IN November, 1956, eight people joined together to officially constitute the first Baptist church in County Fermanagh, at Stonepark, Brookeborough.
A spokesman agreed that Baptists had been ‘a bit slow’ getting started here, considering that the first Baptist churches had been formed way back in the 1640s in Waterford and Cork. But they got to Fermanagh eventually, and as well as celebrating that anniversary (the 59th), the congregation will be marking the 20th anniversary (on 26th November) of Harry Dowds commencing his ministry as pastor.
To mark this special event, the church is holding a Gospel Mission from Sunday, 22nd until Sunday 29th, with Pastor Dowds preaching. But, back to the main event – Andy Banton from Dunstable in England will be the guest speaker at a special series of meetings that have been arranged to mark the 59th anniversary of the church at Stonepark.
The first of these will be the Anniversary Service which will be held in the church building at Stonepark this Sunday, 15th November at 7pm. This will be followed by supper to which everyone is welcome to attend.
Andy is the secretary of the Open Air Mission and has done extensive research into the remarkable work of God among Servicemen and others during World War 1. He has put together a presentation, detailing these events and will making this presentation on two occasions during his visit – the first of these will be in the Royal British Legion Hall in Clogher on Monday 16th November at 8pm, and the second will be on Wednesday, 18th November in the Royal British Legion Hall in Enniskillen, also at 8pm.
There will be a light supper after both these meetings and a display of Bibles used by Servicemen and women during wartime. These presentations are open to all and admission is free.
Back to Pastor Dowds – others will take part during the service on the 29th, with supper provided. The
spokesman extended a warm welcome to all to come along, and said the members and friends of the church at Stonepark would dearly love to see anyone who has had any contact with the church or with Harry and his wife, Christine over the past years.
The church building at Stonepark is very easy to find – going towards Fivemiletown, it’s on the left -hand side of the main A4, about 1.5 miles on the Fivemiletown side of Brookeborough and clearly visible from the main road.