Now let us ask ourselves some very plain questions. Does God come first in my life or does my business hold the supreme place? Is it God first or pleasure? God first or money? What about my family, my loved ones? Do they come first or does God?" "What then, are the terms of discipleship? Let me give the answer in just two words: "GOD FIRST." And if I could, I would put them on a banner in the sight every congregation in the world - GOD FIRST.
Godfirst Story so far...
In 2010 Howard, Naomi and family moved to Cheltenham, joined by ten great pioneers from across the UK, we began by intentionally sharing life, eating, praying, meeting people and watching the X factor (when it mattered who won). Slowly people from Cheltenham were gathered into the new church God was building.
We began meeting in Pates Grammar School gathering people, drawn to our warm community life and desire to be disciples of Jesus. As we made disciples we started to look like a church (which felt the right way round). In September 2014, Godfirst moved to the heart of Cheltenham in the Parabola Arts Centre just 100 yards from The Promenade.
Godfirst is a vibrant and growing community of around 150 adults and children. We long to make a lasting impact on Cheltenham both in reaching the lost and serving the needs our town.
Godfirst is part of Advance a growing movement of churches that emerged out of the Newfrontiers network of churches. Advance is comprised of local churches partnering together to advance the Gospel through planting and strengthening churches.
Whilst Advance is a relatively new movement, it sits within the broader historic tradition of Evangelical Reformed churches, with a strong emphasis on Charismatic renewal.
At Godfirst we maintain good relationships with other churches and networks that love Jesus and His Gospel.
Howard & Naomi Kellett
Howard and Naomi have been involved in full time church leadership since 1996. Before moving to Cheltenham they planted and led Christ Central Manchester for eight years. Prior to that Howard served as an Evangelist on the staff of Kings Church London. Naomi is a teacher and a determined runner! Howard and Naomi have three grown up children, who attended Balcarras School, where Howard is a governor. Howard is the Lead Elder and a Trustee, and Naomi serves on the core strategy team.
Andy & Vic Allen
Andy has been a part of the church plant since it began in 2010, following the Kellett’s down from Manchester, where he studied and trained as a social worker. Vic studied philosophy and theology at Sheffield University. Vic is currently balancing looking after with their two young children and serving Godfirst & Advance an administrator. Andy and Vic are exploring leading a church plant team into West London. Andy is an Elder and Vic serves on the core strategy team.
Tom & Lucy Hunting
Tom is from Worcester and Lucy is from Bristol so they split the difference and moved to Cheltenham to be part of the church plant in 2010. Tom runs his own construction business. Lucy trained at Warwick as a teacher, but current works in the Godfirst office as our Treasurer and Children’s worker. Their four children keep Tom and Lucy on their toes. Tom is an Elder, and Tom and Lucy lead a Godfirst Community.
Steve & Joanna Moat
Steve and Jo moved from Bracknell to Cheltenham in 2015, when they joined Godfirst church Cheltenham. Steve and Jo started a family in 2016 with another child due this year. Steve and Jo lead a Godfirst Community focussed on workplace, which they are both passionate about, and oversee the church’s social action. Steve is and an Elder and Jo is a Godfirst Trustee.
Christopher & Lorette Appel
After spending 11 years as a pilot in South African Air Force, since 2010 Christopher has served on the staff and leadership teams of churches in South Africa and the Netherlands. The start 2018 saw the Appel’s and their two children move to Cheltenham to join Godfirst. Lorette studied at the National College of Photography in South Africa. The Appel’s love hospitality and the outdoor life (UK weather permitting). Christopher is the Associate Pastor at Godfirst. Christopher and Lorette help lead a Godfirst Community.
Godfirst’s 2020 Goals
Go, Give, Grow
Go! At least 20 people to become Jesus followers by 2020
Go! Send out a church planting team by 2020
Give! Godfirst to give away 20% of its income by 2020
Give! Godfirst to increase its income by 20% a year until 2020
Grow! 20% of Godfirst to be actively involved in Social Justice by 2020
Grow! Grow to be a Church Community of 200 by 2020