Preparations for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham – and beyond – have been going on for several years already….
Connect Church looks to the future
One of Birmingham’s oldest Pentecostal churches is looking to the future as its new building nears completion. The ancestor of today’s ‘Connect Church’ began life in Sparkhill on Saturday 13 July 1940 under the name ‘Glad Tidings Hall.’ From humble beginnings during the Second World War, the church later became ‘Calvary Temple’ and then ‘King’s Christian Centre,’ before becoming ‘Connect Church’ in 2013. The new name was chosen to reflect the church’s mission to ‘connect people into a world-transforming relationship with Jesus Christ.’ Since 2014, Connect Church has used the Legends Suite at St Andrew’s, the home of Birmingham City Football Club, as the venue for its Sunday gatherings, though, since the first Covid-19 lockdown in March 2020, all activities have moved online. Members of the multi-cultural church come from 20+ nations.
The relationship between Connect Church and Birmingham City FC is not restricted to the use of the stadium for the church’s Sunday services. Since 2013, Connect Church pastor Kirk McAtear has also been the club’s chaplain. Kirk, whose father was born in Scotland, had grown up in Newcastle, New South Wales, where he became chaplain to the Newcastle Knights Rugby League club. Kirk’s love of sports encompasses rugby, cricket, football and more. One of his favourite times of the week is when the ‘Match of the Day’ theme tune begins.
From 1999, Kirk served as youth pastor for Globe Church in Newcastle, New South Wales. Kirk also ran ‘Youth Alive’ in the area, liaising with 30+ churches and coordinating events attended by thousands of young people. In 2008, Kirk and his wife Tracee sensed God’s call to the United Kingdom and Europe. In 2009 they, along with their children Josiah and Ruby, sold everything they owned, said goodbye to their families and relocated to Birmingham. An evangelist at heart, Kirk’s passion is to see an explosion in the number of first-generation Christians in the city. He also wants to see every believer mobilised into mission, a decrease in crime and the wholesale transformation of the UK’s second city. Tracee complements Kirk’s ministry, leading worship, teaching the Bible and excelling in the management of resources to fulfil the vision. Alongside her church work, Tracee is currently studying charity accounting.
In 2017 Connect Church started construction on a new 500-seater church building on the Coventry Road, next door to the St Andrew’s Stadium. The building should be complete in the summer of 2021. Find out more about Connect Church HERE.
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