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Church celebrates 60 years in Birmingham

MAN OF GOD: Bishop Dr Derek Webley at the opening ceremony of the new church in 2009

ONE OF the oldest UK churches to be founded by Caribbean migrants will celebrate its 60th anniversary this weekend between September 20 and 22 with a gala dinner, concert and special services.

Founded in 1953, the New Testament Church of God in George Street, Handsworth, Birmingham, has remained one of the stalwarts of its generation.

Besides maintaining a congregation of several hundred for decades, it has also produced hundreds of clergy and community activists who have served churches and communities across the UK and abroad. The church has had only three changes of senior pastor in sixty years.

Senior Pastor, Bishop Derek Webley said: “In this our 60th year we pause to say thank you to Almighty God for His amazing grace and unfailing love; and the years of favour He has showered upon this church.”

This diamond anniversary will focus on the achievements of the past ten years - the greatest being the opening of the congregation’s brand new £5.2m building in December 2009, on the site of the birthplace of Aston Villa Football Club.

Other highlights of the decade include MBE awards to Bishop Webley, church members Sharon Bailey and Ulite Malcolm, an OBE to Beverly Lindsay, and the 480 babies dedicated at the church.

HISTORY: New Testament Church of God in the 1980s

Robert Forrester, CEO of Bristol Street Motors, which is supporting the event, said: “As part of the fabric of the community in Birmingham, both the New Testament Church and Bristol Street Motors are delighted to celebrate this 60th anniversary together.

“We have been in Birmingham for 93 years and recognise the very positive impact that this Church has made to the city in the past and today. We are delighted to be sponsoring this anniversary.”

The weekend celebrations begin on Friday (September 20) with an evening of thanksgiving and prayers at 8pm. On Saturday (September 21) there will be a gala black tie dinner at the Centennial Centre, Edgbaston, at 6pm. Finally, on Sunday (September 22) at 10am is a special commemorative service followed by a concert at 7pm featuring Jermaine Edwards (Jamaica). Tickets for the gala dinner and concert are £35 and £5 respectively.

More information about the weekend is available on the church website or call 0121 554 1358

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