Church History (2) - Greenstead Evangelical Free Church

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Church History (2)

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The History of Greenstead Evangelical Free Church (Part 2)

Building the church

There was no wealthy benefactor to provide large sums of money in order to finance the construction of the building - only a group of ordinary working (and retired) people from a variety of backgrounds who believed in an extraordinary God. They prayed hard, worked hard and gave sacrificially, while further money came in from all over the world. The church never had an overdraft: if the money ran out, they just stopped work until they had enough to press on again.

The building was constructed in two main stages, as the needs continued to grow: the first stage was opened in 1973 and the second in 1981.  It now has a large worship area, a sports / social hall, three smaller rooms, a study / vestry and a kitchen, plus toilet facilities. Despite what may have appeared as being a rather isolated site when it was first acquired, the location where the building stands is now in the centre of the estate beside a major junction, close to one of the main shopping areas and near the schools - in other words, in an ideal position. We believe that this church is God's church, put there by him to serve his purposes on Greenstead and to reach out with the good news of Jesus Christ to the whole area.

Click here for photos of the second stage of the church's construction.

The church's pastors

John Bailey was the founding pastor (minister) of the church.  After his retirement, Ian Hughes next took up the post (in 1999) and he served the church until 2005.  He was followed (in 2006) by Martin Peirce, who is the church's current pastor.  Since the beginning of the church in 1965, the various pastors have been assisted by elders (that is, working or retired men sharing in the pastoral responsibilities), of whom particular mention may be made of Frank Davies, Arthur Ibberson, Malcolm Baxter and Alan Hill.  In remembering the work of these pastors and elders, we may call to mind the clear directive of the Bible:
"hold men like [them] in high regard " (Philippians 2:29).

Click here for more recent photos of the church's life and work.

A magazine article about the formation and work of the church in its earlier days can be found here.

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