Chris Pepper was born in Deal, Kent in 1934, the son of a miner.
Following his National Service, he joined the Metropolitan Police and soon became an Aid to C.I.D. and later on attained the rank of Sergeant. His title ‘Sergeant Pepper’ caused many a chuckle following the release of the Beatle’s album.
He was highly respected by his colleagues and also by many in the criminal world. Whilst working in C11, Scotland Yard, he dealt with some of the most notorious London gangland criminals.
In the late 1970’s Chris found himself exploring the truths of the Christian gospel. He had many questions that needed answering and some considerable time was afforded Chris by the then Pastor of Banstead Baptist Church, Will White. Once he had had many of these questions satisfied, he took the step of faith and asked Jesus into his life. From that day on, he was a devoted and faithful servant to God. As he faced a few difficult episodes towards to end of his police career, he was able to rest assured, with peace in his heart, that God was in control and would see him through.
Shortly after his conversion, he joined the CPA. Ron Perrett took Chris under his wing and he went all round the country with CPA giving his testimony and also preaching at CPA meetings. Mark Watts was a great encourager and also invited Chris to speak at meetings.
On retiring from the force, Chris joined Confederation Life and worked as a life underwriter, providing a service to many of the contacts he had through the police. He found a natural propensity to visit people he was aware of who were in difficulty or sick, spending his days in between appointments calling in to see these folks in need. In order to have a deeper understanding, Chris attended Spurgeon’s College one day a week for two years where the truths of the Bible became more relevant and alive to him.
It was soon realised that this ability to get alongside people in their moment of need could become a full time job. In 1986 he was duly appointed Community Pastor of Banstead Baptist Church. He spent his days visiting the sick, elderly and needy, leading services in residential homes, preaching and undertaking many speaking engagements in the area. During the years until his official retirement, Chris led many people into a living and saving relationship with God. He undertook baptisms, weddings and was asked by many families to take the funerals of their loved ones.
Chris never really retired from either the Police Force or being a Community Pastor. He kept his eye on any movements locally that the police would be interested in, and, during his day to day life, would lend a hand or listening ear to anyone that needed it.
The last time that Chris was able to speak, was the day after he was admitted to hospital. He managed to communicate the three most important things in his life. Firstly he wanted to know the football results. He then made reference to his family, and finally, he talked about sheets of paper held up at major sporting events, like golf tournaments and Wimbledon tennis, with John 3 v 16 written on them this being the true gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. He never missed an opportunity to share the gospel.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16, NIV
On the 8th November 2013, Chris Pepper returned home to The Lord