If you would like to leave a memory of John then please do so here.
I will always remember the love and kindness John and Anne showed towards my dad, Stanley Easter, taking him communion each month, first at home then in the nursing home. Over coffee afterwards the talk would always turn to cricket. JanIce came when she could and Anna Brazier (who also loved cricket) so they turned into a mini social event each month. I found it such a blessing that the last occasion was the day before my dad died, which was very sudden, as it meant such a lot to him to still feel part of the church family even though he could not get about.
My thoughts, love and prayers are with you all. X
Isabel (6) says I remember dancing with Grandad at Hannah’s wedding. Isaac (9) remembers playing rugby with him. – Amongst other good memories.
I met John a number of times when I was a Methodist minister in Chelmsford. He was unfailingly gracious and kind – truly a man of grace and truth
Shortly after becoming vicar of Holy Trinity Springfield It was thought that I had moved my father in also as we shared the same surname. Not so in terms of blood relationship, but most certainly so in terms of a Father in Christ who helped me and encouraged me in so many ways. The whole church learned so much about confidence in the Gospel, God’s worldwide mission, and clear thinking and organisation of many things. We owe him much and thank God for him.
When the Rwandan refugee crisis occurred and life in Murgwanza, a remote community in the far west of Tanzania, was challenged John came to visit us. It was one of the many occasions when I valued his listening skills and support. I still have some of the books that he gave to Mission Partners every Easter, we thank God for him and for Anne along with the rest of the family
We have so many fond memories of John that it is hard to know where to begin. His passionate preaching at Christchurch, Fulwood in Sheffield led to us going to Tanzania for 10 years with Crosslinks. I still remember how he held hands with me as we walked through Heathrow airport on our first trip out “to get me used to the idea of holding a man’s hand in public”. A necessary cultural adjustment for Tanzania.
John gave us wise counseling on many occasions, but perhaps to the foremost is how he dealt with us after a quite traumatic first two and a half years in Tanzania, giving us the space to adjust, seek God and then sorting out pastoral care and a UK placement. The fact that we were able to return to Tanzania much stronger and to stay there for a further two tours is testament to his loving and gentle approach.
Our prayers are with Anne and the rest of the family.
As a fellow trustee of Central Tanganyika Diocesan Trust, John offered us his wisdom and understanding of the growing church in the centre of Tanzania. His commitment to ongoing education for African Catechists, Evangelists and Pastors was championed by his support for Msalato Theological College, its staff and students.
May he rest in peace and rise in glory.
I heard yesterday that Bishop Ball had passed away. Please be assured of our prayers at this difficult moment.
Two things I will always remember when I think of Bishop Ball. First, he was truly a man of God. Bishop Ball always relied on prayer and the word of God. He read his Bible every morning, preached and lived by it.
As for the diocese, the one thing he pioneered most was theological education: He pushed many clergy, including myself, to do further studies and some of us are Church leaders now. He and I also were able to start diploma and eventually degree courses at Msalato Theological College in Dodoma – he as Board Chair person and myself as Principal. As a result, this diocese now has the most educated clergy in the province.
Please pass on my condolence to your family and especially to your mum.
Hi David, Very sorry to hear that your Dad passed away. We rejoice that he is in glory with our Lord Jesus after his lifetime of following sand serving Him. We have many fond memories of him as GS of Crosslinks, a friend and brother.
With our prayers for you and all the family at this time,
Les & Lyn
Asanteni sana kwa kutupatia taarifa ya kuondokewa na mpendwa wetu John.
Tunamshukuru Mungu kwa maisha yake na utumishi wake. Alinisaidia sana katika kupata elimu ya Huduma yangu. Alikuwa mchungaji mzuri alitutia moyo sana na kuwa karibu nasi.
Tunamwombea Anne na watoto Mungu awape faraja na kuwatia moyo.
(Thank you very much for letting us know the news of the departure of our beloved John. We thank God for his life and service. He helped me greatly to gain enough education for my ministry. He was a great shepherd. He encouraged us very much and was very close to us. We pray for Anne and the children that he will give you his comfort and encouragement.)
I seem to have known John virtually all of my life! He was a great friend to my parents, and was always encouraging when I saw him and Anne – love and prayers to the family at this sad time, although rejoicing with the angels in heaven that another saint has completed the race with honours.
