“Thank You, King James” – the tough life of Robert Hicks James Hastings

John Bennett, Pinxton, Nottingham [SEE PROFILE BELOW]

Precious Seed

Paperback, 160pp.
Published by Day One Publications, Ryelands Road, Leominster. HR6 8NZ.
Price: £6.00.
ISBN 978-1-846252-32-7.

It was the psalmist who wrote, ‘He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings’, Ps. 40. 2. Reading this traumatic and troubling story, it would seem a most apt text to write over the life described.

Robert Hicks was born in Birmingham, spending much of his early life in ‘different overcrowded houses and lengthy stays in care homes’. He grew up without memory of his mother ‘ever hugging or kissing me unless it was to impress visiting social workers. Birthdays and Christmas went unmarked . . . there was just silence born out of sheer disinterest’. His memories of his father, who returned from military service in the Second World War in 1947, were worse, describing him as violent and pitiless, one who ‘took a perverse pleasure in beating, ridiculing and ignoring’ his children.

For a boy tongue-tied, dyslexic, rejected by his parents and poorly educated the future looked grim until Robert discovered a book unknown to him called the Holy Bible. The advice of the surgeon who had performed the simple operation to cut the membrane holding Robert’s tongue was ‘read a book out loud while writing the words’. The only book that Robert could find in his house was the Bible that had been pushed behind the gas meter. Starting at Genesis chapter 1 he began the task that was to transform his life.

From such seemingly hopeless conditions Robert Hicks was saved, baptized and received into the fellowship of Christians meeting in the Gospel Hall, Jiggins Lane, Birmingham. As well as growing physically and spiritually, Robert also developed a talent in retailing, rising quickly from grocer’s boy to relief provisions manager before becoming the manager of his own shop as part of the Mason group.

It is remarkable that out of a home characterized by moral depravity and child abuse there should grow a man who has contributed so much to the work of the Lord in a variety of ways. It is a testimony to the grace and sustaining power of God that saved and has kept Robert Hicks. This is an honest, if initially harrowing, account of how God can, and does, change lives!


AUTHOR PROFILE: JOHN BENNETT is a member of the Precious Seed committee.

There are 27 articles in
ISSUE (2012, Volume 67 Issue 4)

1 John chapter 3 – Part 5

Amaziah – ‘thine heart hath lifted thee up’

Aughrim Gospel Hall - County Londonderry, NI

Bits and Bobs - Men and Women See Differently ... Literally

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The Priesthood of all Believers

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Recognising Elders

Redemption Hymns


The Sovereignty of God Regarding Individuals

“Thank You, King James” – the tough life of Robert Hicks James Hastings

The Glory of God - Part 1

United We Stand - Divided We Fall

UNVEILED - THE HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN (3) - (II) The Parables of the Contamination of the

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Hezekiah’s Revival

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Day by Day - Bible Commands

The King in Psalm 45

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R. B. Jones – Gospel Ministry in Turbulent Times N. Gibbard

Bible and Church Conference 2009 Peter Williams, Dirk Jongkind, Simon Gathercole

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Baptism Jack Hay

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Editorial - ‘For if ye do these things ye shall never fall’

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Roses, Marys & Others Betty Holt

Editorial - ‘Many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them’, Mark 2.

“Thank You, King James” – the tough life of Robert Hicks James Hastings

Editorial - ‘Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you’, Matt. 28. 20.

Editorial - ‘Apollos . . . mighty in the scriptures’, Acts 18. 24.

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Life in the Big Story – Your Place in God’s Unfolding Plan - Heidi Johnston

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The Saviour God and His Servant King - Malcolm C. Davis.

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Biblical Principles of Leadership - Dr. Alexander Kurian

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