Elizabeth Matthews and some of her Deaconess colleagues at the service.
ELIZABETH Matthews was inducted as Elmwood Presbyterian's first Deaconess at a service on Sunday June 20.
The well attended service was conducted by the Moderator of the Presbytery, Rev. J. Brackenridge and the Clerk of the Assembly Rev J. I. Davey.
The scripture reading was given by Rev D J Bruce' Executive Secretary of the Board of Mission in Ireland and a member of the congregation.
Pauline Kennedy Acting General Secretary of Presbyterian Women presented Elizabeth as the candidate and Rev W. J. Henry gave the charge to the candidate and the congregation.
Elizabeth's service in the Presbyterian Church began in 1981 when she completed a Women's Worker Course and went on to serve in South Belfast Friendship House and Hill Street Presbyterian in Lurgan.
In 1994 she was inducted as Deaconess in Hill Street before going to serve in India with the Overseas Board from 1998 to 2002.
After illness forced her to return home she worked in Newington Presbyterian in Belfast again at Hill Street, Lurgan and in Craigavon Area Hospital.
She began her ministry in Elmwood in October 2009 leading the Community Ministry programme and is already having an impact on the lives of people in Elmwood and the surrounding area.
Deaconesses are supported by Presbyterian Women and the Board of Mission in Ireland. There are currently 27 Deaconesses and one probationary deaconesses serving in congregations, the community, hospitals and prisons.