The History of Newfrontiers
A brief record of the origins and history of Newfrontiers
In the early 1970s, Terry Virgo began to help a number of house churches become established around Sussex. He was based in a church in Seaford, Sussex, which invited him to be their first pastor in 1968. He was a convinced charismatic, and by God's grace had led the church into a transformation to become a fully charismatic church.
The number of house churches in Sussex grew to approximately ten, and each month about a thousand people would gather at Hove Town Hall for celebrations and instruction. From time to time, Terry would gather the leaders of these churches for prayer and instruction. He was invited by some churches in South London, which had their own history, and were looking for help as they were transitioning into fully established charismatic churches.
Gradually the number of churches he worked with grew. And at this time there was no thought of there being a recognised group or of having a title.
On one occasion, as they prayed together, one of the leaders had a prophesy, stating that they were as a herd of elephants that would break through and make a path where there was no path. He said 'there are no well worn paths before you'. (Later to be the title of a book written by Terry Virgo, telling the full history of Newfrontiers, up to the year 2000). This prophesy led to the churches beginning to be formed up as one group.
Newfrontiers International from the year 2000.
The story of Newfrontiers can be read in the book, No Well Worn Paths, written by Terry Virgo and published in 2001. Following its publication, the Stoneleigh Bible Week was concluded and replaced by an annual leaders conference, which gathered Newfrontiers leaders from all over the world, plus leaders from within the UK and also students and twenties, who ran a parallel conference. This was entitled Together on a Mission and was held at the Brighton Centre, gathering approximately 5000 people each year.
During this season the number of churches planted grew within the UK to about 230 churches and internationally, to some 900 churches in over 60 nations.
In 2011, Newfrontiers changed its style of working. Terry Virgo handed over the leadership to about twenty different team leaders, scattered in different parts of the world, who already carried much spiritual responsibly among the churches. They were recognised leaders, and were released to take responsibility for the sphere of service which God had given them. This has led to multiplied church planting, training programs, and ongoing expansion.
Each of these leaders is free to develop his own strategies, training programs, and gospel advance. From time to time, these leaders gather for prayer and fellowship, but essentially the advance of the work of Newfrontiers is in the hands of these team leaders, their teams and the programs that they put together.