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Desmond Ford Bio

Desmond “Des” Ford (born Townsville, Queensland, Australia, 2 February 1929 – 11 March 2019) was an Australian theologian who studied Evangelicalism.

Desmond Ford Biography

Within the Seventh-day Adventist Church he was a controversial figure. He was dismissed from ministry in the Adventist church in 1980, following his critique of the church’s investigative judgment teaching. He has since worked through the non-denominational evangelical ministry Good News Unlimited. Desmond Ford disagrees with some aspects of traditional Adventist end-time beliefs. However, he still defends a conservative view of Scripture, the Seventh-day Sabbath, and a vegetarian lifestyle. He views the writings of Ellen G. White as useful devotionally, but not at the level of canon.

Desmond Ford shares the sermon time at the Good News Unlimited congregation, which meets on Saturdays in the Brisbane suburb of Milton, and in periodic seminars on the eastern seaboard of Australia.

Desmond Ford Early life and conversion

Desmond Ford was born in Townsville, Queensland, Australia on 2 February 1929, to Wilfred Desmond Ford and Lillian Simpson. He had one brother, Val, who was three and a half years older. The Desmond Ford lineage consisted of farmers and cattlemen of English and Australian descent. The Simpson lineage derived from England, Ireland and China. Desmond’s parents were nominal AnglicanChristians, with his father almost an atheist in practice, and his mother presenting “a religious façade.” Wilfred encouraged his son to read, beginning a lifelong obsession for the “unusually gifted” boy.

Desmond Ford Seminary

Desmond Ford found Avondale an exciting time for mental and spiritual growth. He was an active participant in class discussions, and occasionally taught classes to fill in for the lecturers. He was particularly inspired by Dr. William Murdoch, and carried out research for him. Desmond Ford gave talks in nearby churches, and published around a dozen articles for church magazines during this time. He also led students in Bible study. He struggled financially, and worked on Avondale’s farm and elsewhere, and also selling Adventist books.

He graduated from the Ministerial Course in Avondale in 1950, with high marks.

Desmond Ford Early ministry

Desmond Ford lived in a caravan (trailer) with his mother, who insisted on accompanying him, while canvassing (selling Christian books). Desmond Ford was sent to help build a new church in the coastal town of Coffs Harbour, NSW. In 1951, still in his first year of service as a pastor, he was sent to Newcastle, NSW, then an industrial city, to assist evangelist George Burnside. While Burnside was a dynamic presenter, Desmond Ford‘s biographer Milton Hook describes him as a fundamentalist (see: historic Adventism), and draws an analogy with a rugged, gung-ho cowboy, like a John Wayne character. Desmond Ford questioned him on some end-times interpretations, resulting in conflict between the pair – a sign of further things to come. Later he sold books in the Lake Macquarie and nearby Upper Hunter regions, which he found challenging work.

Desmond Ford Personal life

Desmond Ford married Gwen Booth with whom he had three children – Elènne Gwen Ford (born 29 October 1955) Paul Wesley Ford (born 20 December 1957), and Luke Ford (born 1966).Gwen died of breast cancer in April 1970. Desmond Ford married Gillian Wastell (“Gill”) in November of that year. Elènne works as a barrister. She also owns the “Mango Hill Farm” organic farm attraction on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, which includes farmstays, a small function centre, cooking school, etc. It is located in Peachester, and for some years was the location ofDesmond Ford‘s twice-a-month Gospel fellowships. Luke converted to Orthodox Judaism and is a controversial blogger.

Desmond Ford‘s biography, written by Milton Hook, was published in 2008.

Desmond Ford Cause of Death

Desmond Ford died at 1:15am on March 11, 2019 in Sunshine Coast, Queensland.