John was born in 1934 in Adelaide, South Australia. Judy Potter (nee Solomon) was born in 1935 in Jamestown, South Australia. The couple has been married for 60 years (2018). They currently live at House 26, 9 Harpulia Court, Morayfield, Queensland, Australia 4506.


John studied at East Adelaide Primary School, Urrbrae Agricultural High School, Adelaide High School and the University of Adelaide prior to entering the work force.  Judy studied at Orroroo and Glenelg Primary Schools and Adelaide High School, and worked at the AMP prior to marrying John.


John graduated Bachelor of Agricultural Science in May 1957 and was employed by the South Australian Department of Agriculture from 1957-1976. His first appointment was as a Soil Conservation Officer at Jamestown (1958-1962) and at Loxton (1962-66). In 1966 he was appointed Senior Soil Conservation Officer, later Principal Soils Officer, in Adelaide where he took charge of soil conservation research and extension activities, land mapping and arid zone ecology in South Australia. John's contacts with farmers led him to develop a client-centred approach to agricultural extension that had wide application in extension practice in Australia.


In 1976 John and Judy felt the Lord calling them to Africa. They spent three years working in literature evangelism in South Africa and Malawi (1977-1979). In Malawi, over a two year period (Acts 19:10) they saw 120 000 decisions slips returned, 8100 people graduate in a six part Bible Correspondence Course and over 2700 informal Christian fellowships spring up in villages. In 1983, a survey by the Religious Studies Department of the University of Malawi concluded that the main reason Malawi churches had a genuine Christology was the Potter's Emmanuel Tract Fellowship literature (see AFRICA page).


In 1980, John and Judy and their family returned to an uncertain future in South Australia. Early in 1981 the Lord gathered around them a community of earnest Christians in Blackwood, South Australia. For the next seven years they worked with 'nothing in their purse', discipling a growing community of mission focused people calling themselves The People of the Way. During this period the Potters maintained their connections wth young people in Malawi - in particular, funding their education. Several of these are now people of influence in Malawi: e.g. Gladstone Mchoma, the Potter's one time 'garden boy' holds a BA and Master of Town Planning Degree and is Deputy Director of Lands in Malawi; Macford Chipuliko is the Overseer of 900 congregations in the Providence Industrial Mission; and Patrick M'Banga holds a Masters Degree in Theology and is the Senior Minister in the largest Presbyterian Church in Blantyre, Malawi.


In 1987 the Lord led John and Judy to return to South Africa to 'stand against the persuasive voices'. They re-entered the land via the African School of Missions near White River (1988-1989) where they acted as lecturers and administrators. In mid 1989, they shifted to the White River Township where John became the director of a Christian School Curriculum Project called Mont de Dieu (1989-1992). In late 1992 they moved to Johannesburg to develop a private Secondary School (Petra High School) at the Church on the Rock in Edenvale. To assist in this, John took up studies in education at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), graduating Bachelor of Education in Education Management cum laude (1993); Master of Education in Education Philosophy cum laude (1995) and Graduate Diploma in Education (1996). This led to him being appointed Lecturer in Education Management at Wits (1995-1998); his main role was to oversee the delivery of the Advanced Diploma in Education Management to 2000 black School Principals and Deputy Principals over three years. In May 1997, as he sat on the stage of the Great Hall watching his students graduate, John experienced a significant breakthrough against the spiritual forces that rule over modern education.


Returning to South Australia in 1998, John joined Tony Brain and Peter Brassell to form the Paraclete Institute Incorporated, an education, training and mentoring institution. Since 2000 John has acted as the Executive Chair and Director of International Projects for the Institute. An attempt to introduce distance learning courses from the University of South Africa, the first fully distance university in the world (1946), was unsuccessful due to opposition from a hostile bureaucracy in South Australia.


A key interest for the Paraclete Institute in the new millenium has been establishing the Emmanuel Tract Fellowship Secondary School and Training Centre at Sadzi, Zomba, Malawi and more recently registering an office of the Paraclete Institute in Malawi. Working with educated nationals the Institute, under John's direction, is now focused on developing business operations in Malawi which will benefit the national economy and assist the Malawi people enjoy a reasonable level of prosperity. To help in this John joined the South African Branch of the Institute of Management Consultants and is now certified to oversee international development projects (rank Certified Management Consultanty - CMC).


In 2000 the London Campus of St Clements University awarded John a Doctor of Letters for his collected papers on Biblical Hermeneutics and Practical Theology. In 2009 he offered his services to St Clements to oversee the development of an academic E-journal called Veritas;. This has been helpful in assisting budding authors in the developing world get their papers published. He continued as editor of Veritas until late 1913.


Through all of the above, the Potters have maintained a strong Christian world view. It has been the leading of the Holy Spirit that has led them into their various activities since 1973 and it is to Him that must go all the praise and glory for any success they have enjoyed.


Judy and John have four children: Tim, a civil engineer, is a director and principal engineer for the Motheo Construction Group in South Africa; Mike is the Principal of Tyndale Christian School in Salisbury, South Australia and married to Dani; Steve is married to Ilona and is an entrepreneur and church planter with a sovereign call to Indonesia  - more recently he has returned to training and runs a bird watching business for international visitors to Australia and South East Asia; Elizabeth (Liz) is a teacher and chicken farmer located in Queensland, and is married to David. The Potters have 13 grandchildren all of whom are well qualified and 'going well in the Lord' and three great grandchildren as of 2018. They give heartfeld thanks to the Lord for the continual blessing in their lives.

The nuclear family 2004 (John's 70th birthday): Liz, Steve, Mike and Tim at back

In his early years John conducted choirs. Here he is conducting the Loxton Oratoria Choir and Orchestra in a performance of Handel's "Messiah" in the

St Peters Lutheran Church, Loxton, 1966


Family at Dinner - John and Judy's 60th Wedding Anniversasiry


Congratulatory Messages from Governors and THE QUEEN!