It is impossible to do justice to the enormous contribution that Brian has made to the governance of MST during his tenure on the Board, and indeed to the wider work of the Gospel in a myriad of ways over so many years.
Brian had been a partner at McCracken & McCracken lawyers from 1959, a Board member of Scotch College and Presbyterian Ladies’ College, Law Agent for the Presbyterian Church of Victoria, Session member at Scots’ Church Melbourne, a voracious reader with a keen intellect and an inexhaustible memory for history. He also had an abiding interest in genealogy, having family roots himself to the father of Sir Francis Drake, Richard Cromwell, Glanville (of ‘Laws of England’) and Sir John Browne, past Lord Mayor of London.
Brian’s first contact with MST was at Melbourne Bible Institute (MBI), where CH Nash, its founding principal, was taking a series of Bible studies for Crusader Senior Fellowship in its room at 174 Collins Street, Melbourne.
Although Brian had signalled in 2018, aged 88, his intention to retire from the Board, the Board could not easily let him go, and he felt happy to stay on until the partnership with Eastern College Australia was bedded down. Brian has had his wish fulfilled, by the grace of God. On 3 October 2020, Brian wrote in an email to Rosemary Wong, Chair of the MST/Eastern Board …
“It goes against the grain to step down from institutions that have occupied a major role in my Christian ministry … but I loiter … As they say of some old soldiers: he died with his boots on. The shape of my Christian faith has developed over the years. I like to see myself as a mainstream evangelical. With MST and Reformed Church evangelicals the intellectual powerhouse of that mainstream. So long as my mental powers remain, I may be of use.”
What a beautiful expression of the heart of a servant. For all of us on the Board of MST, and more recently, Eastern College Australia, Brian’s wisdom, incisive intellect, and heart for Christ were both infectious, and formative. It was no accident that when it came time to close a particular Board meeting in prayer, there was a collective glance in Brian’s direction. His closing prayers for us were profound and memorable, not only for their beautiful paraphrase of Scripture and prayer book liturgy, but his humility in worship.