Ryedale Evangelical Church met with friends from Ripon, Northallerton, Darlington, Whitby, Scarborough and Hull in Middleton Chapel, Pickering, on Saturday 16 July.
They joined to give thanks for God’s faithfulness in providing for and upholding its minister William Horsburgh and the Ryedale church over the last 30 years.
The church was formed in 1984, when a group of believers who at the time had been travelling to Whitby Evangelical Church were encouraged to meet locally. They met for Sunday worship in the school canteen in Kirkbymoorside for about four years and then in the town hall for another 11, before moving to a school in Pickering until 2015.
For the past nine months they’ve met in Middleton Chapel, a one-time Methodist chapel, which God has providentially provided and enabled them to refurbish as their place of worship.
Mr Horsburgh described how he’d been guided to be trained at the Bible Training Institute in Glasgow, and from there called by the group in Ryedale to become their first full-time pastor, replacing Mr Keith Morris who was called to minister in a church in Perth, Australia.
The Lord has been pleased to uphold the Ryedale work through many challenges over the years, regularly supplying the means needed to allow the weekly preaching of his Word to the glory of his grace. Regular evangelism has meant most towns and villages for 10 miles around have heard, or received literature explaining, the everlasting gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The God behind all this was glorified before us by Pastor Roger Fay as he preached from Revelation 1:16: ‘[Christ] had in his right hand seven stars. Out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and his countenance was like the sun shining in its strength’.
Our attention was drawn to the description of gospel ministers as stars in Christ’s right hand, and then to their function of shining through the message they’ve been commissioned to preach. Mr Fay stressed the privilege involved in this responsibility. These stars are based in local churches, where they shine while the world around is in darkness.
Finally, Mr Fay reminded us the worst kind of famine is not the absence of food, but one where the Word of God is no longer heard (Amos 8:11-12), upon which the congregation was asked to remember the privilege that is ours and to be thankful.
A time of fellowship followed, where old friendships were renewed and new ones made, as we rejoiced together in the goodness of God.