Where’s the Minister from? Part 1 – Childhood & School

My name is David Fallows and I was born into a Christian family, living a few miles from Dungiven in rural Co. Londonderry, Northern Ireland.  From my youngest days I was taught the truths of the Bible.  I was prayed for by my parents and my grannie who lived with us and I often fell asleep at night hearing the sound of my grannie praying in the room nextdoor.  I had the blessing of having an older brother and sister who set me a good example, which I did not always follow.  I attended a small primary school in Dungiven and enjoyed my days there.  We worshipped in Limavady Reformed Presbyterian Church and I benefitted from having a good number of other children from similar homes to learn and play with.  Soon I moved on to Limavady Grammar School and during my first year there I had appendicitis and foolishly tried to pretend that the pain was on my left side rather than my right.  I did that because I feared that I had appendicitis and was afraid of having to go to hospital.  Thankfully God overruled and the necessary surgery was done before things got fatal, but that experience served to convince me that I was not yet ready to go and meet my maker.  I had no peace with God.

As far as I can tell, that did not change until I was 14 years old.  In those years a highlight of the summer for me was attending a  church camp for boys aged 11-14.  On my way home from my final year at that camp I prayed that the Lord Jesus would save me and make me one of His own.  At the camp I had seen clearly my need to have my sins forgiven and for my life to change.  I placed my trust in Jesus as the One who died in my place and I began to seek to live for Him.  The lives of the officers at that camp had been a good influence upon me, but they were building upon what many others had taught me and upon the prayers of many for me.

Sad to say I do not think I made rapid progress as a Christian in my early years.  One thing that stands out though in my mind as being good for me was going on an outreach team where I did door to door visiting in the homes around the Clarendon Street RP Church in Derry.  That helped me to see the great need that existed for people to hear the gospel.  I found myself speaking to people who had gone to church for years but had no real understanding of what Christianity is all about.  Soon it was time for me to move on from school and I headed off to Edinburgh University with the intention of doing a degree in Pharmacology and going into some form of drug research work as my career.  At that stage I had no thought whatsoever of becoming a minister, but God had other ideas and I was to discover the truth of what we are told in the Bible in Proverbs 16:9 – \In his heart a man plans his course