In September 2020, Bishop David ordained two deacons for ordained local ministry.
Profile of Jim Fleming (Killycomaine Community Church)
I’m originally from the other side of the world, Christchurch New Zealand, but my parents returned ‘home’ when I was five. I grew up in East Belfast and that’s where I still live with my wife Janet and sons, Andrew and Luke. After leaving school joined the UK Met Office and remained there until the summer of 2017, working as a Weather Forecaster.
I went to Boy’s Brigade in our local Methodist Church at Glenburn and it was through the work of the BB that I started to follow Jesus at the age of fourteen. I went on to serve as an Officer in the BB for 22 years and then God clearly called me into the work of Christians Against Poverty (CAP) in the summer of 2008.
While working with people who are struggling with debt, God brought to my attention that the biggest, and far more important debt they needed help with, was the debt of sin; their separation from God. This then led me on another path to be selected for the first Down and Dromore Evangelism Training Course in 2014. In 2016 I was licensed by Bishop Harold as a Diocesan Evangelist and the following year, after leaving the Met Office, I started work as an Outreach Worker with Seagoe Parish and an Associate Evangelist with Through Faith Missions.
My work at Seagoe, in Killicomaine Estate, started with establishing a CAP Job Club, a Mens’ Club and Alpha Courses and has led to God planting Killicomaine Community Church. All these initiatives have been used to get the wonderful Gospel of Jesus out to people in the community who need that relationship with God. It has been amazing to see lives transformed by the Holy Spirit and being ordained as an OLM is all part of the journey to see the work in Killicomaine continue and extend as we attempt to be a community of disciples who make disciples. Our future plans to help and reach the area include the setting up of a CAP Life Skills course, a Womens’ Group and a CAP debt counselling service.
Profile of Colin Birnie (St Clement's, Templemore Avenue)
I was born and raised in East Belfast and live a five–minute walk from St Clement’s. I came to faith eight and a half years ago through witnessing the transforming power of the Gospel, as my wife Angela began to follow Jesus. I was amazed at how her life was transformed by the love of Jesus and I began searching for myself. After completing an Alpha Course I came to the realisation that I needed to surrender my life to Jesus, and my life has never been the same since that day. My passion is for everyone to experience the love and freedom that comes with encountering Jesus face to face. Every step of my journey with God so far has opened my eyes just that little bit more to see His plan and purpose for my life.
As the Holy Spirit has called me to various opportunities over these past years, I have to be honest and say that most of them frightened the life out of me, ordained local ministry being one of them. But following His call is an adventure that I am glad I have embraced because, as Nicky Gumble says, “The call of God is not just a nice experience; it’s a life changing encounter”.
I have been serving God in St Clement’s these past four years and Angela and I love the people of this Church. We both have a burning desire to see the lives of the people who live in the streets around us impacted and transformed by the power of the Gospel. I love the story of Gideon in the Old Testament, as this reminds me that if God has called me, he will also equip me.
Judges 6:16 “And the Lord said to him, “But I will be with you and you shall strike the Midianites as one man”.
As I step into this new role, I pray that I would not run on ahead of God and try to do things in my own strength but wait and listen for the Holy Spirit’s leading and guidance. I am looking forward to this next step of my journey with an expectation that the Holy Spirit will move in power; that the Kingdom of God will break into the everyday; and that God’s Church would flourish and grow.