On 27 January, approximately 250 people from 38 different churches and organisations met at St Nicholas Church, Sevenoaks, Kent, to celebrate the induction of Kevin Bracken as pastor of Otford Evangelical Free Church (OEFC) and give thanks to God.
Rodney Lissenden, church secretary and a deacon of OEFC, introduced proceedings by thanking all the preachers who have faithfully supported the church during ten years without a pastor.
Thanks were particularly given to Hayes Lane Baptist Church (HLBC), Bromley, for their ongoing support. Special gratitude was also expressed to St Nicholas Church for hosting the event (due to a lack of seating space at OEFC).
Eddie Porter from Borough Green Baptist Church, a trustee of OEFC, led the opening prayer before the singing of ‘Lord for the years your love has kept and guided’. Geoff Gobbett led the formal induction questions to Mr Bracken, followed by the laying-on of hands and commissioning prayers.
Stephen Boon from the Proclamation Trust explained how the Cornhill training course has assisted Mr Bracken’s future ministry. After a Bible reading from Matthew 9:35-10:4, Mr Bracken’s former pastor from HLBC, David Hircock, addressed Kevin, his wife Elaine and the fellowship at Otford.
Mr Hircock focused on three aspects from the reading, where Jesus ‘went’, ‘saw’ and ‘said’ — exhorting his disciples with the words, ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few’. He then encouraged the congregation of Otford to work together with Kevin and Elaine, by strongly supporting them in the work of the gospel and by having a Christ-like compassion for people in the village of Otford and surrounding areas, who are like sheep without a shepherd.
The service was concluded by singing the hymn ‘What a faithful God have I’, and was followed by a time of fellowship and refreshments.