The excitement in Pollok Baptist Church on Sunday 27th August was palpable – finally six months after issuing a call to Rev Dr Mark Bentham and Rev Dave Murray to come and lead a joint ministry with the folks of Pollok, the day we had all be waiting for was here.
A full church listened as Rev Alan Donaldson of the Baptist Union preached a “bookend” sermon from Luke about two couples who had lost Jesus!
Following the morning service we were joined for lunch by friends of Mark & Dave who had travelled from Ayr and Cathcart Baptist Churches.
Wow the folks of Pollok know how to entertain and a huge thanks to all those who organised and contributed in any way.
To borrow a Daveism “we were all buzzing” none more so than Dave himself!
At 2:15 exactly the Rev John Mckinnon, who had done such a wonderful job as interim moderator, and who was instrumental in bringing about this amazing opportunity for Pollok Baptist to call these two men to lead and serve in our community. As a congregation we are so grateful for John’s selfless support, guidance and leadership during the vacancy. We could not have had a better interim moderator. He truly was God’s man for the time.
Andy Buchannan, our church secretary, summarised the recent history of the church, and expressed his thanks to the faithful pastorate of both the Rev Harry Tompson and his predecessors. We all laughed when he talked of the huge footprint of the church and how Mark the engineer saw building opportunities, whilst Dave the evangelist saw a space for a bouncy castle! (I’m sure there’s room for both.)
Mark and Dave shared something of their own journey to Pollok, with Mark sharing how he has been considering over a few years the order and interplay between theology, ecclesiology and missiology, and it was into that question that the opportunity in Pollok came. Dave’s first words were: “I have no ologies to tell you about, I’m just coming with a great passion for this area.” And so the complimenting gifts with a good dose of banter between our two new pastors was a delight for all to see.
It was obvious that God had given both men eyes to see the tremendous and unique opportunities along with a burden for Pollok.
Alan Donaldson joined them on the platform and led the induction by way of a dialogue and series of commitments that Mark, Dave and the congregation made.
Jennifer Purves prayed for the two men at the beginning of their pastorate in Pollok Baptist Church.
And so a new chapter begins. None of us quite know what it’s going to look like, but all of us have a certainty that God is doing something special with our wee congregation. Whatever the challenges and opportunities the future brings, we go forward in His grace and strength alone. Our hope is not in Mark and Dave, our hope is in Christ and our prayer is that He who has begun a good work will complete it.