TRINITY Reformed Presbyterian Church on the Doagh Road near Mossley was packed on Friday evening (October 19) for the installation service of new minister, Rev Warren Peel.
The Trinity congregation had been without a minister since Rev Prof Edward Donnelly retired in September 2011 after a long and fruitful ministry during which the church experienced significant growth.
Married with four daughters, Rev Peel was formerly the minister of Ballyclabber Reformed Presbyterian Church in Coleraine.
As a native of Glengormley, Rev Peel is delighted to be moving back to familiar and much-loved surroundings. Three of his daughters will be attending Mossley Primary School.
For the first 18 years of his life he lived in St Quentin Avenue, attending Ashgrove Primary School and Belfast Royal Academy, before studying Classics at Oxford University. He returned to Belfast after graduation to get married to Ruth and to begin training for the Christian ministry at the Reformed Theological College, Belfast.
Rev Peel has been putting his Classics training to good use in recent years by teaching New Testament Greek at the Reformed Theological College, and has also completed a Masters degree in Theology at Queen’s University, but his first and greatest passion is the preaching of God’s Word and the pastoring of God’s people.
“Newtownabbey has changed a great deal since my childhood,” he said.
“When I was growing up in Glengormley most of the children in my school went to church and knew the basics of the Christian message.
“The situation is very different today, and one of the greatest challenges for ministers in the 21st century is to explain who Jesus is, what he came to do, and what it means to follow him to people who have very little Bible knowledge.”
Following the installation service there was a reception for the Rev Peel, his wife Ruth and their daughters Erin, Rebekah, Caitlin and Bethan. The Moderator of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Ireland, Rev David Sutherland brought greetings from the whole denomination and also from churches in the local area.
Mr William McCollum, Clerk of Session from Rev Peel’s former congregation, spoke of the great blessing received through his ministry. Mr Robert Drennan and Mrs Ruth Wilson welcomed Rev Peel, his wife and family to Trinity Reformed Church.
Rev Peel thanked the Trinity congregation for the warm welcome he and his family had received, his former congregation at Ballyclabber, and above all God for the faith he has been given and for the opportunity to serve at Trinity Church.
Supper was served in the church hall, where many of the congregation stayed to personally welcome Rev Peel and his family.