“Men look for methods. God looks for a man. God’s method is men”
(A.W. Tozer in a forward to a book on Hudson Taylor)
So we see God’s touch in the foundations of our church. It is He who birthed vision in the heart of a young couple, Alan and Eileen Vincent in the late 50s or early 60s, for India. So this couple left the United Kingdom, in blind faith, by ship, with two of their children Duncan and Rachael and sailed via the Suez canal to land in what was then Bombay in 1960:their goal to preach the gospel and be instruments in His hands to save and deliver souls from evil.
Some years later Eileen was to deliver her third child and she checked in to the Holy Family Hospital Bandra. There she began to talk about Jesus to a group of nuns who were impacted by the good news that Jesus died for the forgiveness of sins. Hungry for more a group of them began to meet in a room in St Joseph’s Convent Bandra and subsequently in St. Andrew’s school. God moved in power, as the Bible was preached by Alan. God’s unconditional love touched the hearts and lives of alcoholics, drug addicts, hoodlums, gangster and many were delivered from their addictions. They walk free to this day.
The church was therefore built on a clear foundation of the word and power of God.
A group of people began to meet in Chuim village in Bandra lead by Alan Vincent and Grenville Fernandes in the early seventies. As the group grew they began to meet in a small hall which doubled up as Secretarial school called Clares. Up till that time the group was affiliated to Newlife Church with Trevor Patterson, from New Zealand and Alan Vincent sharing the ministry. Eventually this group broke away from New life and formed what is called Living Word Church.
This small group began to meet at the National College Hall in Bandra. Obedience to Jesus instruction to ‘be baptized’ marked these Christians as they broke with their former traditions. Leadership compulsions prompted Alan in 1981 to invite Terry Virgo from Brighton U.K. to give oversight to the church which was being lead up to this time by Grenville Fernandes, Nap De Souza and Causy Rozario.
In 1982 Duncan Watkinson was appointed as the leader and under his leadership much growth began to take place.
1n 1984, the church purchased it’s own office premises in Khar at a cost of Rs3,00,00.
The church had to move it’s Sunday meeting place in 1985 to Bombay Scottish School, in Mahim and it began to see foundation of the faith being established in the lives of its members. It was during this phase that it established mid week meetings in different parts of the city-mainly Bandra and south Bombay-, grow it’s worship team , bring Biblical order and discipline, focus on hospitality and relationships and gather a leadership team.
Arun Philip came on board full time in 1983 to assist Duncan. With this additional strength the church began to grow beyond the 150 -75 mark. The quality of Church life was enhanced by annual Church camps and conventions, which were ministered to by Terry Virgo, from what is today called Newfrontiers International.
In 1986, the church moved it’s meeting place to Pupil Owns school Khar and in the same year Arun Philip was set aside as an elder of the church. He continued to lead the church till 1990.
Church planting has been a basic vision of the church. Over the years Living word has planted churches in Borivili West, Andheri West, Parel, Vakola, Margao- Goa, Pune, Nasik.
The church continues to grow and evolve.