We asked a few of our members to say what they liked most about being part of the church. Read their full testimonials below.
I discovered that there was a real meaning behind those verses I had to learn by heart whilst with the JWs.
We appreciate being able to challenge our practices as a church and adjust them as we see fit according to the Bible.
Where are you from?
I am from Trinidad originally. I have lived in the UK for the past 30yrs. I lived in a small village called Whiteland in the South of Trinidad. I was not brought up in a Christian home. My father was Catholic and my mother Anglican and all the children were brought up in the Catholic religion. However we also attended Sunday school and ‘tent meetings’ where we heard the gospel. When I was in my teens, my mum, two sisters and a brother got saved.
What impressed you most when you first attended?
The thing that impressed me most when I first attended Bermondsey Gospel Hall was the friendly atmosphere.
Why did you decide to return and make this church your spiritual home?
Because I felt comfortable with the familiar doctrine and the way the Lord’s Day worship meeting was conducted. I appreciated the friendliness of the people and the closeness of the hall to where I had moved to.
How does this church contribute to your Christian life and appreciation of Jesus Christ?
The contribution this church has made to my Christian life is tremendous. It feels like a family, with all ages showing care and Christian love for each other; you are missed when you are not there and that keeps me encouraged. The enthusiasm of the many young people for the things of God is a blessing for me and such an encouragement for me in my Christian walk. The Christian love, friendliness, hospitality and fellowship just makes me feel supported in my Christian life and “like home”.
What would you miss the most if you had to leave this church?
I would miss the young people and their enthusiasm for the things of the Lord, the ethos of fellowship, hospitality and friendliness of the church. Also the various meetings and activities that are held at the church.
Why would you want someone to come along to this church?
Because our church follow New Testament teaching, and there is a lot going on that they could get involved in, we have a lot to offer anyone who visit. I also wish to see our church grow spiritually and numerically. So for those who are saved we have a lot to offer and for those who are not, we hope that the Gospel that we preach will bring about salvation. Our church is well provided for with public transport.
How did you became a Christian?
I accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as my Saviour on 15th February 1989 in Trinidad.
Although I was not brought up in a Christian home, we were brought up knowing about sin, heaven and hell. My mother was an Anglican (Church of England) and my father a Catholic. All the children were brought up in the Catholic religion. We were all baptised as babies and confirmed later in our teens. During that time however, we had evangelists like Billy Graham coming to Trinidad to preach the gospel, later on we also had Christian preachers from ‘Gospel Hall’ pitching tents at various times in our village to preach the gospel.
An Assembly was set up and a Sunday school started which I attended regularly. I heard the Gospel for several years, many times being convicted but never accepting the Lord as my Saviour. I left Trinidad to move to England to study nursing and for many years had no interest in even finding a church to go to.
I was happily getting on with my life until in December of 1988 my brother who lived in Toronto was killed instantly and tragically in a work accident at age 45. His sudden death affected our family in various ways. For me I began to question my standing before God and I had many fearful nights when I was petrified of dying and going to hell. I remembered the people saying what a ‘good man’ my brother was, but no one was sure that he was saved and present with the Lord.
In February of the following year I went back to Trinidad to visit my family and I attended a gospel meeting in our local assembly. A brother Lewis Paul preached, although I cannot recall the particular passage of scripture he preached on that night, I know that one of the verses that had been speaking to me since my brother’s death was playing a big role in my conviction,. Because I had heard the gospel so many times and had learnt so many verses from the bible the verse that touched me was Hebrews chapter 9 verse 27, “it is appointed onto men once to die and after this the judgment” Another verse had also been convicting me since my brother’s death whish was 2 Timothy chapter 2 verse 19, “The Lord knoweth them that are His”. Deep down inside I knew that that I was not saved and would go to hell when I die, so that night I asked God to forgive my sins and to come into my heart and to save me. He did.
On return to London I was put in touch with Archie Carew and started attending his church in Tooting. I was baptised on the 22nd July 1990 at Longley Road Gospel Hall. I have been in fellowship there, at Mauldeth Road in Manchester and now here at Bermondsey. I feel that I have found home now and am happy in fellowship here.