Church finds the right name to practise what it preaches

Larbert Pentecostal Church has always been a big part of the local community
Larbert Pentecostal Church has always been a big part of the local community

Larbert Pentecostal Church has always prided itself on being part of the community.

As one of the founding members of Falkirk Foodbank and Falkirk Street Pastors, the church’s congregation see no point in hiding themselves away but would rather be out and about and helping where it can.

From random acts of kindness and family fun days to serving lunches during school holidays and delivering gifts at Christmas, the church likes to be busy.

And now, as the church marks its 95th anniversary, it’s about to take another big step forward.

On September 1, Larbert Pentecostal Church will rebrand as the Found Church and become a public company limited by guarantee.

It’s all part of the church’s commitment to remain active in the community and stay relevant in today’s more secular society.

Senior pastor Michael Rollo, who has been at the church for over 28 years, said: “The old name has served us well but we felt we needed a better connection with today’s increasingly unchurched generation.

“We are planning a campus in Grangemouth and needed a neutral name.

“Originally, we wanted to open a coffee house in Grangemouth and perhaps form a life group there.

“We are still actively looking for a coffee house and hope to do it as a way of helping to deal with areas of deprivation that exist in Grangemouth.

“In terms of the rebranding, we have always been contemporary and progressive.

“This is clear in our worship and our music and the way we are doing a whole host of things to make a difference in the community.

“We thought the name – Larbert Pentecostal Church – could be a barrier to people.”

The name change has been two years in the making.

Over 100 new names had been suggested and had to be whittled down over time.

“One suggested name was Impact,” said Michael “while another was Aspire. but they just weren’t right and people viewed them in different ways.”

“We really wanted a name that meant something. The Found Church made a statement - it was about finding Jesus.

“With the Found Church, there’s biblical concepts there, such as lost and found or the lost sheep.

“On the day we announced the new name, I got a text from a 75-year-old lady who said she loved it.

“People within the church are really excited about it.”

Larbert Pentecostal Church dates back to 1922.

The church’s building in Broomage Avenue was opened in December 1954 and was later extended.

However, as the church grew, the building became too small and Sunday services have taken place at Larbert High School for the past few years.

Michael said: “There are 125 members but that doesn’t tell the whole story.

“We have 200 plus coming to our Sunday services and more who attend the groups we run such as toddlers and the youth work we do, and we also have 100 people attending our twice monthly Life Groups.

“Little by little we are growing.

“We have four pastors and we are about to take on a fifth.

“We are one of the churches in the UK that is really growing.”

The church’s activities are varied but all tie in with its objectives to advance the Christian faith, relieve sickness and financial hardship and provide counselling and support.

It works with local schools and provides football chaplaincy while also supporting the foodbank and street pastors scheme.

Several events have also been held recently under the Love Your Neighbour banner including a free car wash morning and a week of random acts of kindness.

The worship band is also an important part of the church; it got to number one in the Christian charts in June 2015.

Pastor Rollo added: “In our recent history, one of the biggest achievements is that the church is growing.

“We have different things on every day and we couldn’t do that without a team of dedicated people.”

On September 1 the church will celebrate its rebranding by welcoming a speaker from Northern Ireland, Paul Reid, a senior pastor with the CFC church.

Michael added: “It’s been a lot of work, but we are very excited. It’s a big step for us.”