STAWELL - After almost eleven years without one, Stawell's Church of Christ has a new pastor.
Barrie J Rowland-Hornblow has come out of retirement two days a week to service the Stawell community and build up the congregation from a loyal 20.
"For any church 10 to 11 years is a long time. For most churches that would be a death knell. I praise God for the strength of the people here to stay together despite the fact they haven't been able to secure a pastor," Pastor Barrie said.
Most recently at Ararat's Church of Christ, Pastor Barrie has an interesting history that began in England and included careers in the Royal Marines and social work before his calling to the Pentecostal Church 37 years ago.
He now spends his time writing and visits Sri Lanka for five to six weeks every year as a missionary. This work takes him to the southern provinces "where angels fear to tread" because of landmines.
Pastor Barrie is looking forward to meeting more of the Stawell community over the coming months.
"There are lots of people who have a God consciousness, but not a church affiliation, for lots of reasons. People may have been hurt or disappointed or bruised through churchianity.
"Those who would like to hear and would like to see what Jesus can do are the ones I'm interested in meeting," Pastor Barrie said.