I didn’t even go to church no. 2
By Moji Akindoyin
We thank God for our pioneers George and Pam Ridley, who obeyed the call of God and started the work in Milton Keynes in 1979.
I came to worship at Milton Keynes Christian Center one Sunday in August 1986 with my three Children at the time. We had just moved out of Cranfield University and were looking for a Christian Church to attend. I looked in the Milton Keynes Citizens News Paper and the first Church that caught my eyes was Milton Keynes Christian Centre followed by the Covenant Fellowship that at that time met at Springfield.
I decided to go to MKCC first and the plan was if I didn’t like it I would go to the next and the next until I found the one I liked and the Lord wanted us to fellowship with. To my surprise, I loved MKCC from the first day. The warmth and love of people was very true and genuine.
On that first day, I heard about Missionaries being sent from the Church. This was my kind of Church. My husband and I were involved with Missions and Evangelism back in Nigeria in the ’70s before travelling to the U.K. in 1980. My husband didn’t come with us on that day as he was away. I couldn’t wait to tell him I had found a Church that still believes in Mission and sends Missionaries out.
After the Church Service, my taxi failed to turn up and these were the days with no mobile phones and no way of contacting the taxi firm or my husband. As we stood outside the Church waiting for the taxi. Martin Ward locked up the Church and on his way out saw us at the gate and gave us a lift home. That act of kindness also confirmed to me this is the kind of Church I wanted to belong to.
Following that first visit, Beverley Seale also gave us lifts so many times with her 2 girls in the car as well.
I never did visit the second Church on my list and that is how we stayed. Our Children loved coming and today 2 of them are believers and serving at Kensington Temple and Hillsong in London.
On our kick off anniversary service Pastor George was telling us how in the early years he repaired cars to help supplement what the church could pay him. My car was one of the cars he repaired when he ran the garage. There was a time my car repair bill was more than I budgeted for. George told me not to worry and that I should bring the money whenever I had it. I was so surprised and really thank God as I was not expecting such kindness. I said this is a Pastor and a Church who are not hung up about money. I thank God for George and Pam and for what they stand for. Real examples of believers.
Pam used to work in my Doctors Surgery when we moved to Milton Keynes. The first time I went to the Surgery to register I knew there was a Christian working there even though I had not met Pam at the Church at the time. The reason I knew there was a Christian or Christians working there, was because there were Christian magazines in the Reception, not just trashy magazines!
This has also encouraged me to do the same in my places of work Canteen and Reception areas.
Another thing that touches me about this couple is their humility and love for God. I remember in the early days when we were in the old Church and after some late Saturday evening meetings. Pam would be vacuuming the Church ready for Sunday service the following day. I was shocked the first time I saw this and said WOW what humility, how many Pastors wives would do that? Pam also gives Godly counsel, I remember a time I was facing some challenges and didn’t know whom to talk to, I turned to Pam for advice and her counsel was Godly and spot on.
In the 90’s we had many wonderful men of God that came to minister at the Church, people like Warwick Shenton and Andrew Sherman to mention a few who were of blessings to us at the time. Thank God we still have Andrew Sherman that still visits from time to time till today.
George is a man of Wisdom, Vision and Passion for Souls and we can today see what the Lord has done through him in UK, Albania India and Uganda. The mission is in his DNA😁I always look forward to his preaching. One Sunday in 1998, he preached on Psalm 23. “The Lord is my Sheppard I shall not want”. The Spirit of God was mightly there on that Sunday to heal and many people were touched and delivered. That Sunday I left Folu my daughter at home as she had a nose bleed all night. Since the age of 3, she regularly had nose bleeds. The doctor said there was nothing that could be done. If it got too hot or too cold she would have a nose bleed etc. There was an altar call that Sunday for people with needs to come out for Prayers. I kept saying I wished my daughter was in Church that day. I was not discouraged but tapped into that anointing and while sharing with another friend after the Church Service on the day he too encouraged me and said: “my daughter would even be healed before I get home”.
So with my faith all built up when I got home I laid my hands on my daughter and prayed for her and that was the last time she had a nose bleed. She was completely healed. Praise the Lord!
It was from George I learnt “ Clothes you cannot wear to Church should not be worn to other places and it stays with me till today”. That means you should not have some clothes for Church (Sunday best) and dress like an unbeliever for the rest of the week.
In 1999 another word from Andrew Sherman got me through my MSc program when I was contemplating leaving due to a lot of pressure I was on at the time.
Milton Keynes Christian Centre has gone through a lot of changes, challenges and has been a blessing to me and many people both believers and unbelievers alike.
I pray the next 40 years will be better and greater than the last 40 years and God will continue to use us to touch the world at large in Jesus name🙏
Also, thank God for George and Pam’s vision and pray that God will continue to bless, guide, protect and use them more for His glory in Jesus mighty name🙏. No retirement in Gods Kingdom. Moses started his Ministry at 80. Let us all pray for God to give us this mountain and for each of us to fulfil our God-given destinies in Jesus name Amen.
To God alone be all the glory🙏