Jon and Lorraine Baker have been at the heart of Citivue Church on South Hampton Road, South Grafton for over two decades, however after fulfilling careers in ministry they are set to retire.
Jon has been the Senior Pastor at the church for the past 25 years and was an Associate Pastor for three and a half years before that.
Pastors Jon and Lorraine have achieved many things while working at the church.
“There have been a lot of things that we have achieved, we have started some welfare agencies, we started our Food Care agency, which has been a major help to the valley,” Ps Jon Baker said.
A central focus of Food Care is to give people a hand up not a hand out and have helped many people on a low income lower the cost of their weekly groceries.
Ps Jon and Lorraine also established a community centre in South Grafton, Camellia Cottage.
“We have been involved in running it for the past eighteen years, it has been a wonderful baby,” Ps Jon said.
At Camellia Cottage a range of activities take place including play group, kids club and homework club. TAFE courses as well as health clinics have also been held there.
Twenty years ago, they also established a community radio station in the Clarence Valley which is now known as Life FM. Over the last 24 years Ps Jon has also taught SRE at Gillwinga Public School.
“We have built the church here, we have actually increased the size of church, put extensions on and built offices as well as a handicap toilet,” Ps Jon said.
Ps Jon and Lorraine have also participated in many mission trips.
“It’s been solid, we have been a little bit busy, there is always stuff to do,” Ps Jon said.
Ps Lorraine has mainly been involved in pastoring since their children Elsie and Alex have got older. Ps Lorraine was also instrumental in setting up the children’s church as well as city wide prayer meetings that are held every fortnight (which she will continue to be involved in).
Ps Jon and Lorraine are now retiring and plan to spend the next year in Grafton so their son Alex can complete his HSC and then they will go back to Brisbane the year after. A fun day will be held at Camellia Cottage on Saturday November 30. This fun day is provided for the children in the area and will include a jumping castle, photo booth and a sausage sizzle lunch. The community is welcome to attend this event.