Thursday, December 17, 2009

Ladbrook Grove, London

The church in Ladbrook Grove is close to the Portobello Road. It is part of Elim's 'London City Church' network which works under the auspices of Kensington temple.

This was my first visit to the congregation that is pastored by Jacqueline Brown (pictured). I was impressed by many things during my time there and not least by the number of people involved in the meeting.

After the service I had the pleasure of meeting a couple more of the core leaders over a meal. Jacqueline is doing a great job in one of the most economically challenged wards of the borough in which they are located.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Sowerby Bridge

Duncan and Beverly Curry (pictured) were appointed to the Sowerby Bridge church in Yorkshire under three years ago.

Though, at the moment, one of the smaller churches within our Movement it has excellent potential for growth. It ws especially good to spend quality time after the morning service with Duncan and Beverly and the Elder of the church, Phil Tate (pictured right) to hear about the various ministries in which the Fellowship is involved and to talk about possible avenues of expansion for the future.

Bethel Christian Fellowship

Bethel Christian Fellowship has been in a great church in Oldbury (West Midlands) for many years. The reason for me being there on this occasion was to welcome it into the fellowship of Elim Churches. The senior minister is Rev. Ken Hipkiss (pictured) who until recently was the chaplain for West Bromwich Albion football club based at the Hawthorns. The speaker at this event was Gordon Neale the Regional leader for Elim the area.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Swansea City Temple

Hundreds of people packed the church in both the morning and evening services which celebrated the 80th anniversary of the Swansea church. Senior minister Michael Williams gave tribute to those who had contributed to the growth and development of the church over the past eight decades - both ministers and members alike. If it is true that 'a church that honours its past has a fruitful future' then there are great days ahead for Elim in Swansea. A much fuller report of the celebrations will feature in Direction shortly. I was the final speaker after a month of special ministry that has taken place. One of the most moving moments was the tribute paid to an 89 year old member who had given his life to Christ as a nine year-old in the opening meetings held by George Jeffries and who was still serving God today. Joel Pridmore, resident worship leader, led the music ministry powerfully and sensitively. I have preached in Swansea on several occasions over the years and it is a church that has been blessed by a succession of the best of our pastors. I have to say however that I have never seen it in such a strong position as it is today - both numerically and spiritually. Michael and Jill Williams (pictured) are giving phenomenal input into one of our Movement's flagship churches.

Dunstable Community Church

A recent Direction article featured the transition that DCC have taken in moving from their previous venue a former nightclub in the centre of the town. I was present to speak at the opening service on the Saturday afternoon which began a series of meetings over the weekend that was to conclude with Morris Cerullo flying in the the USA especially for the Sunday evening.

Around 450 people were present for the opening service during which a multi-media presentation showed the development of the vision to its present stage. Tribute was given to the leadership of senior pastor Doug Richards and his wife Helena who have led the church for the past 25 years.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Keynsham Bristol

For the past three years I have done a trio of Bible Studies over a three-week period at the Keynsham church. Although on the outskirts of the city it attracts a good congregation and is a church that is well known and respected within the local community. It is always a pleasure to be with the leaders and the congregation on these occasions.

Friday, November 20, 2009

NW Region Retreat

More than eighty people attended the Regional Leadership Retreat led and sponsored by Kevin and Margaret Peat. The venue was the prestigeous Hilton hotel on Blackpool's promenade.

It was a privilege to be the speaker at this fabulous event and times like these always carry with them the added oportunity of spending time betweren the sessions with individual pastors over the two days that Marilyn and I were there.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Rotherham Elim

John and Tracy Murfin have been in Rotherham for nine years which would certainly support that the theory that longer ministries produce greater growth. The church was full for the morning service in which John announced that the church would shortly be extending their curent fascilities. Following the morning service caterers prepared a four course lunch for thirty of the leaders prior to me speaking to the group that spanned the full age range within the church.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Angers (en jay), Loire valley, France

Angers, is one of the la
rgest Pentecostal churches in the Loire valley region of France with a congregation of around five hundred people. It is pastored by my good friend Danial L'Herroux, pictured here with his wife Dina.

I preached eight times in the five days of my time with this amazing church. This included three evangelistic meetings, a youth service, three celebration services and and a meeting with the Assemblies of God pastors in the area.

