Abundant Life Bible Church is guided by New Testament principles as recorded in our Statement of Faith. This Statement of Faith also reflects in a sense our Constitution in miniature form under the Presidency of the Holy Spirit.
THE HISTORY OF ABUNDANT LIFE BIBLE CHURCH
The formation of Abundant Life Bible Church is perhaps unique and different from most churches in our country. In God’s own way, known only to Him, we were moved upon by His Spirit through a series of circumstances to form this Church. We sincerely believe that this ministry had its roots firmly planted deeply in the will of God.
A small company of believers gathered at the old Gospel Bells building watch-night, December 1977 to pray for God’s direction and blessing upon the future ministry of Brother Ed Allen. There were ten people present, and it was at that time that sister Agnes Turnquest suggested that perhaps the Lord was leading in the direction of a new work. A few months before her death, she again suggested that she felt the Lord was leading in the direction of a new ministry for Pastor Allen, who at that time was currently engaged in evangelism in the Caribbean.
Eventually the little group was joined by others who gathered at the home of Brother Richard Gibbs for fellowship and consultation which resulted in the renting of the Bahamas Teachers Union Hall where the first services for the public were conducted. The name of the new work was “Faith Gospel Chapel”, but since there were quite a number of churches in the country bearing that name, it was decided that the new name should be Abundant Life Bible Chapel.
A new site for worship was purchased from Brother Hubert Rolle, and a building hurriedly erected to accommodate the present church. In a miraculous way, almost immediately, the Lord placed His hands upon the work, and it began to grow tremendously so much so that its progress amazed the worshippers and all who came to visit. Everyone agreed that it was the Hand of the Lord, and that God was about to do something great in the community through the witness of this ministry.
The ground breaking ceremonies were conducted in January 28, 1979 with a good crowd of spectators and supporters witnessing the occasion. The brethren labored faithfully and laboriously each evening after work; and many of them worked late into the hours of the morning before returning home.
Because of other plans the Teachers Union informed us that they would be needing the use of their facility when School opened in September of 1979. By the time September came we only had the walls up with the roof on. There was no floor and neither did we have any windows. But we moved in trusting the Lord to help us meet our needs.
Before the building was finished, we had outgrown it. We put in extra seating and for many years each Sunday, we had to supplement the seating by placing chairs in the aisle. This was somewhat tedious, but our Ushers always did a commendable job in seating the many people who came.
In October of 1980, the church was organized along New Testament church lines. We abolished the old Steering Committee which did a good job in administering the church in its infantcy, and appointed Elders and Deacons to run the church under the supervision of Pastor Ed Allen.
The Abundant Life Bible Association
This entity is the legal arm of the church and is responsible for the holding its properties and negotiating loans and other business of the church in a legal way. The Memorandum of Association was drawn up by the law firm of Christie & Ingraham. The original signatories wee Ted Thompson, James Knowles, Richard Gibbs, Errol Rolle and Ed Allen.
In 1984 a new section was added to the church, known as the multipurpose building. It houses space for offices and administration, 18 Sunday school class rooms, a kitchen, Conference room and a recreation Center.
If there are two people who deserve special recognition with and above all others today, they are Brother James Knowles, Treasurer of the Building Committee and Sister Velma Allen, whose administrative abilities were invaluable. These two people kept the work going and had a watchful eye on how the monies were spent. We are grateful also to the business community for their cooperation, support and patience in waiting on and helping us in so many ways.
The New & Present Structure
Seeing the need for further expansion, it was decided to renovate as much as possible the old building, and give it a more realistic and architectural look, one that would cause it to stand out in the community as an architectural monument with an inviting appeal to worshippers. The design was the brain child of Mr. Monty Pratt who has had a lot of experience in drawing church plans in Nassau, but especially in Freeport. His word approached were: “I am Brethren myself, and I know Brethren don’t go for elaborate and well, designed buildings, but I’m going to make this one a wonder in the Brethren community and one that people may well admire.” We agree that did a tremendous job.
The new building was a step of faith; a bold venture that one might say was to test the reality of God, the faithfulness of God and the provision of God in a time of country-wide depression. Despite much opposition, we are grateful to those who
stayed true to the vision and never declined in faith to believe in a great and all-supplying God.
We are grateful to our members who gave freely, many consistently and who never wavered in their faith. Their bold approach to this building was also supplemented by several outside friends and well-wishers. Some we do not even know. We want to thank them for their gifts of encouragement, and would assure them that their money was not given nor spending in vain, but has been invested in the work of the Lord and the advancement of God’s kingdom here in the Bahamas and wherever the Abundant Life Ministry reaches.