A NEW church has been born in Peterhead; a church that aims to be not just a place of worship, but a church in the very heart of the Blue Toon community.
When Assemblies of God churches Newhope and Harvest decided to come together, it was, as Pastor Willie Watt describes it, ‘a good idea which became a God idea’.
Speaking to the Buchanie last week, he told us: “It was a God moment and a day when everything changed. Both churches had different strengths and together will be much stronger in our work with children, youth and involvement in the community..”
Meanwhile, Pastor Neil Cameron had been searching for more than two years for a new building in which to base Newhope Church, which was holding its Sunday meetings at the Waterside Inn.
He explained: “Willie and I have known each other for a number of years and when he moved back to the area a couple of years ago I really had a heart just to work together on various ministries and see how the two churches could work together.”
“Over a two-year period, when we would meet regularly for coffee, we realised that there was a real common heart for what we wanted to see for the future and to make a difference in the Peterhead community.
“Just prior to my going to the Philippines in October 2011, where we were working with the Sefton Village Project which is very close to our hearts, I really sensed God saying to me to meet up with Willie to see what more we could do within the community.”
“It was that day we realised that something changed; that day we realised that more than doing just events together there was a real sense that we could do more jointly than on our own.
“After much prayer, asking for God’s guidance, speaking with our church leaders and speaking with the leadership of AOG Scotland, we both came to the conclusion that now was the right time to join the two fellowships together and become one significant voice.”
Pastor Watt continued: “In my previous church in Dudley we provided meals for the homeless and those in need, and the church became a hub of the community. We offered drug and alcohol education, debt counseling and also helped with those who suffered from depression.”
“We got funding for a week long kids club, to which 200-300 people turned up. The local MP was there and said he had been ‘blown away’ by what we were doing,” said Pastor Watt.
“This work and that week-long event in particular, opened so many doors for us and I found myself being invited along to a number of events involving the police, emergency services, politicians, and it really opened up our involvement in the community. I believe the same can happen here in Peterhead.”
Already a number of community and youth projects are run by the church including MegaKids Club which meets at the barn at Faith Acres on the outskirts of Peterhead every Friday evening during school term.
The club is open to all primary school children, while Matthew Morgan, who runs the club, has taken MegaKids into almost every primary school in the local community.
Apex Youth is available for secondary school pupils and young adults and it meets in the Apex Centre in the town’s Broad Street. More details on the Apex Centre will be published in next week’s Buchanie.
There is a Mother & Toddlers group which meets at the Apex Centre every Monday afternoon. On Monday evening there is football at the Central School and weekly prayer meetings in the Apex Centre on Wednesdays. There are also a host of connect groups which meet at various locations throughout the week. There is a great Sunday School called Treasure Kids, which meets each Sunday morning, with 45 children there last Sunday.
Pastor Watt continued: “On a Wednesday the Teen Challenge bus comes to Drummers Corner and then from 5pm to 6pm they come down to the church hall and we give them something to eat.
“We have been approached to see if we will put on another feeding programme.
“There are more than 90 homeless people in Peterhead who are currently living in B&B accommodation on a month-to-month basis.
“Some of these people are on a downward spiral and we have been asked to help, perhaps taking them in one or two evenings per week to get them out of the environment they are in and to give them a meal.
“We are looking at securing funding for this project, so if anyone feels they can help, it would be great to hear from them,” he said.
Pastor Neil added: “The next step is for us to go further into the community and open up a whole new field of higher endeavor and become a real hub of the community.
“We want to be a church that does what it has been called to do, to be a hope for those hurting and in need of help and to lead people to Jesus as we believe he gives meaning to life.”
Apex Church meets at 11am in the church premises at Chapel Street in Peterhead. Coffee and muffins are served from 10.15am and all are welcome to come along and be part of Apex Church’s exciting future.