On Sabbath 26 October 2019, the North England Conference (NEC) of Seventh-day Adventists witnessed the ordination and commissioning of four ministers. The service was held at Leicester Central Adventist church. Pastors Eric Lawrence and Ian Philpott were commissioned, whilst Pastors Pardon Chenjerai and John Francis were ordained.
There was a prodigious support for the pastors from their colleagues in ministry and church members. In the introduction of the ordinands Dr Patrick Herbert regaled the congregation about the first encounter he had with Pastor Chenjerai, in which he asked himself, "Is he the one or do I look for another?"
The service was not only infused with humour and good-natured Christian fellowship, it was blessed with a series of musical items from the Golden Chords as well as Voices in Praise. There was an acknowledgement by Pastor Richard Jackson, NEC President, of the Golden Chords who are celebrating fifty years in music ministry. The sermon from the British Union Conference (BUC) President, Pastor Ian Sweeney, shared a practical message about the challenges of being in the ministry but coupled this with the encouragement that even in hardships, we can still "rejoice in the Lord always" (Philippians 4:4). Pastor Sweeney explained that the joy we have in God is not altered by what is going on around us, as joy is about "knowing who you are and whose you are." Therefore, the joy that God places in our hearts cannot be changed by the challenges we face, a message which resonated with everyone.
The wives of the pastors were recognised by the NEC ministerial spouses for the years that they have spent supporting their husbands in ministry – each received gifts of appreciation. Although being a 'shepherdess' may not be their primary occupation, the wives of the ministers play a vital role in supporting the pastors in their work.
The service concluded with a response from the newly ordained Pastor Chenjerai on behalf of his fellow ordinands. He expressed their thanks as well as expounded the Scriptures, outlining ways in which Jesus is represented in the Bible including as 'Redeemer' and 'High Priest'.
It is always encouraging to see the workforce of God increase in number and strength, especially as we draw closer to the return of Jesus Christ. This ordination service affirmed the ministerial calling that God has placed on the lives of four NEC pastors, but God has also placed a calling on the lives of all His followers. In his introduction of Pastor Chenjerai, Dr Patrick Herbert said "When Dwight L Moody was just starting ministry, he heard a preacher make this statement, 'The world has yet to see what God can do with one man fully surrendered to Him.' Moody that night said, 'By God's grace, I'll be that man.'"
May we seek God's wisdom to know His purpose for our lives and how we can live accordingly, so that on that glorious day of Christ's appearing, He may say to us, "Well done, good and faithful servant." (Matthew 25:21, 23.)
Here is the LINK for the photographs for the servive