History created in Rasharkin

Front Row:  Rev. Dr. Frank Sellar, Moderator of the General Assembly, Mr Norbury Royle, Clerk of Session, Rev Jeffrey Thomas Blue, New Minister, Rev Norman Cameron, Moderator of the Ballymena Presbytery, Rev. Joseph Andrews, Clerk of Presbytery, and Rev Brian Smyth, Vacancy Convenor. Back Row, Members of the Vacancy Commission.
Front Row: Rev. Dr. Frank Sellar, Moderator of the General Assembly, Mr Norbury Royle, Clerk of Session, Rev Jeffrey Thomas Blue, New Minister, Rev Norman Cameron, Moderator of the Ballymena Presbytery, Rev. Joseph Andrews, Clerk of Presbytery, and Rev Brian Smyth, Vacancy Convenor. Back Row, Members of the Vacancy Commission.

History was created in Rasharkin Presbyterian Church on Friday, December 2 when the Rev, Jeffrey Thomas Blue, BSc., BTh., DipMin. was Ordained and Installed as their new Minister.

He is the tenth Minister since the Congregation was formed in 1834.

The capacity audience which included visitors from Bloomfield Presbyterian Church in Belfast, where Rev Blue had been assistant, and Mourne Presbyterian Church in Kilkeel,His home Congregation, were welcomed by the Rev Norman Cameron, Moderator of the Ballymena Presbytery.

The Rev Dr Frank Sellar, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, who had been Rev Blues Senior Minister in Bloomfield, led in Prayer.

The Rev Mark Neilly, recently Minister of 1st Ahoghill Presbyterian Church, brought the Sermon on the Church. He based this on Revelation Chapter 2 verses 1 to 7 where the Church at Ephesus whilst it was commended for its good deeds, had lost something very precious, their first love for God. He said they had a tremendous history but no future and that they needed to remember where they had fallen from, retrace their steps and seek repentance from God. He stressed that today’s Church needs to have an impact and the importance of sharing the Good News of the Gospel and Jesus with others.

The Moderator of Presbytery brought the Declaration of Presbytery and the Standards of the Church including the Rule of Faith were delivered by the Clerk of Presbytery, the Rev Joseph Andrews.

Questions to the New Minster, the Rev Jeffrey Blue were put by the Moderator, Rev Norman Cameron together with the Subscription to the Westminster Confession of Faith.

Following this there was the Prayer and Act of Ordination and Installation and the offering of the Right Hand of Fellowship.

The Charge to the new Minister and Congregation, based on the words of 1st Timothy Chapter 4 verses 11 to 16,was brought by the Vacancy Convenor, the Rev Brian Smyth, Minister of Trinity Presbyterian Church, Ahoghill. Here the Apostle Paul as he nears the end of his life gives wise advice and encouragement to a young man called Timothy and applied these in his talk.

He stressed the need for an example to be set to believers and to challenge those without Christ. The need to be Word Focussed and the wise exercise of God given gifts was added.

He reminded all that the Ministry can be tough, that there will be times of discouragement as the devil seeks to do this, but through it all God has the power to save sinners.

Advice given was never to be too busy not have time to spend with God and at all times seek to advance The Kingdom of God.

Suitable singings during the Service were How Great is our God, Praise to the Lord the Almighty, People need the Lord, Be Thou my vision, Facing a task unfinished and Can it be that I should gain an interest in the Saviour`s Blood.

The Service concluded with the Rev Norman Cameron pronouncing the Benediction following which there were some speeches and supper.