‘In Christ alone’, sung with great acclamation, set the theme of a welcome and induction service, led by Pastor Alan Harvey, at Limes Avenue Baptist Church (LABC), Aylesbury, on Saturday 12 September.
It was to be a special occasion of commitment and thanksgiving, for not one but two appointments. Matt Benton and his wife Chrisi were welcomed and Mr Benton was inducted as assistant pastor.
The church also celebrated the recent appointment of Tom Copperwheat as pastoral assistant. Both Mr Benton and Mr Copperwheat spoke in their testimonies of the way God had led them into the pastoral ministry.
Mr Benton came to the ministry through a teaching career and Mr Copperwheat joined LABC three years ago, as a ministry trainee, for what had originally been expected to be a two-year appointment.
Mr Copperwheat was also celebrating with his wife Abi their first wedding anniversary. Both Chrisi and Abi shared in the induction with a commitment to support their husbands in their service of the Lord Jesus in his church.
It was fitting that Mr Benton’s father, Pastor John Benton of Chertsey Street Baptist Church, Guildford, led the induction prayers.
Pastor Bill James of Emmanuel Evangelical Church Leamington Spa, where Mr Benton had previously been pastor-in-training, preached a powerful and challenging message on God’s call and commissioning of Joshua.
He reminded both Mr Benton and Mr Copperwheat, as well as the large number of church members, visitors, family members and friends, that these men, like Joshua, had been called, in the service of the Lord Jesus, to be men of God and men of courage.
Their responsibility is to preach, teach and live out the living Word of God, with the confidence founded on the promise to Joshua, ‘Be strong and very courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them’.