1961 – Odd Fellows Hall
In September 1961 a small group of believers, led by Elder Allan Tomlinson, started a ministry in a small rented room, in the Odd Fellows Hall, 100 Midland Road, Bedford.
The small group of 6 members were able to organise themselves into a functioning church and in October, later that year, they formally became members and an official branch of the Church of God in Christ International. By the time the young Evangelist Francis Vaughan joined the Bedford fellowship in 1962, to assist Elder Tomlinson with the Bedford ministry there was only 1 adult and four children remaining.
In 1965 Elder Tomlinson left the Bedford fellowship and the leadership was passed to Evangelist Francis Vaughan who took over as pastor of the Church of God in Christ, Bedford.
100 Midland Road today
The original site of the Odd Fellows Hall
1966 – ‘The Hut’
The congregation was growing but the church had no settled place that they could call ‘home’. Between 1962 – 1965 the members were unable to obtain a place, for any length of time, for their worship. They regularly moved to new locations as they were faced with multiple evictions and refusal of the tenancy. They needed a place for worship, a place to call their own. With the help of the council, they were offered a burnt-out, derelict, 18 x 30 feet shack, overran by bushes, on Alexandra road. This was on a weekly tenancy notice of one shilling per week (equivalent to approximately £10.07 in today’s money).
Replica example of the shack offered to us
The congregation continued to grow with increasing activities in the small hut. The Hut was becoming too small to accommodate the members, visitors and children. In 1969 the church got permission to install a prefabricated structure, sticking to the council’s strict regulations, it must be able to be removed at any time. So the move was made from ‘The Hut’ into the bigger and more secured prefabricated building (the Pre-fab) on the same spot. The tenancy had since increased from 1 week to a month then to six months. When the Pre-fab was erected and they all felt settled at home the council gave the notice to leave
The original Pre-fab build
Miracle Church of God
In 1976 the members were given the notice to leave the site they occupied for the last 10 years. The congregation was growing, the activities were increasing and they were becoming well known, not only to the Evangelical churches but also among the mainstream religious bodies and community. It was time to look to the future.
With the eviction looming; congregation, activities and community presence growing; and unable to find an appropriate build for the church, we were in a desperate situation. Our backs were against the wall with nowhere to turn but God stepped in and He opened the doors for better and greater things. We got help from the community leaders, from the church leaders who formed themselves into a committee devoted to our cause, even from the same council and many others to retain the site.
Miracle Church of God
Original purpose-built structure
Miracle Church of God – Today
Look Where God Has Brought Us