Behind the scenes, Epicentre (Rock The City) is gradually moving forward. Another meeting has taken place with the guys from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, and the church-based youth workers of the borough are arranging an inter-church youth service for 24 October as part of the build up to Epicentre.
The whole Epicentre thing came about after Grays Baptist Church’s EDWIN HUGHES picked up a leaflet at the Christian Resources Exhibition back in May.
Edwin’s own story is one of transformation through faith in Jesus. Transformation Thurrock are pleased to publish his story here. The picture shows Edwin (left) with Colin Baker.
In June 2004 aged 49 I went to see my son get baptised at Grays Baptist Church and during that felt God speaking to me to continue attending – so I did.
In October 2004 I went with my son to a Grays Pentecostal Church (“Making A Difference”) conference at the Civic Hall in Grays. Ray Bevan (of King’s Church, Newport, Wales) spoke on the Ten Lepers in Luke 17:11-19 – and how only one went back and thanked him.
I responded to his call to come out and thank Jesus for what he had done for me and to give my life over to Him.
The following evening at that conference I was baptised in the Holy Spirit, and in December 2004 I was baptised in water at Grays Baptist Church.
When I entered the church I was quiet and shy and would do my best to avoid people and I definitely did not want to get involved in anything. Within two years God almost completely turned that on its head.
First, I started operating the computer for Sunday services. Then I became a deacon. I helped our pastor – Colin Baker – to set up a Celebrate Recovery Group (during which I was able to release for the first time about being sexually abused by someone in my youth which I’d held on to for over thirty years.)
I helped to take our youth group to Soul Survivor in 2006 and 2007, and from 2008 to 2010 was responsible for organising and leading the youth from Grays Baptists. In 2009, I “Village Hosted” at Soul Survivor with Colin, and this year hosted again on my own as well as leading our youth group.
In 2009 I started working with a united church team for Bar’N’Bus to reach out to young people in the south area of our town.
I’ve been hit numerous times by the Holy Spirit at Soul Survivor over the last five years and God has made significant changes to my confidence and ability to relate and interact with other people.I was totally inept at this at before I gave my life to Christ. In fact it’s true to say that I had spent most of my life trying to avoid people where ever possible, particularly men. That I now know was to do with my abuse and trying to hide from it. I thank God I’ve been able to release that and change my life completely, and I am now able to interact with anyone and have gained many friends.
It is as a result of all these changes that God has made in me that I have built up the confidence to work to try and bring into being the Epicentre vision he has laid on my heart to try – and unite the churches in our borough to get behind some form of united church youth project that links and builds up the young people we have to reach out to those in the community that don’t yet know Jesus.
Edwin wishes to emphasise the particular change he felt through doing Thurrock’s own Celebrate Recovery programme at Grays Baptist Church. Colin Baker has folk coming from as far away as Surrey to attend this programme dealing with getting over “hurts, hang-ups and habits”. For more information, please see www.celebraterecovery.co.uk and/or contact Colin on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Further information about Epicentre will appear on this website, as will the publicity for the forthcoming youth service.