Church History of the Seventh-Day Adventist Company at Harlestone Road

Around 2004 it became evident to many attending the Northampton Highlands Avenue Seventh-Day Adventist Church that we were already bursting at the seams, and unable to comfortably house existing members and the many visitors. 

One option was to sell the church and purchase another building in the town, but after careful consideration it was thought it was not a good idea to close one church in one area only to open a larger one elsewhere.

Our numbers still continued to grow.  We, therefore commenced work to plant a new church in 2005 under the guidance of Pastor Broome. We researched the town for suitable venues.  We looked at venues at Wootton, Camphill, Briar Hill, Delapre, Far Cotton, Grange Park, Duston, and St James.

Nigel De Vos found the Lecture Theatre at Caroline Chisholm Learning Centre in Wootton Fields, which could accommodate more than 100 people for our Sabbath School and Divine Services.  Our Mother Church agreed to fund and administer our Church Plant at this site and elected Ingrid Sharpe as our Coordinator.

We held our fist service in the Lecture Theatre at Caroline Chisholm Learning Centre on Sabbath 1st September 2007.  We were known as Northampton South Branch Sabbath School.

We were also in the throes of changing Pastors, with  Pastor Aster Bruce joining us on 1st October 2007 from St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Initially we were only a handful of 8 – 10 core members and their children.  Some weeks we struggled without a pianist as church attendance numbers varied.

We leafleted Wootton fields which is an affluent area, quite a few times, but did not get any response from the local community.  Our current location was out of Town that made members, who were not drivers, unable to support us. Some of them needed to go on one or two bus journeys.  However, we never ceased to plead with fellow brethren from the mother church for help and support.               

In March 2008 when we were functional for 18 months Joan Fuller – Pathfinder Leader gave us a boost. She held a Pathfinder Investiture programme in the School’s large hall.  Over 200 people were in attendance. It felt as if we were now on the map, but also reinforced the idea that the location was not right.

Angela Sterling informed us that the Management of St James Primary CEVA School, on the Harlestone Road and run by Church of England, rent out premises to other denominations.  This was answer to prayer, and was seen to be a better location which covers a wide cross-section of various communities.  We were able to secure a very good deal to hire the Gym/Assembly Hall for Sabbath School and Divine Worship from 9.30am to 3pm.  When we inspected the Gym, we were impressed. This was truly the place where God wanted us to be worshipping and witnessing.  On the wall facing us as you enter the hall, our attention was drawn to the impressive sculpture of a Tree Cross. It may have been a Gym/Assembly Hall, but without a shadow of a doubt a Place of Worship and A Sanctuary, Thank you Lord.

Pastor Bruce surveyed the Mother Church to ascertain members willing to join the Church Plant.  20 Members signed up to regularly attend. 

On 4th April 2009 we held our first services at Harlestone Road.  We changed our name to Northampton South Seventh-Day Adventist Branch Sabbath School, Harlestone Road.  It was quickly established that fellowship lunches on Sabbaths would be a regular feature of our Church. Thus, we sought to get to know our members and guests better, so that we could more effectively carry out our mission to ‘Go and Tell’ of the love of Jesus. 

We became a Company on 6th March 2011.

 Lloyd Sterling was appointed as Elder as the Mother Church had been covering this Post.  The ‘Ordination of Elders’ was held by Pastor Bruce on 24th September 2011at Harlestone Road Company. Elder Sterling and Nigel De Vos were ordained in their Post.

Harlestone Road Company has held regular Business Meetings on the 1st Monday of each month.  Weekly ‘Bible Study’ meetings were held at various homes over the years.  After Services, on Sabbaths we have distributed leaflets, door to door evangelism in the St James Area, carried evangelism  training, visited the sick, homeless, and housebound under the auspices of Sheryl Lawrence, Personal Ministry Leader, whom we are blessed to have.

We have grown from strength to strength following our move to Harlestone Road.  Our Sabbath Services attendance, incorporating Divine Worship, is usually over 50 adults.  The Children’s and Youth Sabbath School are well attended with separate classes for our different age groups. 

There have been several Revivals and Evangelistic efforts, and all night prayer sessions in an attempt to enable us to be spiritually refreshed and cleansed in preparing us for our call to ‘Discipleship’.

We have much to be thankful for, and much to be done.  In 2012 the time had come to cut our umbilical cord from our Mother Church and emerge self-governing. We thank our Mother Church for their financial and other support over the years.  We are here because you supported and encouraged us. We feel that we will survive the severance by God’s grace.  However, you promised us that if we do have birthing problems, like a good mother you will rescue us.

Early in 2013 we were fortunate to have Pastor Cyril Sweeney join us, replacing Pastor Bruce and the church continued to grow. 

Then in 2014 Pastor Sweeney took up his new role at the BUC in Children and Family Ministries.  Our current pastor, Paul Dhanaraj, took over the reins in Sept 2014 and as of 30th January 2016 we officially became a fully-fledged church!

Our Vision is ‘Mission – Go and Tell’.  Our Goal remains to preach Jesus and Him crucified.  We will continue looking for our own premises.

May God continue to bless us with His Holy Spirit and enable us to have a united Company lifting up and magnifying Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To God be the glory for the things He hath done.