"Holiness unto the Lord"

CHURCH
OF THE
NAZARENE LISBURN

THE FIRST 50 YEARS
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 

THE 1980'S

In May 1981 the Rev Eric Lewis informed the board about the call and the acceptance of this call to Bangor Independent Methodist Church. The farewell service for the Rev Lewis and his family was held on Saturday 23rd May 1981.

At a meeting called in August 1981 a vote was taken to call the Rev Robert McMurdock as "caretaker pastor". It was explained that because the Rev McMurdock was ordained by O.M.S, and not the Church of the Nazarene, they could not give him an official call at this time. The vote was unanimous in favour and a welcome service for the Rev McMurdock and his family was held on Friday 11th September 1981.

The Rev David Tarrant chaired the members meeting on the 14th April 1982 and he informed them that the Rev McMurdock's credentials were now recognised by the Nazarene Church and they could now officially call him. Once again the vote was unanimous for the official call.

The October 1983 board meeting was to hear of yet another change in the pastorate of the church. Rev McMurdock announced to the board that the Department of World Missions had invited him and his family to serve as missionaries in Bangalore, India. Fie told the board that he would be staying until the end of the year.

The Rev David Tarrant was the chairman at the board meeting held on the 20th October 1983. He went on to explain that the Rev David Thirkell from the South District had expressed to him some time ago a willingness, as the Lord led, to come to Northern Ireland. The board was asked to prayerfully consider the Rev Thirkell coming to Lisburn.

In November the Rev McMurdock explained to the board about the delay in receiving his missionary appointment and the District Superintendent had asked him to stay on until the end of January 1984.

On Sunday 15th January 1984 the Rev David Thirkell preached to the congregation with a view to a call.

At the beginning of February 1984 the farewell service for the Rev McMurdock and his family was held. The service was conducted by the Rev Bert Kelly from the Desertmartin Church. The appointment to India was not to be. The McMurdock family went on to Taipei, Taiwan.

At the Annual General Meeting on the 22nd February 1984 a vote was taken, on the recommendation by the church board, to invite the Rev David Thirkell to become the minister of the Lisburn Church. A large majority voted in favour.

Another form of outreach was commenced in the church in 1984. This time it was to cater for the senior citizens of the community and it was called the "Silver Liners" with Walter Jess snr as the director and he was to be assisted by Mrs Jess, Mrs Kerr and Mr Blemings.

Church Holiday In Wales 1986

During the period between the Rev McMurdock's departure and the Rev Thirkell's arrival, the Rev Noel Sommerville, from the Dromore Church, helped a great deal with visitation and any pastoral needs of the church.

The induction service for the Rev David Thirkell and his family was held on Saturday 20th October 1984 with the Rev David Tan-ant in charge.

The second part of the 80's saw some of our young people going to various Bible Colleges. In July 1985 Brian Spence received confirmation of acceptance into the Faith Mission training college. His valedictory service was held on Wednesday 25th September 1985. Brian and his family are now serving with the Faith Mission in Canada.

1986 saw another one of our young people heading off to Faith Mission training college. Deborah Hodgen had her valedictory service on Wednesday 1st October. before her departure.

In May 1987 it was agreed by the board to go ahead with tarmacing the church car park at a cost of 4,400.

At the same meeting Pastor Thirkell informed the board about the appointment of the Rev Harry Stevenson to work in Greystones, in the South of Ireland. It was decided that the Lisburn Church would provide financial assistance. The board also decided that with God's help and leading the church would endeavour to raise 2,500 per year for a four year period.

A mini evangelistic campaign was held from 21st to 25th November 1987 with the new District Superintendent, Rev John Paton as the special speaker.

In January 1988 a young trainee pastor by the name of Edward Davies from the Nazarene college came to the church to do his assistantship for three months.

At the Annual General Meeting in 1988 Mr Cook informed the meeting of his desire to relinquish the treasurers post after 27 years. He and Mrs Cook received gifts and a prolonged standing ovation.

August 1988 saw another valedictory service. This time it was the turn of Mark Braithwaite and was held on Sunday 14th before his departure for Nazarene college.

A special members meeting was called in September 1988. Mrs Thirkell informed the membership that the first annual commitment of 2,500 had been forwarded to Mission Headquarters in Kansas city four months in advance and that 794 had already been raised toward the second year's commitment.

From the 2nd to the 16th October 1988 a mission was conducted by the Rev Sam Workman. The mission was very well attended. The mighty presence of God was felt and many were blessed and renewed under the preaching and teaching of the Rev Workman.

In November 1988 a new Alter rail was fitted and dedicated in memory of the late Rev Bert Kelly.

In February 1989 the board agreed to set up a student support fund for those going to Bible college. The scheme was to be called the "Rev Kelly Memorial Student Support Fund" in memory of the Rev Bert Kelly who went home to be with the Lord in September 1988. Those going to college would receive 20% of their college course fees from the fund, this sum being paid directly to the college.

THE 1990'S

At the Annual General Meeting in 1990 Mrs Thirkell informed the members that there was only 982.14 left to pay from the four year commitment to the Greystones Church and that this was approximately 18 months ahead of schedule. The Rev Thirkell also informed the meeting that he and his wife felt led of God to move to the Southwest of England and embark on a church planting programme including oversight of the Church in Brixham.

For the first time ever, the District Assembly was held in Northern Ireland. The venue was Railway Street Presbyterian Church.

The District Superintendent, Rev John Paton, met with the church board on the 14th February 1990 to discuss a new pastor. He asked the board to invite the Rev Albert Griffith to Lisburn to preach with a view to a call. The Rev Griffith preached on Sunday 4th March at both services. At the members meeting on the 26th March the Rev Griffith received a majority vote in favour of being called. The induction service for the Rev Griffith and his family (including their new arrival, Deborah) was held on Saturday 30th June 1990.

During the year the church board decided to pledge the sum of 2,500 to the Donegal Road Church over a twelve month period.

