33 years ago I and my family moved to Hove and joined Clarendon Church, now Church of Christ the King. Now the time has come to move on and embrace fresh adventures and opportunities. The trigger has been the need for us to ‘down size’ our home (our children are now all adult and living independently) and God has led us to live near one of our daughters with her family in Bath and join the young Newfrontiers church in that city.
Times of change give opportunity for reflection and to thank God for all that he has allowed us to be involved in over the last 3 decades. Since my mind is increasingly focused on packing cases I thought I would share some of these reflections with you; I will post them in parts over the next few weeks!
It was in 1965 that Janita and I were ‘born again’ through the loving support of my sister. Married in 1967 we started a small Bible Study group in our village with another newly married couple, Phil and Agnes Ball. They suggested inviting a friend of theirs to speak on the first occasion and so it was that in 1968 we first met Terry Virgo. Terry and Wendy had recently been married having met at the London Bible College and moved to lead an independent church in Seaford, on the south coast of England.
A year or so later we first became aware of the doctrine of the baptism of the Holy Spirit; Janita was baptised in the Spirit shortly afterwards and I followed a couple of years later.
In 1973 we wanted to know more about healing; it seemed to be in the Bible but not in our experience. Once again we turned to Terry who graciously returned to our home and, after teaching, prayed for people; they were healed! That was the trigger that led to Terry coming regularly to our home with others from Seaford to help move us forward in our walk with God. This was a direct outworking of a prophecy he had recently received through Alex Buchanan that he would be used to help build up other churches outside the boundaries of Seaford.
For a couple of years we travelled to Terry’s church on a Sunday (about 20 miles from our home) but then we felt God say that we were to plant a church – a radical thought at that stage, especially for one who had grown up in the Church of England! And so Terry planted a church in the nearest main town, Haywards Heath, in August 1977.
Next time I will tell you how I entered full-time ministry