I remember John as student at Tyndale Hall Theological College where our respective courses of study overlapped for one or two years in the late 1950’s. If my memory serves me correctly, he went to Tyndale having done a degree elsewhere, whereas I was just embarking on my degree course.
Seeing him in his Bishop’s regalia on the website, I still couldn’t avoid picturing him as I knew him all those years ago as a serious and godly student with a lovely sense of humour.
We will be thinking of and praying for you and the rest of the family as you begin to experience life without him. It is great that you have so many lovely memories to recall and share.
I was saddened to hear of John’s death, but happy to know he is now with the Lord he served so faithfully. I met him during my selection process for Crosslinks to serve in Peru way back in the 1980’s. I remember him as a gentle, humorous, wise man whose advice and guidance then steered me through those first steps to service overseas. He visited Peru while I was there, and then, as at other times spent with him, I was much blessed and encouraged. I hadn’t seen John for many years, but remember him with much fondness and thankfulness to God. My thoughts and prayers are with Anne and the family.
We request mama Anne and her children to sincerely accept our heartfelt condolences on learning of the passing on to glory of Bishop John Ball. He was a dear friend and elder brother to me in many ways and their home was always a home to me while in UK.
Our history reminds us of their first work among us in Eldoret with the youth and Anne teaching at Mosoriot Teachers College. Later at St. Matthews in Eldoret and fellowship with East Africa Rival fellowships. John touched many lives in our Area and especially the time l asked them to come and caretake the Diocese of Kitale while l was in Oxford for a study leave in 2004. Memories came back of their earlier time and ministry in the same church and area. He confirmed my sons Mark and Emmanuel. Lay Foundations on several churches and confirmed Christians in the Diocese. They all say “Rest in Eternal Peace Bishop John.”
Philemon, our staff at Bishop Muge Conference centre in Kitale has memory of John watching and identifying nearly fifty different birds in the area.
All in all we will miss him a lot. Rest in Eternal Peace Bishop John Ball.
We celebrate a well lived life with the Family and Friends.
When I was a young Christian at Christ Church, Sidcup, John was an inspiration to me and a true father in Christ. John’s love of the Word of God and his great gifts as a preacher were fundamental to my growth as a Christian, as was his unceasing hospitality, kindness and great sense of humour as he welcomed myself and many other young people as guests into his home. My wife Amanda and I were delighted and privileged to have John preach at our wedding in 1993. It was a privilege to have known this dear man of God, and I look forward to seeing him again in glory. With love in Christ and my condolences to the whole family.
I was saddened to read the news released by the Anglican communion news of the death of Bishop John Ball. I know John Ball very well as our assistant bishop in the Diocese of Central Tanganyika, as my personal friend and my great encourager in the ministry. He was the chairperson of the board of Msalato Theological College when I was working as Principal of Msalato after Dickson Chilongani. I remember his prayers, his advices and his support as a good father to many of us in the ministry. His heart was to see DCT priests are fully equipped with good theological education so that they adequately take care of God’s people in their respective parishes. I visited him and mama Anne several times in Chelmsford and my last time to be with him was in June 2013 when I spent three days with him and Anne at their house in Chelmsford. We thank God for the life of bishop John Ball and my prayers are for mama Anne and the Ball’s family for God’s comfort. Bishop John Ball was a dear friend to many of us, so I join you in prayers during this sad moment. Pole sana mama Anne, poleni watoto wake wote na poleni marafiki wote wa Askofu John Ball. Bwana alitoa, na Bwana ametwaa. Jina la Bwana lihimidiwe milele. Ameni.
Bishop John was a wonderful Godly man who gave our parish in Chadwell St. Mary so much help and support during our interregnum four years ago. I felt very privileged to meet John and Anne and to get to know them during their visits to our churches. They also joined us at Bible by the Beach in Bournemouth a number of times and I always saw them at CABC in Chelmsford every year. My wife Jill was blessed that John officiated at her confirmation eleven years ago. John was also incredibly helpful and supportive during my deliberations and eventual training in becoming an Authorised Local Preacher. He will be much missed, but leave a wonderful legacy.
I first met John when I was a new mission partner with Crosslinks working at Msalato Theological College in 1997. He and Anne were so kind and helpful to me in my early days in Tanzania, and I have many fond memories of drinking cups of tea on their verandah. John became like a spiritual father to me, and I valued his advice, wisdom and prayer throughout my life. I thank God for him, and for his love of the Lord and of his word. My sympathy goes to Anne and his family at this time of loss. Poleni sana.
