The story so far….
In 1895 the London Baptist Association promoted services in East Ham, then a fast growing dormitory suburb. A temporary iron-building at the corner of Katherine Road and Victoria Avenue housed the first congregation. R. Sloven, 1896-1908, became the first minister.
In 1901 the congregation moved to a new building in Plashet Grove with a 1000-seater sanctuary surrounded by halls and rooms. By 1903 membership was 972, one of the strongest churches in the then East Ham Borough. In 1908 Charles Howe led a team of East Ham members to start Bonny Downs Baptist Church - and stayed there for 53 years.
Worship, preaching, programmes and activity continued under the leadership of F. Williams, 1909-1919 and then returning from 1925, after the ministry of F.C. Buck 1919-1924. But two world wars, 1914-1918 and 1939-1945 resulted in population movement away, which unsettled, affected and weakened the church.
The slow decline of the 1930s accelerated during the 1939-1945 war and continued inexorably through a succession of ministers and then lay-pastors. Membership was 228 in 1941 and 52 in 1951.
Humphrey Vellacott came in 1967. His first morning congregation was 6 people, the evening 14. But, he left: 100 members, a morning congregation of 150-200, evening congregation of 70-80, a Prayer and Bible Study group of 50-60 'converts or restored back-sliders', a reshaped building and a team of young ministers working in East London Baptist churches!
With the surrounding population changing fast through immigration, particularly from Africa and Asia, the congregation became multi-racial but continued to record a steady 100 membership from the 1980s into the 2000s. Roy Scarsbrook, joined and followed Humphrey Vellacott during the 1980s staying to 1999, emphasising evangelism and eventually becoming one of a group of supported overseas missionaries, as he went to Poland. Tony Watts, a New Zealander, came initially for a six-month interim pastorate but stayed to 2008, and faced a transient situation within a multi-faith, multi-racial environment.
-Colin Marchant June 2008
From 1st May 2009 we started a New Chapter with the arrival of Reverend Jeremiah Dawood. The church is grateful to the Lord who answered our prayer by sending Reverend Jeremiah and his family to us.
East Ham Baptist Church has a rich history and a wonderful ministry in Newham. The beginning of the church was a really exciting period. Like many churches around the country, East Ham Baptist Church has seen a decline and a growth.
God has placed our church in a special location and it goes without saying that it comes with a number of challenges, especially the challenge of multi ethnic groups and diversity. On the other hand it opens the door for a great opportunity to share the Good News of Christ.
In October 2008 we took a very important step in the history of the church by adopting a Constitution. This legal document contains the needed guidelines to avoid any confusion. The church entered a new era in May 2009 with the induction of Reverend Jeremiah. It is really encouraging because the vision he brought is a perfect match with the vision the Lord gave to us before he joins us. The Lord certainly appointed him to take us to the next level.
Our stated vision continues to be 'Growing in Grace, Christ, Love and Number'.
Multicultural in our case means members from 24 different countries: Angola, Barbados, Brazil, Cameroon, Congo (Democratic Republic Of), Dominica, England, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, India, Ireland (Republic Of), Jamaica, Malawi, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent, Sierra Leone, South Africa And Sudan.
Prayer is at the heart of everything we do as a church. We draw our strength from our position as a “Praying Community”. As the Lord is answering our prayers, it certainly increases our faith to trust Him more. It also prepared us to understand that God does all things wonderful in His time. We have our prayer meetings from Tuesday to Thursday from 9am to 10am, and Friday from 7pm to 9pm giving working people opportunity to join.
Our multicultural character means that we need to support people dealing with their immigration matters, especially in prayer. It happens that for the last 5 years, the Lord granted immigration status to every single request we submitted to Him. This is one of the ways He is using to add people to our church. This kind of support is even vital when they have to go to Court for their appeal.
Spiritual growth is at the centre of our prayer meetings. As people see how the Lord is moving in our midst, this led them to have hunger for God and become more and more committed to God and His work in our church.
Church members have moved onto a new level with God. The journey is long, and we will continue to learn from the great teacher, the Lord Jesus Christ, until we meet with Him in the sky.
Growing in number comes also with the challenge of providing care to the flock the Lord will send. It requires more people prepared to share this challenge. As we understood this reality, we put in place a practical training to ministry by giving a chance to our spiritually mature members to lead the service, to preach, and also to lead prayer meetings.
Our website is a powerful tool with “Sermons and Resources” pages where they are loaded. This support helps those who cannot take notes to refer to them, to those who take notes to improve them and simply helps those who did not attend to catch up.
REACHING OUT COMMUNITY
Our church is located in a multi faith area in Newham where there is a strong presence of Mosques and Hindu Temples. We continue to take advantage of Reverend Jeremiah’s experience in Evangelism this year we have commenced a new venture of praying in the park after morning service thus far it has been well received. We continue with our objective to reachevery home in our area with Jesus DVD project and tracks/ leaflets. It is encouraging to welcome people coming to contact us for more DVDs/ tracks/leaflets which they would like to offer to their friends and family so that they too may draw nearer to Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour.
- Parenting and Grand Parenting courses for people in our local community.
- Using all the skills of the health professionals that we have in church to help the community keep in good health. This will open doors to share the Good News of Christ as they become involved in all areas of people’s lives. Physical, mental, and social wellbeing combined with their spiritual needs.
- Use the event of Christmas to give to less fortunate children abroad.
YOUTH DEPARTMENT AND SUNDAY SCHOOL
The aim of our Youth Department is to enable the young people of all ages, to use their gifts in a positive way to bring the message of Christ to others of their own age and to all other groups. This can only be achieved if the young people are given positive direction and guidance by those who are guided by the Holy Spirit, and have a genuine desire to see a reversal of the negative publicity about young people within this society.
We believe that the church has an important role to play in ensuring that our young people remain focused, committed, confident, bold in the things of God, God fearing, and loving people.
We give to our Young People opportunity to lead a family service on Sunday morning once every four month.
Sunday School is very important to us and we thank God that the events facilitated by the children have gone from strength to strength.
Men’s ministry are trialling quarterly prayer meetings it remains on the fourth Saturday - April 2017 - July 2017 - October 2017.
The men continue to go from strength to strength with their praise and worship team.
This ministry is very stable and they continue to meet on the first Saturday of every month at 8-10am, with more ladies stepping up to facilitate leading the sessions.