Daniel L'Herroux has created a remarkable DNA in this thriving and growing congregation and has built a fine team of leaders around him. As he is totally fluent in English he acted as interpreter during the time I was there. I considered these meetings to have been successful on a variety of levels - not least in witnessing those who make first time commitments to Christ.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Irish Leaders

Though much of my ministry is spent speaking at Elim churches a significant proportion is also engaged with speaking to groups of our leaders across the UK. On this occasion the venue was Hillsborough Northern Ireland - a church that has recently undergone a magnificent refurbishment in recent months.

Irish Superintendent, Pastor Eric McComb, who has ministered in that capacity for over thirty years said that the attendance for this meeting was among the largest in several years and it was great to be with the many of our leaders who are doing an amazing job across the country. Being half Irish myself it is always a joy to be with my colleagues in Ulster.

Tramway Christian Fellowship

It was good to be present at the Tramway Christian Fellowship in Edmonton, London. This multi-cultural church is comprised of several ethnic groups and is pastored by Iain and Amy Waddell who, until a few months ago had been ministering in their native country of Scotland - something that must have been a huge cultural leap for them. However, this all goes to show that worship, however it is expressed, does not find acceptance to God because of style or cultural context. It is accepted by God because it is offered 'in spirit and truth'.

ICM - London

The occasion of my visit to International Christian Ministries was to celebrate with them their 25th Anniversary held in the City Temple, Holburn Viaduct London. This great church was planted by Pastor Lily Florida, a remarkable lady, and she remains the senior leader who heads the church with congregations across the city and which is primarily attended by those who originate from the Philippines.

Hundreds of people were present to witness the production which, apart from my message, included music, drama, dance and mime. I cannot remember attending a more spectacular and moving act of worship performed via the visual arts in any church I have attended. It was evident that months of preparation had gone into the four hour service.

Tribute was paid to the pastors for the work and growth that taken place over the years but they were quick to acknowledge that what had transpired was the result of the faithfulness of God.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Among the leaders who deserve the greatest recognition in our Movement are bi-vocational pastors - those who build churches while engaged in full or part time secular employment.

In this category are Steve and Yvonne Yates (pictured centre). Also very much involved in the church are Andrew (pictured far left and who plays keyboard) Michael (pictured second from left and who handles the technical side of media) and Ian (pictured far right with his wife Kate who leads worship)

I cannot speak too highly of these guys and what they are doing in Bootle - a church in the Liverpool area ministering in a community that has over 50% unemployment. It was an absolute joy to spend Sunday morning with the congregation and the afternoon with Steve and Yvonne. Its leaders like this that makes our Movement what it is

Northampton - Truth Conference

It was a initiative by Elaine Roberts of 'World Mandate Ministries' and proved to be a great success. For several nights one of the main public halls in Northampton was taken to present the truth about themes such as Easter, Christmas and the Second Coming of Christ.

I had been invited to speak on the latter subject on the first night of the series to a ticket-only audience. The venue was well filled with Christians and non- Christians alike. At the close of the meeting five people made first-time decisions to commit their lives to Christ.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Livingstone House

One of the highlights of recent months has to be my visit to Livingstone House in the heart of Birmingham.

Sally Livingstone (pictured here) was a victim of horrific abuse from her earliest years and later became an addict before committing her life to Christ at one of our Elim Churches.

Totally transformed, she discarded the victim mentality and, through a series of miracles which will be the subject of a major article in Direction, set up a centre to help others who have been subject to addictive life-styles.

Sally, and most of the guys in the centre, attend Elim churches in the area but most especially Kings Heath pastored by Colin Dyson who gives spiritual input into Livingston House on a weekly basis as well as being involved in a management capacity.

I cannot speak highly enough of the work that Sally is doing at great personal and sacrificial cost to her and her family. If any organisation is worthy of financial support from our churches, Livingstone House is.

The key people there are of course the men themselves and it was amazing to sit in on their meetings and listen to testimony after testimony of transformed lives told in the context of humility and the vulnerability that comes with honest encounter with struggle. I confess to being proud of these men and everything that they are achieving.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Irish Ordination Service

I had been in Lisburn only a couple of weeks earlier to speak at the opening of their fine new building. On this occasion however it was to speak at the ordination service of four excellent ministers Johnny Brown, John Lindsay, Ross McBride and John Prentice - the latter of which had travelled with his wife Heather all the way from Allahabad, India, where they are ministering.

