There was great rejoicing as friends gathered to celebrate the induction of Oliver Gross as the new pastor of Buckingham Chapel, Bristol, on 19 March.
The church had been looking to the Lord for another pastor-teacher to lead the flock at Buckingham for over eight years before Mr Gross accepted the call to this ministry.
We were able to testify to the Lord’s keeping grace throughout the intervening years, during which we had been aided by many faithful ministers of the gospel and had seen a number of new ministries begun, reaching out to the community in Clifton and to Roma children.
Friends of Mr Gross, his wife Naomi and their daughter Esme, as well as of the chapel, joined us for the afternoon. All were greatly encouraged by this time of worship and thanksgiving, and having well over 100 voices in the congregation added to the heartfelt songs of praise on this joyful occasion.
Mr Gross trained at London Theological Seminary (2003-05), going on to serve as an assistant in Wolverhampton (2006-07), before commencing his first pastorate in Welshpool, Mid Wales (2007-13). After a break of nearly two years, Oliver made his first visit to Buckingham in October 2014 and was called by the church in July 2015, starting full time ministry at the chapel in December.
The induction service was chaired by Roger Hitchings, who had been helping the church leadership since 2014. A history of the call was given by church secretary, John Norris, as well as by Mr Gross. The charge to the church was given by Andrew Davies, friend and regular minister to the church.
Mr Davies preached on Galatians 6, ‘The church as the family of God’, explaining our dependence on God and responsibility to be united in Bible-based service. The charge to the pastor was given by Paul Yeulett, who preached from 2 Timothy 2, encouraging reliance on the Holy Spirit, diligence and eagerness, and remembering the centrality of Christ in all things.
Four other local elders/pastors participated in the act of induction, reflecting our fellowship in the gospel.