150 people joined the members of Westgate Chapel, Bury St Edmunds, to celebrate and praise God at the induction service for Gareth Russell on Saturday 27 January.
Gareth was called to the ministry at Westgate after training at Oak Hill College and serving as assistant pastor of Trinity Road Chapel (TRC) in Wandsworth Common. Moving to Bury St Edmunds is something of a homecoming for Gareth, as he grew up in Suffolk, but didn’t come to faith in Christ until he was a university student.
Having grown up without the gospel, Gareth feels a deep desire to be back in his home county to minister the gospel, so that others might not grow up without hearing the good news too.
Recently retired, FIEC pastoral ministries director, Richard Underwood — another local Suffolk boy and good friend to the church — spoke warmly about the priorities of gospel ministry, when preaching from Colossians 1:28-29.
Gwynne Evans (Hayes Town Chapel) represented the Evangelical Fellowship of Congregational Churches and welcomed Gareth, his wife Hannah and three children, Poppy, Ted and Florence, to the ministry at Westgate.
Stuart Davis, pastor of Trinity Road Chapel, spoke about Gareth’s ministry at TRC and prayed for his future ministry at Westgate. During the service, hands were laid on Gareth by Elder Bob Cotton and the deacons of Westgate as he was formally ordained.
There followed a sumptuous afternoon tea and wonderful fellowship, with many people coming from several places including Norfolk. The church is looking forward to Gareth’s ministry as he starts to preach through Mark’s Gospel this year.