The meeting was convened by the Irish Superintendent, Eric McComb. After the 'charge' was read out to the ordinands, Marilyn handed out the certificates to the four men as well as to a number of people who had graduated from the Irish Academy.

The church was packed with congregation, friends and family from the respective churches of the ordinands.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Photo 1. Shaun Graham, Chris Jones, Paul Hudson
Photo 2. Section of the 3500 crowd at the foot-washing ceremony

I have recently returned from a remarkable time in Uganda.

As, during the time we were there we were to meet the Deputy Prime Minister and other heads of State on other occasions, the Ugandan Government made it a State Occasion - something only afforded to visiting heads of State or members of the Royal family.

At the airport we were met by members of Government, allocated a Secret Service Bodyguard from the Ugandan president's office, and the entireweek never travelled without a convoy of SUVs, TV van and police cars and army personnel present.

It is important to recognise why this was happening. In 1977 Idd Aminbanned the Balokole (Born Again) people, massacred thousands andburned churches. After Amin was deposed Born Again Christians were discriminated against compared to recognised groups such as Roman
Catholics, Anglicans and Muslims. Only under the current President was the 'Born Again Federation' recognised.

As I stepped off the plane I was taken by motorcade to speak at Dr. Joseph SSerwadda's 6000 strong Victory Church. Dr. SSerwadda (who is Elim) has recently been elected as head of Uganda's Born Again Christian Federation which represent 9% of Uganda's population

On day two I and our team (Chris Jones and Paul Hudson) were entertained at the home of the Deputy Prime Minister - His Excellency Bukenya Gilbert. He allocated twice the time originally allocated and requessted I pray with him at the end of our time together.

The next two days were spent at the Hotel Aficana Conference centre when I spoke on three occasions to the 1700 delegates of the Born Again Federation. At the closing service over a
thousand ministers came forward for individual prayer!

At lunch time I and the team were entertained for a banquet at whichthe Minister for Internal Affairs (3rd deputy Prime Minister) and minister of state for Ethics and Integrity attended. Shaun Graham (Elim Tanzania) was also one of the eight guests.

The speech by the minister of state for Integrity and Ethics was outstanding in the Conference that followed. He is a committed Christian.

The highest point was the final day when I was asked to speak at a feet-washing ceremony. It is a monthly service that commences at 4am and attracts over three thousand pesople. During the meeting Dr Serwadda announced that he wanted to wash my feet I said that I would not allow this unless I also washed his. In the event bowls were brought and the two others on the team (Chris and Paul) washed the feet of the two on his team. It was an amazing moment!

The Ugandan Government now has Born Again Christians at the heart of its administration. Dr. Serwadda is one of the most influential voices in the country at this time. He will be attending our Conference this year.


John and Trish Waller took up the pastorate of the Barking Elim Church around twelve months ago after a successful period of ministry in Dublin in the Republic of Ireland. Under their ministry the church continues to expand and it was a delight to spend the weekend both in their home and in the church.

One of the memorable features of the Sunday morning service was the excellent worship group. Marilyn and I enjoyed being with good friends and being able to witness for ourselves the continued progress of this excellent congregation.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Elim France

The three-day conference for leaders within Elim France was hosted by the newly elected president David Thabot pictured here with his wife Christine.

The Paris venue was the newly constructed Oasis Conference Centre in which their church worships and, though not yet completed, we were able to conduct the meetings in a part of the facility that had been finished in time for the Conference.

Elim do not yet have a large number of churches in France but at the conclusion of the event interest was expressed from a number of leaders from independant Pentecostal churches who expressed a desire to forge closer links with our Movement. Mention should also be made of those from the local congregation who catered and served the delegates so well.

New Springs - Loughborough

I don't know anyone who can put on an event better than Phil Weaver - senior minister of New Springs church in Loughborough!

Celebrating twelve years since the church commenced, the leadership team pictured here (left to right,
Euan Lockwood, David Holmes, Phil Weaver, Ryan Atkinson, Nathan Weaver) hosted 240 people for a six course meal at the Hilton hotel. The theme was 'On Safari' and the oil paintings around the room elicited three months work by, exceptionally talented, artist Terry Woods pictured here with me. A number of the guests were incorporated into the animal pictures! Tony's testimony and work is going to be featured in Direction in a following edition.

