Jesus established His Church two-thousand years ago and He has continued to build it by the power of His Holy Spirit working in local congregations ever since!
In the early nineteen seventies, following the influx of families from Belfast into Carrickfergus at the height of the troubles, a group of faithful Christian individuals who shared a passion for sharing the Good News of Jesus to children and young people decided to start a church together. A vision for a Nazarene Church in Carrickfergus emerged under the leadership of Rev Ernest Eades (then pastor of Belfast 1st Church of the Nazarene). Among those faithful individuals in the early days was Charlotte ‘Lottie’ Gay, a former Nazarene missionary to the Cape Verde Islands off the west coast of Africa, who had returned home to Northern Ireland following the sudden death of her husband, Clifford, in 1972.
In the early days, we would meet anywhere that would have us! A builders hut, a chicken hut and an Orange Hall in Eden were among the ‘places of worship’ we would gather as God's people. Under the leadership of the first pastor, Rev. John Paton (1977-1987), the young church outgrew all of these and it was decided that a place we could call our own was needed.
A site in Oakfield Drive was purchased and the current church building was dedicated to the Glory of God on 31st January 1981. As a mark of respect, the church was named in memory of Lottie’s late husband, and is called the Clifford Gay Memorial Church of the Nazarene.
From the day the we moved into our current location in Oakfield Drive, the church has gone from strength to strength. God’s blessing continues to be upon His people and His hand has carried us through both good times and bad. We are not a perfect church by any means. In fact, we would agree with the old saying, “If you ever find the perfect church, do not join it, because you will ruin it!” But we are a genuine, loving and welcoming community on a journey with Jesus and we would love for you to join us.
We do look back fondly on our past. Only a handful of individuals have been named here but there are many more who have left a lasting legacy in our church. Time and space does not permit us to mention them all. But, then, we believe they wouldn’t want us to. They would remind us that it’s not about them. It’s about Jesus! And instead of looking back with nostalgia, we should look forward with excitement. They would encourage us to pray a prayer that has been the reason behind including this section in our website, ‘may their ceiling be our floor as we go higher up and deeper in on our journey with Jesus.’ Amen.