In 1983 God gave me a vision that would change my life forever. My wife Lynda and I were spending an enjoyable week at Spring Harvest in Pwllheli, in Wales, when we decided to attend a seminar on the Holy Spirit. During this seminar the Lord showed us a clear picture. Just as we were worshipping as ‘one’ at Spring Harvest, God revealed that He wanted us to worship as ‘one’ back in our home village of Trethomas (near Caerphilly), south Wales. God wanted us to work towards uniting the Christians in Trethomas. Together, we would be more effective in reaching our community of 4,000.
So we returned to Trethomas determined to pursue this vision. Shortly afterwards we had the opportunity to share how God had spoken to us in the small Presbyterian Church we attended. I wasn’t sure how the 12 other members of our traditional church would react. We feared they would not be willing to support the sort of changes I was envisaging. So we reluctantly announced we would be leaving. To my great surprise they said: ‘Don’t leave us. Lead us!’
I was 32 years old, an engineer by trade, and the church already had Circuit Ministers. So I was understandably nervous but equally determined to trust the Lord. I had become a Christian 16 years earlier during a Billy Graham Crusade in Cardiff. Shortly afterwards a minister had laid hands on me and prophesied that the Lord would use me powerfully one day. Maybe this was it.
My home church welcomed the vision of ‘one’ church. Now it was time to make contact with the leaders of the six other denominations in the village. The letters all included the same invitation: to meet together early on Sunday mornings as one before their own services started.
Unfortunately, the outcome was disappointing. The denominational ties, traditions and rituals that had kept us apart for so many years were still too strong to be broken. However, a number of individuals did catch the vision of one united Christian Fellowship and they joined us. Our numbers grew rapidly from 14 to 30 members.
In 1985 I wrote to the central office of the Presbyterian Church of Wales to ask if we could purchase their building. They offered to sell it to us for £18,000. In faith, we offered them £6,000 and they accepted. This was exciting, but there was a problem. We didn’t have £6,000! We brought the acceptance letter into our Tuesday evening prayer meeting and everyone put their hands on it and asked God to do a miracle. On the Friday of the same week, a carrier bag stuffed with bank notes totalling £6,000 was given to me anonymously. The miracle had happened; God had provided the finances to purchase the building.
Next we built a two-storey extension which included a kitchen, two function rooms, offices and storage space. The new building was completed in 1990 and the total cost of the work came to £100,000. To this day I don’t know where all the money came from, only that God provided!
By 1997 the fellowship had grown to the extent that a fulltime pastor was required. So I ended my career as an engineer and took up the position that God had called me to. In that same year God miraculously provided an additional £22,000 to clear the outstanding mortgage on the building.
Today, Trethomas Christian Fellowship is still a church in transition, but we rejoice in a church family of around 200. Last year we ran ‘40 Days of Purpose’ – hundreds of people came through our doors to find out what we do and why we do it. This year’s campaign is called ’40 Days of Community’ – it will give every home group the opportunity to get involved in local projects.
It has been 24 years since that seminar at Spring Harvest. It has been a roller coaster of an adventure, but God has been faithful and we have seen our vision become a reality. I believe that Trethomas Christian Fellowship only exists today because God provided the vision and the resources to bring it into existence. Our vision to become a united purpose-driven Christian family remains as strong as ever. Maybe God is leading you to do something similar.