Hello to our SCFS family across the globe.
I am Steven Thomson and the new chairman of SCFS.
Here are some interesting and many uninteresting facts about me.
I am 57 years old, I live in Dundonald, just outside Belfast, so quite close to Belfast port and only a few miles from Stormont where the local Northern Ireland government is based.
I have been married to Elaine for 32 years and we have 2 children.
Kelsey is a schoolteacher at a nearby secondary school in Saintfield, she is married to David who is an Elim minister and they have just had their first child, Peyton Maggie Hume who is the new love of my life.
My son Kyle is a biologist and works for Queens university. He is on a team at the university doing ongoing cancer research. He is married to Lily, a teacher in a local school for children with special needs.
These 5 members of my close family are all Christians and are a constant source of both pride and inspiration.
I only came to Christ as a 39-year-old and my wife and young children prayed constantly for me. I hope I still have many years left to repay that faith and touch the lives of many others and bring them to share our Lord's wonderful salvation.
I grew up in a local housing estate, Ballybeen estate. My granddaughter Peyton is now the fifth generation of my family to live or have lived there. I love Ballybeen, it helped to shape the man I am and I am so thankful for that. It is a hard, working class, protestant estate but a wonderful community exists there and I now strive to put back a little of what it gave me. Ballybeen is actually the third biggest housing estate in Europe with around 8000 people living there.
I got involved in SCFS in 2016 through my good friend Archie McAvoy an incredible Christian and constant source of encouragement. He asked would I consider becoming a trustee and I needed no second invitation. As I began to meet the other people involved and see and hear the ministry in action I was overwhelmed.
It is fair to say that in 2016 SCFS was on its knees but Archie and myself had been given a vision to restore former glories and ably assisted by Mervyn Jeffers and Don Thornton we began the work to achieve this.
Now 4 years on and we have set up a new HQ in inspire business park in Dundonald. We have built a team around us. John lowry our project manager, Tom Henderson our accountant and very recently 3 new trustees Rev. Stephen McNie, Trevor Maze and Dave Robertson.
We were so encouraged last November to bring together many of our port missionaries and their wives to a conference and time of fun and fellowship in Belfast and we hope to do this again soon. We will not rest on our laurels. We aim to bring new trustees to the team and other staff members.
We also have brought in new volunteers and associates across Europe and aim to establish a stronger support network for all at SCFS to enable them to carry out their heartfelt mission to the seamen and women of the world seas.
It cannot be through me that a man who grew up in Ballybeen estate finds himself as chairman of one of the oldest charities in the world, that is only because of Gods wonderful grace and vision. I will not let my Saviour down. He lifted me up and I will give my best to SCFS to help us all save others from the storms of life.
Archie is 68 and is married to Pearl for 50 years.
They had 2 sons and also 3 granddaughters.
He is a Chartered Insurance Broker working for Lockton International. In addition to SCFS is a Trustee of Abaana Ministries, Autism Initiatives Northern Ireland, Deacon at Hamilton Road Baptist Church and Membership Secretary for the Insurance Institute of Northern Ireland. Past chairman of Youth Action (NI), PHABNI and trustee of Young Help Trust.
He received an MBE for services to Health and Safety in Northern Ireland.
Archie is in his 4th year at SCFS and is determined to be involved in the growth strategy for this God glorifying work. He has driven strategy to establish a headquarters after 7 years and expand the board of S.C.F.S.
Mr Mervyn Jeffers a Christian businessman from Cork, Ireland has been involved with the Seamen's Christian Friend Society for in excess of 50 years. Mr Jeffers has been a ship visitor supporting the resident chaplains through the years, a Trustee and board member and until February 2020 was the societies Chairman.
Stephen McNie was born in Kilkeel, County Down, into a Christ-centred home before moving to Ballymoney, County Antrim in 1991. In 2008, Stephen answered the call into full-time ministry which was on his heart for a number of years. After graduating from Queens', he commenced ministry training within the Presbyterian Church in Ireland.
Stephen is married to Sarah having met in Monaghan and they look forward to welcome their first baby in October 2020.
Stephen served as the Assistant Minister for nearly four years, before answering the call to be the Minister & Teaching Elder of Ballyalbany & Glennan Presbyterian Churches, County Monaghan. He has a passion for the Bible and loves to see people met the Jesus found there.
Stephen was called into service as a trustee for the Seamen's Christian Friend Society in 2020
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Information to follow
Dave is 66 and is married to Dot, they have two sons
Dave worked in the NHS for 27 years, finishing his time in Senior Management. He left the NHS in 2003 to go into full time Ship Ministry with Maritime Christian Ministries (MCM) in the Port of Liverpool and has recently retired as Port Chaplain. Dave became a Christian as a teenager at a Merseyside Christian Youth Camp in North Wales, and has recently taken up the role of Elder at his current fellowship at Hope Community Church in Liverpool. He currently serves on MCM Committee and is looking to support his successor in the role of Port Chaplain."