After being a part of the local community for 25 years, Cookstown Elim has undergone a few changes in recent months and recently relaunched with a whole new look and way of doing things.
In September 1989, Ballymena Elim sent one of their pastors at the time, Paul Magowan, to Cookstown to begin a church plant. A few people began meeting on a Thursday night in the Old Town Hall and after having a mission in the town it began to grow. At this point Pastor George Redmond was asked to come and take responsibility for leading the church plant.
The church grew through special events, moving to two services on a Sunday and a Sunday School in the afternoon with anywhere from 80-100 people in attendance at any one time. They moved premises to a house on Orritor Road before eventually applying for planning permission for a site just off the Old Coagh Road.
Pastor Stephen and Trish Jones were approached and moved to Cookstown in March 2014 and have quickly settled into life here, both at the church and within the local community.
After talking with those in the church and assessing how things were done, the church made the decision to relaunch the church which would include renovating the building and changing how they went about their meetings and ministry to the local community. Although changes began to the life of the church almost immediately, building work began in July 2014 and was completed in September 2014.
On 19th September there was an official ceremony conducted with Irish Superintendant Edwin Michael.
Minister Stephen Jones said: “During the meeting we took time to honour the founding members that are still with us with small gifts of appreciation, thanking them for their faithfulness over the years. It was a privilege to have Pastor George and Marlene Redmond. I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone from Cookstown Elim who got involved in the refurbishment, and made it and the relaunch weekend possible.”