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Minister celebrating 20 years of service

By Herald Express  |  Posted: November 29, 2012

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A PACKED congregation has helped celebrate the 20th anniversary of a South Devon minister.

To the singing of 'O God of burning, cleansing flame', the service opened with vibrant singing and worship on this special occasion.

Rev Thornberry (pictured) was celebrating his 20th anniversary of ordination and many had turned out to support him.

The district chairman, Rev Peter Pillinger, preached a powerful sermon — asking us how much our faith would survive in a cross-cultural challenge.

A spokesman explained: "As Rev Thornberry had ministered in this very situation in South Africa and Namibia, he was asked to relate a very moving episode in 1985 when he had to take a stand as Christ's witness against the might of the South African military and the then current apartheid laws.

"He related how he chose to rely on his faith and all it stood for. Thankfully, Namibia gained independence in 1990.

"During the service a special song written by musician Derek Elson was performed by an augmented song group as well as a very jazzed up version of 'I will enter his gates with thanksgiving in my heart."

During the service various email messages from across the world were relayed and read out — from Vancouver to Cincinnati to South Africa — either ex colleagues or friends and family. There were also three audio messages from South America from friends.

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