Saturday, December 22, 2012

Kilsyth, Scotland

 It is always a pleasure to minister in our churches throughout the UK but it was special joy to be in Kilsyth for their anniversary weekend as this was the church that I had pastored prior to being elected as General Superintendent in 1999.

Kilsyth Church of God is the longest established Pentecostal church in Scotland and celebrated its centenary during the period in which I was the minister.  This anniversary marked fifty years since the opening of its present building.
Twelve months ago Mike Preston - pictured here with his wife Bev, his son Yoshan and daughters Yolanda and Zara - became the pastor and the church is prospering under his ministry.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Apostolic Church, Ebbw Vale, South Wales

Although I usually only accept invitations for ministry at the weekend from Elim Churches it was a pleasure to visit the Ebbw Vale Apostolic church pastored by Jason Pennington - pictured here with his wife Charis, his son Nathan and his daughters Abigail and liberty - all of which are fully involved in the life and ministry of the church.

It was a joy to spend time with this warm and welcoming congregation. 


Friday, December 07, 2012

Gatehouse Elim Church, Porth

It was great to be with John and Debbie Bullock (pictured) and the Gatehouse Church in Porth - a dynamic congregation in the Rhondda Valley, South Wales.

Apart from being the local Elim church in the area, it is also home to  'Sporting Marvels' a phenomenal initiative that links the church to the community via sport -  google 'sporting marvels' to find out more.

This church also holds many memories for Marilyn and I as it was venue at which we were married over 40 years ago.

Monday, December 03, 2012


The Saturday meeting for leaders entitled, "Creating a place for the Presence'" was made open to a number of churches in Potteries and was organised by Edwin Cotter, pictured here with his wife Lorna, the senior pastor of the Elim Church in Silverdale.

It is a remarkable that a village of just a few thousand should have such a thriving Pentecostal Church.

It was an excellent day and I thoroughly enjoyed being with leaders from a variety of backgrounds.

Faith through a lens

A powerful scene of former drug addicts reading the New Testament scooped the overall winner’s award at the national amateur photography competition, Faith Through a Lens. Created by national church insurer Congregational and General, renowned photojournalist Don McCullin and Minister for Faith and Communities, Baroness Warsi, John Glass, General Superintendent  Elim Churches and Dr. David Cornick presented the prizes. .
‘Brothers in Arms’ by Paul Triller was praised by the judging panel for its immediate impact, fantastic use of light and real intensity. Paul, who took the photo whilst in Romania, received a camera-shaped trophy sculpted by emerging artist Craig Dyson and a prize pack valued at £1,400 which included a new Nikon V1 camera. Winners of the other categories also scooped a photography prize pack and also the opportunity to nominate a faith, charity or community group to receive £1000 of audio-visual or photography equipment of their choice.

Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles, said: "They say a picture is worth a thousand words and I was delighted to see A Year of Service really come alive in some terrific photos that perfectly captured the strength of our faith communities and the commitment they make to their neighbourhoods. This has been a memorable year of social action so thank you to all the budding photographers who entered and congratulations to the winners."

The above photo shows the winning picture two of the judges - John Glass and Don McCullin CBE

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Bethnal Green, London

It is always a pleasure to visit the Elim church in Bethnal Green, London - known locally as New Life Bible Church.

This vibrant fellowship of warm and welcoming people is pastored by Richard Jama (pictured here with his wife Toyin.

Richard Jama is also attaining an increased reputation in his home nation of Nigeria where he conducts leadership meetings and Crusades.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

West Wellow

This was my first visit to this small Elim congregation on the outskirts of Salisbury.  One of the hallmarks of smaller congregations is the high percentage of people who are actively involved in the life and ministry of the church.  And this is particularly true of the good people in West Wellow.  It is in a period of transition and it was a pleasure to meet both those who had been part of its past leadership together with those who are involved in planning for the future.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Scottish Regional Retreat

Having spent fourteen years of my ministry in Scotlandd there is little wonder that I was looking forward to my time with our leaders north of the border.

Kevin Peat, NLT member and current Regional Leader, excels in pastoral care and, together with his wife Margaret, hosted the Scottish pastors at a the four-star hotel in Strathclyde Country park.

The theme was 'Replenish' and it was a privilege to be part of this fabulous two day event - not just in terms of the teaching that I was invited to bring - but being able to interact with our leaders between the various sessions.

