History of The Kings Church, Epsom
The Kings Church Epsom was formed in January 1992 from an amalgamation of two churches: Epsom Evangelical Church with roots in Prayer and Bible study going back to 1936; and Fellowship of the Kings with roots in healing going back to the early 1970’s. The early churches endured much toil and periods of migration around the borough of Epsom & Ewell in their quest for a place of worship but commendably, these churches enjoyed remarkable financial and personnel support from other evangelical churches in the area during their times of great trial.
Since its formation, KCE has experienced an enviable period of stability and steady growth which is a testament to God’s goodness. The church has benefitted significantly from the commitment and generosity of its members which has enabled the funding of many noble works locally and internationally and the development of major building facilities. The church has also successfully established itself as a truly multi-racial, family church with a congregation of over 20 nationalities from around the world. KCE is led by an Eldership team supported by specific ministries and key staff.
Epsom Evangelical Church - The Early Years
The Epsom Evangelical Church was formed on the 16th September 1936 from a Prayer Fellowship led by the Rev. A. G. Edgerton. In this period the meetings were held in a hall over the Co-operative Society business building on East Street, Epsom. Weekly Prayer and Bible study meetings were also held at 10, Church Street, Epsom.
In 1944 the church relocated to its own premise which was a reconverted cottage at 22, East Street. The work maintained its nucleus of praying members, but did not grow much in numbers. However, many young preachers gained preaching and teaching experience through the church, by leading the services. Also, men “on the road” would drop into the services and listen to the Word during those years. Another major outreach during these years was a Sunday school. For this, larger accommodation than the cottages was required, so rooms were rented at Lintons Lane School. This ministry continued reaching many young children with the Gospel, under various leaders, until 1973.
In 1969, the Church was forced to sell its premises at East Street, due to a compulsory purchase for redevelopment. In March 1970 the church started meeting at Glyn Hall in Ewell for Sunday services and one weekday evening services. This resulted in the loss of a few members due to transport needs. However, the church still maintained a keen interest in continuing its work in Epsom, and over a very challenging period in its match forward, the church eventually took a step of faith in 1977, by moving its Sunday services to Epsom High School on Longmead Road in Epsom. This meant the onerous job of constantly moving equipment to and from Epsom and Ewell every Sunday, but the Church was glad to have its presence back in Epsom.
In 1978, 20 new members joined the church from Chessington Evangelical Church, who also offered some financial help, in a cooperation agreement with that church. During this period of much toil and labour by the new nucleus, Chessington Evangelical Church also offered the payment for the church’s full time Minister who was employed in 1979.
It was agreed at the time that the church received new members from Chessington E.C that all meetings would be transferred to the school on Longmead. Eventually, after a long period of searching, the Borough Council was prevailed upon to let the church have a site at an area of open land just off Longmead Road, to build its permanent home. In November 1982, a thanksgiving service was held in the field to dedicate the site which has come to be the current home of the Church. A few months later, on Saturday, May 21st 1983 the small new building was opened by the Rev. Brian Edwards of Hook. The Rev. Andrew Davies, formerly of Chessington E.C, to whom so much is owed for his vision and assistance to the church, ministered at the weekend’s meeting.
Merger: The Fellowship of the Kings
In 1990, the church started merger talks with The Fellowship of the Kings which had been founded in the early 1970’s from a Healing Ministry that used to meet in Bourne Hall. Following careful and prayerful negotiations the two groups formally merged on 1st of January 1992 to form The King’s Church, Epsom (KCE).
International Mission and Ethnic Diversity
For many years, the church has had a heart for world mission. A major turning point was reached around 1989 when we began to tithe the time of our new Pastor to world mission. As we sowed this seed, a regular flow of people from other nationalities also began to join the King’s church. Today, as we celebrate the strength in our own rich ethnic diversity of around 20 nationalities in the King’s church, we are also actively involved in mission work in many countries.
New Worship Auditorium and Offices
As a result of the merger, an extension to the small church became a real and necessary proposition. KCE was blessed with legacies from Harold & Dorothy Hodges, two founding members, in 1991 and 1993. With this, in addition to the enhanced access to funds that the merged church now had, we were able to obtain loans for the building of the new church extension and offices (the current expanded worship auditorium) which was opened on 19th June 1993. All the loans were fully paid off early in just seven years.
Incorporation and more growth…
In 1994, Thea Thompson left her estate, including a 2 bed semi-detached on Lower Court Road, Epsom, to the church. This wonderful legacy later enabled us to employ and house our first full-time Children’s Worker and his family in September 2000.
2008 was an eventful year with the church becoming incorporated as a registered Charity. The links with F.I.E.C. Limited, the erstwhile Trustees, were finally severed and new Trustees were appointed from the church’s Eldership.
Following a period of steady growth, further building expansions had become inevitable. In a notable act of faith in 2009, the church commissioned plans and obtained planning permission for a major annexe building. With some staff changes later in September 2009, the church decided to sell the property on Lower Court Road and raise some additional loan to enable the commencement of building work. The new 2 storey building attached to the existing premises was officially opened on June 12, 2010 at a final cost of around £800,000.
At the same time as the new annexe, major refurbishment of the existing worship auditorium building was also undertaken through members’ direct labour. The old offices were removed and the building underwent general refurbishment to create the present enlarged worship auditorium.
Change is Constant
In December 2011, Doug Croucher the long-serving Senior Pastor, retired from leading the church. A new Team leadership structure where the church is led by the Elders, supported by specific ministries and key staff, was introduced.