by Tony Calman – Blacktown Baptist Church
It is immensely clear that Blacktown Baptist Church’s dependence upon God for his direction and wisdom for the future has brought unity to the community in ways unanticipated by all but God. Pastor Josh Duncan’s induction service on the 17 January, 2016, was a public expression of the steps taken by the church to revitalise their commitment to put God’s kingdom first in all that they do.
New pastor, Josh, expressed a desire to walk with the members of the church and wider community, in ‘being a part of the many’. However, it is not only Josh who is working towards this goal of a healthy and enthusiastic church here in Blacktown. The desire for healthy churches shared by the Baptist Association of NSW & ACT and Greater West for Christ (GWFC) was realised through the surrounding local churches and leaders who provided support throughout the entire process. The result was a unified and unanimous call for Josh to lead the church through this process.
The service itself was a unification of three of these churches, Blacktown Baptist, Westview Baptist, and Hawkesbury Valley Baptist Church. This sense of community provided a small picture of the kingdom of God in which excitement, encouragement and warmth were infectious. As if members of a family, meeting for the first time, we were one in values, purpose and our Father’s love and grace.
Josh’s induction was highly significant of the new era for Blacktown Baptist which commenced under Pastor Mike Jones and was supported through the transition period by Rev Viv Grice (BANSW), Pastor Mark Chapple and Peter Adcock (GWFC), with the support of Pastor Tony Calman (Westview Baptist) who guided the transition as the Interim Senior Pastor at Blacktown. This support will continue as Tony and Mark act as a ‘Pastor Coach’ to Josh throughout his first year in the new role.
The story of Blacktown Baptist Church has been a long and often difficult one. However, God has blessed them for their humility to ask and receive help and he has used his people to build each other up, for ‘as iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.’ (Proverbs 27:17)