Magherafelt is a small town in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. It is largely made up of Roman Catholics but has a significant Protestant community. Some 22 years ago, a Reformed Baptist Church was formed in the town.
They now have an attractive building and a committed membership, eager to serve the Lord in their community. Over the years, retaining a pastor has proved difficult and the church has often relied on the oversight of other local churches.
Initially, these were Baptist churches in America but more recently Maidenbower Baptist Church, Crawley (conveniently situated near Gatwick airport) provided assistance.
In September 2018, the church were able to call a pastor. On 25 January, this was formally marked by a service of induction attended by a good number of members and friends from other churches.
The new pastor is Alexander Roks, who recently finished theological studies at London Seminary. Along with his wife, Roselien, and their teenage children, Daniël and Saralie, Alexander hails from the Netherlands.
There they served as members of a reformed baptist church but have now happily relocated to Magherafelt.
The worship service, including praise, prayers and readings, was introduced by one of the deacons, Harry McCrory. Another deacon, Sam Gordon, spoke of the call of Alexander to the pastorate.
Pastor Jeremy Walker, of Maidenbower Baptist Church, preached from 1 John 4 on the love of God. The laying on of hands was conducted by Pastor Walker, along with Pastor Austin Walker (also from Maidenbower), Pastor Gary Brady (from Childs Hill, which the Roks attended while in London) and former Seminary Principal, Pastor Robert Strivens (now pastoring in Wiltshire).
As is traditional, Pastor Roks closed the meeting in prayer. Greetings were then received from churches in America and in Wetzlar, Germany. A lovely tea followed.