The Portadown Elim Church at Clonavon Avenue has bought a large swathe of land at Edenderry, it was announced at a recent Sunday service.
The land is at the former Wade (Ireland) site at Watson Street, the pottery factory which once made industrial ceramics and attractive Irish Pottery that is still collected the world over.
The clergy and elders of the Elim Church did not elaborate after the announcement, but it is believed that a major church-community development is under consideration.
And despite several calls to the Elim Church from the Portadown Times, nobody was available for comment this week. We failed to make contact with the current Pastor Ross McBride, or with Pastor Edwin Michael, who was in charge in Portadown for a number of years.
A church member said, “It’s a long-term investment, and the future of the present complex at Clonavon Avenue has not been decided. But the 600-seat church, which was opened a few years ago by legendary Pastor Robert McMullan is often filled to capacity, especially on Sunday nights.”
The site at Clonavon Avenue is rather restricted, as the Elim Church bucks the overall trend and continues to grow at a rate of knots.
Pastors Michael and McMullan were a formidable team. When they joined forces in Portadown in 1988, the members numbered 110. Nowadays congregations of 600 are commonplace.
The church saw a number of expansions and has the knack of catering for a wide range of age groups. And Pastor McMullan declared the modern-day church open a few years back.
The price of the ground – which backs onto the property owned by First Portadown (Edenderry) Presbyterian Church – has not been disclosed. But the Portadown Elim Church is liaising with its central body on the way ahead. It could, though, be several months before a detailed plan is announced.
It was reported at one stage that Edenderry Presbyterian Church had an eye on the property, but that did not materialise.