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Our History

1907 Reverend Ferguson and 24 members from Mill Street Baptist Church are formally appointed as York Street Baptist Church. Three Rivers Church can however trace it’s roots back further – since Mill Street Baptist itself was developed out of Bunyan Meeting which was founded by John Bunyan.

1912 The “new” church building was completed and the church was renamed as Russell Park Baptist Church.

1924 Baptistery and school room built. Pipe organ installed.

1933 Formal links made with Wootton Baptist Church – Russell Park pastors providing pastoral support and oversight. This lasted until 1969.

1944 Mr Ferguson leaves Russell Park

1945 6 Campbell Road is bought as a manse

1946 Mr Fraser appointed as pastor

1956 Mr Fraser leaves Russell Park

1957 The sale of 6 Campbell Road and purchase of 90 Denmark Street (which is now the church office). Mr Ron Luland was appointed pastor.

1977 18 members transferred to form a new church at Woodside

1978 Sunday morning service was changed for 11am to 10.15am

1982 New hall and extension replace “old Tin Hut”. Entrance to church changed. (Originally the front door opened into what is now the worship area).

1985 Reverend Tony Matthews appointed as associate pastor till 1987.

1986 Kempston congregation started

1988 Mr Ron Luland retires and Peter Dye is appointed as pastor.

1990 Kempston planted out and in 1995 joins Southside.

1997 David Gibson appointed as second pastor.

2002 Karen Woodburn appointed as youth worker

2004 Death of Peter Dye

2006 Myles Coulter appointed as second pastor. Karen goes on maternity leave and then steps down as Youth Worker. Chris Johnson is appointed as the new Youth Worker.

2007 New extension built and church centenary

2010 Myles leaves Russell Park.

2011 Paul Sands joins Russell Park as Pastor

2014 Sunday Morning service is split into two meetings at 9am and 11am. The church also is renamed as Three Rivers Church Bedford.

2015 Richard Williams joins as Assistant Pastor.

God starts clearly speaking to the leadership of both Rutland Road Church and Three Rivers Church about joining together, establishing one church in two locations, with shared values.

2016 After 12 months of prayer and discussion, a substantial majority of the membership of Rutland Road Church express the belief that it is God's will that the two churches should come together.

 

In January 2016 a 'marriage' takes place, with Rutland Road Church becoming Three Rivers Church- West. The Pastor, Steve Le Page, becomes Associate Pastor of the two congregations.

2018 Richard Williams is called to become Associate Pastor of a church in St. Neots, Cambs, and Steve Le Page is called to become Pastor of a church in Tamworth, Staffs.

 

2019 In preparation for these moves, the leadership of Three Rivers Church believe that the two congregations should come together as one at Denmark Street for a period of time, to consolidate resources. When led by the Holy Spirit, it will then re-plant as a deliberate evangelistic outreach on the west side of Bedford town centre, probably at the existing premises in Rutland Road.

 

However, after several meetings of the church leaders with the congregation at Rutland Road, the majority of those members decide not to merge with the congregation at Denmark Street; as of late February 2019 they begin to meet separately under the title of Rutland Road Christian Fellowship.

Three Rivers Church holds fortnightly joint prayer times and a weekly joint drop-in centre for homeless persons with Rutland Road Christian Fellowship at its location.

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This is only a brief history but a more comprehensive history of the church from 1907 to 2008 is available from the church office.

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