Rev. David Levell was inducted to the pastorate of Reeth Evangelical Congregational Church this July.
The service was chaired by John Little (deacon), who spoke of how the church had been led to call David and his wife Mary. Mark Rowcroft, pastor of Geneva Road Evangelical Baptist Church, Darlington, read the Scriptures.
Andy Hannan, deacon at Pantiles Baptist Church, Tunbridge Wells where David has ministered for 25 years, commended his faithful gospel ministry centred on the Word of God. He also spoke of Mary’s support and her contribution in establishing a mothers and toddlers group along with her involvement in other areas of church life.
David and Mary have holidayed in the area for the last 15 years and seen the church as their spiritual ‘holiday home’. They had planned to end their ministry in Tunbridge Wells this year and were prayerfully considering future options.
Mr Levell preached in Reeth last September at the invitation of former minister, Rev. David Gregson. This led to further visits and meetings with deacons and church members. The wonderful support of their children and family members in encouraging them to follow God’s guidance helped make their decision clear.
They received guidance through Scripture when one day Mary drew David’s attention to a poster of Jeremiah 10:23 in their church hall: ‘It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps’. Later David read the same verse in a commentary, when preparing a sermon from Thessalonians — the application was to follow the pathway to which God’s finger points.
David Levell was also aware of the strategic importance of an expository gospel ministry in Reeth, stating, ‘It is an honour to be called to continue in this vital gospel ministry’.
The act of induction was led by Martin Bryce (deacon), after which Rev. David Gregson led the commissioning prayer. Rev. Mike Plant, General Secretary of the Evangelical Fellowship of Congregational Churches, preached from Psalm 2.
He spoke of how this psalm gives the sense of perspective which a minister needs, in order to cope with great days and difficult days. While there will always be opposition, it cannot succeed. There is an assurance and inevitability about the triumph of God’s purposes, as he makes the nations the inheritance of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Mike stressed that this demanded, as our response, surrender to Christ. He gave a threefold application: be confident; be discerning; be united. Our side cannot lose because Christ cannot lose. It was a fitting message for an induction.
The service concluded with James Montgomery’s ‘Hail to the Lord’s anointed’ and David Levell closing in prayer.
Thanks were also given to David and Elizabeth Gregson for their commitment to the life and work of Reeth church. Mr Gregson will continue to preach in the local area and beyond, and Elizabeth will continue to manage the Old Temperance bookshop.