The church that I grew up in was pioneered by my father, pastor Jack Glass. After a period of twenty years, though the congregation now had a church building and a manse the congregation was never large. After his retirement, the church fell into numerical decline and when Paul and Mags arrived they commenced with just a very small group of people.
That was twenty-four years ago and the journey since that date would require a report the size of a book. However, the story that took them from those beginnings to the opening of an 25,000 square foot complex in one of the most significant areas of the city will feature in a future Direction article. What is certain is that excellence at every level and a great deal of personal sacrifice has been the hallmark of their ministry in Manchester.
The new centre that incorporates an 800 seater auditorium, five star Confrence Centre, cafe and bistro could not more strategically placed. Their new neighbours will the the BBC's Media City.
The opening celebration was attended by a packed house. Several Elim churches were represented as were local churches. The Mayor of Salford was present as was the local MP, Hazel Blears.
One of the most important guests were Rev and Mrs Alexander Tee who, apart rom being one of the most successful evangelists that Elim has every had, are also the parents of Mags Hallam.
It was a delight to speak at this great celebration and to spend time after it was over with the leaders who, together with the senior pastors had brought he dream into a reality.
At every opportunity Paul and Mags gave glory to God for making the miracle possible but no one who was there was in any doubt about the part that they had played through their courageous tenacity in bringing a local congregation on such a remarkable journey.
From this one church has sprung orphanages in Romania and more than sixty thriving churches in India. The best days of the Lighthouse are yet to come.