In September 2002, Pastor Kathleen gain admission to study International Hospitality Management at Manchester Metropolitan University.
That time, the family was 5 made up of Pastor Geoffrey, Pastor Kathleen, Nana Kyere 4yrs, Maame Konama Almost 2 years and Kwadwo Antwi just 3 Months.
Due to the ages of the children, besides not to fragment such a young family, we decided that all of us will move to Manchester from London- with the associated advantages as you could imagine.
Meanwhile, all along Pastor Kathleen had been working with Premier Christian radio in London as a Life liner. It was agreed, then that when we move, she was to continue with the radio counselling via call divert.
While in Manchester, in North Manchester in particular, we tried to look for a sound Pentecostal Church to attend but all to no avail. Pastor Kathleen went to Premier Christian radio data base of Churches yet couldn’t find one.
We eventually through a miracle in Yellow pages found Deeper life Church in Harpurhey-North Manchester. Prior to finding the Church we were speaking to Pastor Kathleen’s Snr. Pastor (Rev Fianko Wentumi) in Ghana who had been consistently encouraging us to start a Ministry because he could see what God has deposited in us and God’s calling on us. This was a confirmation of what other Ministers have told us before while in London, that they could see God’s hand on us especially on Pastor Kathleen and that He has plans for Ministry on us.
At this point, Pastor Kathleen was very convinced and ready though hesitant due to the fear of the unknown, but I was not ready and didn’t want to be convinced, though I was sure of God’s plan. More so after such a hard work and the ordeal and the sacrifices we went through before completing my Chartered Certified Accountants course, which I started in January 1995 and took me 7 solid years to complete. In fact, I didn’t want to be convinced and therefore resisted. I thought that was the reaping and a payback period to work and support the young family. Little did I know God had a different agenda for the family altogether.
Rev Fiako Wentumi (thank God for his life) encouraged me the more to accept the calling with great persistence and shared his life testimony how he was in a similar situation as me before he accepted the calling. More so he narrated how brethren in US and Canada have also started Ministries that God has exalted Himself. As a result, I eventually gave in.
Manchester | UK
While fellowshipping at Deeper Life Church, we made our intentions known to the then Snr Pastor (Dr Kenny) about our calling and intention of starting a new Ministry. Therefore, when the time is ripe, we will move on.
Life was very hard
Life was very hard with three children and studying with no domestic assistant and just the two of us managing. Pastor Kathleen was still doing counselling on Saturdays, after putting the children to bed and staying over till midnight or sometimes after midnight. Meanwhile, Pastor Geoffrey has still not found any reasonable work in the field. Financially, it was not easy at all. In fact, the Ford Mondeo car we were using could only open from the driver’s side. The other three doors won’t open so we use to pass through the boot by rolling the back seat down. Sometimes, people will be wondering if we were stealing something from the car or why could we not repair the fault and stop going through back of the car. However, God was still adding to our number as a family making us six.
Pray every morning
Pastor Kathleen then deferred her programme to work full time to support the family. She ended up working at LBM Direct Marketing Middleton branch- Manchester. Before being aware she was turning the call centre to a worship centre, just to make the colleagues hit their target for the day. This came when the managers were asking what strategy she was using to get her sales so quickly. She said it was because she prays every morning and sings and so if they allow the team to do the same whether they believe in God or not they will hit their target. Every morning, she will print copies of songs they will sing such as ‘Oh happy day, as we come into your presence, He’s got the whole world in his hands’. The whole group will sing before actual work starts. This really brought a big impact at her work place and they eventually gave her a prayer room at her request.
Towards summer 2006, we felt the time had come for us to start. We went to Pastor Kenny’s house one evening, after a scheduled appointment, and discussed our way forward. He had mixed feelings about the situation but agreed with us as he himself also was convinced about the calling. After praying and releasing us, he gave us some books on Church planting among them was- Purpose Driven Church by Rick Warren which was and still has been extremely helpful to us.
We then organised some lunch and invited some of the parents whose children attend school with our children that we had made friends with. Through our conversation with these parents, we realised none of them goes to church. After the lunch, we watched a video about Nick Vujicic ‘man without limbs.’ We shared with the families that if this man can swim, brush his teeth and do so many other things without hands, then we can also do more in the community than just having children and working. We then informed them of our intention of starting a Church as they can see there’s no Church in the community.
Some agreed there and then whilst others said, they will think about it and come back later. By this time, we had already bought a lot of scripture materials from SU house, Bible Society, Great Commission and Assemblies of God bookshop all in Ghana. We then started bible studies and prayer at home with one family whiles looking for Church building. We later had two more families joining us at home. We intensified our search for the Church building but was not easy to get.
The families became frustrated and were losing interest when we were being turned down on Church buildings. We decided to focus on our children’s friends. When they bring them home after school, we would make dinner and eat together with them and watch Psalty Video. This food business helped a lot as most of the children were always attracted to the house school. After eating they turn to listen to the gospel. We bought bibles as well so anyone who will be interested, we give them a copy of the Bible.
