Church merger reaches wider community

Church merger reaches wider community

How do you successfully merge two churches? Trudi Smyth and Dan Bennett (inset, above, left and right) tell how they and their teams did just that to form Beacon Elim church.

For twelve years there had been two Elim churches in Malvern, each established in its own individual community.

So it was somewhat unexpected when pastors Dan Bennett and Trudi Smyth were caused to consider whether they should merge The Source and Malvern Hills.

But in a move both say was prompted by the Spirit, Beacon Elim church was successfully formed, and has since gone on to launch new community activities.

So how did the merger come about? Before, the 20-strong congregation at Malvern Hills church had been meeting at Elim’s International Centre since the movement came to Malvern in 2009.

“We had a strong group of devoted Christians there who acted as a bridge between Elim and the community,” says Trudi, who pastored the church.

“That was important because there was a lot of local suspicion when Elim first arrived, but we were in regular contact with people in the village and ran many outreach events to build relationships.”

Meanwhile, in another community in Malvern, The Source had been planted as an independent evangelical church before deciding to join Elim.

“Coming out of Covid we had around 60 people, which included children and families, and were meeting on Sundays at the parish hall,” says Dan, who pastored The Source for seven years before the merge.

“We’d taken a lease on an old gospel hall too and totally refreshed that.”

Each church was engrossed in life after Covid, then Regional Leader Paul Hudson emailed both pastors in May 2021 to suggest a meeting to discuss “all things Malvern”.

THIS ISN'T THE END OF THE STORY!

Read the whole article in context in the March 2024 issue of Direction Magazine.

Direction Magazine

Direction is the official monthly publication of the Elim Pentecostal Churches in the UK, and is packed with all Elim's latest news, inspiration, vision and teaching. Find the latest edition and many back issues of Direction here.

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