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Grace and Glory

Grace and Glory

COMING SOON

Release Date: 1 July 2019

The inspiring story of one small church that reached out beyond its walls to touch a community

This is the story of one local church told by the man who has for over 25 years pastored and led the many people who now call it home. From small and hesitant beginnings, over those years, Stephen Jonathan has become a visionary leader and a champion of hope – hope for people and hope for the town and communities of Tamworth. Behind the inspirational headlines of the stories of growth, Stephen tells openly and honestly of the blood, sweat and tears along the way.

I am delighted Stephen has written this book. He is a rare breed – a thoughtful and disciplined scholar with a deep love for teaching God’s Word. Yet, he is also a sleeves-rolled-up practical pastor and community leader. The Grace and Glory Stephen writes about is not mere theory to him. He has seen the evidence of that Grace in the lives of so many people who have come into contact with the love of God through the courageous and compassionate outreach of the church. I hope that many church leaders will read it and that many churches will begin to believe afresh for the transformation of their local community.

Rev. Chris Cartwright

General Superintendent, Elim Pentecostal Churches

If you long to see God at work where you are, please read this book!

Rev. Lyndon Bowring

Executive Chairman of CARE; Chancellor of Regents Theological College

About the Author

Steve and Julie Jonathan

Steve and Julie Jonathan

Stephen and Julie, originally from Swansea, South Wales, married in 1981, and have three adult children and two grandchildren. After working in local government, Stephen entered theological college as a mature student in 1984, and after three years of training joined the ministry team at City Church, Cardiff, as assistant pastor. During their time in Cardiff, they planted a new church on the outskirts of the city. Subsequently, Stephen was invited to become pastor of Tamworth Elim Church in 1992.

Julie, now retired, worked as a primary school teacher for many years and has always been actively involved in church life, serving especially with music and children’s ministry. Since being in Tamworth, Stephen has gained Master’s and Doctor’s degrees in theology from Manchester and Bangor universities, respectively.  His doctorate on the controversial subject of posthumous salvation was turned into a book, Grace beyond the Grave, in 2014.

Julie and Stephen enjoy long walks and are keen rugby supporters and are always ecstatic when Wales beats their arch rival England!

Endorsements and Reviews

Rev. Stuart Blount, Director of Ministry, Elim Pentecostal Churches

I have known Stephen as a friend since the first day we met in September 1984 as fledgling Bible College students. It was there I first saw Stephen’s diligence, not only in searching for truth as a student of the scriptures, but also in seeking to serve God with a genuine love for people. Stephen records not just a fascinating account of some of the unique challenges and opportunities a local church pastor may face, but many helpful lessons that can inform and inspire others to believe that God can do something great with men and women who are willing to work with him in reaching those who are lost. I commend Grace and Glory to you as more than a narrative about church growth but a story of spiritual adventure, which like all great adventures has its fair share of both fear and faith.

Rev. Stuart Blount
Director of Ministry, Elim Pentecostal Churches

Rev. Lyndon Bowring, Executive Chairman of CARE; Chancellor of Regents Theological College

I have witnessed first-hand what has been achieved in and through Tamworth Elim Church. It’s a fantastic example of God’s generous justice at work in a local community. If you long to see God at work where you are, please read this book!

Rev. Lyndon Bowring
Executive Chairman of CARE; Chancellor of Regents Theological College

Rev. Chris Cartwright, General Superintendent, Elim Pentecostal Churches

This is the story of one local church told by the man who has for over 25 years pastored and led the many people who now call it home. From small and hesitant beginnings, over those years Stephen Jonathan has become a visionary leader and a champion of hope – hope for people and hope for the town and communities of Tamworth. Behind the inspirational headlines of the stories of growth, Stephen tells openly and honestly of the blood, sweat and tears along the way. I am delighted Stephen has written this book. He is a rare breed – a thoughtful and disciplined scholar with a deep love for teaching God’s Word. Yet, he is also a sleeves-rolled-up practical pastor and community leader. The Grace and Glory Stephen writes about is not mere theory to him. He has seen the evidence of that Grace in the lives of so many people who have come into contact with the love of God through the courageous and compassionate outreach of the church. I hope that many church leaders will read it and that many churches will begin to believe afresh for the transformation of their local community.

