The induction of Gareth James to Doncaster Evangelical Church came two years and two weeks since we bade farewell to retiring pastor George Mills. We were able to look back over the years he had faithfully guided his flock and say the Lord had been good to us.
During the interregnum, our pulpit was filled with men of God. The church was well fed and grew in unity, but still longed for the day we could call a new man as pastor.
During this time we prayed for guidance and the Lord showed us with amazing clarity that Gareth James should be our next pastor. After much prayer we invited him to ‘preach with a view’ and, at the subsequent members meeting, he was elected unanimously. So it was with a real sense of anticipation the weekend of 12-13 September was set aside for his induction.
On the day, the church was filled with friends old and new who wanted to bless God and encourage Mr James and his wife Siân. Our moderator, Rev. William Dyer, preached on the attributes of a good shepherd. He directed us to Christ, the Good Shepherd, who laid down his life for his sheep. Rev. Antony Finnie prayed for Mr James, and members of the diaconate laid hands on Gareth to commission him as our new pastor.
On the Sunday, Rev. Antony Finnie preached on ‘Consider Him’, from Hebrews 12. Mr James’s son, Dan, led the prayers. Finally, on Sunday evening, our new pastor preached on the amazing love God has for his church.
The congregation of Doncaster Evangelical Church has a loving heavenly Father who gives good gifts to his children. The promise of Jeremiah 29:11 is close to our hearts: ‘For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’.