News — 2nd July 2018
In 1953, Reverend Ron Hearn graduated from Emmanuel Holiness College, Birkenhead, the namesake of the Emmanuel Centre at Nazarene Theological College, and in June came with his wife, Jenny, to visit his alma mater’s legacy at NTC.
“It’s just a blessing to know that what you have previously been involved with is still alive to this very day,” said Revd Hearn. “It’s that legacy that you appreciate as you get older for what you were privileged to be in at the beginning of life is still alive to this day.”
The Emmanuel Centre is home to NTC’s library, classrooms, and the Manchester Centre for the Study of Christianity and Islam. “When Emmanuel closed its doors NTC agreed to honour the college, we kept all student archives and their transcripts, we also have photos and material from that time,” said Rev. Dr. Deirdre Brower Latz, Principal of NTC. “And for us, it is part of who we are, that those who go before us in faith are honoured by us.”
“We were always passionate about serving the poor and the underprivileged, while advocating for social justice,” said Revd Hearn.
After graduating from Emmanuel College, Revd Hearn went on to pastor various churches across England before ending up as pastor of Gorton Evangelical Church in Manchester.
Revd Hearn felt called to a life of service and his wife, who had previously worked in the nursing and social work field, also felt that call and Gorton seemed to be the place to answer that calling.
“The area was really quite hardened to the Gospel,” said Jenny, “It wasn’t an easy area, but little by little we had these young people come, university graduates, asylum seekers and the poor of the area all came. So in a sense we became a true church as we were representative of nations and different educational backgrounds and somehow it really worked. It worked beautifully together, people just loved each other.”
Because of the high levels of crime and poverty in the area, the Hearn’s did their best to serve in a variety of ways, to help those in need. “We were always passionate about serving the poor and the underprivileged, while advocating for social justice,” said Revd Hearn. “We founded a drop in centre called “Oasis,” which flourishes to this day.”
For the Hearn’s, it’s easy to see the connection with their life to NTC. For them, NTC is a college in Manchester committed to Christ, education and mission that mirrors their own life in a way of calling and service. “NTC is a place which is like a bastion of moving on and embracing a degree of change but at the same time resisting the worst of secularism,” said Jenny Hearn. “We give great praise for a place like NTC.”
The Hearn’s stopped by NTC to see the legacy of Emmanuel College alive today, to meet with Dr. Brower Latz and others on campus, and to take a tour of the campus facilities. “It was so wonderful to spend time with the Hearns,” said Rev. Dr. Deirdre Brower Latz. “They shine with love for Christ and their faithful legacy of service in Manchester lives on in some of our current students. We are reminded of the possibilities of obedience, faithfulness and service when we meet alumni who have given their lives to serve God, often in places that are on the edges of society. Through their witness we see again our own possibilities.”