REVAMP: The ARC has undergone a £500,000 refurbishment
THE ARC church in Forest Gate, east London is preparing for the final part of its conference, happening today; which started on Friday along with the grand unveiling of its newly refurbished building.
For the past two months members have been meeting in a temporary venue whilst the church underwent the second and final phase of its £500,000 refurbishment.
During the conference, which is also doubling as the ARC’s 20th anniversary, members and visitors alike are enjoying the results of the refurbishment. Work undertaken includes building a disabled ramp, adding a new stage, installing new seats and a glass balcony as well as installing new audio/visual equipment.
ARC founder Pastor Peter Nembhard said:
“We have aimed to create a modern worship centre that can also double as a social hub which can be used by the local community.”
Pastor Peter was inspired to start the ARC two decades ago. An ex-offender, he was converted in prison at the age of 18, whilst serving a 2½ year prison sentence. Upon his release he joined the Built on the Rock church in Bethnal Green.
His first pastor, Bishop Harry McFarlane, noted Pastor Peter’s spiritual passion and let him serve as a minister. Peter, as he was then known, rose up the ranks and served a five year stint as a missionary in St. Lucia. He arrived back in the UK in 1996 he started the ARC church. Since its inauspicious start, the ARC Forest Gate has grown from strength to strength and now has a regular attendance of approximately 250. During the past two years, Pastor Peter has four overseen four church plants in London, Essex and Birmingham.
YOUTH ADVOCATE: Pastor Peter Nembhard
The ARC has been particularly successful at attracting young people. This is primarily due to Pastor Peter’s passion to see young people fulfil their potential and his keenness to help stem the rise in gangs and youth violence. He added:
“In 2005 The ARC lost one of its members, Charlotte Polius to a stabbing, she was just 15.
“Since then I’ve made it a mission of mine to share the gospel with young people and those on the margins of society.”
"Having this attitude has caused a continual influx of young men and women into the church, some of whom were involved in crime and gang activity. However when they made that decision to follow Jesus they stopped.
"Recently the ARC has focused on reaching young men and is experiencing some success. An increasing number of young men aged 30 and under, some of whom were on society’s margins, have been attending services.
“That said, the ARC is a church for people of all ages and races. And it’s our desire that people, no matter their background will want to attend.”
The conference will give the public a chance to see how far the church has come, as well as celebrate with the membership their new worship centre, which aims to be a community centre for all.
There is still time to attend the Elevation Conference today. Click here for more details.
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