apart from participating in the worship service from time to time. I am also a stand in preacher for several local branches of the Presbyterian Church as well as a Congregational Church, and have been an overseer to a Presbyterian congregation whilst their pastor took long leave, with another such appointment coming up later this year. 

    In brief that is our story. I look forward to hearing of the exploits of my fellow B.I. students. Thanks for this super idea.

    Rob Corder and familyShirley and I and with our three married children Debbie (on the mission field with her husband Craig in Benin) Stephen (with Hannelie in Sedgefield) and David (with Pam in Krugersdorp) taken a couple of years back.