History of Faith Church Ministries
FCM is an example of the many churches that began under the leadership of first and second-generation immigrants to the UK from Southern Asia that has grown to incorporate larger immigrant communities from all over the world. As such, FCM does place no cultural conditions on membership and admits members from any ethnicity or nationality. Neither does it restrict its mission to any particular region of the world.
Faith Church Ministries (FCM) began its life in Sri-Lanka before relocating to Switzerland and then finally to London, and since 1993 it has undergone significant exponential growth.
Faith Church Ministries is a Pentecostal church that was established in 1993 in the UK by Bishop G.A. Antony and Reverend Mala Antony. One of the defining features of our ministry was that it was conducted in Tamil. The fact that we were Tamil allowed other members of our community who were also a part of the diaspora, to come and be a part of our community. The journey to beginning this ministry was unconventional.
The first gatherings were hosted at the home of Bishop Antony and Reverend Mala. In part, the motivation for this was scriptural, Matthew 18:20, which reads that when “two or three gathers in my name, I will be amongst them.” In the beginning, the ministry acted as comfort for many in the refugee community as it was able to serve as a symbol of fellowship and union – notions many people at the time had left behind in Sri Lanka. In the early 1990s, the ministry was focused mainly on spiritual healing. A handful of us would gather in a home, praise and worship the Lord and spread the gospel to those who were willing to listen.
Early on, the ministry was heavily inspired by the following verse; “The least of you will become a thousand, the smallest a mighty nation. I am the LORD; in its time, I will do this swiftly” (Isaiah 60:22). The beginning of the ministry, was small and humbling but the members who were there were full of fire and our evangelical ministry began to take root.
As a congregation, we were united, and through prayer, visiting homes, street evangelism and continued spreading of good news; we gradually grew in numbers. Eventually, we needed a small meeting hall to house our congregation, then a significantly larger hall, and now we are required to run multiple services in various locations to contain the number of people that wish to attend.
By God’s grace our church has expanded in every area. With over three hundred members who attend church on a Sunday in the UK alone and there is still a strong sense of community and fellowship among the members.
Every week we have meetings across ten different cities based in several counties. On a Sunday alone we meet in cities and towns such as Kingston-upon-Thames, Wembley, Liverpool, Leicester, Luton, East Ham, and various other locations. Overall, we have had to accommodate for over 1000 attendees to our multiple services. For our 25th anniversary church service and there were over 2000 attendees as we had attendees from all our branches across the UK.
The church is recognised as one of the largest and fastest-growing Tamil churches of any denomination in the UK and across Europe. In addition to our expansion within the UK, we were also able to start growing our ministry in nations further afield in Europe and Asia. We have branches in France, Germany, Norway, Italy, India and Sri Lanka. What is more, we run long weekend camps annually in each of these countries.
Consequently, the church has focused on developing internet and television broadcasts as well as ministries focused on educating the young. Also, the church has missionary programs across France, India, Sri Lanka Denmark, and Italy. The vision of the church is to evangelise to the world but to do so in a way which remains distinctly personal. FCM has also focused on running Sunday school seminars, women’s conferences and other such events.