As a child, I was raised in a loving home, and attended the local Sunday School and Presbyterian Church each week but it wasn’t until Mervyn Moffatt of Child Evangelism Fellowship came to a Hall near home, that the Lord convicted me of my need for Him. I still remember that evening of 1st May 1968 well; by the end of the meeting, I was under deep conviction of the Holy Spirit. When he offered an invitation to anyone wishing to know more about the way of salvation, I did not hesitate, but waited behind to speak with him as others left. He opened the scriptures to me at Revelation 3: 20, 'Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me'. He explained that everyone is born in sin and therefore alienated from enjoying a relationship with God. Not only that, but our sin would separate us from God forever. As a ten-year-old boy, I immediately grasped the significance of the moment and followed the preacher in the sinner’s prayer. I instantly felt a burden lift! What an amazing Friend I discovered in Jesus. I was now embarked on the road to heaven and had a real assurance and peace in my heart. I had opened the door and Jesus had come in!
The Bible began to come alive to me, and I had an appetite for the Scriptures and loved the fellowship of God’s people. While in the final years of secondary education, a preacher called Graeme Hall challenged young people to follow Jesus and live for Him. Graeme began to show us from the scriptures that the Holy Spirit was given to us as Christians, not only to guide us but also to empower us for service. These were truly amazing meetings, spent each week in bible study and prayer.
As my spiritual appetite increased for the presence and purpose of God in my life, I began to seek out other opportunities to meet with like-minded people. For a period of time, I travelled regularly to Markethill Elim Church, a round journey of forty miles by bicycle each Sunday evening! I made some wonderful friends and really benefited from the teaching of the Word of God.
I was asked to go to a youth meeting one evening to share my testimony. My friend Gary collected me and we seemed to travel forever along minor country roads until at last we arrived at the place. I immediately noticed the name over the door, a place I had already heard of - Mountain Lodge Pentecostal Assembly! For me, that was an incredible meeting and one that was to change the path of my life. That night was a turning point for me; I could never be satisfied any longer with less than the full purpose of God for my life. Over the coming months, I began to attend the church, at first occasionally and then more regularly. I was by this time involved in open-air preaching and tract distribution in the local villages. I had no aspirations for any leadership position but I knew God was calling me into fellowship at Mountain Lodge.
I began to be challenged and encouraged by the teaching I received in the meetings, and appreciated the openness and warmth of these new friends. One family in particular, the Wilsons, took me under their wing, having me to their home for lunch each Sunday between the meetings. David Wilson (an elder in the church) quickly became a spiritual father to me and my best friend.
I followed the Lord through the waters of baptism (baptism by immersion) and received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. In June of 1983, David Wilson asked me to accompany him to a crusade in Scotland. During that week-end, I experienced a wonderful miracle of healing when deteriorating vision was restored to my right eye. From that moment I was assured of God’s will to heal.
Just a few months later my faith, with that of the rest of the Assembly, would be severely tested. On the night in question, David Wilson travelled to the church in my car with me. Neither of us had any idea that twenty minutes later he would be in Heaven, one of the victims of a terrorist massacre at the church. A more detailed account of some of the miracles that took place on that night can be found on our History page.
I was distraught at the loss of such a close friend, a feeling only compounded by the fact that Sally, then my girlfriend (now my wife) was also injured in her arm and thigh. Doctors said she would never have the use of her arm again but through prayer God wrought a miraculous healing on her behalf, but that’s another story. Three years after the massacre Sally and I were married and God has blessed us with a daughter Esther and son-in-law Andrew and they are involved in the youth and worship side of the church. They have three beautiful children, Ben, Sarah and Jonah.
In August 1990 I was asked to come alongside my late father-in-law Pastor Bain, as Assistant Pastor. Little did I know that just four years later the Lord would call him Home and I would be asked to take the reins of responsibility. How vital those four years under his leadership proved to be.
The rest is history, as they say, but history is still in the making and we continue to enjoy the blessings of God as we press on towards the mark of the high Calling of God in Christ Jesus. My prayer as you read this testimony is that if you don’t already know Him, you will find my Jesus as your saviour.
May God bless you.