Monday, October 24, 2011


When senior accountant Kojo Wood, pictured here with his wife Caroline, entered his profession he would never have imagined that a few years later he would become an ordained Pentecostal minister. Yet, not only was that to happen, but he would also be involved in one of the most successful church plants in the Metropolitan Region.

It was veteran minister John Sainsbury that first recognised the call upon this emerging leader and created the initiative for the commencement of the Stevanage Elim church.  In the past three years under his leadership the congregation has tripled from 50 to 150 and the only limitation on further expansion is the size of the rented community centre at which the church meets.

During his ministry in Stevanage he has not received any salary choosing to support himself from his professional position.  While ministering at the church I learned one of the primary factors in this success story - his ability to build a high caliber team of leaders around him.  I was very much aware of witnessing a church on a journey towards a destiny yet to be realised.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Glasgow Elim

It is always a joy for Marilyn and I  to return to Scotland for any form of ministry as fifteen years of  my ministry has been spent there as either pastor in Kilsyth or as Regional leader.

Elim in Glasgow has had a succession of fine pastors in the past. James and Beryl Glass (pictured here with their family Alice, Nial and Johnny) have been at the church for the past two years and Kevin Peat, Regional Leader for Scotland, tells  me that it is currently at its strongest place numerically, in the church's long history.

My experience of Scotland is the generous heartedness and openness of its people and this is very much a characteristic of the membership of this Glasgow church

The pastoral leadership of the church has the added advantage of having Carl and Danielle Johnston on the team and they, together with the local Elders, provide an effective leadership focus for the Fellowship.

I met many friends I remember from my previous visits but I also encountered a crowd of people who have joined the church within just the last few months.

Saturday morning was spent with around thirty of the departmental leaders in the church and I concluded my time there by speaking at the Sunday morning service on the following day.

Regional Day

Over one hundred leaders and spouses gathered from the "Wales and southwest midlands" and "Southern Regions" at a residential two-day conference at the Webbington Hotel in Loxton, Somerset.

The event was hosted by Chris Cartwright the Regional Leader for the area.  Input on the first day had been given by Simon Foster (Bristol) and Mike Robins (Newquay) and it was obvious that by the time I arrived to do three sessions of the second day, that everyone there had already had an enriching and beneficial time.

Although Chris Cartwright is relatively new to the role, it was very evident that he and his wife Annie have been universally and enthusiastically welcomed by the churches represented and there was a great sense of excitement about the days ahead.  The message that I brought over the day was on a subject that is of very great importance to me and it was a joy to share it with men and women who are clearly open to receive everything that God has for them.  As I said on my Facebook page at the time, the potential and calibre of the leaders in these Elim regions is exceptional.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Newport, Isle of Wight

Tony and Sally Murphy (pictured here with their daughter Jodie and son James) are the kind of people who, through tenacity and commitment, create a culture in which church growthtakes place

Twelve years ago Tony, a teacher, took over a church that was around a third the size it is today and during that period worked as a bi-vocational pastor.  Now Tony and Sally have taken a 'step of faith' to go full-time at 'Church on the roundabout' one of the two Elim churches on the island.

The first impression you get when entering the church building is the sense of inclusivism - a wide spectrum of the community worshiping and relating together in a relaxed family atmosphere in which singles are as much 'at home' as anyone else.

Nor is this a church where young people exist on the margins.  The worship leader is fifteen and her band are almost all around the same age.  I really enjoyed my time at Newport and look forward to the next time I am with them.

Friday, October 07, 2011

LivingLife Church, Shirley

Livinglife church is a brand new church in Shirley near Solihull, West Midlands.

It was my pleasure to be the first visiting speaker since the church had been planted eight weeks earlier.

LivingLife is ably led by James and Lindsey Booth (pictured here with their daughters Holly and Abbie).  James is a visionary leader and his wife Lindsey an exceptional worship leader.

The service, held in a local school, was well attended with several Elim churches in the area represented.  I have every confidence that this new church will growth both in size and depth in the days that lie ahead..

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Regents Theological College

One of the great advantages of the new location of the Elim International Centre being in Malvern is that Regents Theological College is on the same site.

It was great therefore to be the speaker at the first Students Devotions that incorporated the new 'first years' together the second and third year students and it is evident that this year's intake looks as good in quality as it does in size.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Church of Pentecost

No Denomination is closer to us than the Church of Pentecost - based in Ghana and with over 1.4 million members world wide.

The meeting that I attended in London was the ceremony which handed over leadership from Apostle Martin Seth Appiah the outgoing head of CoP (UK) and the inauguration of the new incumbent Apostle Newton Ofosyhene Nyarko.

The service that lasted for over four and a half hours incorporated many sincere tributes to Apostle Appiah for his work over the five years in which the Church has grown both numerically and spiritually.

The co-officiating minister with myself was Apostle Emmanuel Gyesi-Addo the International Missions Director who had travelled from Ghana for the proceedings.

The enthusiastic congregation prayed much for their new leader and his family as they took up their role in leading the Church of Pentecost in the UK.  On behalf of Elim I brought the good wishes of our people and expressed solidarity and support for all that CoP were doing in this country and led in prayer for God's blessing on them in the future.


The opening of the new church building in the town of Asbourne was a big community event incorporating a Barbecue and Bouncy Castle at which many local people from the Waterside area attended.  As I cut the tape, I was accompanied by the local mayor and the MP for the area.  The opening service was attended by local Elim ministers and and those from churches of other Denominations in the town

The service was convened by the pastor of the church Ben Brown who, together with his leadership team,  had overseen the whole building process.  The former minister, now retired, Alec Prail spoke of the time when he had the vision for a new place and paid tribute to Ben Brown for seeing the vision through.  Before I brought the message, Regional Leader Gordon Neale spoke of the huge part the Asbourne membership had played to bring the concept to fruition.  Everyone was thankful to God that, in recessionary times, such a facility could be built.