Jesus Christ, the exalted head of His church, has sent forth another pastor-teacher to labor in His harvest and to fight in the service of the kingdom of heaven! That laborer and spiritual warrior is well known to many SBreaders: Martyn McGeown, who spent four happy years in Hudsonville Protestant Reformed Church, brought a word of edification in many PR congregations, served a six-month internship in Southwest PR Church, graduated from the PR Seminary, and sustained an exam before the PR Synod in June. Now he has begun his life’s calling as an ordained minister of the Word and sacraments! May the Lord use him mightily for many years in this glorious work!
On Friday, 30 July, Mr. McGeown was ordained as a missionary by the Covenant Protestant Reformed Church (CPRC) in Northern Ireland to labor with the Limerick Reformed Fellowship (LRF) in the Republic of Ireland. The venue was the new CPRC church building in Ballymena, not yet completed but serviceable for the event. The baptismal font, for instance, was not yet installed, but for this meeting it was hardly necessary. Brother McGeown’s ordination marked the building’s first service, making it an auspicious day for more than one reason.
The evening began with a photographer taking pictures of Missionary McGeown and the CPRC Consistory outside the building’s front entrance for the local press. The ushers guided visitors from the overflow car park to the pews, providing a handshake and a program in between.
Rev. Angus Stewart of the CPRC brought the “charge”: “The Missionary as Soldier, Athlete, and Farmer,” from II Timothy 2:3-6, explaining the minister’s hardships, disentanglement from worldly affairs, and purpose (as a soldier), and his calling to compete lawfully (as an athlete) and be first partaker of the fruits before bringing the bounties of God’s Word to the people (as a farmer). The audio of the sermon and the video of several parts of the service are on-line (www.cprf.co.uk/audio/NTindividual. htm#ordination).
Rev. Stewart and Elders Ivan Reid and Brian Crossett performed the laying on of hands ceremony. Deacon William Graham read a touching letter from the faculty of the Protestant Reformed Seminary, which concluded echoing the words of the apostle Paul urging us to “pray always with all supplication in the Spirit for the newly ordained brother, that utterance may be given unto him, that he may open his mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel…as he ought to speak (Eph. 6:18-20).” Mr. Graham then presented gifts to the new missionary from the CPRC (a Bible) and Southwest Protestant Reformed Church (a satellite navigation system). With these two gifts to guide him, our brother has no excuse for losing his way, spiritually or geographically!
The service was concluded with Rev. McGeown pronouncing the benediction and shaking hands with everyone as they left the sanctuary and headed upstairs. There fellowship was enjoyed over tea and sandwiches.
This was a joyous occasion for the CPRC (our first missionary!) and the LRF, some of whom drove 4-5 hours to attend (their first pastor!). The family of Rev. McGeown were present in force, including his parents, brother-in-law, and sister, whom some SB readers met when they were in west Michigan in June for the brother’s examination and graduation. Friends from England (Stephen Rushton, a member of the British Reformed Fellowship Council) and Italy (Marco Barone of the Italian Reformed Fellowship), as well as from Scotland and the Netherlands, were in attendance.
The Limerick Reformed Fellowship, the group with whom Rev. McGeown is working, is zealous and dedicated. Though small, they are a multi-national body of saints. The LRF services include not only saints from the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, but also those whose origins lie in Wales, Germany, South Africa, the Philippines, and China. The Reformed believers in Limerick are delighted with their new missionary pastor. May the Lord bless the LRF and Missionary McGeown together in their labors to spread the Reformed faith in Limerick and the Republic of Ireland and use their witness to gather Christ’s sheep and form an instituted church!
Rev. Martyn McGeown
11 the Laurels, Briarfield, Castletroy,
Limerick, Republic of Ireland
Tel. 00353 61 635582
Missionary-pastor of the Limerick Reformed Fellowship, meeting in Conradh na Gaelige, Thomas Street, Limerick (Sunday services 11 AM and 7 PM)