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Seventy years ago on 1st August 1946 a young man was ordained to the Christian ministry. During the 68 years that followed, his preaching would influence many for Christ. I was one of the many, and Iâ€™m truly thankful that young preacher later become my pastor, senior minister and friend. His name was Ian Paisley.
One year before his home-going I invited the â€˜Docâ€™ to our evening service in Ballyclare on the 67th anniversary of his ordination. It was a relaxed and memorable meeting. We enjoyed a humorous look at a lesser known side to Dr Paisley, namely his memorable scribbles and presented him with a three volume set of Christian Classics inscribed by a master of scribblers, C. H. Spurgeon.
Dr Paisley concluded by preaching from Johnâ€™s gospel chapter 11. Although he wasnâ€™t able to stand to preach in the pulpit due to frailty and the unusually hot evening, he opted instead to sit at the front of the pulpit. It proved to be the last time he would preach publicly. Interestingly, the Bible passage he expounded was the same text he preached his first public sermon from, at sixteen years of age. His public preaching ended where it began! It was a truly memorable occasion.
I for one am thankful for the day I first met the Lord's servant, for the help he was to my Christian life and gospel ministry.
Here is an edited version of that memorable evening three years ago.
Dr. Ian Richard Kyle Paisley, the son of a godly Baptist pastor, for many years was a controversial but effective politician and has held electoral seats for many years in the British and European Parliaments, he currently sits as Ian Lord Bannside in the House of Lords in the Palace of...