Pastor for Nelson
On Saturday 12 November 2011, Andrew Bowden was inducted as pastor of Bethel Evangelical Church in Nelson, South Wales.
Bethel was formed as a church in 1978 following a number of local evangelical believers gathering together for prayer and Bible study. Later, after meeting in homes, and under the guidance of Rev. Sulwyn Jones, they called Terry Williams to the pastorate. He was ordained and inducted in June 1979.
In 2007 Mr Williams, who had continued his faithful and fruitful ministry for the intervening 28 years, gave notice of his planned retirement in August 2011.
For more than three years the church had been considering and praying for guidance on the future pastorate. Mr Bowden, who had retired from pastoral ministry, had preached on several occasions during this time and in 2011 the church presented him with a call to the church.
The induction service was truly blessed of God, with several hundred gathering to witness this major event in its life. David George chaired the service with other local ministers, Stephen Derby, Adrian Brake and Norman Millership, assisting in reading God’s Word and prayer.
Greetings from churches pastored by Mr Bowden in his earlier ministry were received during the service. Church secretary Bill Hockey presented the history of the call and Mr Bowden responded.
Former pastor Mr Williams conducted the induction and presented the charge to the church, both pastor and church responding before the congregation.
Geoff Thomas of Alfred Place, Aberystwyth, preached from 1Timothy, giving a striking presentation of its ethical, theological and experiential challenges to ministers of the gospel.
The service was held in the chapel building at Heol Fawr, Nelson, which was purchased and renovated in the early 1980s, as meetings before then were held in the village institute.
During refreshments after the service, Mr Bowden and his wife, Gwyneth, were able to renew fellowship with many old friends and partners in the gospel.