Pastor David Purse, the son of a policeman murdered by the IRA during the period of ‘the troubles’ in Northern Ireland, was ordained to the ministry in 1987. He grew up in the Whitewell Church where his father had been an elder, and Sunday School Superintendent. After entering the ministry, he first ministered in Newry, before moving to pastor two churches at Withernsea and East Hull in yorkshire. In 2008 he felt called back to Northern Ireland, and after two years in Cullybackey Elim Church he accepted the call to return to his home church at Whitewell, as the associate Pastor, and planned successor to Pastor James McConnell. Four years to the day of his return to the Whitewell congregation, on 1 September 2014, he succeeded Pastor James McConnell as the Church’s Senior Pastor.
Pastor William has been on staff now for almost 34 years. He’s been a member of the Tabernacle from his teenage years and, as a popular and dedicated pastor, is the safe pair of hands every church requires. He visits the sick regularly and prays for the people of God daily at our Morning Prayer meeting.
Pastor Irwin Rea is a man of many talents. A pastor at the Metropolitan Tabernacle for 26 years the diminutive yet hugely effective pastor has a major influence on daily church life at Whitewell not only as a worship leader and preacher, but also as an organiser and caring visitation pastor.
Pastor Michael is 25 years at Whitewell and just loves to preach God’s Word. Pastor Michael also loves to visit with people, encouraging and ministering to them. His prayers can reach heaven and his sermons can touch hearts.
During his 20 years service, Pastor Shaw has become a real blessing to the work at Whitewell and its people. A former Youth Pastor, Shaw is in charge of both the Rock ministry and the Men’s Fellowship. Pastor Shaw is a popular and zealous pastor here at the Tabernacle and loves to preach about the grace of God.
Pastor David Murray has been on staff for over 10 years now and is known for his organisational skills. He helped provide a wonderful church trip to the land of Israel in 2013 and has been influential in promoting many gospel crusades over the years, including the outreaches at Ravenhill and the Odyssey Arena. Responsible for our Kenya missionary outreach and the running of the new Well Café, Pastor David also has a role in our loving ministry Grief Share.
A member of the Tabernacle for 33 years, a former youth leader, deacon, and our Current Sunday School Superintendent, Frankie Weir was ordained as a Pastor on 31st December 2015. Commenting during his ordination ceremony he said “It’s a privilege to serve this house as a Pastor. It’s a dream I have had for many years and it is a delight to see it fulfilled.” As a church we are delighted too, to have another dedicated Pastor to shepherd God’s people
After Pastoring in Wales for 11 years, Nigel returned to his home church again as an assistant Pastor in 2016
From the founding of the Whitewell Metropolitan Tabernacle in 1957, at the age of 19, Pastor James McConnell served the Whitewell congregation as its Senior Pastor for over 57 years. During his years of faithful ministry at the Tabernacle, the congregation exploded from its initial membership of just 10 people, meeting in a rented Orange Hall, to the large congregation it is today. As an evangelist, Pastor McConnell also held gospel crusades around Northern Ireland, reaching thousands of souls for the Lord Jesus Christ. Although publically known as a hard-hitting preacher at the pulpit, Pastor McConnell also quietly helped many of our congregation through periods of sickness and personal problems. On 1 September 2014, aged 77, he retired as Senior Pastor of the Tabernacle, handing over the leadership to his then associate, Pastor David Purse.
The pastoral visitation team at the Tabernacle extends beyond the pastoral staff at the Tabernacle. We have a number of Godly men who are retired yet continue to give of their time in order to help and encourage God's people.
Eddie Wright loves to pray for the sick and is a most gracious and sincere man. A natural encourager, Eddie has become much loved by the people and staff at the Tabernacle and is a wonderful witness for the Lord Jesus Christ.
Charlie is a Bible teacher, scholar, and visitation pastor as well as book store manager at Whitewell. One of the original 10 people who founded the Church of God at Whitewell back in 1957, Charlie quickly became an elder and has served God faithfully in this post ever since. A wonderful blessing to the fellowship, Charlie Purse is undoubtedly one of the true great servants of God of his generation.
Alex visits the sick on a daily basis and is justifiably regarded as a “great man of prayer”. A real blessing to this assembly, Alex has also faithfully attended the nine o’clock prayer meeting for many years and regularly contributes his gift of prayer at the Monday night prayer meeting at the Metropolitan Church. He is an outstanding example of Christian service to the young people at the Tabernacle.