Peter Foxhall

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Peter Christopher Foxhall
Born 7 February 1941
St Neots, Huntingdonshire, England
Nationality Australian
Known for Evangelist and author
Home town Kingsthorpe, Queensland, Australia
Religion Christian
Spouse(s) Antoinette De Marché Foxhall née Aldworth  (m. 1964–65)
Glenda Jill Foxhall née Pender  (m. 1968)
Children Five
Parents Raymond Cecil Foxhall and Joan Hilda Woodruff
Relatives Father of Alexander S. Foxhall

Peter Christopher Foxhall (born 7 February 1941) is an Australian clergyman, evangelist and author, who was born in St Neots, Huntingdonshire (now in Cambridgeshire), England.

Childhood[edit]

The illegitimate son of Raymond Cecil Foxhall, a married clerk from London, and Joan Hilda Woodruff, Foxhall was placed into foster care by his mother after rejection by her family, serious illness and a botched operation rendered her unable to care for him. He spent many of his early years transiting between foster homes and orphanages, until he was finally taken in permanently by a semi-dysfunctional family in Chiswick, a district in west London.

RAF career[edit]

Joining the Royal Air Force in 1958, Foxhall saw active service in Malaya during the Malayan Emergency. He was posted to HQ Far East Asia Command in Changi, Singapore, where he met his future wife, Antoinette De Marche "Anne" Aldworth. The two were married in England in 1964, but Anne died a few days after the birth of their first son, Austin. Following moves by the authorities to make his newborn son a ward of the state, Foxhall sought and was granted a compassionate discharge from the RAF, and he and his son immediately boarded a boat to Australia.

Working in Australia[edit]

Foxhall worked for a time at the Island Lagoon facility in Woomera, South Australia before relocating with his parents-in-law to Townsville, Queensland. While working as a librarian at James Cook University, he met Glenda Jill "Jill" Pender, whom he married in February 1968. The couple relocated to Adelaide, South Australia, where Foxhall obtained work at a printing company, rising quickly to a managerial position despite his lack of formal education. The couple had four children: Alexander, Melanie, Michelle and Madeleine.

Conversion[edit]

Jill Foxhall became a born-again Christian in the early 1970s. Despite his initial resistance, Peter followed soon afterwards. Joining the Christian Revival Crusade, a Pentecostal denomination, Foxhall was soon appointed as an elder of their local congregation. He left his job to work for the church as an administrator and counsellor (for considerably less pay), and also spent two years as superintendent of the Sunday school.

Ordination and itinerant ministry[edit]

In his latter years with the CRC, Foxhall became involved with Rainbow Ministries, a non-denominational, non-profit organisation run by Bill and Rosalie Furler (the parents of Newsboys front man Peter Furler) and Michael Spyker. The aim of Rainbow Ministries was to evangelise Australian children through lunchtime "Rainbow Clubs" in state-run schools. While having a definite gospel focus, these clubs had a strong emphasis on fun for the children. Foxhall took over the running of Rainbow Ministries, and soon after left the CRC and joined the Assemblies of God, in which he was ordained an itinerant minister. In 1984, the family relocated to Nambour, Queensland, where Foxhall assisted Bill Furler in establishing an AOG congregation at Mooloolaba. Weekly worship at the church was led by the original members of the Newsboys. However, Foxhall's heart was not in it, as he had become passionate about evangelising children. Consequently, he relocated Rainbow Ministries headquarters to Nambour and began to travel extensively, running seminars and starting Rainbow Clubs up and down Australia's eastern seaboard.

Foxhall's ministry spanned nearly 30 years, taking him throughout Australia, Papua New Guinea, the United Kingdom and many other nations. While he predominantly spoke to churches, inspiring people to take up children's ministry, his greatest joy was teaching and evangelising children, and he always jumped at the chance of taking a Religious Education class or running a lunchtime club. It is estimated that he personally trained 25,000 children's workers during his ministry.[1][2]

Retirement[edit]

In the late 1990s, Foxhall took up a position as children's pastor at Spring Street AOG in Toowoomba, Queensland, before retiring in 2001. He recorded some of his memoirs in Odd Socks: God's beloved eccentrics, in 2003. He currently lives in a small town on the Darling Downs with his wife. So far, their five children (including Austin, Peter's son from his first marriage) have given them 21 grandchildren. Their eldest son, Austin, is a laboratory technician in Gladstone, Queensland; their second son, Alexander, is a children's author; their eldest daughter, Melanie Cameron, is a professional musician; their second daughter, Michelle Garside, is head of a primary school, and their youngest daughter, Madeleine Tiller, is a journalist and published author. Madeleine wrote "Pied Pastor: the life story of Peter Foxhall" in 2004.

Foxhall was reunited with his mother in 1999, when he discovered that she was living in Apollo Bay, Victoria. The two developed a strong relationship throughout the ensuing years, until Joan's death in 2011. In June 2008, Foxhall discovered he had a half-sister living in England. The two met for the first time in 2009.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "'Pied Pastor: the life story of Peter Foxhall' by Madeleine Tiller, Peranga Post Publishers, 2004". 2004. Retrieved 2 February 2009. 
  2. ^ Personal conversation 15 April 2012
  3. ^ "Pastor over the rainbow to discover new sister". 4 July 2008. Retrieved 1 February 2009. [dead link]