NEWS | Tess Holgate
Friday 24 July 2015
Last night over 1000 people gathered in the Brisbane City Town Hall to formally launch The Gospel Coalition Australia (TGCA). The TGCA website has been live since April this year, and has already had well over 100,000 visitors.
TGCA is an alliance of reformed evangelical Christians, with a council that ministers and academics from across Australia (see the full council list below). In the US, TGC features big name preachers and writers such as Don Carson – who was present in Queensland for the Australian launch – as well as Kevin de Young, Tim Keller and John Piper.
Marcus Reeves, Senior Pastor of Crossroads Christian Church in Canberra said, “it was a privilege to be there. I felt energised by the expression of a positive vision for our country. I feel like the timing is right for something like this. There’s a great need for gospel clarity but also gospel action.”
At the launch, Gary Millar, the Chair of the Council and also principal of Queensland Theological College, introduced TGCA, explaining that Australians are beginning to see the need for reformed evangelicals to work together. He said this was only the beginning.
“We’re working out how to serve the church best. We can see multiple ways in which we potentially might serve the church, but we don’t want to duplicate things. We’re aware that the needs of each state and territory are very different,” said Millar.
Millar urged the crowd to visit the website, to access and use the growing body of resources that are being gathered there.
Members of the Council led the crowd in prayers for the nation, asking God for revitalisation and renewal across our land, for peace, for growth of gospel ministries and for many to know the saving work of Jesus.
John McLean, Convenor of the Gospel, Society and Culture Committee of the NSW Presbyterian Church said, “I was really impressed with how much we prayed.”
Amy Stopher, Women’s Minister at Providence Church in Western Australia agrees, “I really enjoyed it. It was great to pray for Australia specifically, and great that it was such a big part of the evening.”
Attendees joined together to sing praises to God with rousing renditions of All Creatures of Our God and King and Man of Sorrows.
Don Carson, the President of TGC in the US gave a sermon on Galatians 5:16-26. In it he explained that the Christian life costs nothing and everything. It costs nothing to receive salvation, but it costs someone everything to follow Jesus.
In the background, Christian leaders from all over Australia have gathered in Brisbane this week for TGCA’s National Leaders Consultation to think more on the direction of TGCA and how it could serve Australian Christians. This writer has been in attendance at the Consultation.
The Australian Gospel Coalition is not a subsidiary of TGC in the US, but rather it has its own governing Council. The Council of TGCA consists of Christian leaders from around the nation, including CS Tang (Senior Pastor of Cornerstone Presbyterian Church in Sydney), Alistair Bain (Senior Minister of St. John’s Presbyterian Church in Hobart), Peter Adam (former Principal of Ridley College and Vicar of St. Jude’s in Melbourne), Paul Harrington (Rector of Holy Trinity Adelaide), Rory Shiner (Senior Pastor of Providence Church in WA), Gary Millar (Principal of Queensland Theological College), Neil Chambers (senior pastor of Bundoora Presbyterian Church in Melbourne), Ray Galea (pastor of Multicultural Bible Church in Rooty Hill in Sydney), Rick Lewers (bishop of the Armidale Anglican Diocese), Dave McDonald (Canberra-based church planter, pastor and sports chaplain), Andrew Reid (lead pastor of Holy Trinity Anglican in Doncaster, Melbourne), Bill Salier (principal, Youthworks College, Sydney) and David Starling (New Testament and theology lecturer, Morling College, Sydney).
Photos courtesy of Darryl Ellwood.