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 intial pentecostal experience of the first century.
In Blackburn in particular, the Elim Pentecostals' origins are to be found in an evangelistic crusade of the 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. 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 1920's the Church bought their first building in Montegue Street, a purchase enabled by a generous private loan which was later withdrawn, forcing the fellowship to move to a rented shop in North Gate.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 (1950's; pictures 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.
In 1920's the Church bought their first building in Montegue Street, a purchase enabled by a generous private loan which was later withdrawn, forcing the fellowship to move to a rented shop in North Gate.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 (1950's).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 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.
Our Present and Future
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. In order to reflect such new vision, our Church's name has changed from the historical "Elim Pentecostal Church Blackburn" to "The Beacon Elim Pentecostal Church".
As a Church we may have been around for almost a century, but we have only just begun.