Encouragement in Eastbourne
The Lord has really been blessing our fellowship at South Street Free Church over the past 3-4 years. We had prayed that younger folk and families would join us; and our faithful God has answered our prayers, so that we have seen the fellowship increase.
Over the past year we have had three baptisms, a wedding, the gift of a baby girl (who was born three months prematurely, but is progressing well) to a Polish couple, and several have come into membership.
It was felt by the church leadership that the time had come to seek an assistant pastor. It was important to our congregation that God would choose the man that he wanted to fill that position. This process has taken around 18 months, and finally in February this year we invited a young man from Oak Hill College to come and preach with a view.
He came with his wife and family, and when it was proposed at a church meeting to invite David and Elaine Batchelor and their four children, Andrew, Catherine, Jonathan and Grace, to assist our pastor Philip Laver, there was an overwhelming vote to invite David. So on Saturday 5 September his induction took place.
It was a wonderful day of celebration, with a coach full of the congregation from David’s church at Long Meadow Evangelical Church, Stevenage, their extended families and many friends.
Our pastor Philip led the service, with a commissioning by the sending church led by their pastor David Power and the elders; an induction into the ministry at South Street by Gordon Lowman; a statement on behalf of South Street by church secretary June Reeves; and a statement by David Batchelor as incoming assistant pastor.
The songs were all chosen by the Batchelor family, and the reading and prayers were taken by members of David and Elaine’s families. A presentation of flowers was given to Elaine by Valerie Laver. There followed a delicious tea enjoyed by all.
We now look forward with anticipation as the Lord leads us into a new beginning. Already we can see the start of a children’s work after many years without youngsters. We are confident that exciting things are ahead, as we give praise to our faithful God.