After the meal the guests were treated to a top cabaret presentation by artists such as X factor finalist Beverley Trotman who is about to release a worship album, award-winning illusionist Chris Stephenson, comedy duo 'Men in coats' who have appeared on the Royal Variety show and whose Youtube sketches have been viewed 20 million times, conjurer Max Somerset who has his own series on Sky TV, world class opera singers Huw and Elizabeth Priday. Elizabeth often appears at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden and is a formal National Opera Company Principal. Huw has performed before many of Europe's Royal families including our own.

Before the event concluded at 1am the pinnacle of the evening took place by a Gospel presentation entitled 'Dream on' and featured music and multimedia from Tracey Parkinson, David Holmes, Ellen Lockwood who are members of New Springs.

Many of those who attended the banquest were not yet committed Christians and a number were present at the meeting on Sunday morning that had a 'back to church' emphasis.

This was the first time I had been to the impressive New Springs facility in the centre of the town and the church was full for the event. Prior to me speaking Huw and Elizabeth Pridday sang and there could not have been a better context into which to share a Gospel message.

Phil and Helen Weaver are passionate about reaching people for Christ and are committed to excellence in every area of church life.

Kings Heath - Birmingham

Fifty years ago Michael Carr, now minister of Harrow International Christian Centre, pioneered a new congregation in Kings Heath. It was my pleasure to attend and speak at the 50th Anniversary weekend at the invitation of Colin Dyson who has pastored the church in recent years and taken it from strength to strength. Also attending the Saturday celebration banquet was a previous General Superintendent and great friend of the church, Tom Walker. Other Elim Pastors from the locality were also present as was the Regional Leader for the area, Gordon Neale. On the Sunday morning, apart from preaching, it was a delight to induct Claire Williams, daughter of Colin and Francis Dyson, into the leadership team of the church.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Livingwaters - Chorley

Livingwaters in Chorley has a double-celebration over a recent weekend. The Saturday evening service was dedicated to honouring Tony and Jennifer Lacy who have pastored the church for the past 28 years and the Sunday saw the induction of their son, John Lacy (pictured here with his wife Michelle and their two sons) as the new senior pastor.

The church was full for the Saturday evening and many tributes were paid to Tony and Jennifer for their tremendous pastoral input as they transitioned a tiny group of people meeting in a home to a thriving congregation in a spacious and modern church complex. I was the speaker on this occasion and Regional Leader, Kevin Peat, added his own tribute before praying with Tony and Jennifer. As the service drew to a close the entire congregation was invited to a 'pig roast' in the church grounds.

On Sunday morning the the church was packed again. Tony and Jennifer have three fine sons each of which, together with their families, are fully involved in the local church. It was their, recently ordained, son John that I inducted into the senior pastorate of the church subsequent to Elim's National Leadership Team unanimously conveying that this stationing appointment was best way forward for this continually growing congregation.

John had attained the position of 'pastoral and curriculum coordinator'
at a local school in Chorley by the time he had reached the age of thirty and he was clearly delighted that the headmaster and the entire senior staff of the school had come to the church to witness his induction. All were clearly saddened that he would no longer with them but also acknowledged that there was a clear call upon his life. No one has any doubt that the best days for Livingwaters, Chorley, are yet to come.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Lisburn - Northern Ireland

It was my great pleasure to speak at the opening of the newly constructed Elim Church in Lisburn. The dream began seven years ago and the opening was attended by a packed church together with the local mayor and member of parliament as well as Elim's Irish Superintendent Eric McComb

Great tribute was paid to Pastor Norman Christie and his wife Doreen for their tenacity during the period during which plans were laid and finances raised.

The new facility provides comprehensive accommodation for all age groups and, apart from a greatly increased sanctuary area, includes a youth wing and glass prayer tower


Ledbury is a beautiful and historic town at the foot of the Malvern Hills. Less than a year ago Phill and Sally Thompsett commenced an Elim church in the area. Phil and Sally have a great deal of experience pastorally and are ideally placed to see continued growth in this popular tourist area, They are ably assisted by Steve and Julie Taylor

My visit to Ledbury was to 'cut the tape' on a youth outreach ministry situated adjacent to a skate-board park in the town. This creative and innovative outreach will be led by Steve.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Church of Pentecost

The Church of Pentecost was founded in 1937 in Ghana by Rev. James McKeown from Ireland. Sixty years later, because of its close links with Elim, churches formed in the UK for the immigrant Ghanaian community eventually became known as ELICOP churches (Elim Church of Pentecost) and in 1996 they had a thousand members in the UK.

