Hitchin Grace Baptist Church welcomed its new pastor Tom Forryan at a service attended by 200 people, in the Priory School, Hitchin, on 13 October 2018.
Ashkan Sarmadi, current pastor of Derby Road Baptist Church (DRBC), Watford, commended Tom’s previous ministry as former pastor at DRBC and as a worker with Grace Baptist Mission in Paris.
Elder Richard Lambert explained the challenges of the church’s three-year search for a pastor, in particular a ‘somewhat sombre’ evening gathering of church officers in January, when they seemed to be out of options. But, in the providence of God, it was just a couple of days later that Tom received the phone call suggesting him for consideration.
Tom also spoke during the service and led in prayer for the town of Hitchin, a mission field of some 33,000 people. Barry King, pastor of Dunstable Baptist Church, preached from 1 Thessalonians 1 and 2, focusing on 1 Thessalonians 2:13.
From Paul’s own example, Barry charged Tom to teach the truth with great love for God’s people. He also challenged the congregation to receive the Word of God humbly, suggesting that the Lord might use their recent testing times as a means of making them teachable.
He concluded by reminding everyone that it is God’s Word which does the work, so we need to trust in the Lord and be patient. For a small church facing many challenges, this was a time of great thankfulness to God, encouragement and joy.