Meet Mark Steele, the new Pastor at New Dawn Evangelical Fellowship in Broughshane.
He has composed the following article to let us get to know him a little better.
“I was born is Cookstown, County Tyrone. We moved to Coleraine whenever I was nine or ten years of age, and then our last move, as a family, was to Banbridge, County Down. I can honestly say I hated school with a passion. And with every move to a new area, a new school only made it worse for me. My P6 teacher, I’ll never forget this, would pick me out of the class and humiliate me in front everyone. She would tell me I was useless and I would make nothing of myself. I know she was probably trying to push me on in her own way, but at that young age, I believed her. So I didn’t make much of an effort during my education.
I was brought up in a godly Christian home. Whenever we moved to Banbridge I started to attend the Baptist Church. It was during this period in my life, whenever I began to grow as a Christian, I got involved in the youth club and Bible studies. Outside of church I was involved with CEF [Child Evangelism Fellowship]. It was such a blessing and joy to share the gospel with children and teenagers throughout this island. It was during a SYC [Senior Youth Challenge] New Year Camp in Portrush, listening to one of the workers as he challenged us about missions and serving the Lord, that I came to hear the call of God for my life.
It was in the church that I met Heather and in 1997 she became my wife. We have three great children, Matthew, Rebekah and Lydia.
Our pastor at that time, Sam Carson, was a great encouragement to me. He would give me books to read and we would discuss them together. He would give me opportunities to speak and preach. I also had the opportunity to preach around some of the Mission Halls. I thank God for all those opportunities to serve our great God.
During this time I felt the need to study. I wanted to know God more and know His Word better. So I applied to the Irish Baptist College to do their 3 year Christian Education Course. I loved every moment. It was during this time God came to speak to me and challenge me again. Like Moses I was full of excuses. I did not believe God could use me. I was a nobody. So I wrestled with God for three years. I even tried to ignore what God was doing with me and saying to me. Isn’t it wonderful, though, God is patient with us. He is never in a hurry, but His timing is perfect.
I was in sales at the time. I loved my job. I was really good at it and life was good. Marriage was good. We had started a family. But over a period of time, God broke me to tears, until I couldn’t say no any longer. After seeking counsel from our pastor, good godly friends and family, I applied to the Irish Baptist College to study Theology and Pastoral Studies Full Time in 2001.
God, not only opened the door for me to study, but He provided the resources for me and my family during those 3 years. God was and still is so faithful. His grace is abundant and overflowing. I love what Jesus teaches in Matthew 6. We do not need to worry about anything in life, what we will wear, what we will eat and drink. Why? Because we are precious to our gracious, loving Father in Heaven, who knows what we need.
In 2005, my first church was over in Rochester, Kent in England. God clearly opened the door for us to move and serve Him there. Those were challenging and learning years for us. Everything was new. New country, new ministry, new home and new schools for our two children at that time. But we can look back with fond memories and thank God for the opportunity to serve the church in Rochester. There God stretched us mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
Then we moved back home to serve Sion Mills Baptist Church, outside Strabane. After that Ballymena Baptist Church called us to come and be part of a team ministry with a fast-growing big church. I had responsibilities in preaching, evangelism and pastoral visitation.
Due to health reasons, and changing circumstances, Heather and I believed it was right to step out of the church and full time ministry for a while. After a period of rest, like Elijah and crying before God like David, we found God our Rock and Fortress, to be our strength and ever-present help in times of trouble. God never abandoned us.
I started to get preaching engagements around the country and in Scotland. One of those was from a fellowship called New Dawn Evangelical Fellowship in Broughshane, where we lived. One Sunday became two, until I was preaching there once a month and taking some midweek Bible studies. The Elders were seeking the Lord. The church was seeking to know the mind and will of God also. They spoke to me to see if I would be interested. I was working in sales again with Original Tile & Bath in Ballyclare. But the call upon my life never left me. I still had a love in my heart for the church, and ministry. I still had a passion for preaching the bible.
Over a period of months the church prayed, and Heather and I prayed seeking the Lord. We believed the Lord was leading us back into full time ministry and too New Dawn. I allowed my name to go before the church for consideration. On the 29/11/18, New Dawn met to vote and called me to be their next pastor. Our induction service was on Friday 4th January 2019.”
“I’m excited to be their Pastor,” says Mark Steele, new Pastor at New Dawn Evangelical Fellowship, Broughshane.
“I’m thankful to the Lord for His hand upon Heather, myself and our family and for His leading into New Dawn. It’s been lovely getting to know everyone over the last two years. So the church feels like family already. I believe in a God centred, Bible centred, worship centred and prayer centred ministry. Jesus Christ is the Head of His Church, so we must, therefore, submit to Him, and love Him wholeheartedly. Church is made up of God’s saved redeemed people – who meet together to worship Christ, serve Christ and serve one another in love and obedience to His Word.
My vision, my passion for the church, is to glorify God, to make Christ known, to build God’s people up in their faith, and equip/help them to serve the Lord. I want to preach Christ, share Christ within community and make disciples & followers of Jesus Christ.
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20.”
Find out more about New Dawn Evangelical Fellowship in Broughshane by visiting their website here.