With special permission of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland (PCI), due to Coronavirus restrictions, Mr Mulvenny was ordained in a livestreamed service from Assembly Buildings in Belfast, watched online by over 500 people.
Only four members of the Presbytery Commission participated, each maintaining appropriate social distancing. There were two guests present, Mr Mulvenny’s wife, Rachel, and the Clerk of Session from their new congregation, John Surgenor.
Originally known as Derrykeighan, Dervock Presbyterian’s roots go back to the 1640s. Today, Rev Campbell Mulvenny will be pastoring a flock of some 150 families. Originally from Analong,
Dervock’s new minister became a Christian aged 12 during a two week mission in Kilkeel, where he was brought up. While this is his first congregation as a minister in his own right, as part of is ongoing training, however, he spent the last two years supporting the minister of Craigy Hill Presbyterian as his assistant.
Mr Mulvenny, said, “This has been a very different, but a wonderful evening.
“Anyone who has started out on this journey, and has felt God’s call to ordained ministry, this is the place they want to be. I am so looking forward to getting to know the folk in Dervock and pastoring God’s people there.”
While he started his professional life working in the hospitality industry as a chef, he put is culinary skills to good use in 2009 when he embarked on a two year overseas mission on the Operation Mobilisation (OM) ship, MV Logus Hope.
During that time he also led and trained teams in evangelism, preached and worked with young people in various countries.
The ship visited 30 nations in the Mediterranean, north and west Africa, Caribbean, Middle East and Arabian peninsula, India and Sri Lanka. During that time he also worked with young people in a prison in Barbados, people living with HIV and Aids in Liberia.
Returning to Northern Ireland he graduated with a BA in Theology from Belfast Bible College and began his training for the ordained ministry at PCI’s Union Theological College in Belfast, where he gained a Bachelor’s degree in Divinity and a Diploma in Ministry.
The new minister, his wife Rachel along with their two children, Abigail 2½ and Timothy, who is just 7 months old, have settled into Dervock’s Manse. “Like everyone, we are so looking forward to Easter when we can gather together as a church family to worship again in church, especially after such a long absence of being unable to do so.
“While I have preached before from the church to a camera for my livestreams, I am looking forward to worshiping and declaring that ‘He is Risen’ on Easter Sunday from the pulpit. I am also looking forward to preaching the Word of God week-by-week, and seeking to be a missional church to the people of the village and surrounding area,” he said.
The hour long service began with a welcome and call to worship by the Moderator of Route Presbytery, Rev Alan Buick, minister of Dunluce Presbyterian. During the service, which included four pre-recorded items of worship, Derek Brogan, a representative elder to the Presbytery, read from Second Timothy, chapter 4 verses 1 to 5.
Having consented to the Statement of the Standards of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, which were read out by Presbytery Clerk, Rev Noel McClean, minister of First Kilraughts, Mr Mulvenny answered the required questions regarding them, which were put by the Moderator.
He then subscribed to the Church’s Subordinate Standards, the historic Westminster Confession of Faith. Having done so, members of the Presbytery Commission, including Rev Rodney Moody, minister of Garryduff and Dunloy, who looked after Dervock while it had no minister, prayed for Mr Mulvenny, ordaining and installing him as minster of Dervock Presbyterian Church.
The sermon, based on the reading from Second Timothy was given by Mr Moody.