Church Pastor – Jonathan Clarke
Pastor Jonathan Clarke has entered his tenth year as a faithful pastor at the Welcome and to say he has been busy during that period is something of an understatement.
This passionate and caring pastor commenced his Welcome ministry back in May 2006 and the work has flourished ever since.
During his tenure Jonathan has overseen the renovation of the well-known Welcome Hall to the modern building that exists today (see photo gallery) – the Welcome Evangelical Church.
In addition to this Pastor Jonathan’s vision to erect and provide the Amy Carmichael Centre directly beside the church for the people of the greater Shankill area is also coming to fruition with a scheduled completion date of June 2016.
A local man, Pastor Jonathan was raised in the Shankill district and has only ever had one desire – to see men and women from this needy part of North Belfast experience a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ as their Saviour.
To this end, his weekly messages are well prepared and preached with a passion to people of all age groups. Having given his own heart to Jesus Christ in 1986 as a 16-year-old, Pastor Jonathan is a seasoned campaigner and loves nothing more than having the privilege of leading people to Christ.
He’s a hands-on pastor not afraid to visit the flock regularly or turn his hand to anything that needs to be done
His aim is to see the local church equipped for servant leadership and to care for the whole person – the original vision of the Welcome founder Amy Carmichael.
Pastor Jonathan still lives in the Shankill area at Ballygomartin with his wife Lorraine and 14-year-old son Joel.
Gloria McCauley has forgotten how many years she has been at the Welcome Church Belfast – a testimony to her faithfulness and enduring love for this ministry. Although Gloria goes by the title of Church Secretary, there is certainly much more to her CV than that.
This is a genuinely devoted woman of God who serves Christ her Saviour first and foremost and then His flock with incredible zeal and commitment. From accountancy to general administration to her willingness to cover the sound desk at weekly services, like Pastor Jonathan, Gloria is prepared to do whatever it takes to get the job done.
A competent Bible teacher also, she is a blessing to the Welcome and, rather than complain about the ‘changing times’ has instead adapted and become a most accomplished servant of God.
John is a faithful member of the Welcome and recently took on the role of Deacon at the Welcome. He leads worship at the church when required and is a highly valued member of the leadership team. His only desire is to see the name of Jesus exalted.
Similar to John Cameron, John Walker is a most loved and respected Deacon at the Welcome Church in Belfast. He is often the first face you will see at the door as he waits to greet people with a handshake and a hymnbook and even a godly hug. Always in his place and at his post, John is what faithfulness is all about. He carries out his duties as a deacon without fuss and loves to hear God’s Word expounded from the pulpit.
Known to everyone at the Welcome as “Spencer” Gary only came to the Lord 4 years ago, but today he oversees management and maintenance of the church bus and serves as the children's caretaker. Spencer has also developed a successful breakfast club for children on Sunday mornings and is a blessing to the work at the Welcome.
John joined the Welcome in November 2015. A long time friend of Pastor Jonathan’s, he previously served in the ministry for 14 years as an assistant pastor and media director. A journalist for 15 years before entering the ministry, John and his wife Louise also served in the mission field in the land of Romania for almost a decade before returning to Northern Ireland where John became an assistant pastor. A prolific writer, John is a regular preacher at the Welcome and in other churches throughout the province. He is also the author of three books – The Seer’s House (1997), Miracle Dog Miracle God (Bestseller in 2013) and Left to Die but Loved by God (November 2015).