Service of Commissioning for Rev. David McCullough at Woodstock RPC

On Friday 1st September 2017 Rev. David McCullough was installed as the Organising Pastor at Woodstock, a culmination of a work started back in 2012 when the Eastern Presbytery felt led by God to restart an RP church in East Belfast.  In God’s wonderful provision, one of the men who got involved in this church plant was Rev. McCullough and he undertook the weekly Bible Study whilst Rev. Knox Hyndman undertook the Sabbath worship service that commenced in early 2013.

On the evening, we were pleased to welcome around 100 guests from the Eastern Presbytery.  A special mention must go to our brothers and sisters from Dromore RPC, Rev. McCullough’s previous congregation, who joined us on this special evening and we greatly appreciated this.

After a welcome by Rev. Hyndman we were addressed by the Moderator of Synod, Rev. Norris Wilson and then we praised God with Psalm 117A.  Rev. Nathan Hawthorne read from II Timothy 1:8-18 and delivered a very challenging sermon on how at times we can fail to witness because we feel ashamed of the Gospel and to overcome this we need to focus on Christ our King and what he has done for us.  It was fitting for us them to continue in praise with Psalm 45 v3-6 and acknowledge Christ’s Kingship.  Rev. Warren Peel delivered a talk on “What Reformed Presbyterians Believe.” and he summed this up in four words, Jesus Christ is Lord.

Rev. John Watterson led Rev. McCullough and the members in taking our vows and making our commitment to this work and Rev. Hyndman concluded this with the commissioning prayer.  Rev. Harry Coulter then charged our new pastor and us as members as to what we need to do to serve God in this church plant by committing ourselves to the people in this part of Belfast and sharing the good news about Jesus Christ with them.  We finished praising God with Psalm 67B and the Prayer and Benediction.

We followed this up with a time of fellowship and refreshments, which included the RP staples of tea, buttered fruit loaf/cake and an abundance of tray bakes – the tray bakes were so abundant we will be continuing to enjoy them for weeks to come!  Everyone involved with Woodstock worked together to ensure this night went smoothly and we were well organised by Edith Hyndman to ensure everyone had enough to eat and drink.

As a relative newcomer to the RP church, or a ‘blow-in’ as I believe the official term is, this was my first time being involved in this process of installing a new pastor.   The careful and prayerful consideration given to each step of the process is very apparent and I feel this does reflect the seriousness of what we are doing and a desire to be led by God.  We at Woodstock have been really blessed in the faithful preaching each week of God’s word by Rev. Hyndman and the Bible Study led by Rev. McCullough, in this time we have went from an informal gathering each Sabbath to a society installing a pastor.  We know that God honours those who honour him and our prayer is that we will continue to do this faithfully until our King returns.

Sam McDonald, Woodstock RPC