Shortly before becoming curate at Holy Trinity, Springfield, in 2008, I was encouraged to meet with John and Anne at their home. Initially I felt quite anxious at the prospect of meeting with the ‘Bishop’. However, almost immediately I knew I was in the presence of a truly godly family. Amongst other things John and Anne taught me and Sarah about welcome and hospitality. A man steeped in prayer and supreme confidence in the power of Christ to transform. I remember our meetings together which were always interspersed with extended silences – which initially I found awkward; however he taught me the importance of listening to God rather than my own voice.
He was an immense encouragement and lived out the Gospel he proclaimed with diligence and fervour.
My prayers are with Anne and the family.
It is with sadness that we hear of Bishop John’s passing. We have many memories of a man who always put others first, wise and faithful in Gods ministry. We had the pleasure of welcoming both John and Anne into our home where we were blessed by their humour and humility. May Gods presence be with Anne and family at this time.
Dear family Ball, it is something to rejoice in that John is with the Lord which will be far better for all of us. However, you will all miss him terribly because he was a great parent, but I’m sure he has prepared you for this day. He was strong in faith, gifted by the Lord in ministry and always ready to share the love of Christ with whoever he met. The best glory to God is that we should honour John by following his faithful and focussed life. May we hold one another and Crosslinks in prayer to that end.
I am sorry to hear that Bishop Ball has passed away. I have several fond and blessed memories of him. During his visits to India and my visits to UK including my stay with him and Mrs. Ball, in addition to experiencing the family’s hospitality, I have been personally blessed to have him as a wise mentor, friend, counselor and encourager. He exemplified deep love of Christ, firm Christian convictions, personal humility, commitment to mission and church growth and great cross cultural and pastoral sensitivity.
We are grateful to God for his life and ministry. As General Secretary of Crosslinks, he was instrumental in supporting several Indian missions and ministries. His influence in the church spread in many countries such as Kenya, Tanzania, UK, especially in India through sending David and Angela to work in TAFTEE and strengthen the Indian church by training leaders at different levels. He helped TAFTEE not only through sending them and Crosslinks support, but also through his wise counsel on strategic planning and organizational restructuring for growth.
Glady and I fondly remember his stay with us during one of his several visits to Bangalore.
My family and TAFTEE family join me in sending our heartfelt condolences. We pray for God’s comfort and peace upon you and your family during this time.
Please pass our condolences to mother Anne, we know this is a very difficult time for her. I Canon Charles Mwihambi and Janeth my wife we continue to pray for her and all of BP’s Ball family.
So sorry to hear the news of John’s passing. He was a fervent supporter of Bible Society and helped set up the partnership between Bible Society and HT Springfield, supporting Bible work in China. I had the privilege of meeting John on a number of occasions, as did various of my colleagues, when on preaching duty for Bible Society in Chelmsford. He will be greatly missed.
Please be assured of our thoughts and prayers and may you all know God’s peace at this difficult time.
• John was my friend and I will miss him. I have known John for over 30 years first as the General Secretary of BCMS/ Crosslinks, then as a colleague in Cheslmsford Diocese. He was always unfailingly supportive and a great encourager to me. He gave me confidence and respect even when I felt that I didn’t deserve it. We worked together producing mission courses but, he was the teacher and I the student although he never made this apparent, praising my ‘bit’ of the lesson and playing down his extensive, significant and intelligent input. John was also a man of God who never swerved from a Biblically based commitment to preach our Lord’s Word. He was approachable, thoughtful and I learnt much from both watching him and listening to his wise counsel. He was and is God’s gentleman who is now in glory and although I will physically miss him, I know that I will see him again in Heaven. So I say Kwaheri ya kuonana rafiki wangu.
