Allow Us to Introduce Ourselves
I’m excited to introduce you to CrossHands Church, a new plant that plans to start meeting publically in Carmarthenshire’s Gwendraeth Valley from September. But before I tell you about that, we need to go back a little, perhaps 35 years.
Ammanford Evangelical Church, the church behind the CrossHands plant in the Gwendraeth Valley, is somewhere in the region of 35 years old. It’s hard to tell because reports vary and at the time of it’s birth people were more interested in speaking about Jesus than keeping records. It had as it’s humble beginnings a rag tag bunch of brethren believers who met together along with Paul’s Epistle to the Romans. Since then it’s been a church marked out by two vital elements.
Firstly, it’s always been a place in which the Gospel, found in God’s Word, is at the centre. I suppose that’s essentially what it means to be ‘evangelical’ but it was also inevitable given that it’s beginnings were in essence a Bible study.
Secondly, it’s always been a church that’s placed a premium on community. A premium on loving, sharing and growing in the Gospel together as a family. Again, the reality is that this is exactly what a church is, a family drawn together and held together by Jesus’ blood.
Our prayer is that the new church in Crosshands will be marked out by the exact same elements. Loving God’s Word and loving one another.
Fast forward 30+ years and Ammanford Evangelical Church has a lot to be thankful for. Conversions, restorations, marriages, births, properties and the fact the two current pastors are products of the church’s youth work. God’s blessings have been visible each and every step of the way.
It was in this place of counting God’s blessings that the leadership of the church sensed a call from God to reach out beyond our Ammanford base. Of course we always have, as a church whose influence extends far into the Amman Valley and beyond, we’ve always looked beyond the geographical borders of Ammanford town. We’ve also had a strong history of sending gifted Christian into serious Gospel work with churches near and far.
But the call from God was to reach out this time in planting. Planting a church that would itself be planting churches (more on that in later posts perhaps). The call was to identify our ‘Samaria’ (Acts 1:8) and invest in kingdom growth.
Enter (at last) CrossHands Church. Perhaps the name will change but the vision certainly wont, “To Make and Mature Christ Followers in the Gwendraeth Valley.” The Gwendraeth, like the Amman Valley, is home to somewhere in the region of 25,000 people. Yet the Gospel witness is heart breakingly small. I could bore you with the details of how God is convincing us that it’s the right time and place to plant but I wont. I’d rather just ask for your prayerful partnership in the work.
First of all thank God for the work that has gone on before and the work that is going on now in the valley. Thank God for men and women who have prayed and shed tears over the valley. Thank God for the men and women who have stood up for Jesus, proclaiming Him boldly even when many seem unmoved.
Pray for the folks from Ammanford Evangelical Church (and other churches) who will form the core of CrossHands church. That they would love one another well and as they do so that they would be living testimonies to the power of the Gospel.
Pray for a venue for our Sunday meetings. It turns out that suitable, affordable spaces are few and far between in the strategic spot of CrossHands. But talks are in an advanced stage over a unit in the local business park.
Pray for the leadership of Ammanford Evangelical Church who will lead and help birth this new church. And pray too that God would be rising up leaders who would take it and lead it forward as their own church.
It is such a joy to know people from all over Wales (and beyond!) are partnering together with us in prayer. What a privilege. It is such a thrill to know that something like Valley Commandos now exists in South Wales in order to bring together people and churches from different backgrounds, even different continents, but unite them to one purpose; to see Gospel churches planted in all the Valleys of South Wales so that thousands would see the Gospel, hear the Gospel and trust the Gospel.
Please, please, please be praying with us and for us. And in advance, thank you for your partnership.
Note: Sammy Davies is Assistant Pastor in Ammanford Evangelical Church having been saved as a late teenager through the church’s youth work. Following University the church called him as a ministry apprentice before supporting his studies in WEST. Sammy is the ‘Elder on the Ground’ for CrossHands Church. Follow him on twitter @saintbeagle.
You can follow the progress of CrossHands Church on the web crosshandschruch.com, on twitter @crsshndschrch or on facebook www.facebook.com/crosshandschurch