Matthew & Barbara Brennan
Matthew originally came from a town further to the North West of Ireland called Sligo. 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 his home town who regularly preached from the Bible. What struck him about these men was their insistence on finding truth about God in the Bible alone. 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 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 in Ireland and studied for three years in a Bible College before starting work as a minister. In 1986 he came to Clonmel, a town of a population of 17,000 approx., 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 Matthew remained to continue the work.
Roman Catholicism would be the main religion in Ireland but many people young and old, are disillusioned with formal religion.
The church that Matthew is pastoring meets Sunday morning and evening, in an old Methodist church building in the heart of the town . The midweek meeting is usually in one of the member’s homes. There are other meetings held regularly for men, ladies and young people and as with the Sunday worship, warm invitations are extended to all in the locality to attend. Every third Sunday, for forty minutes Matthew has the opportunity to teach from the Bible on local radio.
Matthew is married to Barbara and they have two grown-up sons.
Mr. Matthew Brennan
Clonmel Baptist Church
Clonmel, Co. Tipperary