More than 1,000 people gathered in the Brisbane City Town Hall last night to formally launch The Gospel Coalition Australia (TGCA). Our website has been live since April with more than 100,000 visitors.
“It was a privilege to be there,” said Marcus Reeves, senior pastor of Crossroads Christian Church in Canberra. “I felt energized by the expression of a positive vision for our country. I feel the timing is right for something like this. There’s a great need for gospel clarity, but also gospel action.”
Gary Millar, the chairman of the Council, introduced TGCA, explaining that Australians are beginning to see the need for Reformed evangelicals to work together. This is just the beginning, he noted. “We’re working out how to serve the church best,” Millar remarked. “We can see multiple ways in which we potentially might serve the church, but we don’t want to duplicate things. We’re aware that the needs of each state and territory are very different.”
Millar urged those gathered to visit the website and to use the growing body of resources there. Members of the Council led in prayer for the nation, asking God for revitalization and renewal across our land, for peace, for growth of gospel ministries, and for many to know the saving work of Jesus.
Attendees joined together to sing praises to God with rousing renditions of “All Creatures of Our God and King” and “Man of Sorrows.”
Don Carson, president of TGC in the United States, preached on Galatians 5:16–26. He explained that the Christian life costs nothing and everything—it costs nothing to receive salvation, but it costs everything to follow Jesus.
This week Christian leaders from all over Australia have gathered in Brisbane for TGCA’s National Leaders Consultation to discuss the direction of TGCA and how it might serve Australian Christians.
Don West, principal of Trinity Theological College in Perth, Western Australia, said: “Brisbane rose to the occasion with great enthusiasm. I spoke to someone who expressed that this was a significant occasion for the gospel in Brisbane. Perhaps there are some Christians in Brisbane are now thinking, ‘I didn’t know there were that many people who believed the gospel like I believe the gospel.’”
TGCA is not a subsidiary of TGC in the United States, but has its own governing council. TGCA’s Council consists of Christian leaders from around Australia, including: C. S. Tang (senior pastor of Cornerstone Presbyterian Church in Sydney); Alistair Bain (senior minister of St. John’s Presbyterian Church in Hobart); Peter Adam (former principal of Ridley College and vicar of St. Jude’s in Melbourne); Paul Harrington (rector of Holy Trinity Adelaide); Rory Shiner (senior pastor of Providence Church in Western Australia); Gary Millar (principal of Queensland Theological College); Bill Salier (principal of Youthworks College, Sydney); David Starling (lecturer at Morling College, Sydney); Andrew Reid (lead pastor of Holy Trinity Doncaster, Melbourne); Dave McDonald (church planter and pastor, Canberra); Rick Lewers (bishop in the Armidale Diocese); Neil Chambers (senior pastor of Bundoora Presbyterian Church, Melbourne); and Ray Galea (pastor of the Multicultural Bible Ministry in Sydney).