A Story of God's Faithfulness
Jesus declared that He would build his Church and that "the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." (Matthew 16:18). We have seen the faithfulness of Jesus to His Word as All Nations Church Bedford became a reality in the summer of 2013 - but where did it all start?
… a number of pioneering Christians from Bunyan Meeting Church – started by John Bunyan himself – planted a brand-new church. This group was led by a man named William Smith, and originally met in Bedford’s town centre at the “Old Chapel” in the George Inn yard. They were fuelled by a passion to see people saved, and Bedford transformed by Jesus. This desire is still very much a part of our DNA today.
The church soon grew, and more space was needed – so in 1868, the building you see pictured here was built. The church became known as Mill Street Baptist, and here it would remain for 97 years, serving the people of Bedford and worshipping Jesus.
A New Vision
It’s now 1965, and under the leadership of John Cooper, the bold decision is made to relocate the church to a newly-developing housing estate in North Bedford. It was on the church’s collective heart to see the people of North Bedford reached by the Gospel, and this area quickly became known as “Brickhill”. Brickhill Baptist was born – and we still occupy this site today. The photo shows the official opening, with even the Mayor of Bedford in attendance.
Sadly, John Cooper died not long after the move to Brickhill – but in 1969, Peter Ledger moved from Bristol to Brickhill to lead the church, and during this period some radical change took place.
Brickhill Baptist grew and grew. The church came into a fresh understanding of who the Holy Spirit was and a massive spiritual transformation took place. Elders were appointed, the church building was expanded to accomodate more people, and church planting became an integral part of the mission. Brickhill Baptist became part of New Frontiers; a family of churches that work together. Peter stepped down in 1997 and Paul Woodward, whom Peter had brought onto the team, began to lead.
God was ever-faithful, and Paul’s leadership established the church on a foundation of God’s grace while sending people out to other churches across the world.
The Turn of the Century...
… saw Brickhill continue to grow. A major building project in 2006 made the worship area much larger and added additional rooms, offices and other facilities. Richard Green became Senior Pastor in 2010 (he still is to this day!), and in 2012, the church officially changed its name to “All Nations Church Bedford” – to better reflect both the Great Commission to go out to all nations, and also our wonderfully multicultural congregation and community. We’re one family in Christ; called from the nations and every age, stage, culture and background to demonstrate God’s love and grace.
In 2013, we planted a new church site: All Nations South. Operating in the south of the town at Bedford Academy School, God worked and blessed the church enormously through it. The COVID pandemic meant that the South site had to close in 2020 – but God’s plans are perfect, and reaching south Bedford is still very much on All Nations’ heart.
The Story Continues
As God continues to help us rebuild once more following the pandemic, we continue to look to Him for the future - and to continue our calling and mission as one big diverse family seeking to bring glory to Jesus in our town, our nation and the nations.
We invite you to be part of this continuing story for the glory of Jesus!