On Thursday I took a long walk with Mary to a neighboring village called Kells.
Four men began to pray for revival in the mid-1850s in a house in this village. Revival broke out in 1859 in the neighboring village of Connor and spilled over into Kells, which required the building of the Kells Presbyterian Church.
After touring Kells, Mary and I had some famous Irish fish-and-chips on a cold park bench. We then went to visit our special friends, Pastor Ted and Lorna Donnelly, and had the serendipitous experience of meeting Pastor Ian and Joan Hamilton—also dear friends—at the Donnelly home. Pastor Donnelly is suffering from prostate cancer, abdominal pain, and occasional brain seizures. He has amazingly recovered from encephalitis. We were delighted with how well he looked and how engaging he was in conversation in every way. We had a wonderful time of fellowship and prayer together.
In the evening I preached on Simeon’s Spirit-worked hope at the Kellswater Reformed Presbyterian Church, the oldest Reformed Presbyterian church in No. Ireland, where Rev. John Coates now serves as a young, dedicated pastor. The church was organized in 1760, and the present immaculate church building replaced the original meeting house in 1806. Pastor Coates showed me some of the old pictures of ministers and assemblies in the consistory room, including the old cups and plates dating from 1806 that are still being used today in serving Communion. The adjacent graveyard was nearly as impressive as the building. Some of the former ministers, who served the church for decades, are buried here.