THE INTERNATIONAL CHURCH
A Brief History of the Church of God
The Church of God began on August 19, 1886, in Monroe County, Tennessee, near the North Carolina border. Former Baptist Richard Green Spurling preached in a millhouse along Barney Creek and eight persons formed a Christian Union for the purpose of following the New Testament as their rule for faith and practice, giving each other equal rights and privilege to interpret Scripture, and sitting together as the church of God. Twenty-one years later the growing movement formally adopted the name Church of God.
Ten years after the organizational meeting, a revival at the Shearer Schoolhouse in nearby Camp Creek, North Carolina, introduced the doctrine of sanctification to the community. Opposition to this doctrine led to severe persecution, but a spirit of revival prevailed and the Holiness believers experienced an outpouring of the Holy Spirit that included speaking in tongues and divine healing. Such experiences prepared the way for the explosion of the Pentecostal movement in the early twentieth century.
Under the leadership of our first General Overseer, A. J. Tomlinson, the Church of God adopted a centralized form of Church government with an inclusive International General Assembly (1906), launched a world evangelization effort beginning in the Bahamas (1909), inaugurated the Church of God Evangel (1910), and established educational opportunities for ministers and members (1918). Today Church of God ministries include more than 7 million members in 178 nations and territories. Some 36,000 congregations serve around the world, while regional and international ministries provide resources and support through our divisions of World Evangelization, Care, Discipleship, Education, and Support Services.
For further information on the history of the Church God, see Living the Word: 125 Years of Church of God Ministry and Like A Mighty Army, both of which are available through Pathway Bookstore. Additional historical resources are at the Dixon Pentecostal Research Center.
THE NATIONAL CHURCH
The New Testament Church of God (NTCG) in England held its first public service at the YMCA Centre, Stafford Street, Wolverhampton, the morning of Sunday 20th September 1953 under the direction of Bishop Oliver A. Lyseight and Bishop Herman D. Brown. It is reported that on the evening of the same day, Bishop G. A. Johnson, Revd Enos Gordon and other believers began a fellowship in Handsworth, Birmingham. Contact was made between the two groups and the Handsworth fellowship was visited by Bishop Lyseight.
Almost two years on, after joining over 30,000 attendees from 34 countries at the Pentecostal World Conference in Stockholm, Sweden (13th – 20th June 1955), the then Executive Secretary of World Missions, Revd Paul H. Walker visited England and established the Wolverhampton (25 members) and Handsworth (40 members) churches as the first two NTCG congregations in the UK on Saturday 18th June 1955.
Saturday 18th June 1955 – Revd Paul H. Walker with some of the founding members of the New Testament Church of God UK. (Left to right: Deacon Beresford Bucknor, Deacon Lambert George Garwood, Bishop Jeremiah McIntyre, Bishop John Bryan, Bishop Herman Darius Brown, Revd Paul H. Walker, Revd Leonard Wesley Monfries, Bishop Oliver Augustus Lyseight, Revd Gilbert S. Peddie, Brother Cyprian Dundas)
Our National Offices
Overstone Hall and grounds in Overstone Park, Northamptonshire, was purchased in 1979 under the leadership of Dr Jeremiah McIntyre. This was purchased for a Bible College and convalescent home for members of the Church of God. It became the home of the Administrative Office of NTCG England & Wales, Overstone Theological College and part-leased to Abbeyfield Dorcas Residential Care Homes for the elderly.
On 16 April 2001, there was an arson attack on the building resulting in two-thirds of the building being destroyed. Despite this setback NTCG continued to use the remainder of the building for national operations until 2008. In 2006, the church purchased Cheyne Walk, our present site, and then spent two years renovating it to the building it is today. The NTCG Heritage Centre and Roswith Gerloff Library were relocated to Cheyne Walk in 2014.
Pioneers of the Faith
Dr Oliver A Lyseight
1953 – 1978
Dr Jeremiah McIntyre
1978 – 1984
Dr Selwyn E Arnold
1984 – 1994
Dr Ronaldo Oliver Brown
1994 – 2002
Dr Eric A Brown
2002 – 2014
Bishop Donald Bolt
2014 – Present
THE LOCAL CHURCH
Our Local History
The history of the church at Wicker
For a detailed history of the origins our church building please visit the following link: https://www.chrishobbs.com/sheffield5/holytrinitywicker.htm
The New Testament Church of God in Wicker, Sheffield.
The New Testament Church of God was started in September 1956. The idea to begin a ministry in the city was ” instigated by a Mother McFarlane who was in transition from Birmingham to Sheffield. There was no NTCG in Sheffield at the time so the members that arrived here attended other denominations to worship.
Mother McFarlane knew of Rev. Poyser from Jamaica and [along with our national overseer at the time] Overseer Lyseight, [she] encouraged him to start the work here in Sheffield.
Rev. Poyser was reluctant in the beginning and at the initial meeting, however Rev. Lyseight and Sis McFarlane kept at him and they prayed about it.
Overseer Lyseight came back to see him and also met with Sis. Poyser, Mother McFarlane, Sis Payne, Sis Richards, Rev Scott and Sis Daley. The church….was organised with those seven at [no.] 219 St Mary’s Road (Rev. Poyser’s home).
Overseer [Lyseight] gave them £7 to help with the purchase of chairs. Services were held there until they outgrew the front room. They then rented the Vestry Hall on Burngreave Road. Before the first meeting in Vestry Hall they fast[ed] and prayed asking God for a sign [that someone would be saved] in the first meeting to be held there. The sign was given, as Rev. Reid came and give his life to the Lord….
They then purchased their first building at Catherine Street and refurbished it, but then had to move back to Vestry Hall for Sunday services because they had outgrown Catherine Street.
Nursery Street then came on the market and Rev. Poyser started discussions with regards to the purchase, [however he….then relocated to [the pastorate of the] Wolverhampton church and Rev. Curtis Grey took over [at] Sheffield for a short time and continued with the project.
[Rev. Curtis Grey] left in 1963 before [he could complete] the purchase, [and the new pastor] Rev. [G.B.] Henry took over the negotiations [and] signed on the dotted lines to rent the building [in 1975].
[In 1988] Rev. B. Grey was appointed as the new minister and went on to purchase the church for fifteen thousand pounds in October 1991. After years of faithful service Rev & Mrs. H.M Grey retired to the West Indies in 2002.
Pastoral appointments from 2002 saw the arrival of Rev. Joseph Roberts, who was succeeded by Rev. Winston Taylor on January 1st 2020.
During the [Sheffield] flood of 2007 (see link below) the church was extensively damaged and we were out of the building for a period of time. The water not only damaged the flooring but also the central heating system. We were advised that the building had to be sanitised and dried out before any work could be carried out.
All the benches had to be taken out and refitted back to the exact same place because it is a [Grade 2] listed building.
The repairs to the church were completed in May 2008 by G & J Joiners, ….member[s] of the [local] New Testament Church of God congregation.
NTCG SHEFFIELD: Pastoral History
June 1956 – 1973 – Rev. F. Poyser (left for pastoral appointment to Wolverhampton)
1973 -1988 – Rev. G.B. Henry (left for pastoral appointment in London)
1988 – 2002 – Rev. B. Grey (retired to Jamaica)
2002 – December 2019 – Rev. Dr. J. Roberts (retired to West Midlands)
2020 – present – Rev. W.A. Taylor