Sunday, 27 October 2013

Hadleigh Baptist Church

Progress of Hadleigh BC with the support of Home Mission Upon being called by the Lord to Hadleigh BC 7 years ago which back then consisted of a membership of approx 25 and an average Sunday attendance of around 45, we applied for and were given , a HM grant which was put towards my stipend .

Financially, the church was not in a position to pay the stipend without the support of HM, but from the outset , both myself and the leadership set ourselves a 5 – 7 year target to build the church up to such a level that we would eventually be able to fully operate without a HM grant .

In the years that followed we concentrated upon building relationships with the members of our local communities including our local primary school , and also with folk who have had past connections with HBC and over time, the Lord began to draw people into the church – both Christian and non - Christian. The Christians who came to us, many of whom had young families, came for all kinds of reasons, and it wasn’t long before they bega n to use their gifts in the church. This resulted in the re-structuring of church activities, including House groups and Sunday school, new y outh groups being formed along together with other groups that enabled folk from our local community to socialise with one another, including with Christians from the church.

Other activities were introduced that enabled us to continue building relationships with our local community eg summer and Christmas fayres, fellowship meals , and again this drew Christians and non - Christians into the church. During the last 7 years the church has grown numerically to the extent that our membership is now 65 and growing , with Sunday morning attendance, which includes children and young people, averaging 100.

The increase in attendance has also meant an increase in giving with many tithing and giving sacrificially (increase in people gift aid ing has also played a major part in the increase of income), and through the grace and love and providence of the Lord, 2013 saw us achieving our goal of not requiring HM support thus enabling the money to be used elsewhere. At the same time and given the current economic climate, the decision to come off HM was also a big step of faith by the church, but we firmly believe that having come off HM, the Lord will honour our decision.

The support of HM over the last 6 years has been invaluable to this fellowship as it enabled us to achieve much for the Lord, and on behalf of the leadership and the members and congregation of Hadleigh Baptist Church, I would like to say a huge thank you for the love and generosity shown to us.

Rev Paul Stow – Minister Hadleigh Baptist Church

This is part of a series called Partners in Mission from the EBA.