In the autumn of 1986 Reverend Major Sam Larbie (rtd), his family and some few others started a prayer fellowship in Lewisham, South-East of London. He is a product of the Elim Bible College and by then an Elim pastor in training.
In December of the same year the fellowship moved into the ‘St George the Martyr’ Church Hall on Lant Street, London SE1. The little fellowship was experiencing growth in members and things of the Spirit. Accommodation problems forced this fellowship (now called Elim Pentecostal Church, Elephant and Castle), to move the Sunday Service to the Cannon Cinema, Shaftesbury in Leicester Square in June 1990.
After a period of four months, a church hall in Camberwell was offered to us in its unfinished state. We moved in on 30th September 1990 and completed the building renovations in July 1991. This new permanent place of worship became fondly known as the Elim Pentecostal Church Camberwell, on 149 Benhill Road, London SE5.
The congregation continued to grow and after only two years, we had to introduce more Sunday services: 9am (Communion Service), 11am (Family Service) and 6:30pm evening service. We began the All Day Wednesday Prayer Meetings as well as early Morning Prayer meetings on Tuesdays and Fridays from 6am to 7am.
The Wisdom Bible Training Centre was also started with the view to enhance biblical training for all. It started with a three month fundamental training geared towards church planting, an opportunity open to all. By the end of the third programme in 1992, volunteers had started to plant our first branches, first in East Dulwich (which later moved to Denmark Hill. The following year, another church in Forest Hill was planted, followed by Streatham (now moved to Mitcham). All these, including churches in Battersea, Catford and Brockley churches were planted in the south of London, whilst the Harlesden church in north London.
The Wisdom Bible Training Centre developed to be the Wisdom Bible College which offered courses and degrees with accreditation from the University of Wales. However, a change in central government policy resulted in the closure of the college.
Right Now Jesus Centre
The Camberwell Church mortgaged five buildings during that period and we now had a network of churches. The decision was taken for the churches to be autonomous, with the exception of Harlesden church.
The Elim Camberwell now purchased a bigger building in February 2011 and refurbishment was completed in November 2013. 75a Rushey Green in Lewisham – this location has become our new home. It is a bigger facility and we are reaching out to the community with the love of Jesus, linking up with other churches in the borough of Lewisham. We are here with open hearts and hands to receive everyone. It is the RIGHT NOW JESUS CENTRE because Jesus is readily available to everyone at any given time.
We owe it to God!
You may have asked the question, “Why Pentecostal?” The reason is that the Elim Church emerged after the Welsh Revival when people were beginning to experience the same things that happened on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2). People spoke in tongues and received special gifts and ministries (1 Corinthians 12:14). Today people in many churches experience these blessings after baptism in the Holy Spirit. The experience the disciples had on the Day of Pentecost, transformed them and still transforms believers today.
You may find that our style of worship is less formal than you may be used to, less structured. We seek to minister as God leads us to, at the same time doing everything in an orderly manner, seeking to glorify God in everything that we say and do.
- Our freedom in worship will never become noisy disorder. The leadership will not deliberately embarrass anyone.
- Our openness to allow God to speak through spiritual gifts will never be given greater importance than what the Bible teaches.
You might have asked yourself this question. We can understand your curiosity, as it is an unusual name.
It was the name of an oasis in the Sinai desert, some 40 miles from Suez. The book of Exodus in the Old Testament of the Bible says that there were 70 palm trees clustered around 12 wells of water at Elim.
To the traveller, who was hot, thirsty and weary after his or her journey across the desert, the inviting shade and cool, refreshing water would have seemed like heaven on earth.
It was this idea of finding shelter and renewal in the environment that we live in: existing to work, eat and sleep and where the pleasures of life are no more than a mirage, meaningless and unsatisfying, that inspired the Founding Pastors: Revs George and Stephen Geoffreys to use the name ‘Elim Pentecostal Church’.
Right Now Jesus Centre (RNJC) is therefore part of the Elim Foursquare Gospel Alliance, a registered charity in England and Wales, charity number – 251549.
We look forward to you joining us at one or more of our services and indeed, becoming a member of the RNJC family.
Rev. Sam Larbie