Our History

 
Church Building 2
 
The roots of the King's Church can be traced back to two founding churches that came together to form the church we have today.

The first of these was Epsom Evangelical Church, which was formed on 16th September 1936 by a group of Christians led by the Revd A. G. Edgerton. They met in a hall in East Street. Two famous preachers recorded as having visited in the early years of the church were Pastor Emile Guedj of the French Mission and Revd. Carl Paisley, father of Dr Ian Paisley.

In 1942, the Revd. A K Levete became Minister. The church purchased property in East Street and after renovations, a new church building was opened there in 1944.

In 1960, David Cole became the Minster, but retired due to ill health in 1967. In 1969, the church building in East Street was in danger of being compulsorily purchased and was sold to Page Motors, leaving the church without a home. They were offered the use of Glyn Hall in Ewell and after renovations, services commenced there in March 1970. Around this time, an ex-missionary from France, Frank Nixon became the Minister and the church started seeking a permanent home back in Epsom. In 1977, space was rented at Epsom High School for services and a Sunday School.

In 1978, after discussions with other churches about growing the work in Epsom, Chessington Evangelical Church agreed to help.  They sent around twenty of their members to join us. They also provided much needed financial support and agreed to pay for a new full time Minister. John Peel took on the role in 1979.
 
john peel
John & Carol Peel
 
The church continued to search for a permanent home and in 1982, the Council agreed to let the church have a plot of land off Longmead Road. In November 1982, a thanksgiving service was held in the field to dedicate the site. Work started on a new building there and on 21st May 1983, it was opened.
 
original church building
The original church building in Longmead Road
 
The church saw significant growth during John's time as Minister, with numbers growing from a low of around fifteen to around a hundred members. John moved to Devon in 1986.

While searching for a new leader, a visiting preacher called Doug Croucher was unable to go home after a service in January 1987 when his car was snowed in! This was seen as a sign that God wanted him to stay and Doug was appointed the new Minister. The church had a heart for world mission and paid to send Doug on mission trips to Nigeria and Ghana, followed by a series of other worldwide mission trips.  This move to send the church to the nations brought the nations to the church. It resulted in the church becoming a more multicultural church.
 
doug & chris
Doug & Chris Croucher
 
Throughout the mid to late 1980s, Epsom Evangelical Church had been building a relationship with The Fellowship of the King, led at the time by Brian Betts.  It which was founded in the early 1970s as a result of the healing ministry of Trevor Martin. Meetings were initially held in Bourne Hall. They went on to meet in a number of buildings including the Epsom Playhouse. The idea of merging the two churches was discussed but didn't at that time proceed. Rob Garratt took over the leadership in 1987 and in 1990, merger talks resumed. 
 
Garratts
Rob & Jane Garratt
 
Following careful and prayerful negotiations, the two groups formally merged on 1st January 1991 to form The King's Church. This brought us under the apostolic guidance of Derek Brown of the King's Centre in Aldershot, with whom both churches had a relationship. We were blessed by legacies from founding members Harold and Dorothy Hodges, which initially allowed us to purchase a Portakabin, affectionately known as "Harold's Hut." This was used for children's work.  We were then able to secure the necessary finance for an extension to the original church building. In 1994, another member, Thea Thompson died and left her estate to the church. This enabled us to house a full time children's worker.

In 1995, Rob Garratt relocated to Yorkshire. We continue to support him and his wife Jane in missionary work around the world with 5,000 Plus.  The church continued to grow. In 2009, we sold the property previously used to house our children's worker. This released the funds needed to extend again to the building we have today.

The church continued to grow to around 150 members. Doug retired at the end of 2010, which led to a period where the church was led by the Elders, with Segun Oladokun as lead Elder. In 2014, the church ended it's apostolic relationship with Derek Brown, forming a new relationship with Barrie Taylor.

Segun was formally appointed as the full time Pastor of the church in April 2017 and we became part of the Commission family of churches, part of Newfrontiers.
 
Segun & Linda
Segun & Linda Oladokun
 
We wish to record our thanks to founder members Mr & Mrs H Hodges, whose recollections formed the basis of much of the information about our early history. Thank you also to John Peel and Doug Croucher, who wrote the original articles from which this page was written. Their full version of our history is available from the church office on request.  Finally, thank you to all those, past and present, who's invaluable contributions to church life over the years have played an important part in our story.
 
 

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