Matthew & Barbara Brennan
Matthew originally came from a town further to the North West of Ireland called Sligo. When he was seventeen he started working and in the providence of God became a Christian.
From his early youth Matthew had an awareness of God and found the religion he was raised with (Roman Catholicism) unable to satisfy the deep longings of his heart. As a teenager he had often spoken with two men in the town who regularly preached the true Gospel. What struck him about these men was their insistence on taking every issue back to the Bible. Late one evening while reading John’s Gospel, Matthew was struck by the words of Jesus "unless a man is born again he cannot enter the kingdom of God" and his heart responded by saying, "whatever this "born again" business means, I must be if I am to go to heaven", and he cried out to God to make him born again. God answered Matthew’s prayer and changed the whole direction of his life from that day.
Matthew was baptised and joined the small Baptist Church in Sligo and started to grow in his new found faith. The Pastor was a faithful and good man and he along with his wife helped him considerably.
Some years later Matthew sensed the call of God to work among his own people and studied for three years in a Bible College before starting Christian work. He came to Clonmel twenty four years ago to help Phil and Joy Roberts in their church-planting work. Working alongside such an able leader Matthew learned an enormous amount. In the providence of God, Phil and Joy were called back to England for ministry and he remained to continue the work.
During these years Matthew met and married Barbara. Barbara came from Clonmel and was working in Dublin as a teacher. God has blessed them with two sons, Simon who was born February 17, 1994 and Timothy who was born June 17, 1997.
Clonmel, which has a population of about 23,000 people, was the town that Anthony Trollope was sent to for a number of years. After his return to England he wrote the well known Barchester Chronicles. The church that Matthew is pastoring has been in existence for the past twenty three years. Some of the members have spouses who are still unconverted and we long to see these friends come to Christ. The church meets in an old Methodist church building Sunday morning and evening, and the midweek meeting is usually in Matthew’s home. There are two youth clubs and a ladies meeting as well as a men meeting. Matthew also has the opportunity to speak on local radio. Every third Sunday, for thirty minutes Matthew has the opportunity to proclaim the Good news over a wide area.
Roman Catholicism would be the main religion but the Catholic Church itself is going through very difficult times and we cannot tell how it will emerge. Please pray that the Clonmel Baptist Church will be a word centred and loving place for searchers to come into and find Christ.
Mr. Matthew Brennan
Clonmel Baptist Church
Clonmel, Co. Tipperary