Monday, October 08, 2012


The last time I spoke at Macclesfield Elim church was 47 years ago.  I was in my mid teens and this was the was the first time that I had preached outside of the home church that I grew up in.

For the past ten years the church has been pastored by Cindy and Dean Shaw (pictured here with their two daughters).  

Though not a large church it has many activities during the week and there was an excellent family atmosphere at the morning service at which I ministered.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Coatbridge, Scotland

I have visited the Coatbridge church on a number of occasions during the past twelve years and was a pleasure to witness the growth in size and depth since my previous visit.

David and Linda Bell have worked faithfully there over the years and all of their family are involved in the Fellowship.  Pictured left to right are Louise, Shirley, David, Linda, Audrey and Stephen.

The Saturday evening service was attended by other churches in the area and the Sunday morning by the local church family. 

Ellesmere Port

 This was my first visit to the Ellesmere Port church that had been planted just three years ago as an Elim church.  Its visionary leader, Peter Israel Peters, took a great step of faith when he embarked on the purchasing of a large church complex at a time when the congregation was so small.

He and his family have worked sacrificially in order to see the new church become established and I believe that principles for growth and expansion are in place that will ensure that the church will continue to effectively reach the community with the Gospel.

After the morning service it was a pleasure to also spend time with the leadership of the local church as listen to their vision for the future.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Bethany Community Church, Cheadle

Tony Lacy (pictured here with his wife Jennifer) retired from the Elim church in Chorley (see previous post) but, far from scaling down their ministry, continued to act as a consultant to other churches in the locality.

When Bethany Community Church applied to affiliate with our Movement the Regional Leader Kevin Peat saw Tony as the obvious choice to give initial leadership to this fine congregation which meets in the excellent church complex pictured below.

I greatly enjoyed my time with one of the newest churches in our Elim Network.

Living Waters, Chorley

I always enjoy my visits to Living Waters. One of the highlights in the past was to speak at at Saturday meeting which was the farewell of the founding minister Tony Lacy (see next posting) which was then followed by the Sunday service at which one of Tony's sons John (pictured here with his wife Michelle) was inducted as the pastor.

In the period that has followed the congregation has more than doubled and has outgrown in premises in the centre of the town.

Saturday night took the form a teaching meeting for the leaders of the church.  Around fifty were present including nine leaders from other churches.

Sunday morning was the meeting of the full church family.  It was a great atmosphere and the Living Waters Praise Band is one of the best in our Movement.  The Elim church in Chorley I believe has an exceptional future ahead of it.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


It has been three years since my last visit to Dowlais and I was immediately struck by two things.   The first was the increased size of the congregation.  The second was the refurbishment of the building. Wayne Carpenter, pictured here with his wife Carol, has always been a person committed to excellence.

The theme that the church has set for the weekend was "Intimacy with God". The Saturday service was attended by other Elim churches in the area and both Sunday morning and Sunday evening meetings were memorable occasions.

Saturday, September 01, 2012


United Christian Broadcasters are a powerful and effective Christian ministry in the UK.  Operating out of state-of-the-art TV and radio studios they provide programming for their TV station and DAB radio station.  Those with an iphone or ipad should be sure to download the free UCB app.

Though UCB serves the whole church across the country, Elim has a strong relationship with this great organisation and it is UCB that broadcast our Bible Week on their TV station.

The reason for me being there on this occasion was to record thirty one-minute video shots each of which will be broadcast between programmes over the next few months.

Ignite Conference

Each year Kevin Peat, Regional Leader for Scotland and the North West,  hosts a conference for the North West Region at Cefn Lea holiday park in North Wales.  Aptly called 'Ignite"it serves to be a means of fellowship and inspiration to all those who attend.  Having spoken there in 2011 I had been invited again to speak at two of the sessions this year also.

There is always a great atmosphere at Ignite and the Elim Church in Chorley who led the worship are, in my opinion, one of the best Praise Bands in our Movement.

