The emergence of the New Testament Church of God in Britain was a direct result of the large number of NTCG members who responded to Britain’s post-war invitation to help rebuild the country. Sensing a need within the growing Black community for fellowship and spiritual guidance, the first National Overseer, Rev Dr Lyseight, together with six other colleagues, started the New Testament Church of God in Wolverhampton. The first public service by the Wolverhampton group was held in the YMCA Hall in September 1953. The Church also started in other parts of the country, in homes and school halls.
Seventy years on, the NTCG has more than 130 congregations and more than 50,000 members including 40 groups with a cross-cultural ministry. The vibrant and growing cross-cultural churches include Romanian, Tamil and several African language congregations.
Bishop Claion Grandison, who became the NTCG’s Administrative Bishop in March 2022, used the Convention to cement the church’s new mission strategy – We Are NTCG:
- Networking Strategically
- Theologically Sound Leadership
- Community Focussed
- Growing & Resourcing Healthy, Vibrant Churches
“We want to be a relevant, relational church in our communities,” said Bishop Grandison. “So, it’s about making intentional connections, meaningful connections with the communities that we’re situated in. This generation is not necessarily a secular one, but a searching one. We want to be the kind of church that you will miss.”
As well as being more outward-looking in their communities NTCG is committed to encouraging ecumenical working together. “I’m hoping for an ecumenism that truly understands the other person. And embraces them wholeheartedly. And I think that’s probably what will cause a whole new revival in terms of our churches. There’s a bit of suspicion that exists from time to time, and I think that comes from a lack of understanding. Ecumenism needs that extra push to become where we don’t feel uncomfortable with different,” said Bishop Grandison.
As well as looking to the future, the 2023 Convention celebrated the 60th birthday of the church’s youth ministry and acknowledged how far the church had come. Many of its founders had not been welcome in the British churches. Bishop Grandison said: “It was a God moment. The rejection that caused the dispersion. Had we not been turned away, then we would not have taken on ourselves to start something that has become as widespread as we have. We’d have hitched up in a church somewhere and not really grown and not really being our expressive selves.”
The New Testament Church of God has been one of CTE’s national Member Churches since 2006.
Photo credit: © New Testament Church of God