On a sunny Saturday, 24 September 2016, the official services dedicated to celebrating the
opening of Elim Pentecostal Croydon began.

The congregation were positively beaming with expectancy and everyone who was there wanted
to be there; from the young to the old and everything in between.

The new church is a marvel. Not just an aesthetic marvel, but a financial marvel. Why? It
stands debt free! How? The dedication, faith and unashamed generosity of the attendees.

So, this was an opportunity to praise God with abandon for His guiding hand throughout this
journey – and it has been a journey; from the cinema in the slightly darkened theatre to a
beacon of light in the neighbourhood – the new and improved Elim Pentecostal, Croydon.

As many of you know, we spent the previous year, right up until July 2016 (?) at Vue
Cinema, Purley Way. Let’s not knock our time at the cinema as that venue was made available
when another had fallen through, and in many ways this presented greater opportunity for
God to affect others in a different environment through His people – and don’t forget the
ample parking available!

The service began with reverent singing from our resident Praise & Worship Team, followed
by some emphatic praise and worship, which inspired active participation from the
congregation. Amongst the congregation were special guests from the Elim Movement: Reverend
Chris Cartwright – current General Superintendent and Regional Director, Reverend Campbell,
Reverend Peter Webley and Mrs Webley.

Pastor Cornelius was honoured for his vision and commitment to this project, and not only
that, but for taking the congregation with him; sharing his vision as it were. This is why
we are where we are.

There was also praise from Pastor Cornelius for Uncle Verley (once longstanding Deacon),
and Sister Sylvia Baidoo (office Manager and Personal Assistant to our Pastor) for their
commitment, humility and unwavering faith.

Pastor Cornelius also gave a brief history of the origins of Elim in Croydon, starting in
February 1928 and spearheaded by Bill Jeffries. A short video was shown charting Elim
Church, Stanley Road as we knew it then, to this grand new building. For many this was a
testing period but when God presents you with an opportunity you take it!

This theme of seizing an opportunity was echoed by Reverend Cartwright. Reverend Cartwright
was proud of what God had enabled the congregation to achieve and, without a doubt, this
required obedience and commitment. Reverend Cartwright sermonised on ‘God coming afresh and
for acceleration in His plans, to transform people for His name’s sake’. Acts 16 was of
particular note where the Apostle Paul was being guided by the Holy Spirit. Not just guided
but was obedient to it. Have a read.

Surely, this is where we want to be. We ought to attune ourselves to God’s frequency so
that we are assured that when those opportunities arise we should stick our necks above the
parapet and go for it; or not to seize what looks like a good opportunity.

All in all, it was a fantastic day. Elim Pentecostal is indeed open, so let’s embrace this
time and strive for excellence, in the name of Jesus Christ and not for self.

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