The people of Alfred Place Baptist Church in Aberystwyth are unaccustomed to ordination and induction services – their last one was fifty years ago when the young Geoff Thomas became their minister. But on Saturday 3 September, Rhodri Brady was formally installed as their new pastor.
Rhodri is 26, a drama and theatre studies graduate of Aberystwyth University, married to Sibyl, with two boys, Gwilym and Ezra. He is the oldest son of Gary Brady, minister of Child’s Hill Baptist Church, London and of Eleri, Geoff Thomas’ eldest daughter. In other words, Rhodri is the latest scion in the Thomas-Brady family of preachers.
The service was presided over by Robert Strivens, principal of the London Seminary, where Rhodri has been studying for the last two years. Gary Brady read the great ministerial charge from 2 Timothy 3:13 - 4:5. The history of Rhodri’s call was recounted. Then the ordination and induction was undertaken with Rhodri taking six vows and the church members affirming one question. An exhortation was given based on 2 Timothy 4:1 and Geoff Thomas concluded with a magisterial prayer.
The address was given by David Green, vice-principal of London Seminary. He took Deuteronomy 6:1-9 as his theme and opened it with the question, ‘What are you doing here?’ directed primarily to Rhodri, but also to the whole assembly. The immediate answer is, ‘We are here to meet with the living God.’ But, as we step out from the church into the street, the same question must be asked, ‘What are we doing here?’ This bigger picture insists that we connect our church meetings with our activities in the world.
‘What am I doing here?’ was answered by Dr Green in three ways from Deuteronomy 6 and as rehearsed by Jesus in Matthew 22: 34 - 40. First, the Lord alone is your God, so love Him (verse 4). Second, love Him with all your being, heart, soul and strength (verse 5). Third, love Him in the little, everyday things (verses 7 - 9).
The next day, Rhodri began his preaching ministry from Isaiah 55: 1, with the boundless gospel invitation, ‘Come …’ When asked about his aspirations for the church, he cited, ‘More evangelism; more of a thirst for God’s word; and more love for each other.’ That threefold, timeless task, for another small church, has recommenced. May the Lord prosper it.