Around 200 people gathered today to join in a historic day in the life of our church. Our Moderator, Rev. Thomas Murray, and our minister, Rev. David McLaughlin, unveiled the stones that would be the foundation of, and direct our purpose:
“…for the Word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Revelation 1v9
“Though thy beginning was small, yet thy latter end should greatly increase.” Job 8v7
After the opening hymn, the Rev. James Beggs, Minister Emeritus of Ballymena Free Presbyterian Church, assured us of his prayers for our church and its witness in the Carryduff district.
Rev. Garth Wilson brought greetings and blessings from his congregation in Sandown, and read from 1st Peter chapter 2, on the stones chosen by Jesus Christ for His work.
Miss Ruth McMillan sang, Oh for a closer walk with God, followed by Rev. David McMillan, who was brought up in the Oughley Hills near the Carryduff church, and told of how he attended the meetings that took place in the Schoolhouse with the late Dr. Ian Paisley as one of the preachers. During that time, he first heard the Gospel, and was converted.
With the skilled playing of Mr. Laurence Crawford on the Hammond, and Rev. Fred Greenfield accompanying with the accordion, the congregation sang “Redeemed, how I love to proclaim it” with great praise to the Lord for His redeeming blood and work on the cross. The offering was taken up followed by a prayer by the Rev. David McLaughlin, thanking the Lord for His gifts and the giving of God’s people to the work. Miss Ruth McMillan sang her final hymn, Consider the Lilies, thinking of the gifts that God has given us.
Rev. Thomas Murray preached on “The Lively Stones”, how God’s people are placed into the church and the strength that a church will have when all the stones fit together to build a spiritual house of God.
At the end of the service it was announced that the total offering lifted was £17,665.67, to which we give all the thanks and praise to Almighty God for His goodness. Further gifts are to be added to this amount from our local churches, that have also given to the building of the work here in Carryduff.