Templepatrick Reformed Church, holding to the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith, first gathered in 1989, using rented premises in the Templepatrick area of County Antrim, Northern Ireland.
The congregation fluctuated in numbers between 12 and 36 over the years, but an amicable separation in 2013 left the congregation without a pastor and just nine members. By this stage the congregation had a building site, planning permission and most of the funds needed to erect a new building.
It was decided that the congregation ought to make use of the resources God had given it and to step out in faith to erect the building. Work commenced on 3 May 2016 and the new building was occupied on Lord’s Day, 30 April 2017.
The opening of the building was marked with a weekend conference and service of thanksgiving, from 6-8 October. The conference theme was ‘The church in the world’. The speakers were Pastor Mark Fitzpatrick, Arann Reformed Baptist Church, Dublin, and Pastor Gilbert McAdam, Wick Harbour Mission Baptist Church, Scotland.
New Testament church
The conference commenced with an address by Mr McAdam on Psalm 2, on the nature of this evil world in opposition to Christ and his people. On Saturday morning, Mr Fitzpatrick spoke on the church’s situation (1 Peter 1:1-5) and sanctification (1 Peter 2:1).
The thanksgiving service that afternoon was attended by about 70 people. Mr Fitzpatrick spoke on the nature of the church from Hosea 1, and Mr McAdam gave a gospel address on the first Christian congregation in Acts 2:22-41. That evening, both speakers gave their testimonies and spoke about their respective work in Dublin, the Philippines and Wick.
On the Lord’s Day morning, Mr McAdam spoke on the marks of a New Testament church from Acts 2:42. During the afternoon, a lecture was given on the family history of Josias Welsh, grandson of John Knox, who is buried in the nearby village of Templepatrick. In the evening, Mr Fitzpatrick concluded the conference with an address on the church’s suffering, from 1 Peter 3:13-4:5.
The congregation is thankful for the Lord’s amazing kindness in the quality of the ministry received, warmth of Christian fellowship, opportunity for the gospel to be preached, and encouragement for over 100 souls who attended during the weekend. The next challenge and matter for prayer is a series of evangelistic meetings planned for each month over 2018.