The congregation of Main Street Presbyterian Church in Garvagh – officially Second Garvagh have recently opened their third church. The brand new building was dedicated by the Moderator, Rt Rev Dr Charles McMullen.
First Garvagh Presbyterian Church was founded back in the early 1600s. This was followed by Main Street Presbyterian (Second Garvagh) around the 1770s. More recently the denomination opened their residential care home, Trinity House, in Garvagh, so there has been a strong Presbyterian witness in the town for nearly 400 years.
Initially the congregation worshiped in a small thatched building, which was replaced after some 80 years by a new church which opened in 1850. It served the congregation well until it became apparent that with the increasing damp, the need for a new roof and the general ravages of time, it would be more cost effective to rebuild than to repair.
“This work could not have happened without the prayerful and sacrificial giving of the people of our congregation and says much about them and their desire to see people come to know the risen Lord Jesus,” explained. Rev Raymond Kelly, minister of Main Street Garvagh.
“This has been a vision defining project which is ongoing, looking to the future with solid hope in the greatness of our God and with confident trust in His perfect Sovereign purposes. It also proclaims that we believe that God has led us through this work to prepare us for something He has planned for the future growth and expansion of His kingdom. The dedication and opening was a very special day, the continuation of a journey for us here in Garvagh together and with the community, so to God be the glory.”
The new church building and existing halls are now linked.
The relatively new church halls have been retained and are now linked via an access to the main building, which also incorporates a new suite of rooms, an enlarged welcome area and a café. The sloping sanctuary and curved pews are two surprising features, as Rev Kelly explained.
“Having incorporated these two features, there is an increased sense of community as everyone can now see each other, rather than the backs of people’s heads! It is different, and has taken a bit of getting used to, for me as minister as well. The new layout has created a feeling of closer relationship between those who speak, the choir and praise band with the congregation as a whole, which can only be good,” he said.
The Presbyterian Moderator spoke of his delight to be able to dedicate the new church building.
“It was a wonderful privilege as Moderator of the General Assembly to be able to dedicate the building to the glory of God. I used Psalm 84 as my text which speaks of the loveliness of God’s dwelling place. It is my prayer that worshippers, as they gather Sunday by Sunday, will discern the presence of the Lord, be drawn into an ever deeper relationship with him and closer together as the body of believers. I hope as well that the Church will continue to be a welcoming place as it reaches out to the surrounding community,” the Moderator said.
“A vision for a new building has been realised and a state of the art facility provided. I pay tribute to the faithfulness and dedication of everyone involved and the people of Main Street, who have been incredibly generous in supporting the project.”
Find out more about Main Street Presbyterian church (Second Garvagh) on their website here.