In Memory of Peter James Jackson

In Memory of Peter James Jackson

Peter J. Jackson — 23 February 1950 – 8 March 2021

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Brother Peter Jackson, former Australasian Union Conference Secretary, and much-loved brother in Christ.

Brother Peter Jackson was first introduced to the Third Angel’s Message through his wife-to-be, Sister Charmaine. While he was still in the Royal Australian Air Force, he read the book The Great Controversy, became convinced of the Present Truth, and gained an early discharge from the Air Force. After receiving Bible Studies from Brother Neville Brittain, Brother Jackson was baptised in 1973 and became a much loved and respected member of Clayfield Church in Queensland.

Brother Jackson loved Bible prophecy. Many of our members who grew up in Queensland well remember the presentations on prophecy he would give in sermons, youth meetings and baptismal classes.

Brother Jackson’s zeal and love for the message led him to being invited to full-time service for the Lord, first as a canvasser, and then later as a Bible instructor, serving the Queensland Conference for several years. He later served as Secretary of the Australasian Union Conference (AUC) and Director of the AUC Publishing Department. During his years of service, both voluntary and paid, he contributed greatly to the upbuilding of Christ’s church here in the Australasian Union Conference. During the early to mid 1990’s he was instrumental in revising the Present Truth Correspondence Course and AUC Bylaws and later developing the Working and Policies Guide. As the Education Department Director for the Australasian Union Conference, he also established “Elim Missionary College,” and formulated its motto, “I Study, I Work for Eternity.” He also developed much material that would serve as a guide for church education departments around the world.

Always the diligent worker, Br Jackson devoted many hours over many years to preparing and then typing up Bible studies and sermons that later became part of his “Present Truth Sourcebook,” a compilation of over 1,000 Bible studies and sermons expounding on the message for these last days. This sourcebook has become an invaluable resource that many gospel workers throughout the world continue to utilise in their own ministries today. His 45-page book, “The Nature of Christ”, now included in his sourcebook, was also a helpful resource in defending the truth on the humanity of Jesus. The tracts on “Christmas” and “Easter” were also prepared by Br Jackson and are still being published today here in the AUC.

Family meant a great deal to Brother Jackson. His sermons on marriage and the family were treasured by many. He also edited Brother A. C. Sas’ book, Gateway to a Happy Home. In 1995 and 1999 Brother Jackson represented the AUC as a delegate to the General Conference Session, where he was well regarded for his work on the session Bylaws and Doctrinal committees respectively.

Perhaps what has inspired those who knew him well was his love for the message, his unwavering integrity, and his unfailing love for his family. Indeed, what he taught, he lived. With certainty it can be said of Brother Jackson, “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth; Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.”
We look forward to the day when we shall meet him again on the resurrection morning.

~ AUC Office.

Reflections on the life of Peter Jackson

Dad was born, sixth of 10 children, on February 23, 1950. His parents had a strong faith in God and were very active in their local Methodist church. This devotion to God had a strong influence on Dad, and the principles he was raised with were always forefront in his life decisions. He grew up on Cribb Island – now known as the Brisbane airport.

Aside from church and school, his growing years were full of love, laughter, fun and adventure. Nanna poured herself and all her love into her children; and although she believed in firm discipline, her arms were ever open, and her heart overflowed with an incredible love for her children, grandchildren, friends and neighbours. Poppa was a quiet, stable influence in the home. These were qualities which were strongly reflected in Dad’s own life.

After completing school Dad joined the Air Force where he faithfully served his country until he met Mum and discovered a new passion – prophecy and the second coming of Jesus. He threw his energy into the study of God’s Word. After extensive studies with Br Britain, he was convicted on the Sabbath message and refraining from carrying of arms. He pleaded with God to be released from his contract with the RAAF so he could follow his convictions, and after spending all night in prayer, he was overwhelmed with a speedy answer. Around this time, the RAAF decided to offer redundancies – the only time in Australian history – and he was released. Dad was baptised and remained unwavering in his convictions to his last breath.

Dad worked in various management roles during our growing years. However, his focus and energy remained on his children, working tirelessly to not only support our physical, mental and emotional needs, but to instil a love for God and an unwavering faith in His love and His Word. Dad would say, “we must be minute men” prepared to respond to God’s call at a moment’s notice. So, when we were somewhat older, he accepted a call as a Bible worker in the Queensland Field. From there he was invited to work for the Union where he spent three years. His approach to Bible studies was to anchor the receiver in the love of God first and foremost, then to develop an understanding and appreciation for the link between love and obedience. Being passionate that order is one of God’s many requirements led Dad to begin working on the Policies and Procedures and the first significant revision of the Bylaws for the Australasian Union Conference. Whenever I went to him with questions for the Education Department, he would draw on documents he had begun to develop in his earlier years with both the Union and GC, with a view to developing a guide for the Department. He had this wealth of information which he had stored just in case it was ever needed. He was fully invested in the work of the Education Department, and I would spend hours talking through ideas, concerns and projects with him. He was, and continues to be, my greatest inspiration.

Dad was intrigued with emerging technology, and I remember him taking numerous evening courses at the local college through his working years. He purchased his first computer during my early teenage years, and after he taught us to type from an early age, we would beg him to allow us on his computer. He would sit us at the computer and explain how to access files using the dot prompt, how to save files and use the function keys. Then he would allow us to assist him in his project of digitising the sermons he had collected over the years. Along with these, he also built on his own studies and created a large collection on every topic he came across. I remember six large folders, each filed according to topic A, B, C and D. Br Gerson contacted me shortly after losing Dad to say that he has been making these available online, which I am very grateful for. Dad’s greatest desire was to have the gospel message and the Bible truths he had discovered for himself available to every seeking heart.

Dad was methodical, with a ‘never say die’ approach to every task presented him. If he didn’t have an answer, he didn’t stop until he found one. He researched in-depth information on health, gardening, painting and computers. He was a calm man who stood like a rock for his convictions. His courage and unwavering steadfastness had a great influence on the lives of his children and grandchildren, who were ever lifted in his heart to God in prayer.

Worships are a beautiful memory, especially opening Sabbath where we would all join in singing praises to God. Dad was ever an enthusiastic singer, and, as with everything he undertook, he would put his heart and soul into ‘making a joyful noise unto the Lord’. Having the privilege of living with them in recent years, I would pop over to ask a question, take back a dish I had borrowed or some other little thing – any excuse to ‘pop in’, and the memory of Mum and Dad having worship, discussing their reading or on their knees in prayer is seared into my memory. Dad’s love for music led to his purchasing hundreds of old records and converting them to MP3. Thousands of gospel songs have been converted over and stored on memory. This music was always playing in the lounge, in his office and in the car – hearts ever uplifted to Heaven in praise.

Mum and Dad moved to the Riverina in 2018 and have spent the last several years building their current home while enjoying spending time with their children and grandchildren. They spent hours in the yard together building a garden and orchard, and it was my privilege to be a part of this. Dad believed that part of a healthy lifestyle involved a thriving garden.

I was chatting with Dad shortly before his birthday – only days before his hospitalisation – and it suddenly came to me that God gives to man threescore and ten years and that Dad had exceeded that. Dad said, “Yes, I have lived the years God has given me, and every day from here is a bonus. God is good.” The incredible thing about Dad was that he was as ready to die as he was to live. He never once feared death. His faith in the loving arms of His Saviour wrapping him up in rest was so very real. This is the faith, hope and peace I wish for each of you, my friends.

~ By Ruth Rodionoff (Peter’s daughter)