Rose City Baptist Church pastor Derek McConnell is retiring after 27 years of service.MONIQUE FREER February 5, 2014 4:10am
Celebrating long service: Rose City Baptist Church pastor Derek McConnell, with wife Vicky, is retiring after 27 years of service.
After 27 years of service to Rose City Baptist Church Pastor Derek McConnell is preparing his final sermon.
Pastor McConnell is retiring as the church’s pastor this weekend and will be farewelled in an emotional thanksgiving service.
‘‘We look forward to it, but it will be an emotional time because the church has been our family 24-seven for 27 years,’’ he said.
‘‘This weekend is the right time for the church to move on and find a new pastor and for us to move on to retirement.
‘‘It’s a good time for a younger man to take over, the church has absolutely no debt and it is in a very stable position with membership.‘‘
Originally from Belfast, Ireland, Pastor McConnell moved to Melbourne in 1973 with wife Vicky and son Mark.
He took a job at Nissan Motor Company and worked as a manager in the inspection department for 13 years.
He began speaking and preaching at Croydon Independent Baptist Church, and helped at Rose City Baptist Church during their pastor’s holidays.
When the church began looking for a new pastor shortly after, they called on Pastor McConnell.
The couple, together with their children Mark, Ruth and Rebecca, relocated to Benalla in 1987 and Pastor McConnell has been preaching at the local church ever since.
‘‘After 27 years of ministering, retiring will be like losing my right arm,’’ he said.
‘‘Since coming to Benalla the church has doubled in numbers.
‘‘I’ve been blessed to see babies born, grow up, get married and have babies of their own.’’
Pastor McConnell said a source of pride was that during his 27 years at the church he only had six deacons, four of whom were still serving.
‘‘It’s quite an achievement, it shows faithfulness and dedication, which is very much appreciated,’’ he said.
‘‘We’ve been here for 27 years, the Lord has allowed this to happen and he should receive the praise, if any, not ourselves.’’
While Mr McConnell celebrates his 27th anniversary as pastor this Sunday, the church will celebrate its 45th anniversary. A thanksgiving service will be held on Saturday at 2
Pastor McConnell will address the congregation for the last time on Sunday, February 16.
The McConnells said they would enjoy a cruise in the Pacific Islands before returning to spend more time with their children and grandchildren.
A Mitchell Starc signed Australian cricket shirt and signed bats will be up for auction tonight at St George's Rd Primary School as part of raising funds for the Hands for Help Nepal charity.
Local kayaking athletes Brea Roadley and Kayla Whinray have continued making a splash in their sport on both a national and international level.
Tatura’s St Vincent de Paul Society has made a sizeable donation to Sacred Heart School community for 2015.
A woman who had been riding a motor scooter was airlifted to Melbourne this evening after colliding with a car on the Northern Hwy outside the All Rivers Motor Inn.
Campaspe Valley Community Centre played host to Audrey Hepburn, Little Red Riding Hood, Napoleon Dynamite and even the Titanic recently.
Jackson Gentle beats younger sibling Cooper in thrilling Parkland decider
What will it take for politicians to start taking Nagambie's case for an ambulance seriously?
Record cattle prices were recorded at the Finley Saleyards on Friday
City of Greater Bendigo is urging district residents to visit St John’s Anglican Church in Heathcote to celebrate the centenary of architect William Vahland’s death.
It was a dream start to Picola’s interleague campaign on Saturday, with the under-17 team notching up an impressive 91-point victory.
Gov’t overhauls GP incentive scheme.
There may never be a solution to the Murray-Darling Basin and managing its water — Australia’s greatest natural asset.
Victorian Greens Leader Greg Barber tells The Ensign, producers should oppose the sale of the long term lease of the Port by the Andrews Government.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.