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Church Planting In A Pandemic

Church Planting In A Pandemic

Though we felt sure that God was leading and calling us to plant a Gospel-preaching church in Gloucester, England, we never would have imagined it would be during a global pandemic! It meant we had to trust and act without relying on the usual church-planting strategies, like building relationships and making the community aware of the church. Our first worship services had to be held online, during one of multiple lockdowns. We couldn’t invite people to our home to share a meal. In every way, things seemed against us as we endeavored to start a new church in a city of 130,000.

We have seen the Lord’s faithfulness, in His care for Gloucester EPC. As of this writing, we have a growing, mature group of 35 people who now meet regularly for worship – in person! God has blessed us with a rental facility and allowed us to continue meeting when many other such facilities did not. Our venue has a large parking lot (a rarity in the U.K.) and the inside is bright and inviting. Members have shared with us how the church has become such a vital part of their lives during the pandemic. We recently held our first communion service and brought a large part of our congregation into membership on that day. One congregant said, “I will never again take going to church on a Sunday morning for granted!” We have also started evening worship at a local church and are praying for God to continue giving the increase!

In addition to these blessings, God brought another minister to labor alongside Michael in Gloucester. The Rev. Tim Dalton, who serves with our sister denomination, the International Presbyterian Church, was sent to investigate planting a church here, unaware of our presence. The Lord has worked wondrously to bring our 2 denominations together to plant one church! Tim is an incredible blessing, sharing the preaching load with Michael and continuing his work of evangelism in the city.

We press on in prayer and preaching of the Word of God, building contacts, and preparing for long-term ministry in Gloucester. We value your prayers for us and our work.

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