“It influences my life every day, 35 years later”

5 Jan 2024

Gary Bastin is a church pastor from Basingstoke, UK. He studied at KBC in 1988-89, it’s first year in the UK. Here, he tells us the story of why he signed up, and how it has shaped the rest of his life since.

Gary in the Eighties (obviously)

“I was 19 when in 1988 I signed up for KBC. We were the first cohort in Harpenden, UK, when the college moved from Canada. 

I had been working in a printing company, and a lot of my peers were heading off to university. I talked to a friend, David Hay, who planted a seed: that it would be great to go and ‘do something different, and see what God does’. I prayed with Dennis Merry, one of our church leaders, who suggested bible college. I wasn’t academic and was unsure at the idea, but I bounced it off the other leaders to see what they thought. I was encouraged by Hebrews 12 – the idea of God ‘disciplining his sons’ really spoke to me. If I put myself under God’s discipline, good fruit would come of it.

Finding the finance felt a challenge, but I prayed about it and was amazed when the full money arrived upfront. The experience of seeing God provide for me was humbling.

I loved my time at KBC. It was great to deep dive into the Bible in the context of love, fun and creativity.

The biggest thing I took away was a sense of God’s ‘Big Story’ – how the Bible hangs together, and makes sense as a whole. It joined a lot of the dots together, and that big overview of Scripture has helped me to this day.

After college I returned to Basingstoke where I joined the staff team of my church, and I’ve been in church leadership ever since. I have led school teams, youth work, national worship development teams and served in various national events. Ministry is full of highs and lows, but I’ve ‘followed God’s cloud’ and throughout all the transitions have a bedrock of God’s presence and leading. I know He is with me. The Big Story helped me see and trust that.

Another takeaway from my time at KBC was creativity. Helped by Ron Trudinger, I discovered a sense of God as the great artist and creator. He can help us be creative in our ideas, our mission. 

What would I say to others considering bible college? I think it is great for busy people to take some dedicated time out to study and ‘be undone by scripture’. It’s a great personal investment, which will overspill and work its way out in family, church and work life. You can fast track transformation at places like KST – plunging into the depth of study, with others – for lifetime transformation.

I have led a church for over 19 years, but the foundation of KBC still influences my life every day. We find our place in God’s story.”

Gary, 2023

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