South West Bible Week, Bicton College, Devon, 13-17 August 2023
Intimacy with Jesus is essential for believers to survive the end times.
This was the theme covered by each speaker at this year’s Bible week – although none had consulted over this in advance.
Host Pastor Ian Huxham of Sidmouth’s Evangel Church preached on the key verse of the conference, “The people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits” (Daniel 11:32).
Each pastor testified to how God had helped them through the hardships of ministry, sometimes supernaturally.
Pastor John Angliss said he had “not been at a Bible camp like this for years,” with the sense of God’s presence increasing each day.
Pastor Samson Jebutu recounted a test of faith when his four-year-old daughter came back to life after dying in his arms. He spoke on the need to understand God’s promises, power, programme and holy personality.
Pastor Tim McIlwrath movingly described his initial struggle to plant a church in Ballynahinch, Northern Ireland. God gave him three separate confirmations about the specific location, and despite local opposition and even death threats, his church now runs a café, bookshop, Christian school and a drug addict outreach. From 2014 to 2023, they miraculously received around £800,000 in funds.
He warned that many churches are becoming like “a franchise”: “We’re filling the buildings with people, but we’re not populating heaven.” He also suggested that God would raise up “Davids” to lead the church from outside the mainline denominations.
“Great exploits” may include ‘unglamorous’ roles including workplace witness and even imprisonment, explained Pastor Paul Sherbird. Hence believers must prioritise stillness in God’s presence amid an increasingly wicked world system.
Pastor John Angliss encouraged us that our time on earth is “training for reigning” with Jesus, while Pastor Peter Bond spoke on running the Christian race, reminding us that a “cloud of witnesses” is cheering us on.
The heartfelt worship had a rare purity, and was led on the keyboard by George Owoda.
Talk recordings are available at evangelchurch.co.uk