Eleven years later in 2007 the then Chairman of Church of Pentecost in Ghana, Rev. Dr. Michael Ntumy and I signed a deed and accord that made COP the closest Denomination in fellowship with Elim. Under Ntumy's leadership COP had become the largest Denomination in Ghana with a membership of 1.4 million members worldwide.

In the UK all ELICOP property was held within Elim's Charity. However it was mutually felt that because of their continual expansion it was right that they should apply for charitable status in their own right. This momentous milestone was celebrated by a service in their thousand seater auditorium in Dagenham, London. I was was the speaker and also in attendance representing Elim were Lionel and Ruth Currie, John and Trish Waller and Regional Leader for the area, David Campbell. The service was led by Apostle S.K. Baidoo from Ghana and Apostle M.S. Appiah resident missionary to the UK.

In the past thirteen years COP in the UK has grown from a members ship of 1000 to 8,500 and the ties bectween COP and Elim have never been stronger.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

INFUSE Bible Week

In excess of eight thousand people are involved in Elim Bibles weeks throughout the summer months in the UK. INFUSE held in Burnham-on-Sea is one such family Bible week that is lead by Gordon Neale (Regional leader for Midlands and North East) and his excellent team.

This year the number of (teens-twenties) who run parallel meetings on the site outnumbered all the other age groups combined. It was pleasure to be involved in such a superb and well organised camp and, having spoken there at one of the evening celebrations we returned on the first day of our holiday to enjoy ministry from the other speakers who were taking part.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Harrow International Christian Centre

It was a delight to minister at HICC, a church founded by Michael and Pat Carr twelve years ago and now ocuupying a prime local in the centre of Harrow, London and reaching up to 500 people each week.

Prior to founding the chiurch, Michael had been on the pastoral staff of Kensington Temple and subsequently became a Regional Superintendent.

Although well past the statutory age for retirement Michael gives leadership to a multi-racial church that covers the whole spectrum of age ranges. It is a place where diversity works well - something that adds to its attraction.

Friday, August 07, 2009


Elim has ever-developing links with 'United Christian Broadcasters'. UCB was founded in Europe by Ian Mackie and latterly David L'Herroux has taken an increasingly high profile in the leadership within the UK.

Formerly, Elim and UCB have worked together on the new 'Elim Edition' of Word for Today and within the context of radio. However UCB TV is one of its most exciting developments and now has a fabulous young and creative team that is making its dream a reality. It is headed by Australian born Neil Elliot (pictured far left).

Recently I spent two days at their studios in Stoke recording a one hour program for "Hearts wide open" and was interviewed by Gary Hoogvliet a man who has vast experience in the industry and is a consummate professional. The rest of my time there was spent recording one hundred one-minute messages that will be broadcast in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Holmfirth Elim

The church in Holmfirth was birthed out of Huddersfield Elim. It is pastored by Ian Sharp (pictured here with his wife Gail and their son Joshua) who left a successful career in retail management before taking up leadership in Huddersfield.

Before arriving at the church I was taken to the church cafe in the centre of the village that, apart from providing meals six days a week, also has counselling and prayer rooms for the use of the community.

I was surprised on my visit on two levels. Firstly I did not expect the level of growth in a church that had only been accepted by Elim at the 2009 Conference. It was standing room only at the local community centre at which the congregation meets. Secondly, the worship team that,is led by Gail, is worthy of a congregation many times its size.

Huddersfield Elim

It is said that one of the elements of successful church growth is a long pastorate with the right leader. Well, if that is the case, Huddersfield is a case in point.

The first thing you notice about the church is the new building that they have been in for the past twelve months. It is contemporary and high profile in the town centre.

Peter and Kath Hannam (pictured) have given most of their years in ministry to this great church and the hundreds of people who now attend bear testimony to the effectiveness of their ministry.

After the morning service I had the opportunity to have lunch with the core pastoral staff and their wives. The three hours that we spent together left me in no doubt as to potential that this church has in the years to come.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Swindon Elim Church

In the three years since Steve and Debbie Gunn came to take up the pastorate in Swindon the church has doubled in size. They are pictured here with twins Naomi and Daniel - two fabulous guys who are right into all that God is currently doing in the church.

After the morning service I met people who had recently come to faith as well as those who, like Mr and Mrs Bowden, who had been in the congregation since it was planted in the days of Elim's founder George Jeffries over seventy years ago!

