2011 – 75 years of the Bangor Worldwide Missionary Convention
The 2011 Convention was our 75th and to celebrate reaching this milestone the Waterfront Hall in Belfast was hired for our opening meeting. We were thrilled that the event was a complete sell–out with over 2050 tickets sold and all our exhibitors stands allocated. God really blessed our time together and inspired all who took part, in particular our speakers Rico Tice, Bishops Ken Clarke and Michael Nazir – Ali, and Ajith Fernando.
The praise led by Allister Hamill together with the New Irish Choir and Orchestra was memorable and allowed us to focus on thanksgiving to God for His goodness down the years, which was one of the primary objectives for the event. On Sunday it was good to hear the BBC using a recording from the Waterfront for their morning service broadcast and, by this means, taking the event to a much larger audience.
Our meetings moved to our normal venue of Hamilton Road Presbyterian Church and in the evening Ajith introduced his theme for the morning Bible readings. We were delighted on Monday to receive an official visit from the Mayor of North Down, who spoke at our afternoon seminar bringing greetings from the Council and reminding those present of Bangor’s long missionary history. The theme for Monday was the persecuted church and we had inputs about North Korea at both the seminar and the evening meeting which was full to over flowing. The theme for Tuesday was God’s word and Eddie Arthur ( Wycliffe ) was the main speaker and on Wednesday evening Issac Shaw ( Dehli Bible Institute ) brought an inspiring address on his work of training pastors in North India. Attendances on both these nights were affected by the concerts being held in the park adjacent to the church at the same time as our meetings.
The church was full again for our “ Ireland “ night on Thursday and Rev. Trevor Morrow gave a very personal address which reviewed his thirty years as a Pastor in a suburb of Dublin.
Imtiaz Khan gave a fascinating insight into the work of London City Mission among muslims on the same evening. Jason Kemper spoke at our youth–focused night on Friday and John Brown ( Afghanistan ) was the main speaker at our final meeting on Saturday.
On both these nights we had further information on the persecuted church and Peter Nicholl brought an update on OM ships ministry. Attendances at the Bible readings held up well throughout the week due to the inspired speaking of Ajith and we are grateful to him shedding new light on the book of Acts.
The prayer meetings had a revival this year with attendances higher than previous years and this was a huge encouragement to the committee who put great emphasis on this aspect of the Convention. We are sure that God answered those prayers both in Bangor at the Convention and in many mission situations across the world. A notable feature this year was the number of speakers who for one reason or another had to pull out and we are very grateful to those that filled in at the last moment.
Our primary thanks however is to God for His blessing of our time together throughout the week and we look to Him for the future with renewed confidence.