Saturday 20 September, saw the induction service for Ashley Jones to the pastoral ministry of Rugby Evangelical Free Church.
About 140 people came, including many good friends of the church, men who had preached during the interregnum and some from Caterham Baptist Church, where Ashley Jones had previously ministered.
Peter Everett, Rugby’s church secretary, welcomed the congregation and, later in the service, made a presentation to Graham Laywood who, during the interregnum, had provided help and advice. A basket of flowers was given to Mr Jones’s wife, Kathryn, to welcome her to the church.
The service was led by Owen Milton. Keith Johns, pastor of Caterham Baptist Church, where Mr Jones had been associate pastor for the past four years, gave the commendation and brought the Scripture reading.
Roger Lewis, a Rugby elder, gave a brief history of calling Mr Jones to Rugby. The Lord had graciously confirmed his will by several providences, with unanimous, positive encouragements from all six of the referees contacted.
Mr Jones gave an account of his call to Rugby. He spoke of the warm welcome he had received. At one point he had decided not to proceed, but found that he and Kathryn could not stop thinking about us. They concluded they should ask if we were open to reconsidering them, and, of course, we were.
Graham Laywood gave the charge to Ashley Jones, and Owen Milton the charge to the church. This was followed by prayer and setting apart led by Keith Johns, with the Rugby elders laying hands upon the new minister.
Paul Watts preached powerfully and relevantly from 2 Timothy 4:3, on ‘Preach the Word’. David Arnold, a former elder, now wheelchair bound, brought the benediction.
Pic shows, Back row ( l to r): Ashley Jones, Paul Watts, Owen Milton; Middle: Peter Everett, Keith Johns; Front: Roger Lewis, Graham Laywood, David Arnold