“You Will Never Start a Baptist Church There!” – Day 3 of 31 Days of Prayer for Northwest Baptist Building Fund

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In 2004, Teri and I moved to Northern Ireland. For the first 18 months, we worked with a church in Limavady. During that time, we prayed about where God might have us go to start a new church. Time and again, we came back to a city about 18 miles away.

Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland

 We discovered several things about this city:
  • It had 100,000 people – the 4th largest city on the island of Ireland.
  • It was a divided city – one-third of the population (mostly people from a “unionist/Protestant” background) living on one side of the Foyle River, the other two-thirds (predominately people from a “nationalist/Catholic” background) living on the other side of the Foyle.
  • It was a hurting city – the modern-day “Troubles” began there in 1968.
  • It was a spiritually needy city – the pain of the troubles and the destructiveness of sin had created great needs for the healing power of the gospel.
  • It was a city with great opportunity – as a hub city for hundreds of thousands of people in County Londonderry, County Tyrone, and County Donegal there were huge opportunities to impact many people for Christ.
  • It was a city with two names – nationalists called it Derry while unionists tended to called it Londonderry and if you didn’t want to offend anyone you just called it “the city” (or any other number of nicknames that have been made up).
  • It was a city with only two Baptist churches – both were located on one side of the city; the other side of the city, with the town centre (called “the cityside”) and two-thirds of the population, had no Baptist churches.
British troops stand guard in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, during disorders in the area in 1969. (AP Photo)

British troops stand guard in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, during disorders in the area in 1969. (AP Photo)

So, we began to pray and talk about moving to start a church on the cityside of Derry. Most people who heard us talk about it thought we were a bit mad or crazy. Many said outright, “You will never start a Baptist church on the cityside.” Some thought we would be burned out or driven out. Others said you may start a church there but it shouldn’t be a Baptist one.

And so for several years we began working in the city, but we never moved to the cityside. But one day that all changed and God began opening doors, which I will tell you about tomorrow…

For now, thanks for praying for what God is doing there and for the building fund. After a recount, we figured out that we actually have $500 more than we realised, so we are now down to less than 60K!

Building Fund Status
$75,000 – Needed
$15,359 – Donated
$59,641– Remaining

More information about the building fund can be found here.

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