Maurice Paine was born in Birmingham between the wars to a Christian family. The joy for his father Cecil that he had a son was quickly engulfed in tragedy as a few days later his wife died leaving Maurice and Cecil to manage as best they could. Childhood memories include sitting on a wall dreaming of growing up and wondering how long it would take, but Maurice was taken along to the Sunday Bible Class meetings where his father played music and where hundreds of men declared their love for Jesus. It was a natural thing for Maurice too to fall in love with this Saviour, who would, through the years, prove to be the best friend in the harshest of times.
After turbulent adolescent years, Maurice qualified as a pharmacist, and did a course at Bristol Bible College where he has many memories including going trekking on evangelism trips with a pull-along truck. It was here that he first set eyes on the woman whom God had provided to be his wife and the one who would draw out of him the gifts God had planted. They married in 1953, living in West Bromwich and then Solihull and had three children, all of whom decided to follow Jesus. Barbara was a support and strength in ways that only Maurice knows. Her gracious self-giving spirit was truly what Maurice needed. He had done some preaching, and had a gift for Bible exposition, but an intermittent stammer sometimes made this very difficult.
Maurice and a dear brother, Geoff Bowater founded the BAM Gospel Trust in 1963 with the purpose of spreading the gospel by all means, everywhere and soon after that a new pastor came to the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Yardley Wood, Birmingham where Maurice and Barbara worshipped. He was Argos Zodhiates, an evangelical Greek in exile from his homeland where preaching the gospel was banned. Argos longed to send the news of Jesus back to his homeland, and with Maurice’s help set about sending broadcast messages over Trans World Radio back to Greece. This was the start of the Trust’s many years of involvement in Greece.
Over the years, the Trust organised many radio broadcasts and printed messages to the Greek people in Greece and abroad. BAM was involved in producing a Greek language newspaper Oi Nikites published by George Kantarzis in Katarini, and the Paines made several visits to Greece with Maurice preaching there once restrictions were lifted. Maurice forged strong partnerships with several Greek brothers. Later, their eyes settled on the Albanian people and the Trust sponsored missionaries in Albania and one summer dropped hundreds of plastic bottles containing the gospel into the sea off the coast of Corfu. With long lenses they could see the bottles being picked up on the shoreline in Albania and years later heard of someone who responded to Christ after that drop.
The Trust organised beach mission evangelism for many years in the 1960s and early 70s along the east and south coasts of England, at that time being one of only a few groups who crossed denominational boundaries to do evangelism, calling themselves Inter-Church Beach Team. This was in close association with children’s evangelist Francis Lamming, famous for his ventriloquism. Maurice would work in his pharmacy in the week and attend to all the writing and publishing of the Trust. He would travel to the Beach Mission at weekends where Barbara spent up to 6 weeks every summer cooking for the team, sleeping on a camp bed in a drafty church hall. These were formative times for the Paine children, and again demonstrated Barbara’s unflinching support.
Eventually Maurice was doing so much work for the Trust that he took early retirement from his pharmacy, having set things financially so that he would not need to seek support for himself. He continued to write Bible study and evangelistic materials which have been sent all over the world, and the Trust still mails 2000 people every two months from Solihull. This year marks 30 years of daily meditation in Break and Meditate. For all those years Maurice has been writing these most evenings, with some help from his son Andy.
Maurice took on more preaching and looked after a number of small fellowships when they were between pastors and over the years his stammer became manageable and he was able to freely preach. Latterly he has been thrilled to have been given the chance to preach on three radio stations using a legacy given to the Trust. As he said to his wife, Barbara shortly before she died, “Who would have thought that I would be speaking over the radio?” This legacy has also enabled Break and Meditate booklets to be produced in Romanian and Hungarian for the past ten years building on a link with Adrian Giorgiov, a church leader and dear brother in Oradea, Romania.
Maurice has been able to do this work because he has had a loyal team of volunteers around him. Their faithfulness brings so much glory to Jesus and several of them have benefitted from doing the work because for various reasons they could not have employment elsewhere. Yet another example of Jesus at work in relational ways. This has enabled the Trust, throughout its existence to stay small and low key with minimal administration costs and we know that our supporters value that.
Maurice has had ill health in the past year and a recent illness has led to palliative care now and a reduction in the amount of energy he has. The Trust continues to proclaim the gospel and is looking for new ways to do this especially via the internet. God has provided a good friend in Paul Gildersleve who used to be a Trustee and now does much of the administration work from Bourn in Cambridgeshire. The printing work moved from the office in Dorridge to a room in a local church in 2014 with the same committed voluntary input.
As we celebrate this 30th year anniversary edition of Break and Meditate, do give thanks to God with us for the way He takes what we offer and multiplies it for His purposes. We praise God for those who pray for and support our efforts and we can assure you that any money given will be used to spread the gospel far and wide.
Please do drop us a line if you have a story to share: maybe you were involved in beach missions, or have found the little booklets a particular blessing. Maybe you been receiving them for thirty years! Your story is part of the BAM story too. Maybe you have listened on the radio or on the internet or passed on a booklet to a friend. Please write; we are always encouraged to hear from you. Also, do please take a look at our website and let us know how you find it. If you are on Facebook, you can ‘like’ us there too.
Throughout his life, Maurice has determined to point people to Jesus and the Trust has taken opportunities to work in South Africa, Swaziland and India as well as Greece, Albania, Romania and Hungary. On the blurb for his book ‘The Hope of Heaven’ a transcription of studies at his Birmingham church when a young man within the congregation was facing death from cancer it says ‘this book points clearly and repeatedly to the Lord Jesus’ and that is exactly what Maurice has done for over 50 years at BAM and for 30 years with Break and Meditate booklets. To God be all the glory!