Commencement Service Report
by Ana Rut Herrera Merlo
This year we had the privilege to be able to commend and welcome the new students at Knockconny. This service is a special date in the college calendar, as it is the first event where we can meet the new students and their families over a cup of tea.
Pastor Andrew Roycroft opened this time in prayer followed by our first song, ‘Only a Holy God’. After this we continued into the presentation of our new students, led by Dr Davy Ellison. We also had the opportunity to learn more about the Amazing Journey while Dr David Luke interviewed the postgraduate student James Robinson (Amazing Journey Coordinator).
This has been a year of numerous changes, amongst them we encountered the new validation and change to Spurgeon’s College, but also the recognition of our next principal. After hearing the updates on the College from Principal Edwin Ewart, the act of induction took place. Pastor Ian Grant (ABCI President) inducted Dr Johnny McClaughlin as Principal Designate of the Irish Baptist College, who later reminded us on what Paul said to Timothy in 1 Timothy 1:12 and that in spite of all the changes around us we must advance the gospel.
After our third song (Standing on the Promises of Christ), Reuben Russell (Student Chairperson) read 2 Corinthians 4:1-6 and Matthew Campbell preached on this passage. He encouraged us to not lose heart. Paul was inclined to lose heart, just as we can do because of the difficulties that we might encounter in gospel ministry. But Matthew reminded us that in spite of that, we serve because of the kindness and mercy of God. It is not just because of our talents or abilities but because of Him. However, we were also reminded that gospel integrity is the foundation of our ministry, just as a tower of Jenga, when we start building on top of it and the foundation is reduced to a block, the tower begins to crumble. Even though it does the job, it does more harm at the end. We mustn’t forget that Satan deceives the world with his lies, but it is by the light of the gospel that the veil was lifted, He didn’t come to make bad people good, but to bring dead people to life.
We are very thankful for these new students who are eager to learn more about our God and share this good news. Please pray for them, for the staff and for this new stage at the College.