From the Superintendent's DESK
This past weekend, on Sunday, October 15, Debbie and I attended the dedication of our Cranfield church in England. Though branch church congregations throughout Western Europe had been advised to remain at their locations, watching online, a large crowd gathered. Soon the sanctuary was filled along with part of the annex.
As the service began, the orchestra played two numbers, including “Be Still for the Presence.” Then the choir sang “Where Your Glory Dwells.” Both set the tone for inviting God’s blessing and presence on this special occasion.
Following the welcome, a brief history of the Cranfield congregation was given. Its origins are in Aylesbury, a town in Buckinghamshire County, England. In 2013, Felix and Miriam Panganayi began holding services in their home there. That group of twenty eventually disbanded after two families moved away. However, in February of 2022, an online Bible study was established, drawing regular participants from Buckinghamshire as well as Bedfordshire, and Hertfordshire counties. It was led by Fungai Mangere who is now the Cranfield pastor. The Bible study group desired a centrally located permanent place of worship and sought God’s guidance. Then, in January of this year, a Wesleyan chapel built in 1880, came on the market, and God made the purchase possible. Since then, the building has been remodeled and includes an entrance lobby, sanctuary, office, kitchen, large and small dining halls, and restrooms.
The service continued with congregational singing and then prayer led by Isaac Adigun, the former United Kingdom District Superintendent. This was followed by acknowledgments given by Mark Mfandarahwa, the current United Kingdom District Superintendent. Before the Scripture reading, the choir sang “Let Us Build a House.” Then Joshua Idowu, the pastor at St. Louis, Missouri, read 2 Chronicles 6:40-7:3.
The dedication sermon was taken from 2 Chronicles 5:1 and focused on the unity that was present among all those who participated in the dedication of Solomon’s Temple. It was brought out that when everyone was focused on serving God regardless of their role, His glory filled the house. Today, He continues to inhabit the praises of people who are unified in serving Him.
Following the sermon, the dedicatory prayer was offered by LeRoy Tonning, the Scandinavian District Superintendent. Then the congregation sang “To God Be the Glory” before the service closed with prayer led by Nick Segres Jr., the pastor at Atlanta, Georgia. After the dedication, everyone gathered in the main hall for a reception, and we enjoyed a wonderful time of fellowship.
Debbie and I are scheduled to remain in the United Kingdom until October 23, and expect to attend services at our Bexley and Peckham churches in London during that time.