Jeffrey Blue Is Settling Into Rasharkin Presbyterian
Rev. Jeffrey Blue is settling into Rasharkin Presbyterian Church following his recent installation as the congregation’s new Minister.
Originally from Kilkeel, 31-year-old Jeffery grew up in a Christian home. He was also blessed by the faithful preaching and teaching of Rev. Dr David McGaughey and latterly, Rev. William Bingham, who ministered to him in his ‘home’ fellowship of Mourne Presbyterian.
Taking up the story of his journey in Christ, Jeffrey told The Church Page. “I was taught the Bible from an early age and sent to Sunday School and all the other Church organisations. I remember coming home from Children’s Church one day at the age of eight and sitting down beside my bed. I prayed the prayer of salvation and trusted God from then on.”
After leaving Kilkeel High School, Jeffrey went on to study Geography at Queen’s. After university he took up a trainee management position with ASDA, firstly in Downpatrick then in Westwood, West Belfast.
Eventually tiring of 70-mile round trips to and from work each day, Jeffrey secured employment at a garage in Rostrevor while he oversaw Warranty Administration.
Having more time at home allowed Jeffrey to get more involved in Church life where he enjoyed teaching Sunday School and Youth Fellowship. During this period, the shy young man took the brave step of approaching his friend and neighbour, Robert James Hanna. He asked if he could lend a hand with the C.E.F 5-day clubs on some of the housing estates in Newry. Taking part in this proved to be a great learning experience for Jeffrey, who was also growing spiritually through his conversations with Robert-James, William Bingham and Andrew Mullan, who was the Assistant Minister of Mourne Presbyterian at that time.
Jeffrey is asked to speak at his first Church service.
Recalling his initial response to Andrew’s suggestion that he should apply to the Ministry, Jeffrey remembers: “I laughed and said: “Absolutely no way – that is definitely not for me.” Then one day, Andrew contacted me and he said he has been asked to go and speak at a Church service. He couldn’t do it but he put my name forward! I thought, ‘Well, I will go and do it. It will be a disaster and that will keep him quiet.”
“This was the wrong attitude. Andrew helped me prepare for it and I went and did it. I will not say that it went well but there was something about it that made me think I can’t rule this out. From then on I got more opportunities to speak at different places.”
To get some more training in the art of preaching while increasingly his Biblical knowledge, Jeffrey eventually decided to spend a year at Cornhill. This was run by Rev. Moore Casement out of Kirkpatrick Presbyterian Church in East Belfast.
This proved to be excellent preparation for his entry to Union Theological College in September 2014. Training for the ministry brought challenges for Jeffrey. He worked hard to get to grips with Greek and Hebrew language Studies.
Undertaking his assistantship in Bloomfield Presbyterian Church under Rev. Dr. Frank Sellar was a great experience for Jeffery. He also learned much from his other colleague there, Rev. Bill Addely.
Rev Jeffrey Blue is settling into Rasharkin Presbyterian Church having been recently installed as their minister.
Now, he looks forward to putting what he has learned into practice in his first solo charge which comprises approximately 200 families. Jeffrey says,
“My hopes for my time in Rasharkin are that it will be all about God and not me. I hope that I will be faithful to God and He will be faithful to us as a congregation. I am excited about what lies ahead! Knowing that you have been very clearly called to some place is exciting. I’m thinking what does God have in store for that place? It is very daunting to have gone from being an assistant to now out on my own. But I think in every step of the way God has said to me that ‘if you are faithful to me and trusting in me I will be with you’. That is a great reassurance. It is a real privilege and a real responsibility but I am very excited to see what God is going to doing in and through us as a congregation over the next few years.”
Outside Church, Jeffrey has a keen interest in American politics. He also enjoys eating out and going to the cinema.
Read more about Rasharkin Presbyterian Church on their website here.