Church History

All Nations ChurchOur Story

Some 90 years ago when Clapham Park (in the no man’s land triangle between Brixton, Balham and Clapham) was one of the fastest growing Council Estates in London with a planned for 40,000 residents. God put a glint in the eye of some Christians in Clapham to begin a Sunday school and reach the hundreds of children moving into the area. They hired the Bonneville Gardens primary school and soon had more than their hands full of children. An SOS went out and help came from Balham Baptist church, sending over a dedicated team of workers every Sunday afternoon. Soon the numbers of children being reached went over the 1000 mark!

After World War 2 the council changed its policy of hiring to churches and so the team of workers began to cast their eyes over a bomb site on Poynders Road as a possible place for building a youth hall. The Council also had sights on the land and decided to compulsory purchase it. After fervent prayer and a presentation to the House of lords, Balham Baptist were granted permission to buy the land. In 1958 the bomb site became God’s site when the Bonneville hall was opened to great rejoicing. The group of workers God had forged together on the anvil of self-sacrifice covenanted together on 4 March 1961 to become the Bonneville Baptist Church in Clapham Park. The rest as they say is very colourful history:

  • Tough days; succession of 4 pastors in 12 years, one committing suicide
  • Les & Ann Ball invited to try and salvage the work (now down to 35 members) and appointed Pastor in September 1974
  • The church begins to grow. A staff team is built up
  • 1980’s Brixton riots tear the community apart; a team sent to Raleigh Park in Brixton to start a multi-cultural church.
  • Luis Palau holds mission on Clapham Common
  • Church grows; a new building costing nearly £700.000 opened by Clive Calver
  • 1986 Tragic death of Boys Brigade leader – Luis Palau’s ‘bodyguard’
  • A Job Club is opened
  • 1989 mission work in north east India started
  • 1994 Crossroads Pregnancy Crisis centre started next door to Brixton’s abortion clinic
  • 1996 church becomes ‘All Nations Church’, reflecting the changing nature of out make up
  • 2000 – two daughter churches planted in Bedford Hill and Raleigh Park, a millennium birthday present for Jesus
  • 2007 Molly Berry House opened – a block of 6 income generating flats
  • 2007 Paul Ogunyemi appointed as Associate Pastor and Patrick Adetuwo as Assistant Pastor
  • 2012 Pastor Les retires in September
  • 2012 Pastor Paul Ogunyemi appointed as Senior Pastor
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