MIT Conference

It's common knowledge that the three-day Conference for Ministers in Training is one of the most important dates in my calendar. Around eighty men and women who are progressing towards ordination as an Elim minister - a qualification that in most cases takes around five years to achieve - gathered at our college in Nantwich. This was the last time that this Conference will be held at that venue as in 2010 it will be conducted at our New International Centre in Malvern.

There was a varied line up of speakers drawn from our National Leadership Team and pastors from within and outside our Movement. Those taking part
were Dave Campbell, Barry Killick, Kevin Peat, Nigel Tween, Jim Dick, Simon Jarvis, Johnny Law, Richard Taylor and myself.

The high caliber of young leaders that are in the process of taking their place within the life of our Movement augers very well for our future.

New Waters Christian Fellowship- Cleveleys

Among the greatest heroes in our Movement are bi-vocational pastors. These are leaders who already carry a full or part time career and have committed themselves to serve the local church in leadership where the church is in the process of being planted or, for whatever reason, the congregation is small. In order to progress towards ordination they will have attended college at their own expense or given quality to time to study while holding down a secular job and taking responsibility for the local church.

Both Alan and
Beverley Drake (pictured here with their son Adam) have responsible and demanding roles within the NHS and for the past three years have given leadership to New Waters Christian Fellowship,

It was great to be with the growing group of people whose church is situated in the heart of this holiday resort in the North West of England

Sunday, May 17, 2009

City Gates - Ilford

Steve and Julia Derbyshire (pictured) have pastored the church in Ilford for seventeen years and in the past seven have been in the process of finding suitable premises to house the burgeoning congregation that is now approaching a thousand people. There have been some obstacles along the way but their tenacity, together with that of their people, has meant that they have never given up hope.

The Sunday at which I preached at the two morning services that were packed to capacity coincided with the announcement that the council had voted unanimously to pass their plans for a six million pounds new complex. Needless to say, the atmosphere was electrifying and Steve and Julia received standing ovations for the energy and faithful persistence with which they had led the church over the years that they have been there.

Given that I preach at scores of Elim churches every year its very rare that I would use the adjective 'best' when writing in this column. However, when it comes to congregational singing I have to say that its the only superlative that can be used.
The music is lead by one of the country's best worship leaders, Steve Thompson, who in the past has featured in several Spring Harvest programs.

Steve Derbyshire is one of our Movement's finest leaders and he, together with Julia, is doing a ground-breaking job by building one of the nation's most significant churches.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


It would be hard to find warmer people than those from Liverpool. Elim has two fine churches in the Kensington area of the city and on this occasion it was my pleasure to spend the day with the one pastored by Paul and Lynn Dunne

It was great, yet again, to be with a church that engages closely with the community. Midweek the church makes it premises available to those who have fallen outside the school system and a major scheme in the city, supported by many media agencies, to counter gun and knife crime is being headed by a member of the church Liam Moore.

Paul's strong pastoral gifting is reflected in the people who see church as more than a focus of blessing for themselves but a base from which to minister to those in their vicinity.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Elim Italia Conference

The Elim Italia Conference this year was the largest ever. I was the speaker there in 2008 but the 2009 event had to be moved to the largest venue in the facility. Elim in Italy has grown significantly under the leadership of Giuseppe Piccolo with over a hundred churches affiliated to our Movement. The photos above depict a section of the youth event and the Conference worship team. A 'late night special' featured musicians from the churches in attendance and I do not know of a time when I have witnessed so much talent under one roof. It was incredible. When we left that event some time after midnight the concert was still going strong led by the popular band 'Worship Station'. I was the speaker at each of the evening celebrations and Marilyn ministered to the women's meeting. On each occasion our excellent interpreter was Luciana Comastri who, apart from being a senior police officer, is also the pastor of the Elim church in Pesaro.


The Elim Church in Blackburn is pastored by Bob Clarke (pictured). Blackburn Elim is a thriving congegation that fills to capacity the building that is prominantly situated within the town. The church is shortly to add a youth pastor to the team as it positions itself for further expansion.

It was a particular pleasure to spend time after the morning service with Bob and Rita and members of their family,

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Livingston - Scotland

Our visit to Livingston was a nostalgic event as this was the first of three churches I had the opportunity to plant during the time I was Regional Leader for Scotland. Since those initial days the church has had a series of able leaders who have pastored the church to the point that it now has a fine facility that has now achieved two stages of building.

