29 Sep 2015
On Saturday the 12th of September, the RPCS Presbytery met to ordain and induct Mr Stephen Steele, a licentiate of the Western Presbytery of the RPCI, to the ministry of preaching and teaching God’s Word and prayer in Stranraer. The ground floor of the large Stranraer church building was full to capacity with estimates of over 150 people being present. Each of the Scottish RP churches was represented with people travelling from Stornoway, Edinburgh, Airdrie, and Glasgow. There were also around 80 people who traveled over from Ireland for the event. Many of them from the Irish RP Church but also friends and family members.The service was led by Rev. Andrew Quigley, the Presbytery Clerk, who welcomed everyone and expressed the appreciation of both the Presbytery and the Stranraer congregation for the effort many had made to be at this significant occasion in the life of the Stranraer congregation. Following the opening praise and prayer, Rev. Quigley, in a brief address, reminded those present of the importance of ordination. He then put the ordination vows to Mr Steele who answered in the affirmative both verbally and by signing the document. The Presbytery then laid hands on Mr Steele as he knelt before them, and Rev. Gerald Milligan delivered the prayer of ordination. Rev. Steele was then give right hand of fellowship by each member of the Scottish RP Presbytery. Rev. Tim Donachie then preached on Colossians 1:28, “Him we preach.” He charged the new minister to always preach Christ and reminded him of the purpose of preaching. He also challenged and encouraged the members and adherents of the Stranraer congregation to be both attentive and receptive to the Word of God. Following prayer and the singing of praise, Rev Donachie pronounced the benediction.
After the service was concluded, greetings were brought to the new minster and his wife, Carla, by Rev. John Hawthorne representing the Moderator of the Irish RP Church who was unable to attend; Rev. Raymond Blair on behalf of the RPCI Western Presbytery; Rev. Steven Robinson on behalf of Rev. Steele’s home congregation of Faughan RPCI; and Rev. Kenneth Stewart for the RPCS Presbytery. Mr David Milligan then welcomed them on behalf of the Stranarer RP congregation, and Miss Margaret Clarke presented Carla with flowers from the ladies of the congregation. Everyone was then treated to a buffet meal served by the ladies of Stranraer, which gave a wonderful opportunity to fellowship.
The event came to an end as various bus loads left either for the ferry terminals or back to Glasgow and Airdrie. It was both a joyful and historic day for the Scottish RP Church, and we are thankful to God for providing a new minister both for the Stranraer RP congregation and for the Scottish RP Presbytery.
Some of the congregation.
Mrs. Carla Steele and Miss Margaret Clarke
Rev. Stephen and Mrs. Carla Steele