Also in May 1990 the Rev Bill Dunn conducted a mission. The mission was very well attended and his subjects included his own testimony and "Back masking"- satanic messages heard on some pop songs when played backwards. He also learnt the church a new chorus-"Don't give up you're on the brink of a miracle".

In June 1990 Rev Lown and his wife were invited to take part in the Children's day Anniversary.

In 1991 while Mark Braithwaite was home for the summer from Nazarene college he assisted in the church for five weeks. Also during the summer of 1991 the Rev McMurdock, former Lisburn minister, was back in the pulpit for one Sunday.

On Thursday 10th December 1991 a concert was arranged by Samuel Purdy. It was "Christmas in the Country" performed by American country gospel singer JerryArhelger.

Ian Lockhart was accepted in May 1992 for Faith Mission training college. His valedictory service was held on 13th September 1992. He is at present pastoring a Nazarene Church in Lancaster.

During the summer of 1992 the church had Tony Rice, a college student, as an assistant for six weeks.

A Holiness convention was held from the 18th to 25th October 1992 and the speaker was the Rev Denis Applebee. He brought with him a boxed set of childrens stories on cassette which he had produced and these were available for purchase to those present at the meetings.

During 1993 John Logue went to Emmanuel Bible college.

Miss Rachel McKinnon (now wife of Lisburn evangelist Alan Bartley), a former Faith Mission pilgrim, conducted a mission in September 1993 and had some assistance from Miss Esther Hewitt, her colleague when she was in the Faith Mission.

Lisburn Church had Malcom Worsley, of the Phillippi Trust in England, over from the 14th- 16th January 1994 to conduct seminar type meetings.

At the 1994 A G.M the members were informed that this was the fourth year of support for the Donegal Road Church in Belfast at 2,500 per year and that in the last eight years the Lisburn Church had given 20,000 to other churches.

Also in 1994 was the 40th Anniversary of the Lisburn Church. Special services were held and old photographs and newspaper cuttings were put up on display. Bibles with "40th Anniversary of the Lisburn Church" were also made available for sale. Speakers at the services included the Rev Paton, Rev Lewis, Rev Thirkell, Rev Crouch and Donald Wilson. The Lisburn Council presented a plaque to the church on this occasion.

During the early part of 1995 a number of members left the church to start a new work.

As the Lord had blessed the ministry of Malcom Worsley he was invited back to take a mission in the church during May 1995.

After much discussion and planning the "Noah's Ark" playgroup opened up in September 1995. It was to run for four days a week. The playgroup not only served the church children but also the children of the local community.

There was a four week mission held from the 28th April- 26th May 1996. Len Pickering conducted the mission. There was a good response from the community and the mission went very well. Quite a number received counselling during the mission.

In January 1997 we had a visit from an American Nazarene choir and in May 1997 we had a two week mission with Brian Spence.

At the beginning of 1998, after starting a piano fund the previous year, the church got a new piano.

On Saturday 5th September 1998 the church held an open day with large displays and leaflets for each department. By all accounts the open day went very well.

2000 TO THE PRESENT

During the millennium year a new outreach venture was organised by outreach director Sam Perkins. A number of volunteers were split up into teams of two and went door to door in the local community distributing the "JESUS" video's and also following up those who had accepted them. A large number were distributed and those who were involved were both challenged and blessed.

In 2001, after a suggestion by board member Mrs Maxwell, a telephone directory was put together for those in the church by Joe Redmond.

Also during 2001 a committee was formed to look into and report on renovations to be carried out coming up to the 50th Anniversary. They reported back saying that the 28

work required ranged from roof repairs to floor coverings. The Rev Sommerville was consulted about the extent of this work and an estimated cost of approximately

One of the last Marches of Witness for the Caravaners

One of the last Marches of Witness for the Caravaners

110,000 was given. A members meeting was called to bring the cost of the renovations and the extent of them. After a lot of discussion a vote was taken and the go-ahead to proceed was given.

A number of gospel concerts in aid of the building fund were arranged including one in the new Lisburn Civic Centre featuring George Hamilton IV, which incidentally was professionally recorded and released on CD, and another three in the church featuring the Emmanuel singers, Victor Hutchinson and "Speedy" Moore and The Harvesters. The concerts raised over 2000 for the building fund.

During the summer of 2001 the church bus was completely burned out by vandals. The fire damaged windows in the sanctuary and there was also smoke damage to the sanctuary.

Sadly the Caravaners did not recommence in September 2001 due to no one being available to fill the position of Caravan director. The Nazarene Young Peoples Saturday night meeting also did not recommence due to no N.Y.I. leader.

In October 2001 the Sunday school time was changed to 10:15am after nearly 50 years at 3:00pm. This was done to try and increase numbers at Sunday school. The change proved popular as there was a notable increase in numbers. Bible class also recommenced after a break.

In June 2002 Samuel Purdy organised a music group for the Sunday services. A set of drums was purchased solely from money given specifically for that purpose. Other instruments used within the group included acoustic guitars, electric guitars, bass guitar, banjo and mandolin. The group has progressed well with some of the younger ones in the church becoming involved.

It was decided to purchase another bus for the church as it was needed for the Sunday services and during the week.

Worship books for the children staying in during the sermon were introduced in October 2002. These books were a gift from the Gawler Church of the Nazarene, not far from the city of Elizabeth in South Australia.

Also in October 2002 a new Junior Youth Group, headed up by Edward and Deborah Pierce and a number of volunteers, was started up on a Monday night from 6:30 - 7:30pm. The youth group has grown from strength to strength and already a number of :he young ones from the group have put their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.

By June 2003 the Noah's Ark playgroup was no longer a part of the church programme.

Early in 2004 the church had a visit from another American Nazarene college choir. They put on a full programme for the church, which went very well and was enjoyed by everyone who attended.

