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, with over 120 churches and church plants on five continents, of which 24 are in the UK. Advance 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.
The Advance Global Team includes Godfirst’s friends Donny Griggs, pastor of One Harbor Church in North Carolina, Steve Van Rhyn, pastor of Jubilee Church in Cape Town, and Matt Hosier, pastor of Gateway Church Poole in the UK. Our senior pastor Howard Kellett serves on the Advance UK Team and as a UK trustee.
At Godfirst we maintain good relationships with other churches and networks that love Jesus and His Gospel. We are part of Love Cheltenham which is an informal grouping of Cheltenham churches from across the historic denominations and newer church networks. Love Cheltenham desires to bring to good news of Jesus to Cheltenham, by collaborating on projects that work towards the good of our town that we would not be able to undertake effectively on our own.
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 Chair of Governors. Howard is the Senior Pastor and a Trustee, and Naomi 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 Children’s worker. Their four children keep Tom and Lucy on their toes. Tom is an Elder, and Tom leads our youth team.
Steve & Joanna Moat
Steve and Jo moved from Bracknell to Cheltenham in 2015, when they joined Godfirst church Cheltenham. Steve and Jo have a daughter and a son. Steve and Jo lead a Godfirst Community focussed on workplace. Steve is an Elder and Jo is our Operation Manager.
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 Appels and their two children move to Cheltenham to join Godfirst. Lorette studied at the National College of Photography in South Africa. The Appels love hospitality and the outdoor life (UK weather permitting). Christopher is the Associate Pastor at Godfirst. Christopher and Lorette help lead a Godfirst Community in Bishops Cleeve.