This past week, missionary Chris Waye and I, took a trip to England, to visit with several different church and pastors to learn more about the needs and opportunities in the UK. The trip was basically a fact-finding mission. We wanted to learn more about what is going on in the UK regarding the gospel, and how best to do ministry there.
We were blessed to meet with six different pastors/missionaries in the country. When we first landed, we met with missionary pastor Justin Williams who is working in Enfield, North London. He moved there about three years ago and has started Grace Baptist Church that meets in a school. God really seems to be blessing their church. Within a 2 mile radius, there are about 500,000 people. They are seeing people get saved and added to the church, and we were so encouraged with how God is working through him and his family. Please pray for this family.
Our next stop was at The Baptist Church in Kensington, Central London. We went to their midweek service, and I was privileged to preach there (You can watch the video here.) Pastor Jared Smith grew up in London and has pastored the church for the last twelve years. Their church is almost 150 years old, but they are still preaching the gospel and reaching souls. Pastor Jared spent alot of time with talking to us about the history, need, and culture of England and London. We appreciated so much his insight and help.
On Thursday morning, we drove out to Windsor to meet with Pastor Martin Wickens from Brimpton Baptist Church. Martin is a very good friend of mine. He is an English pastor who have ministered in Northern Ireland, Southern and Northern England. He spent about four hours with us talking about the need in the UK, cultural insights. He has a real burden for his country and a real vision to see men trained and church planted and revived all across this land. He allowed us to make a video recording of him talking about the need in England. Click here to watch.
Thursday evening, we went over to Chelsea Community Baptist Church in Central London, where John Anderson is the pastor. John is another good friend of mine. I have know him since Bible college, and I was privileged to be in his wedding. Teri and John’s wife, Sara, also are friends since Bible college. John came to London about four years ago. God has blessed their ministry, and they are not meeting with a group of about 60-70 people in a beautiful building. The building they are meeting in was where a small group of people had a united reformed church. They have merged and become a Baptist church, and it is excited about the potential there. John has a real burden to train men and to see them sent out to help revive and start other churches around London and the UK.
On Friday, after eating breakfast with John & Sara Anderson and Stephen Silverson, Chris and I headed out for Wolverhampton, which is just NW of Birmingham. We met Bro. Tom Gritts for lunch. Bro. Gritts has been a missionary to the UK for the past 28 years. He has been very faithful, and God has allowed them to plant a very strong church that is sponsoring many pastors, training men, and reaching people for Christ. Bro. Gritts has a real burden to train men through Bible College, for personal discipleship, and for some of the dying churches in the country to be revived. He was a big help with immigration issues and will ideas about how to reach and pastor people.
From there, we drove to Stoke-on-Trent to meet with Pastor David Moore of Milton Free Baptist Church. He and his wife cordially invited us for dinner. I met Pastor Moore about nine years ago when I came to Ireland on my survey trip. He was a pastor in Northern Ireland at the time. Pastor Moore has been in the ministry for many years. He is from Northern Ireland, has pastored in Dublin, Belfast, and now midlands England. He talked to us from over three hours about the need in England. He really emphasized the need for church rescue, which is helping churches that have just a handful of people and a building but a no pastor. He said that there are many churches all across England and Wales that need someone to come and preach the gospel, build the church, and win souls. Opportunities to work in these churches abound! He also allowed us to record him, and we will be putting out some of the videos in the future.
On Friday night, we drove back down to London and got on a plane to come to Northern Ireland on Saturday morning. In my next post, I will talk about some of the things we learned on our trip.
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