Lisburn Independent Methodist Church was filled to capacity on Saturday February 21 as over 280 people gathered to express their appreciation to Rev. and Mrs Raymond Moore for almost 29 years of pastoral ministry.
Many from the Lisburn area joined with the church members, family and friends to wish them God’s blessing as they move to Irvinestown in Co. Fermanagh to take up pastoral responsibilities there.
Rev. Moore, a native of Co. Tyrone, resigned from a promising career as a lecturer at Jordanstown when God called him to Christian work.
He spent two years at Bethel Bible College and was called to Lisburn Independent Methodist Church in 1986. It was a very small congregation meeting in a temporary hall on a recently purchased site and with much debt.
Under his ministry the debt has been cleared, an old house has been renovated to a commodious manse, a new church building erected with a suite of halls and the car park extended.
Mr. Raymond Moore, a founder member, said this was the Lord’s doing through the pastor’s vision, leadership and untiring work and energy. Each Sunday now sees an almost full church of worshiping people.
Several others brought greetings to the Moore family from other ministries he had been involved in. Rev. William Park, brought greetings from the denomination. Rev. Moore is Secretary of General Council and has served in other capacities.
Greetings and presentation of gifts were brought from Bloomfield and Ballysillan Independent Methodist Churches in Belfast by Mr. Harry McCullough and Mr Ronnie McDowell. Rev. Moore had been minister in charge of these churches.
The Mayor of Lisburn Councillor Andrew Ewing, spoke on behalf of the wider community in Lisburn. He thanked Mr Moore for the good work he did in the community and presented them with a gift.
On behalf of the church Mr. Raymond Moore, spoke of the qualities of the Pastor and Mrs Moore. For 29 years he had brought a fresh word from God every Sunday. Through his ministry many souls had been converted. He highlighted his prayers for each person in the church and the bond of love between the Pastor and the congregation.
He said he had left his footprint all over Lisburn by his visitation in Hospitals, in the homes and preaching in Mission Halls and other venues. His influence will remain in Lisburn.
Gifts were presented to Rev. and Mrs Moore by Miss Eileen Best from the Leaders Board and Congregation and by Ryan Shields from the Sunday School. Mrs. Ann Crone presented Mrs. Moore with a gift from the Ladies Fellowship and Keith Wilson to The Moore family, Kezia, Reuel and Priscilla.
In reply Mrs Moore thanked everyone for the gifts and the kindness shown through the years. She spoke of how happy they had been in Lisburn and their sorrow at leaving.
Rev. Moore also expressed gratitude for all they had received.
He spoke of the 29 years he had spent in Lisburn with great love and appreciation. He thanked the Leaders Board for their harmonious co-operation, support and confidence they had given to him.
He said Lisburn would always be in his heart. He thanked God for all that has been accomplished in Lisburn.
He explained his only reason for leaving was a very clear call from God and outlined the way God had made that call clear to him.
The church singing group brought two very appropriate messages in song during the evening.
Rev. Eric Lewis was the closing speaker, who challenged the congregation with the words “Is anything too hard for the Lord?”
He exhorted them to trust God for the seemingly impossible and to believe for a spiritual revival.
The ladies of the church provided a sumptuous tea for all present during a time of fellowship.