Day 9 – 29 Days of Prayer and Giving – Halling, Kent
Dear Partner in the Gospel
Today is day nine of our 29 Days of Prayer and Giving for Grace Baptist Partnership. Each day we will focus our attention on a particular church planting, church replanting or church revitalisation project in which we have an interest. We trust you will remember these situations in prayer and that you will take advantage of the opportunity to support the spread of the gospel by means of a donation to Grace Baptist Partnership this month. It will also help us if you will share these requests with your friends by forwarding these emails to them.
9 February 2016
Kevin Felix Hollington, Pastor
Can any good thing come out of Facebook? In the spring of 2012 we were planning our first conference for church planters. Our friend, Vic Gill, designed a conference logo which we used to publicise the conference. Kevin Felix Hollington, who was a member of a Grace Baptist church in Essex, saw the publicity on Facebook. He came to the conference.
Encouraged by the ministry he heard and the fellowship he enjoyed, he began attending our monthly training days in London. Before long he and his family would move to Grays to support the work being done there by the Massops. This enabled Kevin to get a taste of church planting, to further test his developing sense of call to ministry and to get more experience in preaching and personal evangelism. The Lord blessed his time at Grays but it wasn’t to last long.
In January 2013 we began leading the church at Halling in Kent through a revitalisation process. Without a pastor for a number of years, the ageing membership had declined to single figures. Some speculated the church would close within a few years. I took a different view. Yes, the church was small and the members getting older- aren’t we all! – but they loved the preaching of God’s word and were very committed to prayer. What they needed was a pastor.
Did they really want a pastor? You tell me. When Kevin was introduced to them they didn’t hem and haw about his lack of formal theological training or experience. They didn’t question whether the fact that he and his wife educated their children at home would put them at a disadvantage in relating to other villagers. They didn’t say there is no possible way we can afford a pastor.
Rather they said if he is willing to come we are willing to receive him. And, receive him, they did. They bought a nearby house so Kevin and his family could live in the village. With the help of a grant from Grace Baptist Partnership they scraped together enough money to pay him a living wage. They encouraged him to grow as a preacher by praying for him. They helped him develop as a leader by following him.
Now the church is growing in every way – financially, numerically, spiritually.
They are presently trying to purchase a new building as their ‘tin tabernacle’ is well past its sell by date. Would you pray that God would provide adequate finance for this project? They man a market stall in nearby Snodland every Friday. Would you pray that conversations with passers-by would in time yield evangelistic fruit? They are taking an active role in replanting a Baptist church in nearby Ryarsh and in planting a new church in Maidstone. Would you pray that these involvements would strengthen their work in Halling rather than weakening it?
Though Facebook – like many other things – can become a time waster. It can also be a means of meeting and encouraging young men like Kevin in their service for the Lord. That’s our story and we’re sticking to it.
Warm regards in Christ
Grace Baptist Partnership