IT was a full house at Abbots Cross Congregational Church on Friday evening (January 14) for a special service to welcome new minister, Rev Trevor Gillanders.
Around 600 people turned out for the ordination and induction service, including former ministers Rev Sam Workman, Rev Tom Shaw, Rev Eric Lewis and Chairman of the Congregational Union, Rev Paul Dowling.
Rev Gillanders was the pastor at Larne Mission Hall for seven years before being called to take on the post of minister at Christ Church Congregational (Abbots Cross). He previously worked with the Faith Mission for 14 years.
"Serving the Lord, in a full time capacity, has been a wonderful experience these past years. God has been so faithful to us and we have rejoiced in what He has done, and amazed at the places He has called us to.
"We are so thrilled that God has now led us to Abbots Cross Congregational Church. We have no doubt that God has something wonderful in store for us and the church in the days ahead," Rev Gillanders told the Times.
"My vision for the church is that God will be experienced in a deeper way - worshipped from hearts that are full of praise to Him. And also for a church that reaches out to the local community in a relevant and effective way, showing all that Jesus truly is the answer to every need that exists in the human heart today."
Reflecting on Friday evening's service, he added: "It went really well. There was a great turnout and the people made us feel very welcome."
Originally from Monaghan, Rev Gillanders now lives in Jordanstown. He is married to Esther and they have two sons, Darren and Gregory.