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from the Good Report June/July 2000                   Page 2 of  4

John G. Ridley - Australia's beloved evangelist John G. Ridley - Australia's beloved evangelist

The following is an excerpt from a book on the 53rd Battalion entitled "The Whale Oil Guards" by J. J. Kennedy, D.S.O., C.F.: "Another officer, whose influence for good was immense, was Lieutenant Ridley. I do not belong to the same persuasion as Jack's. He is a Baptist. I am a Roman Catholic, but I say of him most sincerely that he is one of the most perfect Christians I have ever met. Brave as the bravest, cool and manly in action, Jack Ridley was beloved by officers and men. There are many chaplains with the A.I.F., but I doubt if any of them has been a more successful teacher among the men of those virtues that make mortals Christ-like and heroic. Would to God we had many more such as he." 
         After returning from the war Lieutenant Ridley's life long military ambition changed focus but not passion when a friend challenged him about his direction in life. He asked John whether it was better to be a soldier for this world or for Jesus Christ alone? He chose to be a soldier for Christ alone; to fight the spiritual battle of rescuing souls from Satan's kingdom of darkness into God's eternal Kingdom of love and light. Not with man made weapons but by the power of God's word. His heartfelt resolve led him into the Baptist ministry.
         For some 18 months John was pastor of the Maroubra Church, but he crashed in a shocking nervous breakdown, the reaction of war and wound which lasted for six years. He then went west as a jackeroo, which led to bush mission work in ahorse-drawn wagon after the call of Christ, "Cast thy bread upon the waters and thou shalt find it after many days." 1,000 miles were covered in three months sowing the good seed beside all waters. 

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