In April 2005 Carrie and I moved to Northern Ireland. We intended on staying for one year, focusing on raising support and then returning to England. Shortly after we arrived Ashleigh was born. At this time I was still working in management in Tesco.
In late August of 2005 Faith Baptist extended a call to me to become pastor. Having received a couple of similar inquiries from other churches and rejecting them I was shocked when I felt the Lord leading me to Faith. Carrie felt the same way.
However, God gave us peace and so in September of 2005 I become pastor of Faith Baptist Church. It seems like yesterday.
What has happened since then? Can I even begin to describe the last few years? It has seen some of the greatest trials in my life, but also some of the most exciting and enjoyable. I have learned the joys and heartbreak, the highs and lows of being a pastor.
God gave us an extended family. With my family in England and Carrie’s in the United States there was a notable gap in our lives. Many of the friends we have made here have become like family. We have made life long friends here with whom we will always stay in touch.
Some friends are more elderly, in the autumn years of their Christian service. Others are just beginning, showing much potential and youthful zeal. Many are somewhere in the middle serving God faithfully.
Carrie and I both have made good friends outside of the church. While we will stay in touch with them, we will miss them.
Today is our final Sunday at Faith Baptist Church. This evening we know a few will be visiting at Faith to say farewell. It will be hard to part.
I have much to share about the future, about our family and exciting happenings in the next few weeks, but that is not for today. Today is about celebrating the last few years, enjoying friends and saying goodbyes.
This morning I preached a message that I trust will be the memory of my ministry which remains, making much of Christ. I preached from Colossians 1 on the pre-eminence of Christ in Christians, Creation and the Church.