Thursday, March 29, 2007

New church starts in Classifieds

This story has appeared in The Redland Times, Cleveland, Redland Shire, Queensland, Australia. Image courtesy .

THE perception of a church community that is growing, in contrast to the contraction of congregations in "traditional" Christian denominations, has prompted a bold move through our Classifieds.
A recent headline has announced, "New Church in Cleveland". That’s how Tony and Kate Case, who moved from Tamworth in 2005, launched their bid to help enrich the spiritual lives of Redland residents.
Within a month, the couple already has hosted about 20 people, aged 10 to 80, to services in their home, Tony says.

TONY, founder of Liberty Church in Tamworth, came to Queensland after Tony he had a heart attack at 46 years old.
"I have been a financial planner for 32 years and Kate and I thought we would step back from ministry and focus on building the business," he says.
"We have visited many local churches but have come to think others may want to become involved in a new pentecostal church.
"We are not here to take to anybody from any other church. Our ‘market’, to use a term of my profession, is the ‘unchurched’-- those who for whatever reason do not attend the exisiting churches."
Tony was born and reared in Nottingham, England. He was Baptist before he migrated to Australia in 1974 and became involved in the Lighthouse Christian Centre in Wollongong. He went into fulltime ministry in Gosford in 1989.
Tony and Kate met in Tamworth and married in 2004.

WITH another note from his professional life, Tony has lots of figures to show how the pentecostal and charistmatic Christian communities are growing while other denominations are in decline.
However, he says the new Cleveland Church will simply aim to focus on relationships, contemporary music and positive messages.
Tony found some responses to the published notice "quite interesting".
"Some people, clearly from traditional mainstream churches, have asked, ‘Why are you not working through the existing churches?’," he says.
"The world has about two billion Christians, of whom about one billion or half are Catholics. About 600 to 700 million, or one third of Christians, are pentecostal or charismatic.
"And I don’t see any decline in the pentecostal denominations which are in fact increasing exponentially – from only about 20 million in the 1970s."
Tony Case told me his story and verified this account on March 21, 2007.

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