At this time Pastor Kathleen had gone back to Manchester Metropolitan University to carry on with BA (Hons) International Hospitality Management. In 2007, She went to USA for one-year college internship with Disney World Florida. Her departure drew the Church back as it was left with only Pastor Geoffrey and the children. Thank God, she came back in August 2008. Around September same year, the Lord gave us a place of worship at Hazelbottom road, St Thomas with St Mark. The children were then ten, eight, six and three. Besides, Bro Yaw Antwi Donkor had also completed his master’s program and joined us in Manchester. His coming was seen to be a divine connection as he became one of the pillars of Goodnews Church.
At this point things started coming together and the home Church became very solid. Then in 2009, we sent questionnaire out to the community with self addressed envelope. They were five questions asking them about what the community needs and how we could help. The letters were about 500 copies and we got more than twenty response. Based on the response, we started praying for the needs in the North Manchester area.
The hand of God was always moving
The enemy never rested, but the hand of God was always moving. This is where sicknesses were healed when we prayed including cancer, blindness, mental issue and even worse than dream anxiety disorder. The Lord was able to heal when we prayed in the name of The Lord Jesus Christ. Not only that, God also restored many people who became empowered through the word of God, and were able to set up their own businesses, their family lives were improved, the career path also improved all to the glory of God. This made us to know that the Lord was with us and his intention for his children is to have a better life here and here after, Joshua 1:8.
In addition, the pastor’s personal mentors who were dynamic in the scriptures also supported us through marriage talk and leadership seminars for Goodnews. These were Opanin Kwadwo Kyere who is an international marriage counsellor and a speaker and Brother Kwame Adu Scripture Union Ghana national director. Other Ministers who have been supporting us include, Rev Steve Russell, Rev Aaron Pattington Wirrall, Rev Mike & Mary O’Connor Wythenshawe, Rev Steve Thomas Bollington, Rev Peter & Janice Bird Revive Church etc etc.
Towards the end of 2011
Towards the end of 2011, other families started coming in although most of those we started with had left. Where we were located was not transport friendly and most of the members travelled from far places. Every meeting, we will bring the children to Church early after our host Church have finished their service, we instruct them to arrange the place with the little set of drums, key board and projector. We will leave them quickly and move door to door picking members from their various homes to Church. After Church, we will leave the children, to pack up the items and one of us will quickly drop all those families in their various homes before we check with the children that the Church premises is clean and tidy before leaving. Up till this point, we were paying all the cost including the church rent, Christian materials, leaflets, letters, food for visitors, etc. etc with our meagre income but by the grace of God, we never lacked.
In 2012, we started another weekly bible study with new committed families who have joined. Every Wednesday we will go to their house as a meeting point with ‘You are my witness booklet’ by, Ghana Evangelism Committee (New Life for All). This really strengthened their faith in the word of God and they were able to apply the word with faith.
In 2013 the Church raised some funds and through the contributions from the members, friends and families and our sister Church who were supporting us at the time, Evangel AOG Pastor Larby and family we were able to buy minivan for the Church.
In 2014 the church invited Rev. Andrew Drapper from Bible Matters who came to train the Church on evangelism. We then moved to Heaton Park to evangelise as it was summer time and the Lord was glorified.
2015 was a very challenging year. The Church moved from St Thomas with St Mark, Chataway & Hazelbottom road to Church of the Saviour building at Eggington Street, where we are still fellow-shipping now.
Prior to our moving, the women’s ministry-initiated morning prayer line from 5.30-6am Monday to Friday which the whole church took over on 16th March 2015. This prayer line has also come to stay, and it has blessed many people who are not even members of the Church but still joins the prayer line in the morning testifying answers to their prayers.
Not only that, but we also started prayer walk on 21st May 2016 in the Collyhurst community. The Church will move in the area silently praying and picking litters on the street, giving leaflets about love of Christ. Furthermore, we started free car wash, sometimes giving a pound as well after we have washed their cars for free. This idea came when we were chatting with Rev Steve Thomas at one of the Strong Tower conferences and he mentioned different ways of evangelism. The Lord was with us because we had some brethren who were professional car washers, making it easier for us to start.
Youth Awakening Conference
2017, the Church started Youth Awakening conference which also originated from a chat we had with a brother during training at Mattersey Hall. By the grace of God, it has also come to stay.
Most of our last days of the year, we have all night prayer and praise to usher us into the New Year. The Lord, who always knows the ends from the beginning, will give us glimpse of what the following year holds. To our amazement, most people testify that what was being revealed by God, through the pastors before we entered the New Year, comes to pass. 2018 is a Year of Divine Favour and we are seeing with our eyes in the lives of the members and the entire Church His Divine Favour. May the Name of Lord forever be praised.
To God Be the Glory
One thing that has kept us going is the encouragement to brethren to start reading the bible from Genesis to Revelation, over and over and over. As a result, by God’s grace most brethren including children under 10 years have completed Genesis to Revelation more than once.
Besides, since December 2011 every Month the whole church memorises a passage in the bible given by the Pastors. This passage is turned into a song by any of the brethren for the whole church to since. This has indeed improved our bible knowledge. To God Be the Glory.