In November 1981, Rodney and Pat Kingstone together with approximately 30 – 40 people were sent out from Durrington New Life Church to plant a new church called Broadwater Christian Fellowship. The church first met in the Glyn Owen Centre in South Farm Road but following a message by Peter Lyne on strengthening your stakes and lengthening your cords (Isaiah 54 verse 2) a number of the fellowship members went and prayed over the then First Church of Christ Scientist in Broadwater Road, believing that one day the building would become ours.
A number of years passed and eventually the building went up for sale. We made an offer but in time the building was withdrawn from the market.
In the intervening years the fellowship grew in numbers and then went through a very difficult time, losing a fairly large number of people and ending in a financial crisis. At this time the Church of Christ Scientist came back on the market but the Fellowship was in no position to make an offer or to even think about purchasing it. Another non Christian faith organisation now made an offer for the building in order to turn it into a centre for their faith.
The weekend before the board of Christian Science met to discuss whether to accept this offer, a Nigerian prophet came to minister to the Fellowship.
At the end of his message he said that he had a prophetic word for the church which had been born out of his churches all night of prayer. (The church regularly prayed throughout the night).
The prophecy basically said that other people had arisen to take our inheritance because we had gone to sleep and had no faith. However, if we would empty our bank accounts, and go first thing on Monday morning to the Estate Agents and buy the property, God would pay everything off in cash for us. The fellowship was asked to go away and pray about this and to phone Rodney Kingstone throughout the rest of the Sunday to say whether or not they judged this to be a word from the Lord. Everyone who phoned that day said they believed it was from God and by the end of Sunday we had pledged £13,000. The church of Pastor Alfred Williams (the Nigerian prophet) gave us £1,000 on that Sunday.
On Monday morning Rodney went and made an offer for the church and after discussion the Christian Scientist board accepted provided we exchanged contracts in 6 weeks and completed in 3 months. This we did and within one year everything was paid off in cash just as the prophecy said. Many individual churches and especially some churches in Worthing contributed towards the finances needed to complete the deal.
Through the years the church made regular trips to Hong Kong, Romania and other countries serving the people and spreading the gospel.
In Worthing, the Acorn Pregnancy Counselling Centre came into being initially based at the churches premises. It now has its own premises in the town.
The charity Link Romania, now Link to Hope, was started through Mark Shipperlee, one of the members at that time.
In June 2023, in a Sunday talk, Denise set out our history, current vision, and the challenges facing the church. Here’s the whole service