My good friend, John Kelly, forwarded me some photographs from the installation service in Sloan Street Presbyterian Church, Lisburn that took place last night. Andrew Faulkner, who has close links with our congregation in Portadown, is the new minister of Sloan Street congregation.
Andrew’s wife, Jessica, is the daughter of our faithful and long-serving elder, Billy Calvert. And the current Clerk of Session in Sloan Street is Dr Brian Craig, son of our esteemed minister emeritus, Dr William Craig.
The Service of Ordination and Installation was conducted by a commission of the Presbytery of Dromore and the act of Installation was conducted by the Rev Andrew Thompson (Moderator) and the Rev John Davey (Clerk). The Moderator prayed that the new minister would be enabled by God to be a strong leader, a wise counsellor, an understanding friend and a clear and consistent example to all; and that in the days ahead he will have the encouragement of seeing lost souls brought to faith in Jesus Christ and followers of Jesus strengthened in their love and commitment. The Rev David Knox, minister of Harmony Hill, read the Scriptures and the Rev Howard Gilpin, minister of Moira Presbyterian, preached the sermon. In a challenging charge to the new minister and the congregation, the Rev William Henry, Convenor of the Vacancy, spoke of the need to minister with heart-felt passion for Christ and love for the people. The praise was led by the church’s music group under the direction of Valerie Wiggam; the hymns included, ‘Jesus paid it all’ and ‘I will offer up my life’.
The service was followed by a reception and supper in the church hall. Welcoming their new minister and his family, Dr Brian Craig, Clerk of Session, said “We are delighted to welcome Andrew, Jessica, David, Beth and Charis into our fellowship. The call to Andrew was clear and unambiguous and together with him we look forward in anticipation to what God has planned. It is our prayer that God will richly bless his ministry in this congregation and in this community”.
Addressing his new congregation for the first time, Mr Faulkner said “It has been incredible to experience the definite leading of God to the congregation of Sloan Street and immensely encouraging to begin to get to know the people here who have a great love for Jesus and the surrounding area. I have no doubt that God will continue to use Sloan Street to reach people and enrich them with the great good news of the gospel.”
Andrew met his wife Jessica while studying at John Moore’s University, Liverpool. They were married in First Portadown Presbyterian Church in July 1997. Andrew is a keen Sunderland Football Club supporter, and before commencing his theological education was a PE teacher at Portadown College for one year followed by eight years at Forthill College, Lisburn. We wish Andrew well as he begins his new ministry.