We have shared great times with John and Anne over a time scale spanning more than fifty years. We so appreciated their friendship from the days when we were young – in Kenya – and later in Tanzania – and then in ‘retirement’. John was fun to be with, interested in many things, above all deeply loving God and God’s people. He loved Africa and her people and they responded with love and respect. He was very able, very hardworking, and never too busy for people. Praise God for the life and contribution to the Church of his servant John
Colin and Wendy Reed
Dear Ann, Mary, Philip and David and all your family,
What memories are stirred with the news that John has been called to glory! Thank you for making the tributes available on your website. I well remember John’s outstanding and dedicated service to Christ in the Diocese of Nakuru, as a Diocesan Youth Worker and as the Diocesan Literature Secretary where, with great vision and energy, he did preliminary work on what was to become Uzima Press, in the Church of the Province of Kenya, Nairobi. In Nakuru, we met at diocesan committees then later, at John’s invitation, worked together on a Sunday School Teachers’ training manual that would be used extensively. I always valued the times I was able to share with you all as a family in Eldoret, Nakuru and Nairobi and praise the Lord for your lives lived in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ together with John, who was such a wonderful example of a Christian man, loving husband and father. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
So sorry to hear. John has been a good friend and colleague for many years and we will miss him greatly. Our deepest sympathies to Anne and to you all but in sure and certain hope of the resurrection.
David and Sylvia
I was so sorry to hear about John’s death. We had worked quite closely a few years ago on evangelical orthodoxy in the Chelmsford diocese and he was always a great encouragement to me. He embodied a kind of gentle strength that is a winsome combination.
Please pass on the assurance of our love and prayers to your mother. I am confident that John has gone to a great reward with his heavenly Father.
My most recent memory of John is when I visited him in hospital and just before I left he prayed for ME rather than the other way round. I was left speechless. What a man of God!
John Ball had the major role in my becoming a Crosslinks mission partner for 21 years. He was a like a father to me during my year of Bible College. He and Anne worried about all of my needs including my spiritual life. They encouraged me during my time in Spain and counseled me before my marriage to Mike. They helped us begin our ministry in Morocco. We are so thankful for this Godly man and pray for much grace and love for Anne.
Shanta and I convey our heartfelt condolences to you all. May God comfort you all and your dear mother. We remember your father as a real great man of God and are glad we could have him visit our home in Bangalore twice. I also had the privilege of staying with them both in Dodoma and Sidcup London.
How sad. Your father interviewed us for Associate membership of Crosslinks before we went to Zimbabwe, and then visited us during our six years there. A godly man and an excellent General Secretary to the Missionary Society, I especially remember his commitment to scripture. But he is now with the Lord ‘which is far better’. Lucy and I send our love to you all, with our prayers.
My dad was the vicar of Uphill in WSM… and we loved having good your dad to preach. As a teenager I enjoyed him preaching.
My dad always joked that he looked forward to John being made a cannon of a cathedral so he could call him. … yes you guessed it…Canon Ball. We have mutual friends in the Realffs.
Your father was a wise and good friend to A Rocha over many years, and gave me good advice more than once too!
You have some of my earlier observations in the tribute on the front page and I have read and echo many of the sentiments expressed on this site, but I wanted, on reflection, to stress how supportive John was to that (then) young rookie General Secretary. I remember visiting him with Roger Bowen in Dodoma in mid-2000. There John and Anne were surrounded by packing cases getting ready for retirement but they still made us welcome. I have hugely valued the verbal as well as written advice of John over the years.
Anne and the family remain in our prayers. Thank you Lord for John.
Remembering John with joy. I always remember the BCMS crowd laughing. Another saint gone to glory. Love to you all and especially to Anne.
What a lovely picture that is of John. I worked in the Crosslinks office from 1987-1995, when I was PA to the Revd Yemi Ladipo. John must have been a spiritual father to so many around the world (and Anne a spiritual mother!) His integrity, passion for truth, deep love for the worldwide church – and yes, that sense of humour! – is a wonderful legacy. Remembering you all in my prayers as you mourn a dear husband, father, grandfather and man of God. With much love, Philippa
I remember John with affection as a caring and fatherly guiding presence in my life when I went to Tanzania as a short term missionary, and while I was at All Nations. John was always wise and humble. I especially appreciated the way that his pastoral concern extended to the parents of young missionaries and how he communicated in a kind and thoughtful way with my mum. He was a faithful and godly man whom I have always held in the highest esteem. Praying for you Anne, Mary, Philip and David and your wider family.
Jackie and I have good memories of John from our time as mission partners. We were always impressed by his grasp of detail. He always took the trouble to be well informed about us before we met. And he was efficient – what he said he’d do he did! Impressive, as well as caring.