As in previous years Vacation Bible School was held in August 2004 with Joyce Walsh taking the meetings this year. One young boy that we know of gave his heart to the Lord Jesus Christ and requested a Bible. Joyce brought him a Bible the next night and it was reported that he marched out of the church, after the meeting was over, with his Bible under his arm and a grin on his face from cheek to cheek.

Up to the present, September 2004, new windows have been put into the sanctuary, the railings, gates and outside woodwork of the church have been repainted. The large Sunday school room has also been redecorated and new heaters fitted. The Vestry has been redecorated, new carpet fitted and a new desk and chair put into place. Plans for he refurbishment of the kitchen and the toilets have now been drawn up and passed. Work will hopefully start in the near future. Colin Duffy has been accepted for Nazarene college. His farewell service was on Sunday 12th September.

By now, if you didn't already know, you will have realised that over the last 50 years God has greatly blessed the Lisburn Church by answering the prayers of its pastors and its people. The generosity in the sacrificial giving of its people has been outstanding.

Over the years there have been so many people who have helped out in some way, be it a Sunday school teacher, Caravan helper, youth group helper, bus driver, tea maker or a helper in 101 other jobs. Their names may not have been mentioned in the pages of this little book but they are every bit as much appreciated and God has seen their endeavours and will reward those who have faithfully served Him.

Below are some of the names of those who have held positions in the church.

Church Secretary's include Mr F. Carberry, Mr T. Smyth, Mr W. Carson, Miss E. Best, Mr W. Creagan, Mr P. Wallace, Mr D. Kelly, Mr J. King, Miss V. Redmond and Mr E.Pierce.

Church Treasurer's include Mr Purdy snr, Mr Orr, Mr Cook, Mr Jess jnr and Mr Hawe.

Sunday School Superintendents include Rev Lown, Mr E. Part, Mr T. Cook, Mr E. Crothers and Mr S. Purdy.

Caravan Directors include Mrs M. Lown, Mrs Thomas, Mr S. Perkins, Miss M. Belshaw, Mr J. Elwood, Mr E. Crothers and Mr K. Williamson.

N.Y.I Leaders include Rev Lown, Mr R. Davies, Mr T. Crothers, Mr C. Morrison, Mr A. Robinson, Mr M. Shannon, Mr P. Wallace, Mr D. Kelly, Mr S. Trotter, Mr E. Pierce Mr L. Crothers, and Mr S. Redmond.

Missionary Presidents include Mrs M. Lown, Mrs A. Thomas, Mrs E. Cook, Mrs A. Kelly and Mrs R. Griffith.

Mums and Toddler's include Mrs J. Thirkell, Mrs D. Lawrence, Miss E. Williamson, Mrs R. Griffith, Mrs D. Pierce and Mrs J. Hawe

Silver Liners include Mr W. Jess snr, Mr H. Trotter, Mr R. McClarnen, Mr D. Seeds, Miss E. Williamson and Mrs M. Clarke

Home Department includes Mrs S. McConkey, Miss V. Redmond, Mr S. Perkins, Miss E. Williamson, Mr J and Mrs M. Redmond.

Organists and pianists include Miss E. Hawe, Miss H. McBratney, Mrs H. Crothers, Mr P. Wallace, Mrs M. Jess, Miss L. Redmond, Miss K. Collins, Mr S. Purdy and Mrs C. Collins.

The following poem was written by Mrs M. Purdy especially for the 50th Anniversary.

In 1954 one August day
Two ministers came along the way
To pitch a tent in the field so green
The Lisburn Church of the Nazarene.

We watched with wonder as those men worked
Through the day and through the night
Working through storm, wind and rain
These men of God they did prevail.

The land was bought through much prayer
With love and labour the people shared
They gave the time of what they had
To build and erect a house of God.

A little wooden hall was built
And many came to worship in it
Finding peace through Christ our Lord
Listening to pastor Lown proclaim God's word.

Many souls were saved back then
And some of them have gone to glory
Some have gone across the sea
Many stayed at home to see.

The church completed as it is today
Finding joy and peace along the way
Some remember that day with me
When four men crossed the Irish sea.

From England's fair land they came
To Ireland's shores in Jesus name
There was James Green, Cliff Filer; John Crouch
Pastor Albert Lown they loved so much.

So praise the Lord for 50 years
Four men of God carne across the sea
To build a church on your grass so green
The Lisburn Church of the Nazarene.

The last part of the booklet deals with the ministers of the Lisburn Church with their own contributions where stated.

REV ALBERT LOWN
AUGUST 1954 TO JANUARY 1960

Rev Albert Lown was born on August 30th 1908. In the early 1930's Mr Lown became involved with the "Trekker's". For those who don't know what a trekker is, they were teams of young men who walked Britain's country roads and city streets proclaiming the gospel and they played a part in extending the work of the International Holiness Mission between the years of 1928 and 1936.

In 1936 Mr Albert Lown was ordained into the ministry. By 1943 he was pastoring in West Hartlepoole. From 1944 to 1954 Rev Lown pastored in the Bolton Church.

As has already been stated, the Rev Lown and a team of Nazarene ministers conducted a tent mission, in Lisburn, in 1954.

The following article about the Rev Lown was written by church member Edward Crothers.

This servant of God became many things to many people. A sampling would include Enabler, Visitor, Evangelist, Encourager, Estimator, Counsellor, Pastor, and Friend.

These were hallmarks of his personality and ministry at each location where he laboured, but these comments must necessarily be seen in the context of his ministry in the Lisburn Church.

As an Enabler he was vigorous in planning and preparation and always had thought a thing through and checked its viability before embarking on, or suggesting to others, a course of action. An example of this is seen in his securing from an Insurance Company a Third Party Policy to protect the Church against any claims for injury or damage during the construction stages of the building project at Warren Gardens.

