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A place of the Word & Spirit

example of late-comers and commented on the fact that our clock at home must have stopped.  That was it - he had embarrassed me - nothing he could say now could possibly mean anything to me.

However by the end of the meeting, I did not remember anything specifically he had said, but I was under deep conviction of the Holy Spirit.  When he offered an invitation to anyone wishing to know more about the way of salvation, I did not hesitate, but waited behind to speak with him as others left.  He opened the scriptures to me at Revelation ch. 3 vs. 20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me”.  He explained that everyone is born in sin and therefore alienated from enjoying a relationship with God.  Not only that, but our sin would separate us from God for ever.  As a ten year old boy I immediately grasped the significance of the moment and followed the preacher in the sinner’s prayer.  I instantly felt a burden lift and it almost seemed as though I was walking on air.  What an amazing Friend I discovered in Jesus.  I was now embarked on a road for heaven and had a real assurance and peace in my heart.  I had opened the door and Jesus had come in!  I immediately began to share my new faith with anyone who would listen - for a ten year old, that was mainly family and school friends.

The Bible began to come alive to me, and I had an appetite for the Scriptures and loved the fellowship of God’s people.  I soon found myself attending three prayer meetings a week, one in my local family church and two in local Prayer Unions attached to the Faith Mission.  One of these in particular became a real blessing to me.  It was held each Wednesday night in the home of Mr and Mrs Andrews, a godly Baptist couple who really loved the Lord.  Maybe it was the boiled egg for supper each night after the meeting but the fellowship was sweet.  By now I was in my mid teens and had finally acquired some wheels - only two though - and so Willie Reid and I cycled to the meeting and back each Wednesday evening, a round trip of about seven miles.  Willie was an elder in my local church, another godly man who made a great impact on my young life, and what blessed fellowship we enjoyed together as we travelled to the meeting each week.

Outside of this there were other activities to engage the mind of a young person, such as the Junior C. E., the local Youth Club, and the odd coffee bar etc.

While in the final years of secondary education, a speaker from Belfast (Graeme Hall) challenged young people to follow Jesus and live for Him.  About thirty young people committed their lives to the Lord that night, and so a Thursday night youth prayer meeting was started in a local home.  Graeme began to show us from the scriptures that the Holy Spirit was given to us as Christians, not only to guide us but also to empower us for service.

These were truly amazing meetings, spent each week in bible study and prayer.

As my spiritual appetite increased for the presence and purpose of God in my life, I began to seek out other opportunities to meet with like-minded people.  For a period of time I travelled regularly to Markethill Elim Church, a round journey of forty miles by bicycle each Sunday evening.  I made some wonderful friends and really benefited from the teaching of the Word of God.  One conversation in Pastor Cottor’s home stands out in particular.  A young visiting student minister was present who was having difficulty grasping the concept of tithing our income to God.  I clearly remember Pastor Cottor describing how he personally tithed of all that he owned.  The student couldn’t grasp how the pastor donated part of a chair, for example, to God.  Of course the explanation seemed so simple - he gave a tenth of his income to God before he bought the chair!.

   Then I was asked to go to a youth meeting one night to share my testimony, an opportunity I never turned down!  My friend Gary picked me up and we seemed to travel forever along minor country roads until at last we arrived at the church.  I immediately noticed the name over the door, a place I had already heard of - Mountain Lodge Pentecostal Assembly!  For me that was an incredible meeting and one that was to change the path of my life.  In particular, I remember a young man, Victor Cunningham, coming over to me after the meeting and encouraging me in the things of God.

That night was a turning point for me, I could never be satisfied any longer with less than the full purpose of God for my life.  Over the coming months I began to attend the church, at first occasionally and then more regularly.  I was by this time involved in open air preaching and tract distribution in the local villages. Although I had no aspirations for any  leadership position, I knew God was calling me into fellowship at Mountain Lodge.

I began to be challenged and encouraged by the teaching I received in the meetings, and appreciated the openness and warmth of these new friends. One family in particular, the Wilsons, took me under their wing, having me to their home for lunch each Sunday between the meetings.  David Wilson (an elder in the church) quickly became a spiritual father to me and my “best friend”.

I followed the Lord through the waters of baptism (baptism by immersion)and sought and received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.  In June of 1983,David Wilson asked me to accompany him to a Morris Cerrulo crusade in Glasgow, Scotland.  During the crusade that week-end I experienced a wonderful miracle of healing when deteriorating vision was restored to my right eye.  From that moment I was assured of God’s will to heal.

Just a few months later that year my faith, with that of the rest of the Assembly would be severely tested. On the night in question, David Wilson travelled to the church in my car with me.  Neither of us had any idea that twenty minutes later he would be in heaven, one of the victims of a terrorist massacre at the church.  A more detailed account of some of the miracles that took place on that night can be found on the History page.

I was distraught at the loss of such a close friend, a feeling only compounded by the fact that Sally, then my girlfriend (now my wife) was also injured in her arm and thigh.  Doctors said she would never have the use of her arm again but through prayer God wrought a miraculous healing on her behalf, but that’s another story. Three years after the massacre Sally and  I were married and God has blessed us with a daughter Esther, who is involved in the youth and worship side of the church.

The story of the new church building is again covered in the history section of the web-site, but just to say that at that time I was asked to come alongside my late father-in-law Pastor Bain, as Assistant Pastor.  Little did I know that just four years later the Lord would call him Home and I would be asked to take the reins of responsibility.  How vital those four years under his leadership proved to be.

The rest is history, as they say, but history is still in the making and we continue to enjoy the blessings of God as we press on towards the mark of the high Calling of God in Christ Jesus.  My prayer as you read this testimony is that if you don’t already know Him, you will find my Jesus as your saviour.

May God bless you.                

Pastor David.

Pastor’s Profile

As a child, I was raised in a loving home, and attended the local Sunday School and Presbyterian Church each week.  I remember the Faith Mission Pilgrims conducting Children’s Meetings on my uncle’s lawn, next door, but it wasn’t until Mervyn Moffatt of CEF came to a Hall at Rehaghey in Co Tyrone in 1968, that the Lord convicted me of my need for Him.

I still remember that evening of 1st May well, as we turned up approximately ten minutes late for the meeting! I thought as a child I could slip into the back un-noticed, but the preacher was having none of it.  He decided to make a public