John Henson, pictured here with his wife Claire, is the present pastor of the church and their long and mature ministry experience makes them ideally place to take the congregation to their best days yet. Marilyn spoke at the women's banquet on the Saturday evening and I spoke at the two Sunday services the second of which other local churches had been invited.

Friday, April 17, 2009


Elim@Bristol is an excellent church in the heart of the City. Originally called the City Temple when pastored for over thirty years by former General Superintendent Ron Jones, it underwent a change in name and culture when Peter Davies assumed the leadership around ten years ago. Peter had previously been the pastor of New Life Bristol and ably presided of the coming together of the two congregations.

There were a total of around five hundred present in the two morning services and anyone who visits this warm and welcoming church encounters a vibrant community of worshipping people.

Beacon Community Church

David Langton, pictured here with his wife Ann, leads the Beacon Community Church and is ably assisted by retired minister Derek Lambelle.

The church, based in Burntwood, has outgrown the original building and holds its Sunday morning service in a local school. One of the features of this fine church is its links with the local community. After an excellent lunch with the core team I had the opportunity to minister around thirty of the extended leadership.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Weston Super mare

Claude and Sue Ellerington are close friends and so it was especially good to be with them at their church in Weston. Both their sons, Richard and Steve, also pastor at the church.

As I did not have a free Sunday for quite some time they set up a mid week meeting. It was an amazing attendance and a joy to have the opportunity to minister at this great church.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Sporting Marvels

I was first introduced to Sporting marvels five years ago. Three men showed a media preesentation in my office of a vision that was then only embyonic. What I saw was one of the most moving evangelistic opportunities I have ever witnessed. The three who came to Cheltenham were John Bullock (seee last posting) and two men who were top rugby proffessionals in Wales, Phil Davies and Clive Jones who are members of Porth Elim church

I was to learn of young sports mentors who would work in schools as role models and committed Christians with a specific goal of reaching the towns and villages of the Rhondda valley.

The purpose of my visit was to minister to the team members who have come to the Rhondda from all over the world. I met people from Tanzania, South Africa, Nigeria and the USA - as well as members from the Rhondda itself. The ministry is based out of Porth Elim but embraces other churches throughout the area. To learn more about this amazing ministry visit

Porth - South Wales

The Porth Church is unrecognisable from the small church I first encountered forty years ago. My wife Marilyn hails from that part of the world and this was the church that we were married in.

John and Debbie Bullock have taken the congregation to five times its original size and are doing an awesome job there.

Just before I got up to speak I decided to change the message that I had originally prepared. Having made this decision John, not knowing what I had decided, brought a prophecy to the church on 'transformation' which was the the very subject I had decided to address. Debbie's sensitive leading the worship ensured a memorable night.

Metroplitan West - leadership Day

David Campbell, pictured here with his wife Mandy has one of the widest remits in terms of care for churches and pastors of any Regional leader in our Movement. When I speak at his Regional Days I am not only impressed by the numbers who attend but the proportion of the Region who are there. David covers two regions - metropolitan east and west - and is of course a member of Elim's national leadership team as well as being a close personal friend.

I greatly enjoyed being with the men and women in the leadership meeting for Metropolitan east that was held in the excellent Chelmsford church complex that had been made available by fellow NLT member, Mike Sherwood.

The day was a very special time and my input was made even easier by the sensitive worship leading of Penny Upson who is part of the ministry team at Chelmsford.

I stayed for the evening to witness a celebration to mark the retirement of Tony and Brenda Tween. The church was packed into the overflow areas as tribute was made to their many years of faithful service in the church

Breakthrough Conference - Newquay Cornwall

Mike Robins, senior pastor of Newquay Christian Centre, has transformed the church in the years that he has been been there. He has taken the congregation from thirty people to almost three hundred and built a church complex which has plans afoot for much greater expansion. Not only is Mike committed to the local church - he also has a heart for ministers.

The Breakthrough Conference, at which I was the closing speaker, focussed on ministers who had smaller churches who were looking to learn how to break through to the next level of growth and effectiveness. Mike has certainly earned the right to speak on that subject and the people I spoke to who had been there for three days prior to my arrival appeared massively appreciative of the input that they had already received.