As far as one can recall, (apart from blisters and minor cuts etc) there were no significant injuries sustained by anyone during the construction of Phase One of the property, but upon the last task of work on his last day in Lisburn, Rev Lown sustained a very nasty injury to a finger. He had procured the "God is Love" finial to replace the "flame shaped emblem" which was originally mounted on the "Spire". While using the ladder a large skelf from its edge entered the base of his finger and penetrated almost its entire length. There was just time to dash to the Lagan Valley Hospital for necessary treatment en route to the boat for the journey to Paisley, there to commence his next ministry. Accidents of course are painful, but his attitude to this one was, "Whichever way the wind blows God is love".

Visitor-He came to Lisburn at a time when there was a strong sense amongst Christian people for the need of revival. He did not come alone as has been stated, but he consented to return and spearhead the formation of a Holiness Work in the town. There was ample opportunity to witness in the open-air, in hospital visitation, and particularly through home visitation. A busy man will always find time to do what is necessary. With a full ministry to facilitate (2x Sunday sermons, Sunday School to oversee, Caravan, Youth Club, Prayer Meeting, Missionary Meeting, Sal night Young People's Meeting and a Building Project to implement), some visits were done after building work, finished at night, or before people went to work in the morning. Those who say today that a prayer breakfast is a new idea weren't around in the late fifties! This congregation was built on visitation and frequent half nights and all nights of prayer.

Evangelist-Evangelism occurred naturally as this servant of God presented a winsome personality to complete strangers, and shared with them his love for the Lord, their need for the same Saviour, and his own vision for a Church at Warren Gardens. Evangelistic work was not restricted to N. Ireland, he twice visited America during his pastorate at Lisburn. One of these trips was during a period of severe winter weather in the Boston area, but he found time to visit with relatives of a Lisburn family, and was used of the Lord in speaking to a man on his deathbed and praying with him in regard to his salvation. Truly he was a man with an Evangelists love for the lost, and a Pastors heart for service.

Encourager-Encouragement was a strong feature of his personality. Everywhere he went he encouraged those he met. Smartly dressed as a Pastor he would speak appropriately to a member or adherent, then a quick visit home to change into dungarees, and a short time later he would be showing a pre-teen what needed doing on the site that evening, before organising the adult labour for their tasks. Regular checks to see how things were progressing usually included the phrase "My you've done well", or, "when you finish that I would like you to do such or such another thing". Men who thought they could not build concrete block in a straight and plumb manner were soon shown how it was done and then were given the opportunity to learn in the school of experience. Rev Lown's musical ability was also an encouragement, whatever task was being tackled it always went better with a rousing hymn or a lilting chorus. "Then sings my soul my Saviour God to Thee, how great thou art! how great Thou art!" or some other favourite was often accompanied by the voices of several men from various parts of the site, and with the rhythm of several hammers.

A Sunday School Outing required hectic food preparation the night before and also on the day itself. Fridges were still a luxury then. Catering was usually for at least two bus loads at about 60-70 pupils per bus. Pastor and staff would have been tired even before the trip commenced, but that did not prevent an interest being taken in each pupil to ensure that they enjoyed their day out. A leisurely swim was out of the question- there were too many children needing to be got away from the rail into deeper water where the Pastor then taught them to float. For some that required the ultimate brand of encouragement !

Estimator. In the building project the thought of wastage was horrific. The Lords money was not to be squandered. Materials were obtained with as much discount as possible, and in quantities just sufficient for the job in hand. Transport and delivery charges were avoided if at all possible; equipment was often borrowed rather than hired. God provided countless answers to prayer to enable the project to progress. It was not all man's organisation, although Rev Lown's sheer skill as an estimator certainly had a marked effect on reducing the costs incurred. Even given the management training and .computer assistance available these days, it is extremely hard to find a construction site so free of wastage as his site was.

Do you know the story of how Rev Lown took two other men in his Ford Eight car to a Belfast timber yard, to purchase an especially long piece of timber purlin needed that day. There was some difficulty with the delivery facility offered so the solution was that the sun-roof of the car was opened (yes cars had sun-roofs even in those days, and what's more, we even had sun during summer time!) and the purlin was manhandled into position with its lower end wedged against the edge of the rear seat and the floor; while the top end was some. fifteen feet or so above the ground. The two men then crushed into the back, but sat on the lower portion of the purlin to steady it. Their combined weight also helped to keep the rear wheels in contact with the road. Much prayer ascended to request a safe journey and an absence of Police patrols. Both these requests were granted, and when Dunmurry was reached a detour from the main road along The Cutts and the Pond Park Road avoided the low bridge hazard at Derriaghy. Would you have done that with your car to ensure that the building progress was maintained?

Another anecdote- the occasion, a barbeque in the countryside somewhere around the area of Reid's Corner and Ravarnett. Several cars from church were involved. Pastors Ford Eight to the fore but with just about enough fuel to do about 3/4 of the journey. On the way home every downhill section of road was freewheeled, but by the time the top of Carnbane Hill was reached the fuel gauge needle was hard on the stop at the empty end of the scale. One of the four occupants of the back seat, on being whispered to by their "close" relative regarding the situation delved into their purse and offered the Pastor some money for fuel. The swiftly expressed "Thank you! You don't know how timely and fortuitous your offer is." had just about registered before the car trundled into Johnny Palmer's filling station at Sprucefield. Rev Lown always allowed room in his estimates for the operation of faith in God's provision, and God never let him down. Praise Him!

Counsellor. As with every Pastor; the opportunity to offer counsel would present itself on a regular basis. Confidentiality is often an integral and essential element of such activity. Actual examples cannot therefore be sited, but people have expressed their appreciation of the time and effort expended by Rev Lown on their behalf.

Pastor. Specific methods were found to ensure that all age ranges received nurture from his ministry. He had skill as a preacher in the simple fluent communication of the Gospel. His ministry included a well-balanced mix of doctrine, challenges to holy living and helpful illustrations to demonstrate the application of scripture. When occasion required, any word of rebuke or warning was graciously imparted. Humour would be used occasionally but never excessively, and never as an end in itself. His care and concern for children and teens was a formative element in the introduction of the Nazarene Caravan Ministry to the Lisburn Church. This was the first in Northern Ireland, and first on the North District of the British Isles.

