During the week beginning 13 May 2018 the Association of Baptist Churches in Ireland held its annual assembly meetings. The 118 churches across the island work together in Evangelism, Church Planting, Mission, Training for ministry, Women’s and Youth work. The Assembly kicked off with “Association Sunday” when churches are encouraged to engage in pulpit swaps and joint services as an expression of fellowship in the gospel.
At the Women’s event on the Monday Evening ladies from across the churches gathered to celebrate 90 years of joint women’s work and to hear news of the various evangelistic and training endeavours such as ‘Walk for life’ and the Women’s ministry course.
Ann Benton opened God’s word and encouraged all present to embrace the limitations that life can bring to us.
Irish Baptists have a collective interest in mission in Peru, France, Spain and Ireland. The Missions night focussed particularly on gospel outreach across Ireland. Those who attended were introduced to three couples joining the Mission department (irishbaptistmissions.org) with the aim of seeing churches planted.
David and Pamela Dickson are ministering in the loyalist heartland of lower Shankill in Belfast.
Len and Joyce Keys are connecting with the community through a coffee shop in Clogher, Co Tyrone which acts as a springboard for many varied evangelistic events and Christianity Explored courses.
Richard and Mandy McConnell in partnership with Grosvenor Road Baptist Church in Dublin are seeking to establish a new church plant in a gospel needy area of South Dublin. Reports were also given of the ongoing church planting works in Youghal, Passage West and Kinsale, all in Co Cork and Bundoran, Co Donegal.
At the Irish Baptist College (irishbaptistcollege.net) Graduation service on the Wednesday evening family, friends and supporters gathered to witness ten individuals graduating from the full time undergraduate Preparation for Ministry course.
Thirty others graduated from the various part time courses the college offers and four men received awards for postgraduate study. Time was taken to pray that God would lead, direct and open doors to gospel service for these individuals.
Dr John Benton challenged the graduating students that in order to lead the people of God in worship the pastor must first, himself, be a sincere worshipper.
The Tuesday morning is reserved for a time for fellowship for those engaged in Gospel ministry. Around 100 pastors and wives enjoyed fellowship over tea, scones, sandwiches and tray bakes and were challenged by Dr John Benton to grow in resilience for gospel ministry.
As a gospel partnership of Baptist Churches, we give praise to God for his faithfulness and steadfast love and pray that he will be pleased to use our endeavours for the glory of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.