Persecuted church

It was over two years ago while at a Conference in South Africa that I was approached by an Iranian man in his early thirties who asked if I would travel to a country in the Middle East to give teaching and encouragement to young leaders who were undergoing persecution.
The concept at the time was that I would go to a relatively moderate Islamic country and that they would travel from the countries where persecution was more intense.
The arrangement was delayed for two reasons.  The so-called Arab Spring meant that the location needed to be changed but the second reason was far more serious.  On 26th December 2010 my contact was himself arrested along with 40 other Christians and detained in one of Iran’s worst prisons in Teheran.
Separated from his wife and young children he is currently serving six years for converting from Islam and encouraging others to follow Christ.
A new location selected, Chris Jones and I travelled to meet a group of around 50 leaders all who had undergone persecution – some under torture. Those who had suffered imprisonment had been forced to leave their country with nothing but what they stood up in.  As they were not given passports their status was that of a refugee.  There is a huge price to pay for following Jesus around the world and the opportunity to meet and minister to them was one of the most humbling and impacting times of my 44 years in ministry.

Sunday, July 15, 2012


The reason for my visit, my first to the Elim church in Stockton, was on the occasion of their 40th anniversary.  The church is between ministers at the moment but there was an excellent attendance as several people from the Elim church in Darlington joined for the morning service.    Because of the occasion a number of people also attended from the local estate - some of which had never attended since they were children.  Four people responded to the gospel appeal at the end of the service.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Apostle Michael NTumy

One of my closest friends in recent years has been Apostle Michael Ntumy, former chairman of the Church of Pentecost.  Under his ten year tenure as the leader of our sister Movement he saw it grow from around 760,000 to over 1,600,000.  It now stands at over 2,000,000 world wide.

A few years ago he emerged from a serious spinal operation paralyzed from the neck down.  Since that time he has astounded surgeons, doctors and physicians with his progress which they have put down to his faith in God and the strength of his character.  He has also been wonderfully supported by his wife Martha (pictured standing between us).  I have visited him on two occasions in Germany where he currently resides but on this occasion I travelled to see him during a recent visit to London.  Also in the picture are dignitaries from the Church of Pentecost - including the UK Area Head (far right)  In my opinion Michael Ntumy is one of the most significant Christian Statesmen this century has produced.

Friday, July 06, 2012

MiT Conference

Each year around ninety 'Ministers in training' descend on the Elim International Centre for a three-day conference hosted by Nigel Tween and myself.  Main speakers, apart from the hosts, were Duncan Clark, Carl Johnston, Geoff Lee, Gordon Neale, Kevin Peat and Jonathan Skelton - reflecting a wide range of age and experience that contributed to what many felt was once of the most successful MiT conferences in a long time.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Crewkerne, Somerset

I have visited and spoken at hundreds of Elim churches across the UK but this was the first time I had been at Crewkerne.

The church is pastored by Steve Gray (pictured here with his wife Sian, sons Aaron and Joel and daughter Aoife)

Though Steve is from Ireland and Sian from Wales, their commitment to the area over several years has meant that they are very much part of the local community of which the church is an integral part

I enjoyed meeting the congregation and was blessed by the worship.  The added bonus was being able to spend time with this great family over  lunch at the conclusion of the service.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Leytonstone Men's Retreat

For the past few years around sixty men from the Leytonstone Elim Church conduct a retreat for men at the Elim International Centre in Malven.  For the past two years I have been invited to speak at the event.  There is always something great about guys getting together in this kind of context and the 2012 event was no exception.

South Chard

There are times when I get to visit excellent churches situated in very small communities.  My visit to South Chard, Somerset, was one such occasion.  It is led by Neil Reid (pictured here with his wife Jenny).  It was a delight to be with them.

There was a great sense of 'family' in this warm and relational congregation and after the morning service I was able to meet the wider leadership and their spouses over a curry.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Ministers Fellowship Europe

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         Ministers Fellowship International was  founded many years ago by Dick Iverson and thirteen years ago MF (Europe) was commenced under the leadership of Colin Cooper (pictured) - senior minister of the 800 strong Huddersfield Christian Fellowship who has brought dynamic leadership to the group.
Every year this group, dedicated to the encouragement and support of pastors and leaders,  holds a Conference in a different location throughout Europe.  The 2012 venue was in a top hotel in Athens, Greece.  I considered it an honour to be invited to speak on four occasions during the four days.  The Conference took time to especially honour its founder Dick Iverson who now is 82 years of age but who has lost nothing of his fatherly heart for leaders.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Elim Summit - Ireland

Northern Ireland was the venue for the last of six leadership summits that, over the past few months, have been held in Scotland, the North West, the Midlands, the South West and London.