Parties for Christmas were also an all age event with age graded items, and items for everyone. It was here that humour did play a large part in the programme, and lots of organisation and arranging was done by Rev Lown.

The Church Holiday was a strenuous activity, which he threw himself into several times for the benefit of those who risked a long journey in coach or boat. Locations such as Graystones (Eire), Ramsey (IOM), Rothsey (Isle of Bute), and Abergelly (N. Wales) all spring to mind. Each holds particular memories of fun times and devotional worship, which combined to produce spiritual growth, and character development.

His insights in seeking to reach people in an all round way multiplied his challenges and his opportunities as a Pastor. It also multiplied the effort and input required by him. Rev Lown never was and never became a slacker- he was a member of the Cliff College Trekkers. Have you read the booklet entitled "The story of Trekking" which he has written? It gives a brief description of the challenges faced and overcome by those involved in that ministry. It was a very formative influence for good upon the lives and characters of the team. It is not surprising that he progressed in ministry to become a much sought after convention speaker He also was on the Editorial Committee dealing with the Sunday School Adult Curriculum material printed at Nazarene Publishing House in Kansas City.

One of his final visits to Lisburn included some free time on the Saturday, so he arranged a lift to Desertmartin to view the progress of the new Church being built. He was not there five minutes till he had a saw in his hand and was busy helping cutting timber for the ceiling!

Friend. Not every Englishman coming to Ireland endears himself to the population, and not every person on the island is disposed to become a friend towards English visitors. But Lisburn's status as a garrison town put it in a league of its own in welcoming the English, Scots and Welsh Nationals. Additionally, true Christianity admits no discrimination. Each unregenerate person is to be shown the love of God, and every regenerated person is to be treated as a member of God's adopted family Thus it became the case that many people within and outside of the Nazarene denomination befriended Rev Lown. He had a particular regard for the Charter Members of the Lisburn Church, and retained an interest in them and contact with them over the passing years.

During his ministry and calling as a church planter, Rev Lown was also a husband and father. He performed the latter roles with the same energy, drive and sincerity as he gave to his ministry. As a family the entire household enhanced the testimony of the church. Mrs Lown being a hard working, talented member of the team, never shrank from participating/leading in many of the programmes /activities in the Church. John, Margaret and Peter were typically happy young people who shared their parent's good looks and intelligence, and had good relationships across the congregation. Rev and Mrs Lown were justifiably proud of their family.

Having enjoyed his teaching and encouragement since the formation of the Lisburn Church, and having been blessed by the convention challenges of his return visit to Lisburn in his elder statesman years, it can be safely stated that he was most deserving of the honour he earned. He exemplified in every sense the title "Doctor A. J. Lown". That he remained, as always the humble hard working servant of God is not a surprise, for after all, he had spent his lifetime perfecting that skill.

Lisburn Church is thankful for the great start he gave to them.

Edward Crothers.

Rev Lown and his family left Lisburn in January 1960 and went to pastor the Church in Paisley, Scotland. He remained in Paisley until 1968. Rev Lown was then called to the South District to pastor the Thomas Memorial Nazarene Church in Battersea, London from 1968-1972. He was in the Church in Keighley, West Yorkshire from 1973-1974. In 1974 the Rev Lown became an Evangelist. He and Mrs Lown were invited to take preaching engagements all over the world including Zimbabwe, Hawaii, Australia and America. On November 14th 1992 Rev Albert J. Lown was called home to be with his Lord and Saviour. Mrs Lown is now living in Guildford, Surrey. Thank you God for these your humble faithful servants.

REV GLYN THOMAS
FEBRUARY 1960 TO NOVEMBER 1966

REV GLYN THOMASRev Glyn Thomas was born in the early 1900's. He was brought up in Swansea and he suffered from severe health problems including, epilepsy and having a hump on his back. He went to a healing service conducted by George Jeffery's when he was in his teens. He went up to the alter for healing and as he made his way up to the front the hump completely disappeared. He was also healed of his epilepsy and he surrendered his life to Christ. He stepped out in faith with no denomination behind him and became an evangelist. He trained at Swansea Bible College.

Not long after, tragedy struck when he met with an accident in 1936 in Stockton. He lost his sight. He went home to Wales to recuperate and he prayed asking God to give him back his sight. One day, while praying, God challenged him and asked him what was more important- his eyesight or souls. It was not easy for Glyn to answer that question but he told God that souls were more important.

Soon he was actively involved in the ministry again. Shortly after World War II he was made a Pastor in the Calvary Holiness Church (which would soon merge with the Church of the Nazarene).

Rev and Mrs Thomas came to Lisburn in February 1960 to fill in on a temporary basis. One of the first people they met when they arrived in Lisburn was the late Alderman and former Lord Mayor William Belshaw. Mr Belshaw took the Thomas's to the different meetings they were speaking at. Rev Thomas was inducted into the Lisburn Church in March 1960. His first dog he had when he arrived there was called "Kim" and it was like a small version of a "Dulux" dog. Mr Thomas then got "Vicky", a golden Labrador from the Guide Dog Association. "Kim" went to the home of Mr and Mrs Joe Megrath, members of the church at that time.

Not long after taking up the Pastorate Rev Thomas took very ill. He spent some time in Foster Green hospital. Rev Thomas never complained about his illness. In fact those who visited him, feeling sorry for him, came away blessed and glad that they had called to see him.

Rev Thomas was also a very humorous man. It has been said that the way he told funny stories caused your sides to ache with laughter. We have already heard how he put the frightener's on young John Paton. Another story he loved to tell was the time he made an appeal for transport for the Sunday school. Eventually a couple of men came forward and said "We have a van that we will give you for Sunday school". The day came when the van arrived outside the manse. The men knocked at the door and the Rev Thomas

answered. He told them to put the van into the garage. Mr Thomas went and opened the garage door for them. Although he was blind he could make his way around very well. While he was opening the door he overheard the men talking. One said "What's the use of bringing a van to this man. Sure he's blind and can't drive". The other man turned around and said "Sure hasn't he got a guide dog!".

