From April 2006 – 2007, God spoke about people planting a church in Southampton, and a team gathered under the leadership of Chris & Jo Kilby. Life Church held their first Sunday gathering in 2007, on April 22nd, at Southampton Solent University. We had been given a grant and some financial gifts to get us started… but wanted to be financial independent within the first year, which we achieved. Praise God!
From the get-go we saw people healed and coming to faith. God also provided financially so that we could rent offices and build a serving team. In December 2007, Chris Kilby was appointed as an Elder and the following February we moved our main meeting to Harbour Lights Picture House in Ocean Village.A year later, Pete White became an Elder with the support of his wife, also called Jo!
Next, God spoke to us about ‘Putting down a root’ in the city. This meant we needed to look for a building to enlarge our city mission and ministry. A staggering £40,000 was given through gift days at meaning Pete joined the staff team and we were able to find a base. We named the building The Life Centre. The building continues to host great meetings, outreach ministries and prayer.
God began to speak to us about multiplying and ‘Bridging the City’. We worked towards a second site on the east of the city. We were given a building on the Weston Estate, which we renamed ‘The Hope Centre’. A group from the church began meeting there on a Sunday afternoon and we began weekly youth work. Following a challenging season, we decided to wait before continuing this work.
Over the years so much has happened! We have run city-wide events like ‘Parklife’, run courses such as Alpha and Freedom in Christ, and established a range of ministries. In May 2014 we moved our main meeting to Central Baptist Church. God had already spoken to us about the move being like a ‘stepping stone’ so we were eager to see where he would lead us.
In October 2015, we moved to Richard Taunton Sixth Form College. We changed our name to Life Church Central, creating a new logo and website to reflect what God had spoken to us. Pete Clayton was set in as an Elder and we are excited to see what is next in God’s plan for us…