...the harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few
Leadership changes took place last autumn in the Missionary work of our denomination as a new Chairman was appointed to both the Mission Board and Missionary Council. These changes came about because the ten year term in office had come to an end for Rev Ian Harris as Chairman of the Mission Board and Rev David Park as Chairman of the Missionary Council.

At the Presbytery meeting in Armagh in September 2022, Rev Colin Mercer was appointed as the new Chairman of the Mission Board. Rev Mercer is the minister of Omagh Free Presbyterian Church and has previously ministered in the congregations in Castlederg, Mourne and Greenville (USA). While in America, Mr Mercer served for seven years on the North American Mission Board; and, for six of those years, he was the Secretary of their Board.

Rev Mercer has been a member of the Ulster Mission Board for just over five years, and during that period, served for three and a half years as the Secretary of the Ugandan subcommittee.

At the meeting of the October 2022 Presbytery in Crossgar, Mr Eric Graham, Clerk of Session of the Lisburn Church, was appointed as the new Chairman of the Missionary Council. Mr Graham is a foundation member of the Lisburn congregation and was elected as one of the first elders of the church in 1977.

Eric’s wife Mrs Mona Graham was appointed to the Missionary Council in 1970 and has continued serving on the Council faithfully since that time, and Eric then joined her in that role approximately twenty years ago. Mr Graham has also been a member of the Mission Board for approximately eight years.

Both new Chairmen have a great vision and burden for Missionary work, and they have wide experience in visiting the Mission Field. Please pray that they will both know the Lord’s wisdom, guidance, and blessing on their term in Office.
The November 2022 edition of Missionary Vision is available in the gallery section. This edition includes reports on the 60th anniversary of the Missionary Council; The United Children’s Camp and the Sending Forth Services for Joy Gillespie and Noreen McAfee. Also included, is a short testimony from Rev Ray Carscadden who has been approved by Presbytery as a probationary missionary to Uganda. Click Here to view the magazine.
We are delighted to report that Rev Ray Carscadden, who currently ministers in Coragarry FPC, has applied to the Mission Board to take up his missionary call to Uganda, and has been accepted by Presbytery as a missionary candidate. Rev Carscadden commences deputation meetings in November and he and his family are preparing for the next steps in this new journey.
The September 2022 edition of Missionary Vision is available in the gallery section. This edition includes reports from Kenya and Nepal, together with a notice on the recent home calling of Rev Noel Kelly. The magazine also carries an account of the farewell service for Rev Lyle Boyd, in Spain. Click Here to view the magazine.
It was with sadness that we learnt of the sudden home call of Rev. Noel Kelly, who with his wife Stella, founded the Emmanuel Christian School and Church in Nsaalu, Uganda. Rev. Kelly, who was eighty years of age, passed away in hospital on 12th July 2022.

On behalf of the Free Presbyterian Mission Board, I would like to convey our Christian sympathy to his wife Stella, their son and daughter and the entire family circle. We assure them of our prayers at this time of mourning. We sorrow but not as those without hope.

We thank God for Noel’s labours, along with his wife Stella, to pioneer the work at Emmanuel. They sowed those first seeds in ground which was hard and barren and God was pleased to bless their labours as the work grew, step by step. Souls were won to Christ amongst the young and old.

I am reminded of the words of the Saviour in John 4:38 when I think about the start of the witness in Emmanuel. “I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours.”

Despite all of the challenges, these two pensioners left England, to start a work for God in Uganda and we have the privilege today to take that work forward under the name of the Free Presbyterian Church.

I know that Noel and Stella faithfully continued to support and pray for Emmanuel School and it was their delight to hear that the work was progressing and that souls were coming to Christ. The seed sown by them is still bearing fruit unto the glory of God.

Rev. Kelly has been taken from this scene of time to his eternal reward. He rests from his labours, but his works do follow. May the Lord continue to add lively stones unto the foundation which he laid.

Rev 14:13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.

Rev. Ian Harris – Mission Board Chairman
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