Sunday, September 23, 2007
It is 25 years since Christian Life Center in Selly Oak, Birmingham was first planted. To celebrate this, 250 people met for a banquet in the Botanical Gardens. Stuart and Amanda Blount have been at the church for the past 14 years and have taken the rapidly growing congregation through a major building program. Stuart, who also serves on Elim's National Leadership team, used the celebration to announce to the church, which has a prime position in the area, that it had now totally cleared its debt. Two morning services are necessary to house the burgeoning growth and it was my privilege to speak at these celebration services. Simon Foster, a previous associate minister and now senior minister of the Glasgow Elim Church, ministered at the evening celebration. CLC, while catering for all ages, has a high percentage of young couples. It's expanding leadership team is evidence of preparation for an even greater future
Saturday, September 22, 2007
The first modern outpouring of the Holy Spirit took place at an Anglican church in Sunderland one hundred years ago when Rev. A.A. Body was the minister. The building today houses an Elim Church pastored by Mark Drew who put in many months of work to highlight this very important event. Similar manifestations of the Holy Spirit took place in the USA and Norway a century ago and today there are around 600 million Pentecostals around the world. I had the privilege of speaking on the opening night to a packed church.
"Salvation for Chinese Church" is an exciting place to be. The five congregations based around London are led by people who, while working in their secular professions, are growing an amazing network of congregations. Those who hold Elim credentials are Joshua Chan, Aaron and Anna Chan and Tony Tsang. Periodically all the congregations come together at the Barbican Theater and it was to that group of around three hundred that I was the speaker. All the worship is in Mandarin or Cantonese and the message is translated into both those languages - either directly or via headsets. There will be a major feature of the church in a future edition of Direction.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Kevin Peat is the Regional Leader for the NW Region and the Scottish Region. I had the privilege of being the speaker at the two-day residential retreat for the NW held in one of the largest hotels on the promenade in Blackpool. Around eighty pastors and spouses were present and there was a perfect balance of teaching and relaxation together. At the close, well-deserved appreciation was expressed to Kevin and Margaret for putting on the event. Spending quality time with Elim leaders in such a context was a tremendous pleasure.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Fourteen ministers have pastored the Smethwick church in its seventy-five year history. For the past six years Joseph and Elizabeth Chinnalyan have led this growing congregation and have tapped into the multi-racial context in which the church is located. My message was translated into Tamil and the three girls pictured are the Tamil children's dance group who took part in the meeting.
Monday, September 03, 2007
Doug and Helena Richards planted Dunstable Christian Centre twenty two years ago and today it has a thriving congregation located in excellent premises in the centre of the town. For may years Doug worked for GMAC the American company that finances General Motors. He joined it in the early Seventies three years after I left the same company to enter Bible college in 1968. Though it was the hight of the holiday season with may members away, the church was very full for the morning service at which I had the privilege of preaching.
City Gates, Ilford, is one of the largest churches in our Movement with a regular Sunday attendance of around a thousand people. The senior Pastor, Stephen Derbyshire has seen remarkable growth in the church in the fourteen years that he and his wife Julia have been there. The mens weekend was held at the Kings Park Conference Centre in Northampton. It was great to spend a couple of days with a group of amazing guys who are open to all that God wants to do in their lives.