Coatbridge Church fights free-fall

Since launching our itinerant ministry we have been visiting the Scottish churches I had known in my youth, most of these being Elim churches. The pentecostal and charismatic movements have really grown in Scotland with the Assemblies of God up to over 40 churches, the new church denominations probably matching that and no one can count the numerous independent works, so what a shock as I gradually discovered just how many Elim churches had closed. Alness, Dumbarton, Fort William, Lockerbie, Kircaldy, Kirkintilloch, Northfields, South Gyle, Stewarton, Saltcoats, Torrey and there could of course be more I don’t yet know about. I’m told that every Elim church is insured against acts of God. This list on its own certainly suggests that! However, even in the midst of this free-fall I’m delighted to report there is some hope.

Enjoying worship at the Coatbridge Elim Pentecostal Church

About twenty years ago I was invited to the recently re-opened Coatbridge Elim Pentecostal Church on King Street. The former national youth leader Davie Bell and his family faced an uphill challenge, but they were up for it. Twenty years later, this time with Marian, I was invited back and I’m pleased to say you were hard pushed to find a seat. The facilities had literally doubled in order to provide a community service and the congregation will soon have to hacksaw their platform and rearrange as much as possible to squeeze in more seats. Even then these will fill quickly and without doubt the congregation will either need to start multiple services, plant out or find a bigger building. This is one congregation that has no intention of being thrown to the wolves!

The entire Bell family, children all now grown up, are actively involved and undoubtedly leading by example. It is a thrill to note the wide age range of the congregation and the standard of the services. You sense a reverence and a respect for God, with a joy and lightness to match. You see before you a class free congregation where some folk wear jeans and others a suit as the only dress code is to feel comfortable. There’s a nice splattering of African and Asian colour too. Best of all these folk love God and each other. In short, this is the sort of church you’d gladly bring a friend to if you lived in Coatbridge, so no wonder it is growing!

The Friday night youth meeting is certainly bucking the decline trend too. Click picture for Blog.

If you are a pastor facing closure lift the phone to proven ministers who had to struggle to find success as they won’t close you down, they will help you. Fight the free-fall!


About Paul Sinclair

Paul Sinclair, often referred to as The Faster Pastor, has 30 years proven ministry as a pastor, speaker, published author and writer. His wife Marian is from Ghana and has been a minister in song for as many years. When Marian sings… expect an anointing!
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5 Responses to Coatbridge Church fights free-fall

  1. David Bell says:

    What a brilliant review Paul. It was great to have you & Marian minister with us over the weekend. Every blessing to you both and may you continue to know God’s favour in all that you do for the Kingdom.

  2. John Kemlo says:

    I echo what Pastor David says above! I was part of the band playing on the visit of Paul and Marian to Coatbridge ELIM, and may I say what a pleasure it was to listen to both the exciting preaching of Paul and the glorious singing of Marian. Paul and Marian, I thank you both for biking it all the way to worship with us. I pray to God that your hard work and passion for God will continue to take you to great places and inspire many more people to choose Christ!

  3. Bob Pender says:

    Great to hear that Coatbridge is going on well.I left for Bible College in 1960,live in Kent and I am in the Hillsong London team.My grandson and Grand daughter both play in the Hillsong band.My daughter is involved in the Greenlight medical van working with the homeless.This is an amazing work that Hillsong do.
    One day would love to visit my old church.
    Dr Bob Pender (07974314197)

  4. christina says:

    I am so pleased to hear how church is going Ieft iin the late 60 to go to elim college im married to aog pastor and we are both ministering together in devon

    • Dr R S Pender says:

      looks like my sister has changed her name from Christine to Christina,must be something in the Devon air. Joking aside.
      The church is not a building or a denomination,The church is us ,we the members of Gods family.It is important that we all serve and get connected reaching out into our communities.
      I pray Gods blessing on Elim coatbridge and that this needy town will witness an outpouring of care and love from His people.

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