We were very sad to hear of John’s death. Our association began in Templecombe, Somerset, where St Mary’s partnered John and Anne through Crosslinks when they went to the Diocese of Central Tanganyika. After we moved to Essex we were so pleased that John and Anne retired to Chelmsford, just up the road. I (Anthony) met with John on many occasions through the Steering Group of Chelmsford Anglican Mainstream. In that group we always appreciated John’s wisdom and firm commitment to orthodoxy, while bringing a gentleness of spirit to every meeting.
He will be sorely missed, both as a friend and as a faithful minister of the Lord. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Anne and family.
Dear Anne and family
We were so sorry to hear the news about John. It has touched us deeply. John was very instrumental in us becoming Crosslinks mission partners in Nakuru, Kenya (1990-1998). He took the trouble to personally visit us at our home in Basingstoke early on in our journey and this was such an encouragement to us. His subsequent visits to our home in Nakuru always brought his fatherly wisdom and guidance – always with a light touch of humour too and the reminder of the importance of learning swahili! He leaves a tremendous legacy throughout East Africa and beyond.
He will be missed. May you know the Lord’s comfort.
We had the pleasure of getting to know John and Anne when our daughter started “going out” with David, their son. Later David and Angie married and they have two grown sons. It is a great tribute to John and to his prayers that his son has been a wonderful Godly husband to our daughter and both their sons are following and serving the Lord and have chosen lovely Christian partners. The last time Pam had the privilege of seeing and interacting with John was at the confirmation of our two shared grandsons. Our love and prayers are with Anne and the family. John will be greatly missed, but we rejoice that he is now with His Lord and Saviour who he loved to serve.
We first met John and Anne at St Deniol’s library in Hawarden, Wales. It was 1995 and we were both doing Sabbatical reading and writing. Their warm welcome and generosity in showing us around Wales was one highlight of our time there. He introduced himself as Canon Ball. When he saw the look on Lindsay’s face he got in first, “If you come up with one I have not heard before, we take you out to dinner!” We still smile and wonder at what he may not have heard.
John’s faithfulness and keenness for God’s word was infectious. He and Anne dragged us out three weeks running to hear David Jackman at the Chester Bible Talks. Those nights of fellowship in the prophecy of Jeremiah are unforgettable.
We have prayed for John and Anne regularly ever since. We thank God for them who used them so wonderfully in his loving purposes for his world. May this Majestic LORD be glorified on 30 September as a life committed to Him is celebrated. John would have wanted that, knowing that in that glory his beloved family will be truly comforted.
Lindsay & Wendy Newby, Australia.
It was John’s understanding of mission that drew us to rejoin Crosslinks after we had served on the staff of All Nations. He had a passion that people should come to know the Lord Jesus as Saviour, and at the same time understood that God is concerned for the whole person and that the Church is called to integral mission. He recognised that the Great Commission can only be fulfilled in genuine partnership with Christians from the Majority World and that Christians in the West have so much to learn from their brothers and sisters in other parts of the globe. Rosemary and I so appreciated the leadership John gave to Crosslinks, his friendship, his wisdom, warmth, humour and unaffected spirituality. We thank God in every remembrance of him.
David, I was so sorry to hear about your dad. He was a great man of God and we enjoyed his visits to St. Mary’s, Frinton on behalf of Crosslinks and in his own right as a Bishop. I know he was a source of of great encouragement to our link missionaries, Simon and Esther Clift and their family during their time in Tanzania. Heaven will be the richer but our thoughts and prayers are with you, your mother and the family. Andrew Rose.
On a warm summer afternoon in 1983 you would have seen five people sitting on the lawn at All Nations Christian College, two young couples (Peter and Miranda Harris, and my wife Liz and myself) with John Ball. He was the newly appointed General Secretary of then BCMS, and we were his first ‘recruits’ (as new missionaries were called then). He was doing our orientation, sharing his own vision of what mission is. John had embraced ‘integral mission’ before the term was invented. I remember thinking then, and still do, ‘If John and BCMS are as committed to sending Peter and Miranda to care for birds in Portugal (they went on to found A Rocha, under Crosslinks auspices for many years), as they are to sending us to teach the Bible in India – they embrace a wonderfully rounded biblical understanding of God’s mission and ours.’
