On 19 June, a service was arranged by the Free Presbytery of Glasgow and Argyll to welcome Covenant Church, Newmilns, into the Free Church of Scotland (FCoS). A congregation of more than 150 joined in worship led by Rev. Dr David Ford, moderator of presbytery, in Morton Hall, the current venue for the congregation since leaving the Church of Scotland in 2013.
Preaching a sermon entitled ‘A second blessing for God’s people’, based on the story of Jonah, Dr Ford pointed out the goodness of God to Jonah and Nineveh, and that God frequently does more than we expect.
Rev. Angus Howat, interim moderator for Newmilns, recounted how the congregation had become a fully sanctioned charge of the FCoS. Dr Ford commended the congregation for their courage in joining the FCoS, an indication of their adherence to the authority of Scripture. He hoped that would be comfortable with their new identity, not as a guest in a home but as part of a family.
Following prayer by Rev. Ian Watson, minister at Hope Church, Blackwood, and Kirkmuirhill, Mr Howat explained the next steps that need to be taken, such as appointing a kirk session and applying for charitable status.
The service concluded with short speeches from Robert Miller and Angus Steel, members of the congregation; Alan Shearer, divinity student; and Rev. Kenneth Ross from New Prestwick Baptist Church.
The Newmilns congregation has been blessed with a tradition of evangelical ministries, including that of Eric Alexander, Ian Hamilton, David Randall (Jr) and John Macleod. Let us pray the Lord will provide a suitable minister to help proclaim the gospel in East Ayrshire.