14 September 2013 was a special day for the fellowship at Ashton Baptist Church, Preston, when Andrew Holland was inducted as the 20th pastor in the church’s 133-year history.
The previous pastor, Digby Williams, retired from full time ministry at Ashton on 1 July 2012, having served the church for 23 years. He kindly gave the church 12 months notice of his intention to retire, which enabled the search for his successor to begin earlier than otherwise.
The first thing the church did was arrange special monthly prayer meetings to bring the matter of a new pastor before the Lord. In due course, Andrew Holland’s name was brought to the attention of the church leaders by a friend in a neighbouring fellowship.
Andrew’s first visit to Ashton was in November 2011 and this was followed by further visits in 2012, culminating in the church extending the call to the pastorate in January 2013.
Andrew is a native of Colne in East Lancashire. After attending Hull University to read classical studies, he became a primary school teacher for 12 years, first in Yorkshire and then Devon. He took up his first pastorate in South Wales in 2002. He is married to Diane and they have three children.
The induction service was led by Tony Flanders (Ramsbottom). Ray Russell (Ashton Baptist Church) reported on the call of Andrew Holland to the pastorate. This was followed by testimony from Andrew, the charge to the church and pastor, and the act of induction itself. Vincent Tracey (Blackpool) then led in prayer.
Gordon Cooke, pastor of New Inn Congregational Church, Pontypool, ministered the Word of God and brought a challenging message from the opening verses of 1 Corinthians 15.The proceedings ended with a buffet in the church hall.
Pic (l to r): Peter Kellett, Gordon Cooke, Andrew Holland, Vincent Tracey, Ray Russell