Tributes paid to Risca street pastor who led Baptist church for 36 years
11:01am Saturday 21st September 2013 in News
TRIBUTES have been paid to a retired Baptist minister who helped to launch the street pastors in Risca.
Rev John Hayward led the congregation at Moriah Baptist Church in Tredegar Street, Risca, for 36 years and mentored newly appointed ministers through South Wales Baptist College.
He was also a street pastor who patrolled Risca streets on Saturday evenings, helping to reduce anti-social behaviour and drunkenness in partnership with the council and police.
The father-of-two died on Tuesday [September 17] after suffering neck and head injuries while doing some gardening at his home in New Park Road, Risca. He was 66.
His wife Ann, 67, told the Argus: “He was very well known in the community.
“In his ministry, he started a pre-school and helped us to reach out to the community.
“He was loving, caring and selfless. His life was serving God till the day he had the accident doing his work that he loved.”
Rev Hayward stood down from his post at Moriah Baptist Church, which was founded in 1835 and currently attracts more than 100 worshippers at Sunday services.
Moriah Baptist Church minister, Rev Mark Owen, said: “John was so well known. He was friend and colleague. He worked for me and for the Baptist Union as a mentor for young ministers for years. He was an exemplary minister of the Christian Gospel.”
Rev Hayward was taken to Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport on September 10, but died of his injuries in the critical care unit a week later, his family said.
His daughter Clare, 40, a Bristol secondary school teacher, said his Christian vocation had defined him.
His 36-year-old son Stephen, a Gwent Police detective who helps to protect vulnerable people, added: “He had unconditional love. We’re extremely proud of him.”
* Moriah Baptist Church will hold a service to celebrate his life at a date yet to be fixed that will be followed by a funeral at Danygraig Cemetery in Tir-Y-Cwm Road, Risca.
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