Pioneering New - investing in Baptist church growth. Snapshot from Cormac Walsh. Alumni Apprentice.
In 2009 I was a student in Dublin and part of Immanuel church, passionate about reaching Irish people with the gospel, but without a clear idea of how to do it. ICM gave me the opportunity to come on board as an apprentice for a year, and that year has profoundly shaped how I have done ministry and life since. The primary conviction that I developed through the training was that the bible is practically sufficient for ministry, that God works through his word.
After my apprenticeship I served as an ICM Mission Partner for over 4 years in Ballina, Co. Mayo, as part of a team starting Calvary Church Ballina, with the aim of bringing the gospel to this unreached area. The progress was slow, but it has been beautiful to see God build his church by bringing people to life as the bible is opened and a community is based on its message. Halfway through my time in Ballina Áine and I married and she moved from Dublin and Immanuel church.
As the church in Ballina became more established we decided to move on to establish a new church in Áine’s home area in Northside Dublin, where the vast majority of people aren’t hearing the gospel. We joined Jamestown Road Baptist church and have taken three years to pray for the area and get to know people while working secular jobs, and are now gathering a team of people from three of the Baptist churches in Dublin who are committed to bringing the gospel to the slice of the city made up of Phibsboro-Cabra-Ashtown, where there are 50,000 people and no evangelical churches. In the last few years God has blessed us with two children, Tomás (July 2017) and Cara Íosa (March 2019), and it is a joy to bring them up in a community shaped by the gospel and committed to sharing it.
The training I received through ICM showed me the value of having theological clarity, and since then I have completed Crosslands Seminary and am in the last few months of a masters degree with the Irish Baptist College, researching the establishment of churches among post-Catholic Irish people. I am grateful to ICM for committing to training me up and sending me out, and pray that the investment in the gospel through their work will continue to multiply in its impact in bringing the gospel to Irish people.