One of the oldest Baptist churches in England welcomed one of the youngest ministers last month.
Epworth Baptist Church, which has records dating back to 1673, held an induction service for 25-year-old Andy Wilkinson, who has lived in the Isle since he was six.
Andy came to faith in Jesus Christ at the Wesley Memorial Methodist Church in Epworth when he was 17 and, with the encouragement of the Reverend David Leese, went to Cliffe College in Derbyshire to study a degree in theology and train to be a minister.
On returning to Epworth, Andy, took up the role of youth leader and then associate minister at Epworth Baptist Church.
His early education saw him attend Wroot Travis Primary, South Axholme School and then John Leggott College.
Andy is a family man having an eight-year-old daughter Ruby, and he is due to get married to fiancee Emily in September.
He said of his new post: “What we’re looking forward to is getting involved with the community and seeing what we can do to meet their needs.
“We already run a toddler group, which is really popular with mums, a youth club and a sewing afternoon for the ladies.
“We are also in the process of setting up a food bank on June 23 as people in need from the Isle currently have to go to Scunthorpe.”
He added: “I’m excited about seeing what we can do in practical ways.”
A spokesman for the Station Road church said: “Andy has an obvious gift in preaching and public speaking and is passionate about sharing his faith and seeing his local community being transformed by God’s love.”
The induction service was conducted by Reverend Mike Fegredo who is the regional minister for the East Midlands Baptist Association.
Also present were North Lincolnshire Council leader Baroness Liz Redfern as well as a number of local clergy and headteachers and a large congregation.
Epworth Baptist Church is a growing church with a clear vision to reach out to the community.
The church has its own designated website with details of all the groups it runs and also information about its regular services, visit http://epworthbaptistchurch.co.uk/ to find out more.