Liz and I continued to enjoy John’s friendship and pastoral care as mission partners well beyond the years we served in India, and to appreciate greatly the theological and missiological breadth and vision of all he spoke and wrote. We mourn his death, but rejoice in his legacy.
Among those in Crosslinks who have recently been called to their Heavenly Home, John Ball was outstanding in many ways and will surely be long remembered. Both Colin and I were grateful for his fellowship during time in Portugal as well as Ethiopia, and for his advice and understanding during the transition from Portugal to Ethiopia.
John was a true man of God with a missionary heart, humble and approachable, but also with a good sense of humour! During his visit to Ethiopia in 1990 he made very shrewd observations, and showed remarkable understanding considering it was his first visit and was quite brief. He was a contemporary of Colin’s and shared with us both the interest in literature ministry.
In Anne John had a wonderful partner and support through all the varied periods of ministry. My sympathy and prayers and with her and the family at this time. It was a privilege to know John and to be blessed through the fellowship and prayers of both himself and Anne over the years.
7 September 2016
John was a great blessing to me over many years. March 1965 was the first time I set foot in your home in Eldoret and met them. Bishop Neville Langford-Smith, with Vera, were driving me on my first safari to Amudat. We stopped at your place for refreshment and chat. I think Mary was a toddler. Since then I visited and stayed with you numerous times when the boys were little. I was always welcomed warmly, but I think that was more because your parents were always SO hospitable, whoever landed on their doorstep.
Unfortunately I won’t be able to attend the funeral. I too am getting older and it’s a long way from Ripon.
Well done to dear John for ever being the Christian soldier we knew 50 years ago in Nakuru, and then briefly at Karen. We hold fond memories of John and Anne; our prayers and thoughts cover you as the Lord guides you through the days ahead, with many decisions and arrangements.
Just the other day, with daughter Lynne here from Ontario , we were remembering your family. Lynne was remembering not being allowed out from Turi to attend her baby brother’s Christening, (because the school was in quarantine for chicken pox); John duly went ahead and Christened our son, Grant! Lynne still smarts over not being there!
May the Lord bless each one of you and keep you in His loving grace.
We were very saddened to hear of John’s death via the FMT – thanks to Judith for letting us know .
John was very supportive to me and Anne, especially when we were planning to marry. Anne and I met at ANCC, but she was going with the Norwegian Lutheran Mission to Taiwan! He was very gracious in the way he smoothed her departure from the NLM, and accepted her into the BCMS family. His subsequent support to us in Kenya enabled us to get and give all the benefits of working in another culture. Thank you John.
The church at Holy Trinity has benefited in so many ways since John and Anne’s arrival. As chair of our Mission Committee John helped to reinvigorated our approach to world mission. His teaching and personal reflections, alongside persistent reminders, allowed the church to engage in meaningful ways with our mission partners. We have a learnt a lot from him.
“ I first met John and Anne at a “pre-sailing conference” at Mabledon, in 1962 ! He and Anne were heading off by boat to begin service in Kenya with BCMS, while I was to fly unexpectedly to Uganda to help cope with an emergency situation in Amudat Hospital on a short term basis…
Little did I know how our lives would be later intertwined . Memories of John’s ministry in Kenya, where I later also served, include his great ability to relate with love and integrity to African Brothers and Sisters…
they loved and respected him, and Anne, and his facility with Kiswahili enabled superb communication at all levels. I thank God too for John and Anne’s pastoral care and friendship in Kenya, particualrly at the time when my husband Dr Graham Fraser, was killed in an accident when our children were tiny.
John’s determination that Mission Partners’ aims should be continually to “work themselves out of a job” became eventually a key and distinctive policy of BCMS Crosslinks, with the ministry of training and enabling others… who would in turn train and enable others….who would, in turn…..
John was a Missiologist who emphasised “Reciprocal Mission “ in his leadership of Crosslinks… and firmly taught that mission was no longer “the West to the rest”, but that we had so much to learn from every nation, and should welcome their insights and contributions to World Mission. His missiological awareness in this and other areas marked him out as a Mission Leader of distinction. I worked with him as Vice Chair of Council in days when his teaching and example was having wide, and profound effect, within Crosslinks and beyond….. it still does !
