Leadership Team

Here are our church leaders:
20220901 Peter 200x300Peter Lawther (Pastor) grew up in Saintfield and became a Christian as a child through his sister explaining the gospel to him in a clear and simple way. Peter’s faith grew and matured in his late teens and student years, primarily through his involvement with United Beach Missions and Young Life. After leaving university, he worked as a primary school teacher, before taking on the role as Schools’ Ministry Co-ordinator with Baptist Youth. This ministry provided him with the great opportunity of sharing the gospel with thousands of school children across Ireland. After 3 years studying at the Irish Baptist College, Peter served as the Pastor of Carrickfergus Baptist Church for 9 years. Peter is married to Joanne and they have 3 daughters. His passion is teaching the Bible to people of all ages and he is delighted to return to a familiar area, close to where he grew up, and serve the church in Ballynahinch.
Richard 200x300Richard Daniells (Elder) was born in Alton (famous for its Towers) and raised in Ballymena. He has been happily married to Alison since 2002 and they have two fantastic daughters. Richard is a mathematician, and works as a Vice-Principal in Down High School. Richard became a Christian during sixth year at school, and attended High Kirk Presbyterian at that time. At QUB he became very involved with the CU and was a member of the Exec committee. Richard and Alison started coming to  Ballynahinch Baptist Church in January 2003 and he was baptised here. In the past, Richard and Alison led the Junior Youth (Y8-10) and the Forge (20s and 30s group). However, in recent years, Richard has served as part of the Interim Operational Committee and as a deacon. Richard’s prayer is that we continue to be a God centred, Bible focused, prayer saturated church which exists to see the making and maturing of disciples for the glory of God. 

Joe 200x300Joe McCartney (Elder) grew up in Belfast and attended Newtownbreda Baptist Church as a child and became a Christian after attending a church youth weekend when he was 13. He met Siobhán in Puno, Peru when they had both gone there as part of a Baptist Missions summer trip in 1989. They married a year later and now have two grown up children. Joe has been a member of Ballynahinch Baptist since moving to live in the area in 1996 and lately has served with involvement in the Sunday School, the Interim Operational committee and as Church Secretary.
He would love to see Ballynahinch Baptist Church continuing to become a close knit family of believers who strive to see their families, friends and colleagues find the real meaning of life through coming to know Jesus.

Elaine 200x300Elaine Williams (Deacon) grew up in Dromara and was saved at the age of 7 during a mission in her family church, Dromara Reformed Presbyterian. She was discipled in the youth ministry of the congregation and later taught Sunday School there. Elaine works for Education Authority NI, where she met her husband Michael. They live outside Ballynahinch with their teenage sons. Michael and Elaine were baptised in  Ballynahinch Baptist Church in 2005 and became members soon after. 
Elaine has led the Adventure Club team as well as serving on the cleaning and tea & coffee rotas. Currently Elaine serves as our Church Treasurer. Prior to becoming a deacon, she was a member of the Interim Operational Committee.
It is Elaine’s prayer that in  Ballynahinch Baptist Church we “may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God".

Jen Watson 200x300Jen Watson (Deacon) grew up in Jordanstown where she attended Whiteabbey Presbyterian. She became a Christian following a holiday bible school at the age of 8.
Jen is a trained nurse and has been a practicing midwife for thirty years, a job which brings her joy and challenge in equal measure!
Jen met her husband Peter when they were working in Saudi Arabia, they have four children and three grandchildren.
She loves to spend time climbing in the mountains, cycling and open water swimming.
Jen started BBC in 2000, was baptised in 2001 and became a member shortly after. She has been involved with various groups over the years and has a real heart for working amongst women and children.
Jen would love to see our church family grow and expand throughout the community in which we live.
Deuteronomy 31v 6 "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified of them because the Lord your God goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you."

Sam Alexander 200x300Sam Alexander (Deacon) was brought up in a home where his Mum was a Christian but his Dad wasn't. From an early age he was sent to church and Sunday school regularly, and always believed the Bible and considered himself a Christian. However, when he was 15, his church got a new pastor, who was a young man straight from bible college. Watching his life closely he realised he had something that Sam didn’t have but wanted in his life. He realised his need of a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus, confessed his sins, repented and trusted Christ to save him. He became aware of his need to be baptised and obeyed at the age of 16. After a few years of drifting, Sam recommitted his life to serving the Lord and became more involved in his local church,  Park Avenue Free Methodist church under the Pastorate of Rev Fergus Bell. Sam also became involved in Tanzania Christian Farm Development Trust (NI), initially helping out with technical issues during mission trips and later as a trustee. Sam moved to Ballynahinch in 2003, and the Lord led him to Ballynahinch Baptist Church in 2004. Sam believes the Lord is blessing our fellowship with deep love and concern for each other which is very encouraging.

Brian McIlveen 200x300Brian McIlveen (Deacon) was born and brought up in Comber attending 2nd Presbyterian Church. As he grew older he spent a lot of school holidays on his uncle’s farm eventually cycling every weekend. He wasn’t much use with machinery but enjoyed working with the dairy cows. While there he attended Raffrey Presbyterian Church where he became a member and taught Sunday School as well as becoming an officer in the Boys Brigade. He married Elizabeth in 1975 and has three adult children. Sadly Elizabeth developed bowel cancer and although she enjoyed eight years of respite the cancer reappeared and she died in 2004. After her death Brian moved to Ballynahinch Baptist Church where he enjoyed being part of a small group and made many friends. He became a member of  Ballynahinch Baptist Church and was asked to help with putting out equipment for Jollytots and do some simple craft with the children. He has also been involved with leading small groups. Brian married Jing in 2008 and has been involved with tea and coffee service, cleaning and leading small groups. Brian looks forward to what the Lord has for us here in  Ballynahinch Baptist Church and Ballynahinch.


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