Although Mr Thomas was blind and couldn't help physically with the building of the sanctuary, he was a great encourager to those who were involved. However it was arranged for Mr Thomas to put the last brick at the pulpit end of the sanctuary wall. Some of those present were Mr Fred Crothers, Mr Edward Crothers and Mr Robert Collins. Mr Edward Crothers remembers the scaffolding that was rigged up for Mr Thomas to reach up to the comer. He reckons if Mr Thomas had seen what he was climbing on he maybe wouldn't have gone up.

Rev Thomas was known in Lisburn as the "praying preacher". He was well loved and well respected in Lisburn. His wife, Mrs Thomas was very helpful to her husband and helped out in the Church wherever and however she could.

He left the Lisburn Church in November 1966 after getting the call to Dublin. Soon after he arrived in Dublin there was a great move of God. Rev Samuel Doctorian was coining to hold a campaign in Dublin. A month before the campaign began Glyn Thomas spent days and nights in prayer. The campaign lasted for five weeks. During that five weeks Rev Thomas had two hours sleep a day. The rest of the time he spent in prayer pleading with God to save souls. Dr Frame estimated that as a result of the campaign there were nine hundred seekers.

Rev Thomas and his guide dog went all over the British Isles to preach. He loved to preach the word of God and he lived to preach the word. He would preach to three thousand, three hundred or three people. He also went to preach further afield including the Middle East, United States and Switzerland. He was a giant in the faith and a great prayer warrior. He spoke ill of no man. He loved people and people loved him. Mr Thomas had an amazing grasp of the Scriptures. He knew the sixty-six books, the content of the sixty-six books and the power of the sixty-six books. He could recite large passages of Scripture. He inspired people by the way he lived and he prayed for the Lisburn Church every day.

On February 14th 1982 the Rev Glyn Thomas went home to be with his Lord and Saviour. Even at his funeral service there were seekers as there had been at his last preaching engagement a few weeks earlier.

Lisburn was privileged to have the "Praying Preacher" for six years.

REV JOHN PATON
MAY 1969 TO JANUARY 1974

REV JOHN PATONCONGRATULATIONS, on achieving fifty golden years of ministry to the people of Lisburn! It doesn't feel all that time since the Rev Albert Lown came to Lisburn pioneering The Church of the Nazarene.

The one thing we can say about the "passing of time" is that it goes faster than we care to think!

It was 1969 when we arrived in Lisburn, actually I had spent the summer of 1961 with Glyn & Annie Thomas in the manse, so I had a good idea of the Church, town and county!

James started his long road of Education at Central School, while Helen did her aerobics with the Caravaners and her "Houdini" impression with Etta Chism ( climbing through the serving hatch in the manse ). Lisburn was loved by all three of us, the Church was an exciting place to minister and the people of prayer were an encouragement to my ministry.

I wish I could have said that everything was "plain sailing" but then that could only have been a heavenly testimony of the Church triumphant! But I can tell you that the Caravan Company was the largest one at that time in the Church of the Nazarene worldwide and from the company the first highest award in Great Britain was given to Dorothy Belshaw.

I remember the new pews being made with everyone coming to give their opinion of height, width, length, colour, material and in the end being pleased with the result, that was some achievement!

One hiccup I remember was an old notice in the pulpit which read "The New English Bible will NOT be read from this pulpit", this I changed to "Sir, we would see Jesus". I am pleased to say that the change stayed with us, well at least until I left Lisburn! I just couldn't stand the negativity that had no bearing to anyone in the pulpit!

If I was to recall some of the most memorable times they would have been the Alter experiences, and the Monday night Praise meeting- surely "Heaven came down and Glory filled our souls".

I am indebted to the people of Lisburn for the love shown to Helen, James and myself during our years with you. You, my brethren in Christ shaped my ministry, my home and planted the seed in the heart of my son.

To the family at Warren Gardens I send my love. John Paton.

REV ERIC LEWIS
APRIL 1974 TO MAY 1981

REV ERIC LEWISMy wife, Beryl and I arrived in Northern Ireland on 1st Apri 11974. The ship, 'The Lion' docked in Belfast and we set out by car for Lisburn. Not being familiar with Belfast, I drove straight up past the Royal Victoria Hospital and onto the Falls Road. I tried to turn back, but turned instead down some side streets- there we were with an English registered car and Welsh accents, lost on the Falls Road. We have never forgotten the experience! We arrived in Northern Ireland as a couple, but ten months later our first child Esther was born and then two years later Rachel arrived. They are grown up now: both are teachers and both love the Lord.

It was through the Rev Glyn Thomas that we went into the Nazarene ministry. Beryl got saved under his ministry; he married us and also dedicated our two children in a morning service in Lisburn. Some months before becoming the minister in the Lisburn Church I stopped a man in the centre of the town and asked him if he could direct me to the home of Rev Glyn Thomas. The man answered, "You mean the praying preacher?". Brother Thomas was indeed a man of prayer -on one occasion he and Rev Leonard Ravenhill, who became a well-known author, prayed and fasted for forty days.

We arrived in Lisburn Church knowing only four people; Mr and Mrs Cherry and Mr and Mrs Cook. However we soon made many friends and were shown great kindness. I will never forget the Sunday morning services in the church and the sense of the presence of God in our midst. Often we would be singing a hymn and the late Mr Elwood (Albert) would request that we sing it over- God was very real. At one point I felt that revival could have broken out.

The church has always had a great missionary vision. Under the leadership of the late Mrs Cook we were encouraged to read and pray for the mission field. In addition to the church's missionary budget, I can remember the first time that 1,000 was raised for the Radio Ministry!

