Ballinacrow Seventh-day Adventist Church

Ballinacrow Seventh-day Adventist Church

Written by Sharon Murphy, Evangelism Leader

Ballinacrow Sda Church

Set in the idyllic Wicklow Mountains is the Ballinacrow SDA Church.  Its not far from the source of the River Slaney and Luqnaquilla Mountain.

The Ballinacrow Church’s beginnings started when a man by the name of Ted Finlay lived and worked in the Glen of Imaal as a shopkeeper. He had a relative that went to Canada in the first part of the 1900's and came back and shared the Advent message he learned to Ted.

For a long time Ted was the only believer in the area who believed the way he did.  Eventually he grouped up with other believers from Dublin and worshipped with them.   It was a long journey in those days from the Glen of Imaal to inner city Dublin.

At this time the Holy Spirit was working on hearts of other people across Ireland.  In time a young man from Wexford was learning the Sabbath truths and came to worship amongst the Dublin fellowship and also came to know Ted Finlay and his family.

Ted Finlay on the left, with his wife Evelynn and daughter Ruth. Behind are Stephan and Ian Wilson.

Ted Finlay on the left and two people believed to be the first two Adventist Ministers to Ireland.

Ted Finlay had shared his beliefs with the local community and farmers. In time people from the Glen and Wexford came to join together and have home services.

The sizes of the families attending grew and the company of believers needed their own church space to worship in.  Most of the members who attended were hard working farmers and they came together and each pledged hard earned means to build the church we have today.

Today most of the original founding members and their families still attend.  Sadly Ted, his wife Evelyn and their daughter Ruth have passed away.  Ruth only recently.

In 1981 the sods were turned and the Ballinacrow Seventh Day Adventist Church was formed.

Photo from about 10 years ago.

Photo from about 18 years ago.

Since 1981 the Ballinacrow church membership has grown.  We truly have a multicultural church presently. On any given Sabbath you will have representative members from Ireland, Northern Ireland, Nigeria, Canada, Romania, Moldova, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Croatia, Czech Republic, India, Serbia, Brazil, Albania, Hungary, Ivory Coast, Philippines among other visitors.

Our Sabbath school rooms are filled with the sweets sounds of a young church. We are also uniquely blessed to have an assortment of very talented musicians attending.

Our membership is starting to exceed the capacity of our existing building. By God's grace, we, the next generation, will sacrifice to find the funds needed for us to complete our building extension.

In the midst of this pandemic it is easy to see that the church is more than the walls and mortar: it's the people. The people who faithfully, by God's grace, check in on each other and take care to see if the physical, medical and spiritual needs of our church brothers and sisters are met.

We have faithfully continued our services online via zoom in the months we were in lockdown. A midweekly prayer meeting was formed that we didnt have before that zoom has enabled.

As we start to find our way back over the hills and vales to that idyllic country setting and resume meetings it will appear very different.  Covid 19 will have altered temporarily our corporate worship landscape. Our church services will be more scheduled and sanitized and in accordance with legislation. The component that hasn't changed is God.

God hasn't altered His presence with His people. God's omnipresence has not changed neither His omniscience.

God is present as we navigate the difficult times and rejoice in the victories.  He is our shelter in this time of storm.

Whether governmental directives change, whether we worship in small groups or worship online, God is in control. God is sovereign and to Him be the glory and honour forever.   Even so come Lord Jesus. 

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