Dear Anne, Mary, Philip and David, we bring you our love and Christian sympathy in your bereavement of your husband and father, John. Here is our prayer to God our Father: Lord God, our loving Heavenly Father, we thank You for choosing John in Christ, for calling Him by Your Holy Spirit to know You and love You and trust you for his salvation through our Saviour Jesus, and for calling him to Anglican Holy Orders and to missionary service, with Anne, in East Africa. Thank You for inspiring him to preach Your gospel, to encourage and shepherd Your people, to build up Your Church, and to serve the people in the communities where You placed him. Grant to Anne and their extended family Your loving comfort and peace, and bless all who attend John’s funeral on the 30th, as they glorify You and honour their friend and relative. We pray in the Name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.
We have heard the news of John Ball now “resting from his (many) labours.” Having lost touch for some years we would appreciate it if you would give Anne and the family our prayerful, loving thoughts at this time. When serving in Kenya (SU/KSCF/CMS) during 60s’ and 70’s we had fellowship with the Church Army and other ministries and amongst them were John and Anne. Our memories of them give us much cause for thanksgiving, their love for the Lord flowing out to many in E.Africa who are thankful for the input they gave to their lives. In 1998 we returned to Kenya for a few years and CMS asked us to visit Tanzania, it was so good that when in Dodoma we met up again with John and Anne, who were giving great support to the diocese with continuing enthusiasm for the Lord Jesus to be made known. How enriched are our lives when we have the gifts of such folk in them. Thank you, Lord, for John.
Olive Cotter (Australia)
Dear Anne and family.
Bishop Simon Makundi and family send these words to you as you mourn for our brother John.
Then I heard a voice from heaven say, ‘Write this: blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’
‘Yes,’ says the Spirit, ‘they will rest from their labour, for their deeds will follow them.’ Rev.14:13.
These words comfort us as we know he has died in the Lord and is a blessed one.
Loving Makundis family.
May I offer my condolences in your loss of John, who will be greatly missed by the countless people whose lives he has touched. We praise our Lord for his life and ministry, thankful for the assurance that he now enjoys his reward.
If my memory serves me right, I first met you both at a BCMS conference in the early 1960s and later, on a brief visit to Eldoret, whilst I was at language school in Nairobi. Our last meeting was at another BCMS, or was it Crosslinks by then, meeting in Birmingham in 1998, when Joan Taylor brought us along, as we were staying with her on holiday from Australia. Our physical encounters may have been few but I often corresponded with John when he was General Secretary and always had a warm appreciation of you both.
Having read through some of the tributes above, there is no doubt that John’s legacy will live long after him and we will see the fruits of his labours in the Kingdom.
With love in our Lord,
Julia and I first met John and Anne during our three month stay in the Nairobi CMS Guest House when we were at the language school. During the half term holiday in October 1970 we stayed with them and of course with Mary, Philip and David, in Eldoret.
We became good friends from then on. Other holidays in East Africa were spent together, and John stayed with us in Dodoma, Tanzania, our base. John could be very serious but also had a great sense of humour. When he was the Vicar of Karen he would mimic the colonial types who would address him in a posh voice as “Padre”. There was no “side” with John…we were all equal before God.
In 1979 we both had new posts..John as General Secretary and me as Finance Secretary. John was then my boss. He had an open door policy and we used to discuss many things. He had a notice on his door “Pobody’s Nerfect.” We were together in these rolse for the next 17 years.
I could write a lot more, but suffice to say I thank the Lord for bringing John into my life, I was really upset when he resigned as Gen Sec to become Asst Bishop in DCT, my former Diocese.
Thank you Lord for John and the wonderful support he had from Anne always.
Although I served with Crosslinks in Tanzania from 1971, I think I first met John when he became General Secretary. From then on, his inspiring leadership, pastoral care, considered counsel and his and Anne’s understanding, support and wisdom on so many occasions have meant so much to me. I found their hospitality and support for our Bishop, John Rusibamayila, and his wife Grace, before, during and following a serious operation in London, just a year before he died, really inspiring.
When my father, aged 92, was seriously ill and needed surgery, John enabled me to stay on leave for an extra term to support my parents and, after just one term back in Tanzania, suggested I return to say goodbye and be with the family for six weeks. John’s compassion and care at that time really moved me.
It was a joy to come to Dodoma for Bishop John’s consecration during my final three years in Mwanza and, when John and Anne retired to Chelmsford, to share in the regular Crosslinks prayer meetings they led in the home of Philip and Grace Price. Most of all, it was a joy, inspiration and privilege when John preached at our wedding in 2001!
