LIFE Church UK
|Location||Bradford, West Yorkshire|
|Former name(s)||Abundant Life Church|
The church has additional facilities in Belfast, Leeds and Warsaw city centre and describes itself as "one church, four cities". In 2003 it had an attendance of over 2,000 people; by 2006, the figure had climbed to 2,800.
LIFE Church has its roots in the Charismatic Restoration movement of Arthur Wallis. It was founded in 1976 by Bryn Jones, one of the early Restoration/British New Church leaders, by an amalgamation of three small Bradford churches: a charismatic Brethren Assembly based at the Bolton Woods Gospel Hall; an independent charismatic church made up mostly of former Baptists who had been unable to continue in their church because of their charismatic beliefs; and the New Covenant Church, a fellowship originally under the apostolic leadership of G. W. North.
In its early days it met in the Anglican Church House and so was known locally as Church House. Known as Abundant Life Church for a number of years, in 2012 the name was shortened to LIFE Church, reflecting a move into a season of new leadership and direction.
In the last decade LIFE Church has expanded its reach using radio and TV. Programmes are broadcast on God TV, United Christian Broadcasters, Australian Christian Channel and on several other stations around the World. The ministry also has a weekly half-hour slot on Cross Rhythms radio. Many of the programs broadcast on TV and radio are also available on the podcasts.
In 1988, the church spent almost £1 million to buy a former textile mill on Wapping Road, Bradford which was converted into an auditorium with a car park at the rear.
The church extended the Bradford campus in 2000, constructing a replacement auditorium building capable of seating 2,000, with office space, a bookshop and coffee bar. The older building was then converted for the use of the youth ministry with multi-purpose meeting rooms. The newer auditorium building itself was extended in 2008, creating space for a day care centre and an expanded coffee shop, as well as additional offices and meeting rooms necessary for the Leadership Academy.
The church acquired residence Queens Hotel, Leeds where it hosted the Leeds extension service for some time. As of November 2014, it meets in the function rooms of a number of hotels. In late 2012, it was announced that the Belfast church had acquired a permanent building in the city centre of Belfast, having met for a number of years in the Wellington Park Hotel.
As of late 2012, Steve and Charlotte Gambill are the Senior Pastors of the church.
Paul Scanlon was, for many years up until 2012, the Senior Pastor of the church, having been part of the team, alongside his wife Glenda, since the early 1980s. In 1997, he led the then Abundant Life Church during a period of transition that later became known as 'Crossing Over', during which it left Covenant Ministries. Under his leadership the church established many new outreach ministries, the Leadership Academy and the LIFE Church Network.
Music from the church band was marketed initially as having come from Abundant Life Ministries, then Abundant Life Church before a deal with Integrity Music in 2010 saw this abbreviated to ALM:uk. The youth band was known for a number of years as RPM, however, by 2012 it had become I Am Future. Over the years the music from LIFE church has travelled around the globe, with tours in churches throughout America, South Africa, Singapore and a large number of European countries.
Early albums featured songs primarily written by Lara Martin and Mark Stevens. Jonathan James, Matt Hooper, Dan Brummitt and Mike Harvie have also contributed tracks.
In May 2014 the latest live worship album was released called Dance Again, which entered UK Top 40 Charts.
- Higher - Abundant Life Ministries (2000)
- Divine Exchange - Abundant Life Ministries (2002)
- God Is Here - Abundant Life Ministries (2003)
- How Loved - Abundant Life Ministries (2004)
- Let the World See Jesus - Abundant Life Church (2005)
- RPM: Live - RPM (2005)
- I Surrender All - RPM (2006)
- Give My All - RPM (2007)
- Send Me - Abundant Life Church (2007)
- Sound of Praise EP - RPM (2010)
- Name Above All Names - ALM:uk (2010)
- I Am Future - I Am Future (2012)
- "Dance Again" - Life Worship (2014)
- The Times, 28 March 1988, "Spectrum: The feeding of the five thousand"
- The Times, 9 February 2002, "Christians urged to worship pop idol"
- Church criticised over gun video
- Peter Brierley, Ed. UK Christian Handbook, Religious Trends 7 (Swindon: Christian Research, 2008) 9.10.2
- William K Kay, Apostolic Networks in Britain (Milton Keynes, Paternoster, 2007) 48-49
- Andrew Walker Restoring the Kingdom: the Radical Christianity of the House Church Movement 4th Ed (Guildford: Eagle, 1998) 112
- "Podcasts". Cross Rhythms. Retrieved 2008-07-25.
- LIFE Church official website