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Bethany Christian Centre

Lead Pastor

Houghton le Spring, Durham, UK

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Theology: Interdenominational, nondenominational

Weekly Attendance: 180 adults

Neighborhood: Houghton le Spring, Tyne and Wear, United Kingdom

The role: The incoming Lead Pastor will serve as the spiritual, directional, and primary communicator of vision for Bethany Christian Centre (BCC).


Meet Bethany Christian Centre:

Bethany Christian Centre has a rich history and storied legacy, beginning in the early 1900s when three young Christian men came from Sunderland to hold open air meetings on Saturday afternoons. Soon, a brethren assembly was formed, meeting in rooms above Mr. Jones’ chemist shop. These beginnings transformed into many adventures and progressions over the years as the church grew, moved to new buildings, changed names to reflect their true identity as a church, and came to a greater understanding of their theology and heritage.

Since the opening of the current centre in November 1997 the congregation and range of activities have grown, but commitment to the life-giving message of Jesus has not changed. The congregation is blessed with a modern, purpose-built building with a seating capacity of 350 and outfitted with many great updates to further ministry and the work of the church.

Wade Thompson has led as Intentional Interim Pastor since April 2017. He and the Elders have been leading BCC and addressing issues of governance and the direction of the congregation. This transition process has yielded a redefined vision with defining values, a clarified model of ministry, and a move to a Policy Governance model.  The new ministry model has created better accountability for church members and staff, as well as more freedom to do ministry. The church congregation is now refocused and seeking to live out its vision: Loving God, Loving People, Making Disciples.

It is now the right time to call the next Lead Pastor of Bethany Christian Centre. After this time of focus and healing, the congregation is optimistic about the future and ready to move forward with vision and strength.  

29.03.15.BETHANY CHRISTIAN CENTRE-0449About the Lead Pastor:

The incoming Lead Pastor will serve as the spiritual, directional, and primary communicator of vision for Bethany Christian Centre (BCC). This individual will serve BCC with the heart of a shepherd and the primary gift-mix of leader/preacher/teacher who is able to deliver strong, Gospel-centred sermons that are thoroughly Biblical, challenging, life giving, and are also appropriate to the felt needs and aspirations of the Northeast’s unchurched population.

The Lead Pastor will:

  • Serve Bethany Christian Centre as an Elder.
  • Encourage and shepherd the spiritual formation of the congregation as the lead teacher/communicator.
  • Provide directional and visionary leadership for the ministry of the church.
  • Nurture and communicate the mission of the church to all staff, leadership, and ministry leaders.
  • Oversee and encourage the growth of ministry (teaching, leadership, mission focus) by developing and empowering all leaders at BCC.
  • Oversee the planning and leading of worship services, working closely with the Worship Ministry Team.
  • Provide effective leadership for the staff through appropriate direction, supervision, evaluation, counsel, care, and accountability.

What you bring:

The following describes many of the characteristics of the ideal candidate for the Lead Pastor:


An undergraduate degree from an accredited institution is required for this position, and a seminary degree is highly desirable.  


  • A “seasoned” leader who has demonstrated several years of professional/ministry successes in a leadership role
  • A demonstrated commitment to serving and equipping beyond the local church through short-term missions will best fulfill the Lead Pastor role at BCC
  • Significant experience in senior management positions in the business sector will be considered a plus
  • An understanding of Policy Governance (Carver Model) and the Simple Church strategy are important

Personal Characteristics

  • Lives with integrity
  • Is a lifelong learner
  • Possesses high emotional health through self-awareness
  • Has a verifiable track record of personal and professional accountability
  • Manages and expresses feelings appropriately
  • Shows strong conflict resolution skills
  • Demonstrates a healthy work-life balance
  • Has a joyful and stable home life
  • Has a deep relationship with Jesus through regular study and personal prayer

29.03.15.BETHANY CHRISTIAN CENTRE-0108What it's like to live in Durham, United Kingdom:

Houghton le Spring is a small community with a population of roughly 14,335. Formerly a mining town, it has become somewhat of a commuter town for those employed in the surrounding cities. There are nearly 400,000 people who live within ten miles of the church, in towns and villages such as Hetton le Hole, West Rainton, Fencehouses, Great Lumley, Bournmoor, South Hetton, and Murton. The area truly is ripe for the Gospel as there are very few evangelical churches in the region, and Bethany Christian Centre is by far the largest among them.

Houghton-le-Spring is a town in North East England, which has its recorded origins in Norman times. Historically in County Durham, it is now administered as part of the local government district of the City of Sunderland, in Tyne and Wear. It is situated almost equidistant between the cathedral city of Durham 7 miles (11 kilometres) southwest and Sunderland about 7 mi (11 km) northeast. Houghton le Spring is 98% white in origin, with no significant immigrant community. Although 78% describe themselves as Christian, only about 3% of the population attend church of any kind.

The area is known for its higher education. Durham University, Newcastle University, Northumbria University and Sunderland University are within 15 miles. Durham Cathedral, founded in 1093 is seven miles away and still offers services hosted by The Church of England.

Durham, a popular tourist attraction, is the county town of County Durham and Bethany Christian Centre is situated just eight miles away. The River Wear flows north through Durham, making an incised meander which encloses the center on three sides to form Durham's beautiful peninsula. At the base of the peninsula is the Market Place, which hosts regular markets. A permanent indoor market, Durham Indoor Market, is also situated just off the Market Place. The Market Place and surrounding streets are one of the main commercial and shopping areas of the city.

Sunderland is the closest big city (population over 175,000), with just a five minute drive to the outskirts. It is located on the coast of the North Sea, at the mouth of the River Wear, and offers some tremendous beaches and other natural sites.

All in all, Houghton, Durham, and Sunderland offer a beautiful location to minister and raise a family. It is emerging from the loss of industry and mining to become a place to live for people employed at any of the nearby bigger towns and cities in the northeast. Housing is quite inexpensive, relative to the rest of England, and schools are known for offering high-quality education.

Think you're a great fit for this role? Become a candidate here. 


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