Around sixty people from various churches gathered in the Baptist Chapel in Albert Street, Jericho, on 31 March for a service to mark the relaunch of gospel work in the area.
Pastor Derrick Morlan, his wife Julianna (and baby Micah), together with their friend Miss Cathy Henschen, are seeking to plant a new church in this spiritually needy area of Oxford.
A graduate of Crown College, in the USA, Derrick Morlan was saved at the age of 18 and soon recognised the leading of the Lord into gospel ministry. His time spent assisting in a pioneer gospel work at Beeches Road, Blackheath, in London, persuaded him that the Lord was leading him to serve in the UK.
Following the successful conclusion of negotiations with the trustees of Albert Street Chapel, which had closed in 2008 after the former church fellowship there disbanded, the chapel was redecorated in time for the opening service.
The service was led by Mr Morlan, with contributions from Chris Cooper (Metropolitan Tabernacle), David Cooke (Banbury) and Roland Burrows (Old Hill).
Pastor Morlan spoke of his plans for the future, which include launching an evangelistic Sunday school. He described the work to be done as following up what had been started in Jericho. He acknowledged that any resulting fruit would be by the gracious blessing of the Lord.
Pastor James Zenker of Beeches Road, Blackheath, preached the sermon, basing his remarks on 1 Corinthians 2:1-4. He spoke of the need to declare the gospel and be determined to stand for Christ, avoiding gimmicks and focusing on the primacy of preaching. He also spoke of the needed work of the Holy Spirit, both in the lives of God’s people and in making that truth known to those outside the church.
Following the service, there was a time of informal fellowship and refreshments. Please pray that there would be much spiritual fruit as a result of the work now beginning again in this old Baptist chapel.