Welcome at Trinity, Gloucester
Trinity Baptist Church, in Gloucester, was packed out for the induction of Phil Jones as pastor.
Alan Gilmore, one of the elders, welcomed all present, particularly representatives from local churches; friends from Welwyn Garden City, London Theological Seminary (LTS) and EMF; and the family and friends of Phil and Kate Jones.
Dennis Gamston, the church secretary, outlined the history of the call to Phil Jones. He said that the last time the church had welcomed a new pastor was in 1983, and the previous occasion was in 1954. He acknowledged that the Lord had led us every step of the way since Alex MacDougall retired as pastor in January 2008.
In February 2008, John Legg had invited the church to write an article for the Evangelical Magazine entitled ‘Looking for a Minister’, and this had focused the minds of the elders. About that time, Robert Strivens of LTS recommended LTS student Phil Jones.
Phil first visited us to preach in November 2008 and was invited to return on further occasions, culminating in a long weekend visit with his wife. Commendations were received from Stephen Bignall (pastor at Campus Church in Welwyn Garden City) and Bob Dickie (pastor of Berean Baptist Church, Michigan, USA).
Testifying to grace
Pastor Jones testified to God’s goodness to him and his wife throughout their lives, particularly through their Christian families and their churches.
It was at Hertford Town Church that he and Kate met and got married, and where he first preached. Phil served for two years as assistant pastor to Pastor Dickie in Michigan, before returning to the UK where he was co-pastor to Stephen Bignall while spending two years studying at LTS.
Pastor Jones said that the two greatest gifts he had been given, apart from salvation, were Kate, to whom he had been married five years, and Daniel, their three-month-old baby.
Greetings were read from Bob Dickie, and Pastor Bignall brought the greetings of Campus Church. Mark Eagles then led the induction. The elders, plus Alex MacDougall and Derek Eagles, former pastor and church secretary, laid hands on Phil while Derrick Holmes prayed. Valerie Etherton presented Kate with a bouquet of flowers.
Pastor Basil Howlett preached from 2 Corinthians 5. He said that it was a privilege to be present on this occasion, as his connections with Trinity went back 40 years to when he was a pastor in Cheltenham. After the meeting, many stayed to enjoy the refreshments and fellowship.