Rev. Chris Cartwright
General Superintendent, Elim Pentecostal Churches

Kathy Coe MBE, CEO Pathway Project — Action Against Domestic Violence

Reading Grace and Glory reminded me of a quote from anthropologist Margaret Mead — “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” This book is about the gracious actions of a church in a deprived area that opened its doors to anyone in need and cared for them. Stephen Jonathan has been brutally honest about the lows as well as the highs, the mistakes as well as the triumphs. He has made himself vulnerable in order to carry out God’s work, and that comes with a personal cost. Together with his leadership team and congregation, Stephen has shown that Faith is sometimes spelled R-I-S-K as they have sought to change the world around them. An inspiring read.

Kathy Coe MBE
CEO Pathway Project — Action Against Domestic Violence

Sam Holliday, Tamworth Herald Editor, 1999-2005

When Stephen Jonathan, an enthusiastic young Welsh pastor, arrived to head up Tamworth’s Elim Church, he didn’t know the town, the church or the myriad of challenges he would face. Over the next 25 years, as this excellent book reveals, Tamworth totally transformed him — and, more importantly, he helped transform Tamworth. This well-written, challenging and very honest book charts Stephen’s remarkable journey as he committed himself fully to making the church a key part of his local community. It will inspire anyone who realises the church is judged by the public on its works, as well as its faith.

Sam Holliday
Tamworth Herald Editor, 1999-2005

Dr Richard Massey, Former Principal of Birmingham Bible Institute / Birmingham Christian College

This book is interesting, inspiring and challenging for a wide range of readers. It will appeal primarily to the Tamworth Elim local church members as it tells the story of their own church’s journey to move out beyond the walls of their church into the community around them. However, because it is the story of Stephen’s own journey during his time of leadership in that local church, with some pastoral challenges and controversial theological issues, this will be attractive to a wider readership including existing pastors and those in training. The popular style of writing together with helpful reflections, plus the inclusion of a prayer after each chapter composed by Julie, make this a book to read and to recommend to others.

Dr Richard Massey
Former Principal of Birmingham Bible Institute / Birmingham Christian College

Dr Simon Peaple, Labour and Co-operative councillor, Leader of the Opposition on Tamworth Council, and Roman Catholic social activist

As a former Mayor of Tamworth, I am immensely grateful for the work done by the Elim Church in Tamworth over the past thirty years. Grace and Glory tells the story of how thousands of lives have been touched by their work. By undertaking a wide variety of projects they have reached out, like Christ asked, to those at the crossroads and those on the byways. Especially since the introduction of Austerity in 2010, they have provided a lifeline for the poorest in society who have been hardest hit. The Foodbank and the Winter Night Shelter have fed the hungry and sheltered the homeless when Universal Credit was piloted here. The night shelter involved working with all the other local Christian denominations, and provides a national model for community engagement as well as ecumenical co-operation.

Dr Simon Peaple
Labour and Co-operative councillor, Leader of the Opposition on Tamworth Council, and Roman Catholic social activist

Rev. Geoff Richardson, Former Dean of Students, Regents Theological College

Much has been written about church leadership, but in this moving story, Steve does so much more — he tells how it has worked in practice, in an ordinary English town with seemingly ordinary people. He writes with humility and honesty, with theological rigour and pastoral sensitivity, and Julie’s beautiful prayers at the end of each chapter add so much to a book that really should be essential reading for anyone setting out in pastoral ministry.

Rev. Geoff Richardson
Former Dean of Students, Regents Theological College

An inspiring read.

Kathy Coe MBE, CEO Pathway Project — Action Against Domestic Violence

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