New pastor welcomed to Gilford

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Upper Bann DUP MLA Carla Lockhart has welcomed Pastor Ken Davidson, and his wife Alison, to his new church, Christ Encounters, in Gilford.

The church was established this year when the former Royal British Legion building was completely renovated earlier this year.

Christ Encounters was formed in 2017, when Pastor Ken Davidson sensed that there was a hunger rising for a Christ encounter.

Ken Davidson carries a remarkable story of God’s grace reaching out to him when he was at his lowest.

Pastor Davidson, from Donaghcloney, was registered homeless on two occasions and was at one time addicted to alcohol and drugs.

After collapsing following a drink and drugs spree, Ken was taken in by a Christian family and went long to Whitewell Tabernacle on Sunday. There he gave his life to God.

In 1997 he met his wife Alison and in 1999 he served as a missionary in Romania. He was ordained in ministry the day after his second daughter was born on September 21, 2003. Following his ordination, many opportunities arrived for him to minister throughout the country, which he accepted and became busy sharing the Gospel. In 2008 Ken became pastor of Donaghcloney Elim, a congregation of 12 people and the church facing closure. However, following Ken arriving and asking God to lead him, the church became rejuvenated and grew to 150 strong.

At the end of 2016, Pastor Davidson moved from pastoring Donaghcloney Elim to stepping into his own ministry in 2017, Christ Encounters.

Hundreds of people recently attended an event at the church, much to the delight of the new church family.

Speaking following the event. which was held in the church sanctuary, Mrs Lockhart said: “This was a hugely successful event with many hundreds in attendance over the course of the afternoon.

“It was very encouraging to see people from the local community coming into the church premises which has been transformed in recent months. Pastor Davidson certainly has a heart for the area and I pray that God richly blesses him in the days that lie ahead. I know that the church family are keen to engage in a very practical way in the community in which they are witnessing.

“A great afternoon all round and I would commend the organisers.”