School of ministry

The School of Ministry is part of the overall training program of RTC but specialises in short term input from ministry practicioners over a one year period. Gary Gibbs gives leadership to this excellent department and my visit annually is to speak on the subject of 'Building Bigger People". Prior to meeting the group I was told that 'this year's intake were a great group of students'. My time with them certainly confirmed that impression.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Bangor - Photos

Bangor - Photos

Bangor - Northern Ireland

Without doubt Bangor is one of the most exciting and innovative churches in our Movement. For many years the senior minister was Bill Crawford but, by the time he had retired, he had put in place execllent leadership in the form of David Beckett, Gary Beattie and, in the last few months, Hugh Moore.

The building is one of the most imposing structures in the city. It is known in the area not only as one of the largest churches in Ireland but also as a major conference centre. The building is state-of-the-art whether one considers the main auditorium, the restaurant or the sports hall.

Throughout the Sunday I was there over a thousand people were in the congregation. The worship was led by the full time worship leader and Arts Director Suzanne Hanna. The songs that she has recently written will become part of Spring Harvest's worship programme this year.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Dunstable Community Church

There is a great deal of excitement and expectation around DCC at the moment and for two very good reasons. The first is because of the accelerated growth that has taken place in the church over the past twelve months. The second is that the church, which is far too small for their current location, is about to purchase the lease on one of the biggest night clubs in the town.

Prior to speaking at the Sunday morning service Doug Richards (pictured here with his wife Helena) took me a few hundred yards onto the main High Street to see Cubes - the place that in a few weeks time will be their new venue and which can seat over a thousand people when fully refurbished.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Enable 09 - men's event Birmingham

When Regional leader for the Midlands Gordon Neale said that a men's event was being planned there was no way of knowing the degree of support that it would draw. However, when I learned that he had asked three top leaders from the area - Robin Baker, Duncan Clark and Iain Hesketh to put the event together I had no doubt at all that the day would be a success.

The above photo shows only a part of the 600 strong congregation to which Jeff Lucas brought powerful and relevant ministry and a band based in Coventry Elim provided the music. The venue was Birmingham Christian Centre

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Greenock - Scotland

Greenock City Church

There are two fine Elim churches in Greenock, Scotland. I visited the one in Kelly Street twelve months ago and, on this occasion, was at the City church that currently meets at the new Waterfront centre on the banks of the Clyde.

The church was founded by David Campbell who hails originally from Greenock. David is the Regional leader for the Metropolitan regions and a member of Elim's national leadership team.

The church is pastored by Ian Campbell, David's twin brother, pictured above with his wife Beth. Marilyn and I know many of the congregation from the days when I was the Regional Superintendent for Scotland and it was good for us to visit the church on the occasion of their tenth anniversary.

The Saturday was a meal for the whole church in a top local hotel and was attended by the Regional leader for Scotland, Kevin Peat and his wife Margaret. On the Sunday I ministered at the Waterfront centre.

I have the highest admiration for Ian and Beth. Ian has a responsible secular job that involves him travelling world-wide. He has received no salary from church in the decade since the church was planted but leads with the level of commitment of any full-time minister. Elim is indebted to bi-vocational pastors who are willing to plant new congregations.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Westcliff on Sea

Westcliff is pastored by Bill Finley and Mike Wright. Though one of our smaller churches, as soon as you enter the building you become aware of involvement that it has with the local community. Every room is utilised most days of the week. I found the congregation to be warm and welcoming.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Motherwell - Scotland

I have known the Pastor of the Motherwell church longer than most ministers in Elim. We met at the very first Fraisethorpe Youth camp when he was seventeen and I was fourteen.

For the past twenty years Ivan and Margaret Potts have been in Motherwell and it was great to spend the weekend with them. Saturday night took the form of a traditional Burns supper. I was invited to conclude the evening with an epilogue.

I have spoken at thischurch on several occasions in the past - especially during my years as Superintendent for Scotland- but on the Sunday morning I don't think I have found the church in a healthier state than at any point in Ivan's ministry.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Forty years in ministry

I, together with ten fellow students who first entered Bible college in 1968, met recently for a celebratory meal. The evening was hosted by Phil and Sue Parsons and all of those involved remain in the Elim ministry forty years later.

Left to right are Phil and Sally Thompsett, Phil Niblett, John Bristow, Gordon and Kay Neale, Phil and Sue Parsons, Geoff and Carole Feasey and Lionel and Ruth Currie. Two not able to be present were Paul Epton and Claude Ellerington.