Reaching the Scottish Borders
Andy Hunter reports on Scotland’s newest FIEC church in Dumfries, which has seen conversion growth and baptisms in recent years.
It took a volcanic eruption to bring Daniel Mihet to Scotland’s newest FIEC church in Dumfries.
Having studied and lived in Scotland for six years, Daniel moved back to his native Romania in 2004 where he worked in orphanage and foster care ministry before becoming an assistant pastor.
In 2010 his church, in Transylvania, was organising a large evangelistic event and had arranged for an evangelism team to attend. It was then that the volcano erupted, in Iceland to be precise, and every plane in Western Europe was grounded – meaning the evangelism team Daniel had booked was stuck in London.
He had to quickly make alternative arrangements and the event turned out to be one of the most successful they’d ever had, so successful in fact that it was reported in Evangelicals Now that year.
Settling in Dumfries
Some friends in Britain sent Daniel a copy of the paper and while looking through it he saw an advert from Bethany Evangelical Church (BEC) looking for a pastor.
It struck a chord with Daniel who still had a heart for Scotland from his time at Faith Mission College in Edinburgh and International Christian College in Glasgow. One thing led to another and, for the past six years, he and his family (wife Crina, sons David and Edward) have served the church in Dumfries.
BEC has been in its town centre building since 1946. Its history has been one of various ups and downs including (as Daniel admits) a difficult period early in his own ministry when tensions resulted in some leaving. However, he is grateful that some of those relationships have since been restored and that numbers have grown in recent years. He is particularly thankful for the provision of godly men such as John Colvin and Jim Flett who serve as elders with him.
Daniel himself clearly has the heart of an evangelist and BEC’s mission, along other evangelical churches in Dumfries, is to make Christ known to the 30,000 souls in Scotland’s largest border town.
The church’s outreach includes children and youth activities, men and women’s ministries, gospel rallies, Christianity Explored courses, coffee mornings and seasonal events. Daniel’s own personal contacts have resulted in a number of people coming to faith in recent years and being baptised.
In response to this question, the church sees a real need to be connected with others who share the same gospel values and vision.
Recently another church in the town was picketed because of a visiting speaker’s Biblical views on sexuality (even though he wasn’t actually speaking on that subject). In such an environment knowing that you’re not on your own, but are part of a family of Bible-believing churches across Great Britain is a huge encouragement.
More than that, however, is their desire to share the vision of FIEC churches in seeing the whole nation reached for Christ – knowing that they are supporting and playing their part in strengthening gospel work through training, pastoral support and mission amongst Independent churches.
The border areas of Scotland have a huge need of outward-looking gospel churches, so it’s a huge blessing to see churches with such a vision connecting to FIEC. Pray that Bethany EC along with other gospel churches on both sides of the border will grow, work together and make an increasing impact for Christ in their communities.
Photo of Dumfries © Copyright C L T Smith and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence