Rowan Zeelie is the new Associate for Discipleship at High Kirk Presbyterian Church in Ballymena.
We are delighted that he has written the following article to let you all know a little more about him.
“I was born in the city of Port Elizabeth in South Africa in 1971. Growing up in South Africa under apartheid played a big part in shaping my views on injustice around the world, particularly when people are treated as anything less than image bearers of God.
“I met my wife, Joanne, in 1996 and we were married in September 2000. We moved to Portlaoise, Ireland in August 2002, where she took up a role as a Social Worker on a two-year contract. We moved to Maidstone, Kent in March 2004 where our first daughter, Rachael, was born in October, and three years later, in July 2007, our youngest daughter, Bianca was born. In August 2008, we moved across to Northern Ireland, settling in Aghalee near Moira, and in September 2011 I began training as a minister in the Methodist Church. I was stationed in Armagh as a Probationer Minister in 2014 and I was ordained in June 2016. In 2017, we moved to Cookstown, where I was the minister to the Methodist Churches in Cookstown and Magherafelt.
“As a child I attended the Salvation Army until I was 13. The house behind our home was the Salvation Army manse and I became best friends with their son Clinton, and I would go to Sunday School with them every Sunday. By the time I was a teenager there was no one my age that I connected with and so I drifted away not only from the church, but from God. By my late teenage years I had become an atheist.
“It was only in my mid-twenties, after I had met Joanne, that I gave my life to Jesus. When we met we had very different views on God and who Jesus is. But that did not stop Joanne from praying for my salvation, and one night, while hitch-hiking home from a night out, I had an encounter with God on the side of the road that changed my life forever. Since that time, it has been Joanne’s and my desire to serve God faithfully wherever He may take us. It was during the lockdown period that we came to the understanding that He was leading us away from the ordained ministry into a new chapter in our adventure with Him. Unbeknown to us at the time, it would lead us to High Kirk.
“The Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 12 that we all have different gifts from God. The gifts He has given me are teaching and preaching, to be used so that “God may be glorified in all things through Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 4:11). My passion is to use my gifts to help disciples of Jesus to grow in maturity in their faith, because I believe that when the people of God live out their faith as disciples and disciple-makers, the lives of people in this world can be truly transformed.”
You can find out more about what is happening at High Kirk Presbyterian Church, Ballymena on their website.