It has been a pleasure to have travelled with such a great team that included Gary Gibbs, Darren Johnson, Chris Jones, Mark Pugh and Nigel Tween.

Over 200 ministers and lay leaders gathered in Hillsborough for the day subsequent to the invitation of Irish Superintendent, Edwin Michael.  The venue, the hospitality and the atmosphere made the final summit one of the best on the tour.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Newquay Christian Centre

The first time I preached at Newquay many years ago there were just 35 people present.  On the last occasion there were two morning services to accommodate the burgeoning congregation.

On this occasion there was one service but it was in the newly acquired premises - the third complex in the centre of the town and only a short walk from the seafront.

NCC is a great success story that is the product of excellent leadership from Mike Robins (pictured here  with his wife Shelagh) his team and a dedicated congregation.

Whether you speak to the Newquay surfer set that are part of the church, or the most senior people in age, the comments are the same - the pleasure of being a part of a church relevant to every age group.

Following the service the congregation gathered on the beach as six young people were baptised

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Bridge, Erskine, Scotland

The church in Erskine was originally pioneered by Derek and Anne Chittick. On their retirement their son Gavin (pictured here with his wife Louise) already an ordained Elim minister, moved from another part of Scotland to take over the leadership.

The congregation currently worship in a local community centre.  They did have a building fund but when they heard of the devastation in Haiti, emptied the bank account and gave it towards the rebuilding of broken communities.  How can God fail to bless a church with a heart like that?

Gavin and Louise are typical of a whole breed of young leaders within Elim whose character continually reinforces my belief in a great future for our Movement.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Hope Chapel

Sally Livingstone founded the rehabilitation centre for those wanting to be free from controlling addictions and is shortly to set up the fifth house for this purpose.  Hundreds of people have been helped since its inception.

Now Sally is has planted and pioneered a church in the Birmingham area and it was my pleasure to be the speaker at the opening celebration.

Livingstone House and Hope Chapel is a tribute to tenacity, dedication, spiritual principles and the highest standards of clinical excellence.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Ealing Christian Centre

My previous visit to Ealing Christian Centre had witnessed a church packed from floor to ceiling (ECC has a huge gallery).  Since then however this great church has moved to two Sunday services - 9am and 11:15am.  I preached on both occasions and the combined congregations would have been in excess of a thousand people.  

As soon as the second service concluded two more services would take place.  One in Polish and the other in Japanese.  Yet a further service would take place for the whole church in the evening.

One of the significant hallmarks of ECC is its emphasis on praying for Revival and, if ever there was a church in the UK that has 'earned the right to speak' on such a subject, it is this Elim church.  Richard and Rajinder Buxton (pictured) lead a great pastoral team and Richard is shortly to launch a book on revival which I believe should be recommended reading for every church in the country.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Alloa, Scotland

The church in Alloa has throughout its history been one of the smaller churches within Elim.  Subsequent to my recent visit, I feel that that could be about to change.  I have spoken at the church on a number of occasions over the years - mostly when I was the Regional leader for Scotland.  On this visit, I sensed immediately an attitude of expectancy and was aware of a clear culture-shift that often heralds a new season - apart from being essential to growth.

Paul and Isla Martin (pictured) came to Alloa to pastor the church from their native Glasgow two years ago and, working together with the people in their congregation, are injecting fresh vision into this small picturesque town.

Things like this never occur without some sacrifice and I came away impressed with two young people who are committed to serve God faithfully in their locality.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Elim, Burton on Trent

It is not unusual on my travels around Elim churches to encounter packed churches or multiple meetings on a Sunday morning.  What is unusual is to experience the same thing on a Sunday night

Robert and Julie Styles have been in Burton for twelve years and during that time have seen steady and consistent growth due, in my opinion, to the strong pastoral heart that both of them have, a fine eldership and a faithful congregation.

Apart from numerical growth, the church has been completely refurbished and additional space made possible via en enlarged ground floor and two balconies.  Regular readers of Direction may remember the item two years ago of the church opening a conference centre on the opposite side of the road.


