Friday, April 30, 2010

Clydebank 50th Anniversary

It was a pleasure to participate in the 50th Anniversary celebrations of the Elim Church in Clydebank. The church was pioneered by one of Elim's premier and highly respected evangelists Rev. Alex Tee. His health did not allow him to be present but on the Saturday evening meal held in a local golf club he brought an inspiring greeting via DVD.

The church is currently pastored by Gordon and Heather Allan (pictured here centre and right) together which Becky Haldane who is the associate minister.

I knew the Clydebank church well due to the fact that I was once the Regional Leader for Scotland for a nine year period, so it was a special delight to witness on the Sunday morning how it had grown numerically since the last time I had been there. There were people present in the congregation who were there 50 years ago when it started and several that I met that had joined the church in the past twelve months.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Blackpool (Clifton)

Sandy and Patricia Kirkwood (pictured) have had a wide and varied ministry and a little over a year ago took over the pastorate at Clifton - one of the three Elim Churches in the Blackpool area.

The excellent facilities are kept in immaculate condition but 'church' is not about buildings its about people. While I was there I met five ladies who had been at the church since its earliest days. They told me they had a combined age of 414 years and that two of them have been missionary secretaries for a massive 43 years! While thanking God for the growth in our Movement among young and middle-aged people, my visit to Clifton gave me reason again to thank God for the stalwarts in our churches who have served God over very many years. We appreciate them so very much.

Monday, April 12, 2010


Ian and Liz Nicholson, pictured here with their son David and daughter Rachel, have pastored Worcester Elim church for eleven years. It was five years since I had last spoken at the church and it was clear that there are been developments in several dimensions of the churches life since that time. Ian has a strong pastoral gift and Marilyn and I enjoyed our time with the family during the day. Rachel and David are both in the worship team and play their own part in the life of the church.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Five minutes old

If you were to ask me to chose between preaching to five thousand people or leading one person to Christ - there is no contest.

After the close of one of my meetings in France I chatted, through my interpreter, to some of those who had attended. Among them was Pierre. When I asked him if he was a Christian he said that he was not but that he was only a few steps away. Enquiring what it would take for him to make a commitment he told me that he was partly Jewish. I had the pleasure of telling him that the Gospel was, "To the Jew first and then to the Gentile" and that he was not rejecting his roots by coming to Christ but completing the purpose that God had for him. We talked further and prayed together. This photo with my new French friend shows him five minutes after his New Birth,

Gaston Claudel

Gaston Claudel is a remarkable man by any standards. He was one of the 300,000 children around Europe snatched by the Nazis to create their master race simply because, at the age of three, he had blond hair and blue eyes. He tells his story in the "Les enfants sur la lune" (The children under the moon).

He entered Elim Bible College in 1964 and after one of our Easter meetings in the Royal Albert Hall noticed a man in a London street injecting drugs. "Immediately", he says, "I knew what my life mission would be". Returning to France he has spent the past 45 years in that ministry and has received about every award that from the Government and civil bodies that a civilian can get. Now 74 and still in ministry he was proud to show me his Elim credentials that he carries with him at all times. His amazing story will be the subject of a future Direction feature.

Elim France

Each time I visit the church in Thonon, France I see growth numerically and in depth. Luc Favre has also transformed the building and is pictured here in the cafe entrance to the church which is a hub for the people before and after the services.

After a weekend with the Thonon church I spoke at the Conference for Elim pastors throughout France. Though only a small group at the moment the President David Thabot is encouraged by the number of leaders from independent groups who have shown an interest in linking with Elim in this spiritually needy nation.