Together for the Kingdom:
Good news from South Street Baptist Church
West Midlands church set for closure develops much used community centre offering advice, advocacy and befriending to people on the margins
Baptist family funding has blessed church with full-time ministry since 2012. Four baptisms in recent months
South Street Baptist Church is now a "true community hub where God intertwines between Church, Project and the community"
Brierley Hill boasted until the 1980s the most advanced steel works and the largest meat processing factories in Europe. Both have long gone.
By 2004 the church too looked set for closure but there remained a sense that God had a purpose for us as we were on the edge of the Chapel Street Estate home to 1600 people, many of whom were experiencing isolation, poverty and ill-health.
A common vision from the Lord led South Street Baptist Church and Amblecote Christian Centre to form The Brierley Hill Project in 2006 with 'Together for the Kingdom' as their joint mission statement.
The Project opened in the re-furbished building in 2008 and today a full-time project worker, with volunteers from a number of churches, runs a foodbank and drop-in offering advice, advocacy and befriending to people on the margins. With God’s help, the wider Baptist family has blessed us with full-time ministry since 2012.
Our other outreaches include a monthly Sunday café church where we share a meal together with a guest speaker, or hold a short reflection. We also take the gospel into the local Primary School once a month with our 'Open the Book' team.
Last year we also started 'Messy Church' aimed at the wider community. This has grown slowly but steadily, providing an opportunity to share the gospel message creatively. We hold a number of social events, the last being a well-attended Afro/Caribbean one where we had good food and music.
South Street Baptist Church is a true community hub where God intertwines between Church, Project and the community.
We believe that God wants us to:
serve Jesus – channelling God’s love for all people
share faith – encouraging others to become disciples
build Community – working out how to be the body of Christ
We have seen people growing in faith, exploring what it means to be a Christian and others giving their lives to Christ followed by baptism (we have had four in recent months).
We give God praise for all he has done and all he is going to do.
To find out more, have a look at the Brierley Hill Project
Samson and his wife Ellie are joint ministers at Brierley Hill Baptist Church
HEBA Regional Minister Adrian Argile, adds:
'This story lays out well the journey the church has come on. Samson and Ellie Ake (joint ministers) started at Brierley Hill in July 2015. Previous to this, John Rogers was minister for two years (2012-2014) and both have contributed to the intentional mission approach of the fellowship. When I attended the fellowship earlier this year, two thirds of the congregation had started to attend over the last 2-3 years.'
Click here to read more stories about how the money you give to Home Mission is being used to bring the love of God to communities around the country.