The first Apostolic Church meetings in Middlesbrough began in 1919 and were held in the home of Mr George Simpson at no 5 Clarendon Road, Middlesbrough. The houses in this area have since been demolished and the Clarendon Building of the University of Teesside now stands on the site.
The church was a house group associated with the Apostolic Church in Stockton-on-tees, which was the first Apostolic Church to be opened in the north east of England. In 1920 a church hall was rented from the “Owners of the Middlesbrough Estate” in Mary Ann Street, Linthorpe, and this became the location of the church for the next fifty years.
In 1970 the site on which the church hall stood was sold, so the church community was obliged to find alternative accommodation. A temporary location was found in Ormesby at the Toch-H-Hut just opposite Ormesby Methodist Church. Services were held in that building for the next two years until it was also demolished in 1972. Then from May through to November of 1972, services were held each Sunday afternoon in the Methodist Church in Ormesby.
The Move to Thorntree
Throughout our history it had been our desire to own our own property and it was at this time that it finally became possible. Negotiations had been taking place with the Methodist Church to buy a derelict church property on Thorntree Estate, which had stood empty for approximately five years.
The building was structurally sound but in need of extensive repairs and because of this it was available at a very competitive price. The property was finally purchased in 1972 and as we only had about twenty church members at that time, our first services commenced in November of that year in a small side room.
From the beginning of our occupation of the current site it has been our ambition to become a part of the local community. However, our resources were limited and progress was slow.
The first notable success was in 1977 when special children’s services were held to launch the Sunday School. At the last service some 250 children were present, the Sunday School started with a membership of around 50 children and retained these numbers for several months afterwards.
For many years the church membership continued to hover at around twenty, and it was not until the late 1980′s that numbers attending our services gradually began to increase. It was during this period and into the nineties that our range of activities began to increase also, with activity clubs for children and young teenagers starting on a Monday evening and a ladies handicraft class starting on a Wednesday.
The Present Day
Our style of worship began to change with the introduction of a worship band and a more contemporary range of worship songs along with the more traditional hymns. As our numbers and finance increased we were able to renovate the building and also to introduce more initiatives to engage with the community around us.
The momentum for change has continued right up to the present day and we now have a much larger congregation and a greater range of resources available to us than in those early days. The style of our meetings continues to evolve as we aim to impact the culture of today with the unchanging message of the bible.
In 2005, we started a relationship with The Green Lane Christian Centre (GCC) in Auckland, New Zealand. GCC is one of the largest churches in New Zealand; their expertise has helped us considerably as we develop a church, which reaches un-churched people.
The current building in Thorntree has become too small for growth and so in October 2006 we decided to move the main Sunday meetings to the Town Centre. We have retained the Thorntree building, which now forms the centre of our outreach programme.
In 2009, we celebrated our 90th anniversary. The first event included a party & meeting at Legends Lounge in The Riverside Stadium.