Rev Alistair McCracken called to Cloughwater Presbyterian Church, Ballymena.
Alistair will be ordained and installed as the congregation’s new Minister on Friday, 1st June 2018. Originally from East Belfast, Alistair grew up in Stormont Presbyterian Church. He is married to Elma, who spent her formative years in Connor, County Antrim and the couple have two children, Annie, (3) and Isaac, who will soon turn two. Alistair came from a ‘warm and loving’ home and although he attended Church as a child, he didn’t come to saving faith in the Lord until his university years.
Taking up the story, Alistair remembers: “My conversion came largely through the witness of good Christian friends at university and in the workplace who pointed me to my need of salvation in the Lord Jesus – I was convicted of my sin and put my trust in the Lord. Often university life can sometimes pull people away from the Lord, but for me those were very formative years in my walk with Jesus and I have sought to follow him since then.”
After graduating from Queen’s University with a degree in Agricultural Economics, Alistair spent some time lecturing at Greenmount Agricultural College in Antrim. This was followed by a spell overseas when he served as a missionary teacher in Malawi with the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. It was during this time that he began to sense God’s call to ordained ministry. Upon his return to home shores, Alistair worked for a missionary agency.
Romance then beckoned when he met Elma, who was employed by a Latin American mission organisation. The couple married, and Alistair began his studies at Union Theological College in 2012.
For the last three years, Alistair has been serving his assistantship at Templepatrick Presbyterian Church under the supervision of Rev. Richard Kerr. Looking back on this time, Alistair warmly reflects: “As a family we have really enjoyed our time there, with our faith being encouraged and nurtured. Personally I have had great opportunities to preach and teach God’s word and gain good experience in pastoral ministry. For us it is really hard to leave this loving and warm church family, however, we are very excited to move on to the next chapter.”
Rev Alistair McCracken called to Cloughwater Presbyterian Church. The service of ordination and installation is on Friday 1st June at 7:30pm.
Eagerly anticipating this next step in his family’s life and ministry, Alistair went on to say: “We are really looking forward to being part of the Cloughwater family. We know that the people have got a real desire to know the Lord and to witness for Him, both locally and globally. That’s very important for us as I begin ministry there. As I go to the people of Cloughwater I want to encourage them to walk with the Lord; by preaching God’s Word faithfully and showing and sharing the love of Christ. Helping all age groups, young and old, to encounter and share the amazing grace of God in Jesus Christ is a central aim of my ministry in Cloughwater.”
Outside Church, Alistair loves spending time with his family and friends, usually with good food involved. He enjoys following most sports and seeks to keep fit by walking, cycling, swimming or playing a round or two of golf. Alistair relishes the opportunity to travel, discover new places and is now looking forward to exploring the Cloughwater area and seeing how God is at work there.
Find out more about Cloughwater Presbyterian Church on their Facebook page here. The church address is 125 Cloughwater Road, Ballymena, Co. Antrim BT43 6QR