Finding a place to meet is always a big hurdle for new churches to overcome. In the early days of the church plant in Derry/Londonderry, we used our home, a community centre, and even a couple hotels conference rooms.
After meeting for almost two years in the city, we finally managed to find facilities to use for our church on the cityside, in the city centre, which was the area where we wanted to be all along.
The building that came available was originally a Baptist church, but it had been sold and relocated to another part of the city. So, we were overjoyed at reopening an old Baptist church.
During our time there, many people stopped in from time to time to tell good stories of growing up and hearing the gospel there. But not all was great about the move.
Unfortunately, the building was located in an area where (for political/religious/historical reasons) not everyone from the city was willing to go, especially the majority of those who lived on the side of the city we were trying to reach. Furthermore, the building was too big for us and was costing too much to rent.
Though God did many things there in that building, it became apparent that we needed to find another place if we were going to more effectively reach our city. So we began looking for other premises, which was not easy.
Everywhere we turned, we were told no. Most community centres, schools, and halls that we could afford to rent turned us down. Due to “the peace process” and not wanting to offend anyone, they had a policy of not hiring their rooms to any religious groups.
Then one day a man in the church told us about an Irish language centre that had a large hall. We made inquiries, and to our surprise they were willing to let us hold services there! (If you know anything about the dynamics of Northern Ireland, you know that an Irish language centre is the last place you would expect to find a Baptist church!)
That was a huge breakthrough for us. We were now located in a great spot to reach out to the entire area, our expenses were much lower, and people from the community were much more comfortable coming in to the services.
As you can see, God was doing the work – working in us, working in the city, and working to open doors. In future posts, I will tell you more about the things God did to build His church there.
For now, it is great to know that God is still doing the work – and we look forward to what God is going to do this month as we pray for the funds to buy the church their own building.
Building Fund Status
$75,000 – Needed
$15,359 – Donated
$59,641 – Remaining