Bishopbriggs is a town on the northern border of the city of Glasgow. The congregation has been vacant since August 2005. They were naturally very thankful to God when Garry and his family came to the church in 2013. At that time Garry was appointed as a Presbytery Worker. It has been a long process but on Friday 28th September 2018 Pastor Garry was inducted and ordained as the minister to the Free Church in Bishopbriggs.
The ordination/induction was held at the nearby Colston Wellpark Church of Scotland as their building is much bigger and was needed for the large number of people who were expected to attend. It turned out a good idea to change the venue when the crowds of people began to arrive! There were people from the congregation but also from other local congregations where Garry is well known. There were also visitors from Whitehaven, in the north of England, where Garry used to work in the Church of England. It was very encouraging to see God’s people meeting to celebrate his goodness to us!
The service was led by Rev. Dr Rodger Crooks. He preached from Matthew 27 verses 27-50. He spoke on the apparent weakness of Christ on the cross. The Roman soldiers and the crowd and the Jewish religious leaders all mocked and ridiculed Jesus and regarded him as powerless. But the true power of Jesus was seen in his staying on the cross rather than his coming off of it! He cried, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” so that we don’t have to. Those present who were not saved were urged to call out to Jesus even tonight, and he will save you. For those of us who are God’s people what a motivation we have from this passage to love and serve him for the rest of our lives!
Garry was addressed by Rev. Norman MacKay. He said it had been wonderful to have Garry as a friend and a helper at the church plant at Govan, Glasgow. Garry had spoken to the congregation there, which draws a large number of people from the area, many who have had problems with substance abuse. Mr MacKay then spoke about church leadership urging Garry to lead as a servant. "He must lead sacrificially, even in his own pain and suffering. He must also serve in love."
Rev. Duncan Peters, who has been the Interim Moderator for over 2 years, addressed the congregation. He reminded everyone that Garry is just like one of us. He is a sinner saved by grace and a work in progress, the Holy Spirit moulding him into his likeness. He may fail and disappoint us at times. Then we must pray for him, forgive him and encourage him. Garry is highly and uniquely gifted but he still needs the congregation, with its gifts and talents, to work with him and to pray with him. He then referred to Hebrews chapter 13 and said that we should submit to our leaders. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden. So be an enthusiastic volunteer and willing to help in the church. Be supportive of Garry and encouraging, and be responsive to his pastoring and preaching.
The service was brought to a close with praise and benediction by the moderator Rev. Rory Stott.
Whilst refreshments were made ready, Garry asked Terry McCutcheon and Rev. Willie Philip to speak. Terry said it had been a privilege to see how Garry had grown and matured and to see his passion to share the Jesus who had saved him, with others. He also had a message from Dr Richard L Pratt, from Third Millenium Ministries, USA, who said, “Garry is one of the finest examples of Christian leadership I know. I am so grateful to the Lord that I know him. His honesty and humility are matched only by his wholehearted devotion to our King and his Kingdom. He is a gift to the church in Scotland, a gift from our ascended Lord!” Terry was amusing in his speech but he ended by saying that God chooses the broken because they will depend on him and God then uses them!
Rev. Philip said that perfect salvation is only available through the Lord Jesus Christ. He asked the question, “Can Jesus help the people here who are crushed and entrapped by evil?” He went on to say that all things are possible to him who believes in the Lord! Garry and this congregation are here to share Jesus with the people outside the church. The Gospel should be in our hearts as we want to share Jesus with a lost world.
Presentations were then made to Garry and his family and thereafter refreshments and fellowship were enjoyed in the church hall.