The great commission! How it started for the Church of God Seventh Day…
Evangelist E. I Hendricks came to England in the autumn of 1956. Her first place of residence was at the home of Bro Roy in Thornton Heath, which was also the place where a few brethren would meet for worship in the small communal living room. There was a sense of unity amongst this small group despite their vision only being to remain in England for five to six months before returning to Jamaica. Having no long term plans to remain in England, the owner of the property had advised that a Sabbath school was not to be set up and neither was anyone to take on a leadership role. As envisaged in the winter of 1957 Bro Roy immigrated to the USA.
However, despite their initial plan the small united group continued to fellowship together and soon began to increase in number. As a result of this the decision was made to form a Sabbath school. Eventually the lack of seating led to a fundraising concert which raised the sum of £40.00 which was invested in the purchase of folding chairs.
When Brother Roy returned to England he was impressed with the growth of the church. This led to more successful fundraising and even resulted in part of the funds being used to apply for his wife and daughter to join him in England.
With Brother Roy regularly travelling overseas, circumstances led to the group having to seek an alternative place of worship. A Pastor from the Seventh Day Adventist church offered the group a place to in Deptford but unfortunately this was not feasible. Circumstances were now becoming extremely difficult until an English Lady, aware of the group, suggested the opportunity to rent a small hall in Broad Green, which they gladly accepted. It was here that the good news of the gospel captured the hearts of many.
A successful campaign provided the opportunity for Overseer Pastor Charles to be invited over to England to be a guest speaker. It was during this visit that a request was made for Brother Hendricks to be ordained as a leader for the work in the summer of July 1963.
Evangelist Hendricks played a key role in forming churches throughout the UK. Her footprint began in Birmingham where she worshipped in the living room of a home, owned by a church sister, until a more suitable place for worship could be found. This small beginning led to the birth of churches in Gloucester, Bristol, Northampton, Derby and many other areas.
The first property purchased in the South East of England was at 3 Elmer’s Road South Norwood in 1966. The congregation rapidly grew and they moved to Derby rod West Croydon which is the current place of worship. To date there are now 16 branches of the Church Of God (Seventh Day) throughout the UK.