Zoar Baptist Church, Ipswich
On Saturday 11 September a full congregation of around 250 people met for the ordination and induction service of James Paton. The service was led by David Piper, administrator of Grace Baptist Churches East Anglia and the address given by Malcolm Laver (Wetherden). Also taking part were Tom Chapman (James’ former pastor at Surrey Chapel, Norwich) and Peter Hughes (former pastor of Zoar).
James and his wife Jackie have two children Robert (15) and Rebecca (11). Graham Eldridge, Zoar elder, related the call of James to the church. In response, James gave an account of the Lord’s guidance in his acceptance.
Following 14 years’ experience of meeting with and preaching to varied congregations throughout Norfolk and Suffolk, three years attendance at the Suffolk Preachers’ Seminary and as a preaching elder at Surrey Chapel, James felt led to give up his employment as a graphic designer in Norwich, in order to take on the responsibility of full-time ministry.
Following an induction prayer by Rev. Peter Hughes and the laying on of hands by the elder and deacons, James was formally welcomed into the pastorate.
Malcolm Laver gave a challenging address from 2 Timothy 3:10 – 4:5, in which he emphasised that a call to the ministry has great implications for the Christian church as well as the pastor. The pastor’s primary responsibility is ‘to preach the Word of God’.This involves a continuous fight against evil, but God is with us in the battle.
The church must be sure of God’s leading in calling a man to the pastorate, since this is quite different to every other calling. Following the singing of the doxology and grace the large congregation enjoyed a wonderful tea.
We praise God for his goodness to us over five years’ interregnum and thank all who have ministered to us during this time. We pray that God, who has been so faithful and blessed us in the past, will continue to do so into the future, for his glory and the salvation of many precious souls.