TRIBUTES have been paid to Ballymena man Pastor Edwin Cotter who has died from COVID-19.
Mr. Cotter's home church was Ballymena Elim but he had been ministering for many years at Cornerstone Elim in Silverdale, Newcastle Under Lyme, England.
The death of Pastor Cotterwas announced on the Church Facebook site: "Our wonderful Pastor was reunited with the Lord on Wednesday 8th April 2020 from this terrible virus.
"It is with the deepest sadness and sorrow that I write to tell you that Pastor Edwin has passed into the arms of his Lord and loving Saviour.
"Please pray for (but please do not contact) Lorna at this time of dreadful grief and sorrow, that she would know the presence and protection and peace that comes from the “God of all comfort”.
"Please pray for strength for Sam and Aaron, as they share in this grief, and also seek to support their mum.
"Please grieve. Do not confuse grief with doubt or a lack of faith in God. Remember that – although he is the Resurrection and the Life! – “Jesus wept”, and so knows and shares in our sorrow.
"Please remember, though, that we do not grieve “like the rest of men, who have no hope” (1 Thessalonians 4:13). Edwin is now safe and secure in the arms of Jesus for all eternity. He has glorified God by completing the work God gave him to do (John 17:5). He has fought the fight, finished the race, and kept the faith (2 Timothy 4:7). So …
"Please give thanks for Edwin, and for the joy and blessing he has been and will continue to be as we remember his life and ministry.
“Please pray for one another. Pray for Edwin’s wider family and circle of friends. Pray for all at the Cornerstone Elim Church in Silverdale, especially as we approach Good Friday and Easter Sunday, to be confronted again with the incredible reality that sin and death and hell have been completely vanquished through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Edwin’s Saviour."
Ballymena Elim posted: "We as a church have heard the sad news of Pastor Edwin Cotters (of the Elim church in Silverdale). The Cotter family have a life long connection with our church. We stand with and lift in prayer his wife Lorna, sons Sam & Aaron the wider family & Cornerstone church @silverdale."
Mr. James McMaster of Ballymena was one of many who paid tribute to Pastor Cotter. He wrote: "Just to let you know that many of us here in Edwin's home Church of High Kirk Presbyterian, Ballymena, are grieving with you tonight. Edwin grew up here and was known to many of us, and remembered with fondness. His family still serve and worship here, and as we pray for them we will also remember you all at this time of sadness."