The Spirit of God descended on Ballymena Showgrounds on Sunday 5th July 2020 as hundreds of cars assembled for the ONE Drive-In Service.
Spearheaded by Crown Jesus Ministries in partnership with numerous fellowships who came together to watch or lend a hand with stewarding or by participating on stage.
Rain even gave way to blue skies and sunshine as a ‘sold out’ crowd enjoyed worship, testimonies, and an inspiring message from the Word of God.
Hosting duties fell to Richard Kernohan and Stephanie Dale who welcomed Lawrence Bellew to the stage for a time of praise.
Soon afterwards, the main worship leader, Ryan Griffith, (CFC Belfast) led the crowd in renditions of Raise a Hallelujah by Bethel Worship, Waymaker by Leeland and the Phil Wickham classic, Living Hope.
Next on stage were Ballymena United defender, Jonny Addis, four-time Paralympic gold medallist, Bethany Firth and Lawrence Bellew, who was being interviewed about his role as Youth and Children’s Co-Ordinator at Willowfield Church in Belfast.
Although Lawrence admitted that Youth Work had been difficult during lockdown, the situation also presented opportunities for effective ministry. This included a 50-night Bible study with the young people through ‘Zoom’.
The young Church worker also revealed that he had spent time in foster care as a boy and was shown love by Christian youth leaders who took him in. After a time outside the Church, Lawrence was encouraged to return by a friend. After a while, he discovered his talent for singing and hasn’t looked back since.
Jonny Addis grew up in a Christian home and is the son of a Presbyterian Minister. Saved as a young boy, the Irish League centre-back credits a Youth Worker, Stuart Hawthorne with helping him to grow in Christ
He said that teammates have respected his faith, intimating that God is challenging him to find ways of witnessing to them.
Bethany Firth was also blessed with Christian parents but spent her early years blaming God for giving her a disability.
She took up swimming aged 13 and during an encounter with God after her first semi-final at London 2012, she realised that in her own strength she could do nothing, it was all about letting God work. Subsequently, she was inspired to overcome a shoulder injury to win her first Gold aged just 16.
Lawrence remained on stage to lead the assembled crowd in a rendition of 10,000 Reasons by Matt Redman before treating worshippers to his own song, ‘We Need An Awakening’ which was based on the words of Habakkuk 3.
During a short but inspiring message, Crown Jesus evangelist developed the theme of One Church by urging fellowships not to go backwards after lockdown. He talked about the need to let people see that the Church is love. As he noted that the gods of the world had fallen during lockdown, the Church had not.
Mitch went on to say the Christ is our One Hope and a hope that does not disappoint. He added that Christians must share this hope with the world; a hope that is only possible through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
His final remark stressed that Jesus fixes people from the inside out and that Christ is the way, the truth, and the life.
Mitch ended with a time of prayer for the sick and those outside the Kingdom of Christ. Ryan and the band then rounded off a wonderful occasion with The Blessing, originally by Bethel Worship and Praise the Name by Hillsong. This ended a historic day when churches came together as ‘One’ in Ballymena to worship God.
To discover more about the work of Crown Jesus Ministries, log on to their website here.