LIFE Church UK
|Location||Bradford, West Yorkshire|
|Former name(s)||Abundant Life Church|
|Pastor(s)||Steve and Charlotte Gambill|
The church has additional facilities in Belfast, Leeds and Warsaw 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. Later 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.
Since 2000, LIFE Church has become more widely known through its regular radio and television broadcasts. Programmes are broadcast on God TV, United Christian Broadcasters, Australian Christian Channel and several other stations around the world. The church also has a weekly half-hour slot on Cross Rhythms radio. Many of the programmes broadcast on TV and radio are also available as podcasts via the iTunes store.
The church's main base is in Bradford, West Yorkshire, but it also has satellite facilities in Leeds, Belfast and Warsaw.
In 1988, the church bought former textile mill on Wapping Road, Bradford at a cost of £1 million. It was converted into an auditorium with a car park at the rear.
The church extended its Bradford campus in 2000, with the construction of a larger building containing a 2,000 seat auditorium, offices, bookshop and coffee bar. The older building was then converted for the use of the youth ministry with multi-purpose meeting rooms. The newer building was extended in 2008, creating space for a day care centre and an expanded coffee shop with a Starbucks franchise. Additional offices and meeting rooms necessary for the church's Leadership Academy were also added.
The church uses conferencing suites in a number of Leeds hotels to host its services.
In late 2012, it was announced that the church had acquired a permanent building on Bruce Street, Belfast, near the city centre, having met for a number of years in the Wellington Park Hotel.
The church meets in Centrum Zielna, a conferencing facility in Warsaw.
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 1980. 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.
In 2012, husband and wife Steve and Charlotte Gambill were appointed as lead pastors of the church. Steve Gambill founded Rock the Nations (later Rock Nations), the ministry for children and young people in the early 1990s. Charlotte Gambill is the oldest of Paul Scanlon's four daughters and served as an associate pastor for a number of years. Both regularly travel internationally to speak at other large churches.
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. Albums have been released internationally with songs written by Life Church musicians covered by other artists. Bands from the church have also toured 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.
Dance Again, a live album released in May 2014 entered UK Albums Chart in the top 40.
|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|
|I Surrender All||RPM||2005|
|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|
|Love Let Loose||I Am Future||2015|
|Wide Open Space||LIFE Worship||2016|
- 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