Sunday School was always well attended and Mr Edward Crothers was superintendent for many years. Thirty years ago parents used to send their children to Sunday school and it was a challenge and privilege to teach them the Word of God. A young man called Andrew Robinson, president of the 'Young People's' went on to the Nazarene College in Manchester to train for the ministry. Paul Wallace took over in leadership and did a great work. The Caravan society under the control of Mr Samuel Perkins and Mrs Alice Kelly was also very successful -Mrs Kelly was always busy making and repairing uniforms for the young people.

One Sunday morning service stands out in my mind for a very unusual reason! The church was well filled and we were singing a hymn. Suddenly, the organist missed a few notes. I turned to look at her, and with one hand still playing, she pointed with the other to her feet: there was a little mouse joining her on the pedals! We managed to struggle through the hymn and when it was finished I started to preach. I remember hoping that the mouse wouldn't make its way into the congregation, but unfortunately ten minutes later it did! A scream rang out and a lady jumped hurriedly onto a pew. Soon people started leaping up all over the place. In the excitement of the moment I did a foolish thing -I leant over the pulpit and asked the Board members to catch the mouse! If there was excitement before, pandemonium now broke out and the meeting had to be brought to an early close!

Some changes took place during our time in Lisburn: extensive renovations were carried out on the church manse and quite a lot of work was done to the church itself. During our ministry the church also celebrated its 25th anniversary. All previous ministers were invited back: Dr Albert Lown, the first minister in the church, Rev Glyn Thomas and his wife Annie and Rev John Paton and his wife Helen were all present. It was a memorable occasion.

We trust that as you now celebrate 50 years in the church you may continue to know the blessing of God. We count it a privilege to have been part of your church history and have many happy memories of our time spent with you.

Eric Lewis.

REV ROBERT MCMURDOCK
SEPTEMBER 1981 TO FEBRUARY 1984

REV ROBERT MCMURDOCKFirst of all, it is an honour to be asked to share together with other pastors and friends in congratulating Lisburn Church of the Nazarene on its 50th Anniversary.I remember the time how I was called by God to be pastor of the church. It started with a call to preach for a Sunday, just a few weeks after Rev Eric Lewis, had completed a very successful pastorate in the church. In response, a few days later, I found myself driving through the gates of the church to the parking lot at the side. An amazing thing happened! As I walked into the church with my family, I had a strong sense of belonging. I knew in my spirit that there was a God-given purpose in bringing me there that morning. I mentioned it to no one, but simply preached the message and returned to the Belfast office of OMS International (the Oriental Missionary Society) where I was serving as the Irish Direction of the mission at that time. The following Sunday I was invited back and preached again. God confirmed the leading of His Spirit and shortly afterwards I received a call from the church Board asking if I would pray about a call to become the pastor of the church. It was an easy decision to make because it was already confirmed in my spirit- how good God was!

When I became pastor of Lisburn Nazarene Church, it wasn't the first time that I had been there. I remember many years before, shortly after trusting the Lord as personal Saviour at the Belfast First Church of the Nazarene, Skegoniel Avenue, I went with a group to attend the opening of the Lisburn Church. Thinking of it makes me feel somewhat aged! The Rev Albert Lown was the pastor. I recall the excitement that surrounded the event, as the church was officially opened for worship and ministry. From that time onward, the Lisburn church always gave me the impression of a church with a body of hard-working dedicated members. But it wasn't until I was privileged to be the pastor, that I really discovered how true were my first impressions of the congregation. In what way do I remember the church?

It was a church renowned for great preachers. Even though I knew God was calling me to be the pastor, I was somewhat awed in spirit by the fact that the church had a line of great pastors and preachers. Men such as Albert Lown, Glyn Thomas and Eric Lewis, had preached, pastored and laid a great foundation of ministry at the church. They were men well known for their strong commitment to the Word of God. Men who believed firmly in the Scriptural teaching of Sanctification as an experience subsequent to Salvation. The church had been blessed with pastors who loved God and flock entrusted to their care. What a challenge that was to me personally! And yet, I never felt any spirit of comparison by the congregation, and right from the first day I entered the pulpit I was conscious of the welcoming encouragement and prayers of the congregation.

It was a church where prayer was the breath of the congregation. I loved the prayer meetings, and eagerly looked forward to the time when we would wait together on the Lord. I used to come away from the prayer meeting, feeling renewed and blessed. Regardless of the time of the year, you could count on a goodly number who would gather for prayer.

It was a church where the Word of God was central. Perhaps one of my best-loved memories of being pastor was teaching at the Bible Study. With the help of mimeographed outlines, it was simply a great joy to follow the teaching of the Word. Whether in the pulpit, the Bible Study or the home, I loved the hunger that I sensed among Gods people for the Word of God.

Lisburn was a church that liked to sing and praise the Lord. Music was a great part of the services. Sunday morning or night, the piano and the organ would lead the praise of the music. In the evening gospel service, I would play along with my piano accordion. I loved the testimony bands, special singers and gospel quartets that came to share and sing.

It was also a church with a committed administration. I left Lisburn with a feeling of great respect for the Church Board. There was no question that the board members took their work seriously, and left no stone unturned in their efforts to bless and help the church. I was amazed how the board members were always ready to help in practical ways. The beautiful condition of the church and manse stands as a tribute to the hard work of board members.

But it was also a generous church. The members gave sacrificially, and took seriously the commitment to missions. It was never difficult to raise a missionary offering, whether for the work in the South of Ireland or overseas, the congregation gave generously.

My family were at home in the church. My daughters, Heidi, Irene, Kathy and Laura, were brought each week to church by their mother Rhea. It was a new experience to belong to a church in the homeland after living on the mission field in Taiwan. They loved Sunday school, and am indebted, I am sure to the influence of teachers who loved to share with them the Word of God.

I pastored the church during some of the difficult times of the civil unrest that was prevalent. everywhere. I remember one Sunday when there was a breakout at the Maze Prison. While preaching the sermon, helicopters were flying close to the church looking for runaway prisoners. Thankfully, there was none of them around the church that day.

