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Letchworth Garden City Church (as we know it today) originally started as a small home group Bible study in Common View, Letchworth in the 1920’s.
During these gatherings, studying the Bible, singing in worship and praying for each other and God’s people was done. As it grew, it provided ministry to other communities as small fellowships were also formed in nearby towns. There were also many open-air meetings in the town and surrounding area. A very small pedal organ was carried to each witness meeting, along with other instruments.
As the church grew and gained its own building in Letchworth, a choir and orchestra came into being (in 1932) for worship and praise to God.
From this time, the church grew very slowly, and then in 1939 the Second World War broke out. However, it was told that in one prayer meeting the church was given a promise in prophecy that no bombs would drop on Letchworth. To our knowledge, that was true and they dropped outside of the Letchworth boundary.
Besides the main Sunday meetings, the Sunday school was held on a Sunday afternoon at 3pm. The anniversaries each year were a highlight for the children when they received a book for attendance at a special service of praise. The yearly outing was to a local place for a picnic, games and fellowship, travelling in a furniture van. Alternatively they went to the seaside, saving up each week at Sunday school for the fare and spending money. For many, this was the outing of the year.
During the 1940s there were other types of programmes, including open-air services around the estates in the summer, which were called Garden Evenings. Some Sunday nights in the summer members would go outside after the service and hold an open-air meeting. At times the pastor would change his message as the Spirit led him, and on most Sunday mornings the gifts of the Spirit were witnessed. God’s power was felt and moved the worshippers to God’s glory.
By the late 1940s, there were some very special outreach meetings, starting with a four-week divine healing campaign. 5th March 1940 was a snowy Saturday night when between 70-80 people gathered in the church for the first meeting of what was to prove to be an amazing revival for Letchworth. So intense was the local interest that greater numbers attended, rising to 450 people congregating for the close, a month later. Never before had the Letchworth church witnessed such scenes of enthusiasm, healings and converts to Jesus.
Some twenty years or so later, during the 1980s, some of the church left to help set up a church in another town. However, even though this left a gap in the fellowship, the church continued to grow. Along with the change in numbers, a worship group was formed, which brought stronger worship to the Lord with praising and prayers. This saw the introduction of an amplifier system and the overhead system. As a result of this, the hymn books were no longer used.
The name of the church was changed in the 1980’s from Elim Church to “Church on the Way”, as the early followers of Jesus were known as People of the Way (Acts 9:2). Then in the ‘90s, the name was changed again to “Letchworth Christian Fellowship”.
Many pastors have contributed to the growth of LGCC, from its small beginnings as a Bible study group to the church we have today. Though the leaders and members may have changed throughout the years, God is continuing to fulfil his purpose of reaching the lost in and around Letchworth.
1932 Pastor John Hill
1935 Pastor F. C. Packer
1937 Pastor Gwylum Frances
1937 Pastor H. Burton Haynes
1942 Pastor Samuel Gorman
1947 Pastor John Lancaster
1949 Pastor Samuel Gorman
1950 Pastor C J Martin
1954 Pastor AP Thomas
1962 Pastor George Hillman
1971 Pastor Arthur Thomas
1980 Pastor Jeff Powell
1995 Pastor David Wheatley
1997 Pastor Mark Ryan
2009 Pastor Dominic De Souza
2016 Pastor Carl Johnston