I was speaking at the West Lancashire Reformed Baptist Fellowship at North Preston Evangelical Church six years ago tonight. I was telling them about a new training initiative we hoped to launch at Radcliffe Road Baptist Church in Bury. Given the dearth of men stepping forward for vocational ministry, someone asked – quite appropriately – if I thought there were men in the churches interested in such training.
While I paused, a voice came from behind the man asking the question. ‘I would be,’ he said. That settled it. We would press ahead.
That was the first time I ever met Paul Barton. It would not be the last. He would indeed join our training group in Bury. He would later participate in evangelistic outreaches in Workington and Edlesborough. It was when he visited Edlesborough that he first became acquainted with a place called Hyde Heath.
Now this week, Paul and his family are being sent by their church in Liverpool to live in Hyde Heath. Paul will serve there as an evangelist as well as in nearby Chesham. What a blessing from the Lord.
Will you pray for the Bartons as they move to Hyde Heath and settle into their new responsibilities? Will you ask the Lord to bless both the church at Hyde Heath as well as at Chesham through their labours?
Will you thank the Lord for the Association of Grace Baptist Churches (South East) as they will be underwriting a significant portion of the project through a grant?
Will you pray that more men will step forward for training and that more churches will trust them with responsibility?