Whether in the church, the home, or visiting at the hospital, I always felt that the members of Lisburn Nazarene church were a people who loved God, and cared for little else but pleasing Him. It is my prayer that the 50th Anniversary will be a great time for recollection, reunion and renewal. I pray that God's spirit will confirm and

position the church with renewed faith and vision for the future. I also want to greet my good friend Pastor Griffith and his family, whom I have known ever since days with the Faith Mission. My time at the church was all too short, for soon I was on the way back to Taiwan with my family where I became the principal at the Nazarene Theological College in Taipei. With warm memories I still remember the blessed times I was privileged to enjoy as the pastor.

In a word for the future, I remember some words of the Apostle Paul, "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labour is not in vain in the Lord". (1 Corinthians 15:58).

Robert Mc Murdock.

REV DAVID THIRKELL
OCTOBER 1984 TO APRIL 1990

REV DAVID THIRKELLI served as pastor in each of the UK countries over a period of 42 years. I am now retired and my wife Jean and I are living in Exeter, Devon. Two of the churches were pioneer situations, in which both were started from scratch.

I have had, throughout my ministry, outstanding help and support from my wife Jean. Our son Mark has been five years in the Nazarene ministry at Gillingham, Kent, in his first pastorate.

It was a joy to have around forty present at the weekly prayer meeting and to need extra chairs on some Sunday mornings to accommodate everyone.

10,000 was raised to assist the work in the South of Ireland. An Annual Convention with the Free Methodist church was started. Mum's and Toddler's, Children's church, guest services and a Young Adults group were inaugurated.

On two occasions a church family holiday was held in North Wales with the party travelling by the church bus. The District Assembly was held for the first time in Northern Ireland hosted by the Lisburn church. The keen appreciation of Biblical preaching and generous giving to the work of the gospel is remembered.

It was a happy time working in a lovely part of the UK for five years. David Thirkell.

REV ALBERT GRIFFITH
JUNE 1990 TO THE PRESENT

REV ALBERT GRIFFITHWhen I first came to Lisburn I soon realised that God had brought me to a "Fruitful Place" in His vineyard and I was excited as I looked forward to all that He had in store for us as a fellowship.

Now in my fifteenth year of ministry I still continue to feel the warmth and love of a great congregation!

It has been such a blessing for me to work alongside so many people who have had the desire to spread the gospel through various methods and activities.

My ministry in Lisburn is only a part of the faithful efforts of others over the past fifty years of our church history. Eternity will completely reveal what the Lord has done and what He has accomplished in individual lives through the witness of the Lisburn Church of the Nazarene.

I can testify that preaching to the Lisburn congregation is a soul refreshing experience which has brought to me a great deal of spiritual blessing and innermost pleasure. Not only do our people want me to preach but they also will me to preach! It has been a delight to know that I minister to people who willingly let me fulfil the vocation God has called me to.

During my ministry I have conducted many funerals of our most senior members and friends. I still have fond memories of those who were faithful to the work of the church and are now with the Lord.

I am not alone in knowing the love and support of a dedicated fellowship at Lisburn. All members of the manse family have benefited because of the love shown down the years. Rhoda and I have truly appreciated the prayerful support for our three children-Lydia, Andrew and Deborah. As parents we have found the Lisburn congregation to be non-judgemental and sensitive concerning our children.

Like every other pastor involved in church ministry I have faced the hard times, the difficult times, the tests, the toils and the heavy burdens. One of the most disappointing experiences in over thirty years of ministry happened during my first years in Lisburn, however by the Grace of God and the help of committed Christian people I was assured that there was a light at the end of the dark tunnel. The ongoing ministry of our Lisburn Church today is testimony of this fact.

I have been in Lisburn long enough to learn that the congregation consists of people of good faith and who genuinely love the Lord. The Lisburn people like to laugh and 1 have enjoyed their wit and humour throughout the years.

I know that God will bless and reward all those who have helped and stood by the work of our Lisburn Church during the past fifty years. We praise Him for all that is past and trust Him for all that's to come.

Albert Griffith.

During times when either the pastorate has been vacant or the pastor has been on holiday, there has been many speakers who have faithfully filled in. They include: Joe Kerr, Willie Collins, Jim Harvey, John Dickson, Rev Ronnie McCracken, Wesley Lindsay, Rev Bert Kelly, Rev Ernie Eades, Rev Ernie Stafford, Alan Bartley, Tom Anderson, Norman Wilkerson, Rev Kelvyn Adams, Jim McTernaghan and many others.

You have seen in the pages of this booklet what God can do through lives that are committed to him. Maybe God is challenging you through the pages of this booklet. Maybe you are unsaved. God loved you so much that He sent His son Jesus to die on the cross for your sins. Why not surrender your life to him right now. Pastor Griffith or any of the board members would be only to glad to point you to the Saviour. Maybe you are saved but you are not involved in the work of the church. Why not get involved! There is something for everyone to do in the church so why not speak to Pastor Griffith today.

By the Grace of God the Lisburn church will continue to serve the community. Pastor Griffith, I will let you have the last word:

"As pastor I believe that the Lord has good things for us as we continue to serve Him in Lisburn. God has brought us together as a congregation to show forth His praises in these last days.

First we are to Go, Mark 16v15 "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel". If Jesus died for all then all have a right to know. It is our duty that we herald forth the gospel message.

Second we are to Glow, Matthew 5v14 "Let your light so shine before men ". In a dark community our church should be a beacon to light the way to God.

Third we are to Grow, Acts 2v 47 "And the Lord added to the church such as should be saved". The church grows as the Lord saves souls.

I trust as we continue to serve the Lord in the years ahead we will GO, GLOW, GROW

Build your church Lord, make us strong Lord
Join our hearts Lord through your son,
Make us one Lord in your Body
In the Kingdom of your son "'

Church board 2004. B. Row-S. P erkins, S. Purdy, J. Redmond, M. Dunsmore, S. Collins.
F. Row-M.Redmond, B. Hawe, Rev &Mrs Griffith, E Pierce, D. Seeds