The installation of Rev Stephen McCracken

On the evening of 20th June, 2019, the Presbytery of Route installed Rev Stephen McCracken as minister of First Presbyterian Church, Ballymoney.

The Commission of Presbytery prior to the service. The front row (from left to right) is Rev Kenneth Crowe (Convener of the vacancy at First), Rev Noel McClean (Clerk of Presbytery), Rev Stephen McCracken, Rev Rodney Moody (Moderator of Presbytery), Rev Mark Jones. Neil Robinson, clerk of session at First Presbyterian, Ballymoney is in the back row at the far right.

The Commission of Presbytery prior to the service. The front row (from left to right) is Rev Kenneth Crowe (Convener of the vacancy at First), Rev Noel McClean (Clerk of Presbytery), Rev Stephen McCracken, Rev Rodney Moody (Moderator of Presbytery), Rev Mark Jones. Neil Robinson, clerk of session at First Presbyterian, Ballymoney is in the back row at the far right.

The Moderator of Presbytery, Rev Rodney Moody, presented the call to worship, introduced the first item of praise and led the congregation in prayer.

Next, Rev Mark Jones delivered a sermon looking at God’s abundant provision for His people and the hope we have in Christ.

After a few words from Rev Kenneth Crowe, the offering in aid of the Students’ Bursary Fund was taken. Following this, the Moderator and the Clerk of Presbytery set out the Rule of Faith and put set questions to the new minister regarding his adherence to the standards of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland and his subscription to the Westminster Confession of Faith.

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The congregation then stood for the Act of Installation after which the Aaronic blessing was sung.

The choir then sang the anthem ‘Be Thou My Vision’ and, after the congregational praise, Rev Kenneth Crowe, previously Convener of the Vacancy, presented a ‘charge’ to the new minister and the congregation.

After the benediction, the Commission of Presbytery left the sanctuary for a few minutes, but returned after changing out of ceremonial robes to present some speeches.

Rev Kenneth Crowe introduced the various speakers after the formal proceedings were concluded. A representative from both of Rev Stephen McCracken’s previous congregations in Derramore and Drumachose spoke, after which Neil Robinson, our clerk of session, addressed the congregation.

Neil acknowledged the sense of loss that the Drumachose and Derramore congregations may be feeling. He also thanked Kenneth for his work and guidance as convener of the vacancy. A gift was then presented to Rev Crowe as well as a gift of flowers for his wife, presented by Natasha Hamilton. Flowers were also given to Mrs McCracken, presented by Oliver Owens.

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Oliver Owens presents Mrs McCracken with flowers.

Oliver Owens presents Mrs McCracken with flowers.

Natasha Hamilton presents Mrs Crowe with flowers.

Natasha Hamilton presents Mrs Crowe with flowers.

Finally, Rev McCracken addressed the congregation as the new minister of First Presbyterian Church, Ballymoney and prayed with the congregation.

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Thereafter, the congregation adjourned to the church halls for fellowship over supper.

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