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14 June 2017

Alliance pays tribute to Council member Margaret Ferguson

Alliance pays tribute to Council member Margaret Ferguson

The Alliance is very sad to hear that Margaret Ferguson, a member of the Alliance's Council and a former member of the Evangelical Alliance Northern Ireland Executive Committee, died on 12 June following a long battle with cancer.

Margaret was a source of great wisdom, enthusiasm and good humour and will be sadly missed. 

Peter Lynas, Northern Ireland director of the Alliance said: "Margaret had a real passion for Jesus and for people. 

"She was that rare combination of a strategic leader with a real passion for people - chatting as easily to a paramilitary leader or a local dignitary.
"She had a kingdom mindset, always looking for ways to work with others and was a great supporter of the work of the Alliance. 

"She was also great fun, adding humour to any meeting."

Margaret trained as a teacher and then ran her own business with over 30 staff. She became president of the Holywood Chamber of Trade and was also a founder member of the Bangor and Holywood Town Centre Management Company. She also became a panel member of the Fair Employment and Industrial Tribunals.

In 1998 Margaret followed God's call on her life into ordination as a Methodist minister. She worked for 8 years in working class communities in Belfast where she focused on making disciples and encouraging the Church to engage with its local community. Trained in pastoral supervision, Margaret has been a mentor and supervisor for the Arrow programme, the Methodist TOM Team, Youth Link, the Presbyterian Church YAV programme and a placement supervisor for ministerial students from Edgehill College. 

Her passion for discipleship and relationship evangelism led to her becoming superintendent minister of East Belfast Mission in July 2014 and chair of the Mission Board. East Belfast Mission is a large church and community based charity with 90 staff and over 150 volunteers. It has a 30 year history of service to the community in Belfast and Margaret saw it as part of her ministry to walk alongside those who wanted to deepen their relationship to God. As part of her mission to promote peace and reconciliation she became one of the Lord Mayor of Belfast's chaplains. 

Margaret's loss will be felt widely across Belfast and beyond. The Alliance asks you to pray for her husband David, her three grown up daughters and wider family at this time. 

We thank God for the life and witness of His faithful servant and will continue to miss Margaret's warmth and humour until we meet her again. 

We want to remember Margaret as she was, in this short video passionately talking about the things she cared about - https://vimeo.com/125798578