Monday, March 30, 2015

Porth, South Wales

Mark Lyndon Jones, pictured here with his wife Gail, leads the Gatehouse church in Porth.  The church is a spiritual gateway but Porth is also at the gateway to the Rhondda valley.  Marilyn is from Ynyshir, Porth and this is the church that we were married in 43 years ago.

The church has seen very consistent growth since Mark took over the pastorate and baptismal services are a regular event.

After the morning service I had lunch with the leaders and then spent time briefly with core members of 'Sporting Marvels' a team of young people who use sport within local schools as a vehicle for sharing their faith.

Mark is also the founder of MPower - Elim's first national men's ministry - having previously been the Welsh coordinator for 'Christian Vision for Men'.  This great couple are doing a phenomenal job.


One of the first things that Marilyn and I became aware of as we entered the Salisbury church church on this occasion was how the building seemed so much more bigger - evidenced from the renovations that had taken place and in which the senior minister Darren Mallett, pictured here with his wife Leanne, had been both personally and practically involved.

Salisbury is a church that, like so many in our Movement, is very much involved in community life and their buildings  reflect this in scope and the fact they are available and open throughout so much of the week.  It was great to spend time with Darren and Leanne after the morning service.  Leanne, apart from her involvement in the local church, is also part of the Aspire core team and is Regional coordinator for the Southern area.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


 The Elim church in Llanelli gives powerful testimony to the value of a strong long-term ministry and an increased presence in the local community.  The senior pastor, Bill Chapman, pictured here with his wife Ellen, have committed the majority of their ministry to building a resource for the town.  A well equipped and run creche serves the mothers and toddlers and seniors are provided for through a program customised especially for them.  Over ten thousand voluntary hours a year are invested by people in the church for the community that they serve.

The main building has a sanctuary and and several suites of rooms catering for the vision of the church.  Across the town, and on the main street, an art gallery and cafe (pictured) operates on three floors and is another feature of the church's outreach.

Marilyn and I arrived for the 9am informal breakfast service that was followed at 11am with the main act of worship and teaching. The sense of community was such that we calculated that we had spent six hours around the Llanelli church family before spending some time with Bill and Ellen prior to our journey home.

Monday, March 09, 2015

Clydebank, Scotland

Ian Miles (pictured here with his wife Lisa and their daughters Melisha and Esther) has led the Elim Church in Clydebank now for almost three years.

I have preached in this church on a number of occasions in the past and my visit on this occasion found it at its strongest numerically that I have ever known.

Ian and Lisa have a very strong pastoral gift which is evident in the sense of fellowship and community that there is within the church.

As I continue to travel throughout our churches during our centenary year I especially enjoy meeting people in our congregations who have given long and faithful service to our Movement.  In Clydebank there was more that one person present who had attended for over fifty years.

St Luke's, Newcastle

Robert Ward (pictured with his wife Alice) is a member of the council of the Evangelical Alliance and the leader of the largest Charismatic Anglican church in Newcastle.

Having spoken at the Elim church on the Sunday morning I was happy to accept the invitation to speak at St. Luke's in the evening

The informal service consisted of an exceptional time of praise and worship after which I ministered.  This was then followed by everyone breaking bread together as we took Communion.  One of the very special things about St Lukes is the wide sociological mix that ranges from upper middle class (for those who recognise such distinctions) to ex offenders and the homeless. I very much enjoyed my time there.  Its always a pleasure to engage in the strengthening of friendship and fellowship across the Denominational spectrum. 

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Newcastle, Elim

Several changes  have taken place in recent years at Elim in Newcastle but non so pivotal as the purchase of a complex now know as the Dream Centre.

The local Bingo Hall had seen its number decline as the Elim church has seen its number grow.  The two buildings, just a short distance from one another on the same road were subsequently swapped with the Elim church also providing the difference in a financial settlement.

Senior pastor Simon Lawton (pictured here with his wife Julia and daughter Amy) showed me around the new building which is an extraordinary acquisition on several floors.  Most exciting of all was seeing for myself the development plans that reveal a huge vision and the dream that is now beginning to become a reality.

Marilyn spoke at an Aspire event that attracted a record number of ladies on the Saturday morning and which was hosted by Julia, and I ministered on the following Sunday morning.  This great initiative is a tribute to Simon and his leadership and the loyalty and sacrifice of the members of the church.

AoG Scotland

It is always a pleasure to be back in Scotland, for whatever reason, having spent so many years of our ministry there.  On this occasion I was the speaker at the Assemblies of God leaders day which was held at a conference centre in Perth

The Regional Leader for AoG Scotland is Andrew Smith who is also the senior pastor of the Whitburn church and is member of the AoG NLT.  We have known one another for very many years and he is a good friend.

It was a great day and I was delighted to hear about the increasing progress and strength of our Sister fellowship north of the border.