In a nutshell
We are a family church made up of people from different nationalities, backgrounds and cultures that has experienced substantial numerical growth in recent years.
Absolutely central to our faith and practice is the person and teachings of Jesus. We firmly believe His words were more than just another message or just another opinion but indeed the true revelation of who God is from one who has been with the Father from eternity, namely the Son of God himself. As such we have made it a personal mission to teach and preach his word passionately, faithfully and uncompromisingly, addressing issues and realities relevant to our day and age in a very practical and honest way.
Our worship is lively, contemporary and geared toward an experience of God and his presence. You will find our people to be warm and friendly, welcoming all not matter who they are, where they come from and what they may or may not have done in the past.
Since 2015, our Church has undergone a number of changes inspired by our new vision to intentionally shine with the light of Christ in the darkest corners of Blackburn and beyond, a vision that is pushing us to invest a lot more into outreach, discipleship and local transformation. Since then, we opened our first Church plant in Shadsworth.
As a Church we may have been around for almost a century, but we have only just begun.
As a church, we are part of Elim, a well established Pentecostal movement birthed during the revival of the pentecostal experience at the beginning of the century, which now counts more than 600 churches throughout the UK.
The name 'Elim' is taken from the book of Exodus (Ex. 15:27) where we read that the Israelites came to an oasis in the Sinai desert, where the weary and exhausted found refreshment. Ever since its birth Elim dedicated its life to reach out to the weary and exhausted with the refreshing of Christ, his word and his presence.
We are also part of the Evangelical Alliance, founded in 1846, the oldest alliance of Evangelical Christians in the world. The alliance is an umbrella group representing one million evangelical Christians in the UK and is made up of member churches drawn from over 30 different denominations, organisations and individuals.
The Christian Church traces its origins back to Jesus Christ's great commission to "go and make disciples of all nations". Although the particular branch of Christianity known as Pentecostalism officially arrived on the scene in the early 1900s, our heritage is to be found among some of the medieval 'heretics' who dared to speak out against a corrupt Church, in the reformation, in the puritans, in Wesley's Methodists and in the Holiness groups of the nineteenth century all the way back to the initial pentecostal experience of the first century.
In Blackburn in particular, the Elim Pentecostals' origins are to be found in an evangelistic campaign of the early 1920s, in which Stephen Jeffries preached the gospel and healed the sick. Hundreds were converted and the resultant Bethel Evangelical Church was formed. As such our Church is the first Elim Pentecostal Church in the North of England. Together with us stood 2 other major Pentecostal fellowships, one based in Blackburn (headed by Fred Whatson) and the other based in Preston (headed by Thomas Mayerscough) which eventually became Churches after the rejection of the pentecostal experience by the historical Churches (for the history of Pentecostalism in Lancashire read "Fire Beneath the Clock", by William Counsell). In the 1920s our Church bought their first building in Montegue Street, a purchase enabled by a generous private loan which was later withdrawn, forcing the fellowship to move to a rented shop in North Gate. Shortly after, they found a more permanent location in Copy Nook (1950s; picture on the right). In the 1940s, the church appointed Mr Stanley Beresford as its pastor. Mr Beresford became a well-known Bible teacher and preached all around Britain and America.
The church was financially very poor in those days, as the state of the building suggests, but the gospel was faithfully preached, and the fellowship was rich in spiritual blessing. Although retiring from the pastorate in the early 1980s, Pastor Beresford remained a member of the church until he was called home in 2006. In 1980, a new building on Park Road was built in a place that had previously been occupied by terraced housing. Since then the Church has seen a roster of remarkable ministers, but it is with pastor Robert Clarke, who took the leadership of the Church in the late 1990s, that the church grew to the size it is today. He retired in February 2015, handing the work over to Simon Pastorello who joined him in October 2009.