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.