Calvary Baptist Church, at Ogmore Vale in Wales, has welcomed its new pastor, Owen Batstone.
Last February the church set in motion a plan for Rev. Brian Nott to work part-time shortly after his 70th birthday, and began to pray for a new pastor to replace him.
Three young men came to preach in the first half of the year. Only one pursued the possibility, but he decided to accept a call to another Baptist church. Mr Nott said, ‘By this time some of us had become convinced in our own hearts the Lord had already sent the man of his choice among us.
‘In September I received a phone call from Dr Eryl Davies, saying he had some information that might benefit the church. He asked if we would have Owen Batstone to work in the church to gain some experience. He has done door-to-door visitation, led Bible studies, led the Discoverers and spoken at “Time Out”.’
In December, the church leaders proposed a call to Mr Batstone to be a student pastor, subject to a three week trial period in January 2012. The Lord blessed his time here in January and his call was ratified by the church in a members’ meeting in February. He was welcomed and recognised as the new pastor on 31 March.
Mr Nott said, ‘Owen’s initial time here was essential, as Ann and I were invited to look after the International Evangelical Church in Limassol, Cyprus. Our time there was blessed and we had lovely fellowship with a dedicated and loving congregation. We were enriched in our souls by the fellowship both at Limassol and Larnaca, and are grateful to the Lord for the opportunity to share in that work.
‘For Ann and I, this is the end of an era. It is an emotional time for us, but we are convinced this is the Lord’s will. We are also convinced, after much prayer and waiting on the Lord, that our place is to stay on in Calvary at present.
‘Do pray for us and our family that they will keep attending the church and the Lord will speak to them as they hear the Word from someone other than “Dad”. Ann and I leave the pastorate with many happy memories of those who still remain and of those who have gone on to wait for us in glory.’