Our Story

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How it all started...

The Churchcentral story started in 1996 when Jonathan and Helen Bell moved to Birmingham with a desire to begin a church and see what God might do through them. With big promises from God, a small team began to gather in their living room. A first Alpha course was run and then the first people became Christians through the church.

The journey was off and running...

A new way to reach the city

Over the years that followed, the church officially launched as West Birmingham Family Church, before in 2006 we changed our name to Churchcentral. It had been a decade of growth, but not wanting to settle for where we were, we then sensed God calling us to a new way of reaching the city. Rather than trying to draw the whole city to us, the leaders began to consider the move of multiplying into different locations across the city, taking Churchcentral nearer to the communities of Birmingham.

Following God's voice

A key value for us has always been to follow what God has been saying to us and so what happened next was exciting.

The very same week that the leaders had decided to take the step to multiply into different areas across the city, a woman in the church came forward with a piece of paper (pictured) with an image she had felt God give to her. "I don't know exactly what it means", she said, "but God is saying we are to be four, but one."

God takes us west, and north, and east..

So, in 2010, we followed God on a 'multi-site' adventure by launching Churchcentral West just outside Bearwood. As the sites began to grow, we launched our arts collective Sputnik and our Christians Against Poverty Debt Centre, to help us be for the good of our city. Then the multi-site journey took another turn when, in 2013, God called us to plant Churchcentral North. Churchcentral was now one church, meeting in three locations. But you might ask "what about the fourth sphere?!" from the drawing. Well, in 2020, even as the pandemic hit, we began to gather in the east of the city, It's early days, but our East Site is seeing God's blessing in abundance, and we're excited to see what He's going to do!

From sites to churches

God continued to bless us and add many to our sites while also opening up unique opportunities in each location. As we saw this blessing, God began to give us a heart to "move towards maturity" and see our sites grow up to become autonomous churches in their own right, still connected, still working together, but each given the real freedom to be 'Churchcentral' in whatever way would reach that part of the city best.

So, in 2020, 24 years after the Bells first landed in Birmingham, Churchcentral became a family of three churches - with a fourth site launched and established too - working together to reach this amazing city.

What might God do in the next chapter?