On Saturday 23 October, South Craven Evangelical Church in Cross Hills, near Keighley, welcomed Paul Gamston as pastor.
In spite of the wet autumnal weather, more than 250 people gathered for the occasion. Apart from many friends and families who came from across England, Scotland and Wales, a number of folks from the local village also attended. Guests included pastors and representatives from evangelical churches.
This joyful meeting was held in the local school’s assembly hall. Attendees were given a brief introduction, with PowerPoint, to the church and its new minister. The church’s history was outlined, including how the Lord had led it from its beginnings to the present day. Constituted in 1981, this pioneering work was started by three families.
Stephen Emmott, its founding member and first pastor, retired two years ago, and during the interregnum the church continued to experience spiritual growth and unity while searching for his successor.
So it was with great joy and excitement that, after 20 months of praying and waiting, we realised that the Lord was sending us Paul Gamston.
Gloucester-born and brought up in a loving Christian home, Paul came to a personal saving faith in Jesus Christ in his mid-teens. On finishing school, he went to Reading University.
While there, he attended Carey Baptist Church. It was here that significant influence was brought to bear on his Christian life and service; and he also met his future wife Jane.
Malpas Road Evangelical Church in Newport was where Paul was first called to go as assistant and later associate pastor. For many years, he has been involved in the Evangelical Movement of Wales (EMW) summer camps in various capacities and, more recently, as chairman of the EMW’s English camps.
In the induction service Rev. Dr Stuart Olyott preached on Romans 4:23-25, reminding hearers that the deepest and the greatest need of men and women is spiritual, and can only be met through the Lord Jesus Christ.
Following the service, guests remained behind for a buffet tea and fellowship together. We give thanks to God for his goodness to us as a church, and look forward to what he will do among us in the future, confident in the fact that Christ is indeed building his church.