Friday, March 09, 2012

Father's House, Lancaster

The reason for my visit to Father's House, Lancaster was to take part in their tenth anniversary celebrations.

The senior leader of the church is Clive Corfield, pictured here with his wife Karen.

Clive, who also has an international itinerant ministry, is a gifted leader and has  attracted a great group of leaders around him - several of whom are credentialed Elim ministers.

Father's House has recently acquired excellent new facilities in at the heart of the city and the church building was packed for the special services.

This is  Fellowship with a great heart and outward-focused vision.

Monday, February 20, 2012


The Nuneaton Church is pastored by Mike and Suella Brown who were both recently ordained at the  Elim Bible Week in Telford.

On my previous visit three years ago, and just before they came to take over the leadership of the church, the church had experienced a number of difficulties.

On the Sunday I was there things were very different and it was clear that they were in a new season, a new atmosphere and the congregation almost twice the size.

Numerical growth is good and especially so when it is matched with growth in depth.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Elim, Barking

It was two years since I was with John and Trish Waller in Barking, London and a great deal has transpired in the life of the church since that time.

Some things have not changed - the great atmosphere, excellent worship team and the aspirations of a committed congregation.

What was different however is that, due to the numerical growth of the church, it has been necessary to hold two Sunday morning services to accommodate the continued expansion.

John and Trish have done, and continue to do, a great job as they work as a team to build a church that makes a difference in the community.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Bethel, Olbury

Bethel, Oldbury is in the West Midlands and is a long-established Pentecostal Church.

A little over a year ago the church made the decision to affiliate with Elim and subsequently Steve Kerry (pictured here with his wife Rachel and their son) became the pastor

Although Steve and Rachel have only been at Bethel a relatively short time the church has experienced significant growth.

The church was packed for the Baptismal Service at which I was the speaker and it was great to listen to the testimonies of four people whose lives had been powerfully transformed by a personal commitment to Jesus Christ.

Monday, January 23, 2012


There are two Elim churches in the High Wycombe area and Paul Turner (pictured here with his wife Yvonne and daughter Becky) pastors the church in the Micklefield.

There are very few churches in our Movement that I have never visited previously but this was my first time in Micklefield.

Although Paul and Yvonne have only been at the church for just over a year it is evident that they are very much 'at home' and feel part of this growing congregation. 

It is a church that is clearly open to the things of the Spirit and this warm and welcoming group of people has great potential for further expansion.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Romsey Christian Centre

Due to the number of churches in our Movement it is usually several years before I am able to make a return visit.  In the case of Romsey however, the last time I ministered there was 43 years ago when a student in Bible College aged 20.

David Walker (pictured here with his wife Jackie) is the current pastor of the church and it was very evident that, not only are they highly regarded by the congregation, but that they too have a heart for the people under their care - and also for the town in which they are ministering.

It was good, while I was there, to see the church in action and to learn of the vision and plans that they have for the years that lie ahead.

Princes Risborough

Although the church in Princes Risborough, Chilterns Christian Fellowship, has been in existence for several years it only under the ministry of Geoff and Jane Blease (pictured) that it has been able to secure its own premises.

I had the privilege of preaching at the opening the first-class complex that includes a sanctuary area, offices and several meeting rooms.  It has taken many months of negotiation with those in the locality to bring the dream into reality and the fact that this has now occurred is a great tribute to the leadership and tenacity of Geoff and the team around him.

There were two services during the day.  The first was the formal opening attended by the local MP, councillors and members of the business community.  The second was a Praise Party.  At both services were the members of the church who had been instrumental to bringing the church to this point, former ministers including the church's first pastor Ian Gardner and the Regional leader for the area David Campbell


Over the past few years there has been remarkable growth and development within our churches in the Cornwall area.

Numbered among these is the Elim is the Elim Church in Camborne, pastored by David and Liz Smyth (pictured).

It is some years since I was at the church and it very evident that Dave and Liz, together with the leaders around them, have brought a new freshness and vitality to the church.

The previous minister had successfully inaugurated a number of ways in which the church could interface with the community  - expressing care and commitment to those within society who were the most vulnerable.  This has not only be continued but enhanced by Dave and Liz and the church building exists as a vibrant hub for a number of midweek activities.  Yet another example of how very evident pastoral gifts are not just confined to the local congregation but exist as a benefit to the wider community.