Early in May, I was in Chelmsford, a few days before my niece’s wedding there, and was prompted to phone, to see whether I could drop in. Sad to hear that John was ill, I am so glad that I was able to offer Anne a lift to visit him, and to pray and spend time with them both. John’s love for the Lord, his faithfulness to his Word, his missionary vision and humble leadership has inspired so many! Thank you, Lord, for ministering to us all through John. Please comfort Anne and all the family in their great loss. Amen
On behalf of Lilian and myself, we send our heartfelt condolences to Mama Anne, Mary, Philip and David upon learning of the passing on to glory of our very friend and father Bishop John Ball.
Lilian and I will remember Bishop John Ball for two things:
Bishop John has been a role model to us on how he Loved Jesus lived Jesus and was committed to give Jesus.
Secondly, Lilian and will remember him for encouraging us to further our theological study. In August 1996 he called me and Lilian (from our parish in Handali) at his house in Dodoma to encourage us to further our theological education, it is this discussion that has resulted us to be leaders in the Diocese of Kondoa.
May he rest in eternal peace and raise in glory
+Given and Lilian Gaula
John was a new General Secretary when I first had real contact, helping me with a family situation made worse by poor communication between Tanzania and the UK. It was a real surprise when he appointed me as his PA (with no PA experience) and he and Anne were very supportive as this country girl (small English village, Tanzania, Scottish Borders) struggled to cope with London. During those years before he went back overseas, I learned so much. His wisdom, gentleness, and time (at a cost) for all who needed it provided a background to the exciting changes in the BCMS/Crosslinks mission world – challenging our accepted attitudes. He dared to follow new ways and examples set by Christian brethren around the world. He was the quiet, determined leader with a love of cricket and a sense of humour – maybe the two go together- and Anne was always with him. The two were a strong couple in the Society, and a gathering without them was lacking something. I am so grateful to them both for their friendship over so many years.
I was first really aware of the Ball family when they took my twin brother Steve and me into their home in Eldoret for a term before we boarded for real from the age of 6 at Hill School. This was a confusing time as we adapted to being away from home but we were very much part of the Ball family at that critical time. Since then the Ball and Davies family lives have been very much cross-linked through our time in Kenya and subsequent boarding schools. Although we have not seen so much of each other in the intervening years we have so much in common, not least our faith, our parents’ dedication to building up the church in East Africa and much shared fun and humour on the days our families spent together. John and Anne were always so hospitable and kind and I will always remember John’s broad smile. God bless Anne, Mary, Philip and David and your loved ones at this time.
Miranda and I, and the whole A Rocha movement now in 20 countries on 5 continents, owe an enormous debt of gratitude to John. His missiology aligned exactly with ours and he was among the very first to trust us, to believe in us, and to affirm in such practical ways that creation care was central to proclaiming Christ. He was a true servant leader, modelling in his own life the gospel he believed in and the Lord he followed. It seemed to us at times that he was carrying heavy burdens, and his work load was immense, but he never laid that on those like us who relied on him for counsel and support. He always took great care and we have kept his letters to this day. One, in which he quite rightly rebuked me for my reluctance to fundraise, will be published again in a book to appear in January. In our first days in Portugal he showed great wisdom as he guided us through precarious early days, and great compassion in helping us get the support from his budgets that we needed at a time when funds were very short. Together with Anne, he was a visitor who brought insight and deep encouragement, as well as a huge range of experience from the various places he had worked and roles he had played in his working life. It was a privilege to work under such a leader.
I first met John within about 3 hours of landing at Nairobi to begin an assignment as an associate missionary with BCMS/Crosslinks. I had arrived with a family and we all piled into the Vicarage at Karen where we relaxed after a tiring journey. The welcome was immediate and John showed an instant grasp of the reason of my coming to Kenya. I listened to him discussing various matters with other missionaries and I was immediately impressed with the breadth of his knowledge and understanding of their situations as well as his kindly manner and impish humour. My love and respect of him grew throughout my 4 years there and I was not in the least surprised when he became the next General Secretary of the Society. We all felt we were in the care of someone who cared and would be ready to help if needed. Thank you John for your genuine friendship, courtesy and love.
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