Copyright © Dagarte Ltd 2014 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, scanning or otherwise, without prior permission of the copyright owner. All correspondence to:Dave Gilpin Hope City Church The Megacentre Bernard Road
Twitter.com/davegilpin Email firstname.lastname@example.org www.davegilpin.com Some names have been changed to protect the identity of those mentioned. If you do recognise events and people, please accept our deepest apology if our interpretation of events may be at variance with yours. We are the ones who are probably misguided. We also apologise for all we hurt along the way with any harsh words, absent words and brash actions. If we could do it all again, we would certainly be more gracious and kind. We recognise our shortcomings. Thank you for not killing us! Various short excerpts of Dave’s diary were included in Dave Gilpin’s book ‘Jesus Save Me From Your Followers’ published in 2006 by New Wine Press.
This book is dedicated to Ryan Gilpin. We used to worry that the rough and tumble of pioneering in a new country would be detrimental to you â€“ we now know itâ€™s been the making of you. We are the proudest parents.
This is the diary of Dave and Jenny Gilpin. It’s an honest and intimate record of their journey from arriving on British soil to them establishing a church that would become a 21 century template for a new generation of churches across the British Isles. It records all they felt, all they experienced and all of their successes and failures. It will encourage you hugely in your own journey of faith.
Hope City Church and it records •
The stresses and strains of pioneering a church from scratch in a new country.
The tender beginnings of the new ‘multisite’ model of church life that’s now sweeping the nation.
The history of Glyn and Sophia Barrett and the beginnings of Audacious Conference and Audacious Church.
The heart and soul of Dave and Jenny Gilpin and the pass.
Dave and Jenny Gilpin are Senior Pastors of Hope City son called Ryan who is married to Esther. They’ve written many books and travel extensively across the world.
Meeting Dave and Jen in 1990 was certainly that. They were a key used by God that unlocked a whole new dimension of Christian living, not only to Sophia and I, but also to many tens of thousands of people since. Having we were excited to join them after graduating from Bible College in Sydney some 4 years after they began. ‘Up The Creek Without A Paddle’ charts the warts and all journey of planting and no idea of how or why these people think the way they do. It’s the story of true and faithful obedience to the call of God. It’s about how something so wrong can turn so right. Don’t think, though, that it was all blood, sweat and tears – we laughed a lot in our many years together! Dave’s faux pas are the stuff of legend. Over the years Dave has grown trendier (those glasses back in the 90’s - sheesh), more comfortable in his skin (not just his tight jeans) and more lovelier. Having known them (and baby Ryan) for over half my life, and always carried themselves with utmost integrity and passionately believe in Jesus and His House. They are in every way the ‘real deal!’ I am thankful that God gives Grace to walk through each season and even
- we ALL salute you!
Glyn Barrett Senior Pastor, !Audacious Church
PREFACE Amongst the debris of our past and present lie all the seeds to our God given future. It’s the mystery that lies behind the great Australian bush and the new habitats of the future. Our story, and your story, is no exception. ‘Up the Creek Without a Paddle’ records some of our darkest days, and yet buried a few inches within the soil of our troubles were seeds that would grow to create our brightest future – leaders of movements, congregations and ministries. Even though they came in young and inexperienced, they have become huge bastions of strength for the kingdom of God. Our lives have been shaped, fashioned and marked by our past. We’ve become bigger people. Our enemies have provided the landscape to really know what love is and our mountains have provided the food to really learn how to trust. Our rebellion and pride have been eroded by trouble and trial! And I have a hunch that it was our own smallness and annoyingness that This book is for you. Diamonds are created from coal. Pearls are created by irritation. If you keep the scripture, ‘all things work together for good’ tucked once were.
Dave and Jenny Gilpin (February 2014)
INTRODUCTION Dave was born in 1960 in Birkenhead, just across the Mersey from Liverpool. His family then moved to Ascot just outside London and in 1965 they moved to Australia. Jenny was born Kym Anne Salter in 1966 in Brisbane, but was immediately given up for adoption and after 10 days, found her new home with her new Christian parents Enid and John Stewart. At 16, Jen’s father John died and her world was shattered. Clinging to God and feeling a call to ministry, she applied to the one year Bible training college at her home church. She told God that she would not entertain a relationship until her Academy year was complete. On the night of her last day, she met Dave. At 18, Dave left his home in Canberra to attend Sydney University. Driven by a led him to being expelled from his residential college. This led him to both think seriously about God and do some serious apologising to the college. He was allowed back in, and within six months had become a Christian. After completing his Engineering degree, Dave found himself working in Central Queensland in a town of 4000 people, attending a Pentecostal church with a fair share of farmers. With their passion and love for God, Dave’s heart was melting and upon being transferred to Brisbane, he applied to a one year Bible college similar to Jenny’s, at his new church. It was at this time that he met Jen. He was 24, she was 18. After 13 months, they married and became Youth Pastors at Dave’s church. In 1989 they saw the Hillsborough Stadium disaster televised from England where almost 100 people died, and felt prompted to plant a church in England,
Hillsborough disaster actually happened within a few miles of their history making decision. In March 1991 with Jenny four months pregnant, they left for England. This is a record of what happened next!
PART 1: UP THE CREEK (THE DIARY OF JENNY GILPIN) Chapter 1
In the Beginning
No Going Back
A Hard Dayâ€™s Night
Unto Us a Child is Born
Our First Winter
The Fast and the Furious
Full Steam Ahead
The Knife Edge
Picking up the Pieces
Downsize to Upsize
Devils, Diamonds and Dust
PART 2: THE WILDERNESS YEARS (THE DIARY OF DAVE GILPIN) Chapter 13
In the Silence
Between a Rock and a Hard Place
Hell and High Water
As Days Go By
Up Close and Personal
The Recovery Begins
The Light at the End of the Tunnel
PART 3: FROM CREEK TO RIVER (THE DIARIES OF DAVE AND JENNY GILPIN) Chapter 22
Speaking Words of Wisdom
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Between Crisis and Blessing
Onward Christian Soldiers
Taking Back the Reins
On a Personal Note
Keep on Moving
PART 4: THE PAST DECADE (THE LIFE AND TIMES OF DAVE AND JENNY GILPIN) Chapter 31
Night Moves - Night of Honour
Itâ€™s Not So Grim Up North - Leeds Launch
Arrested Development - Media Madness
Accident and Emergency - City Hearts
Newcastle - The Real Story
The Trilogy: Birmingham, Accra and Frankfurt
The End of the Beginning
A Personal Note From Dave
CHAPTER 1 IN THE BEGINNING
The Untold Story from the Diaries of Dave and Jenny Gilpin
22 AUGUST 1990 (THE RECONNAISSANCE – SIX MONTHS BEFORE LEAVING AUSTRALIA.) I am writing from an unusually quiet place. Dave has just gone away to a Youth Leaders camp for 3 days. Boy, will I get a lot done. Someone rang us last night and said they would pay my airfare to England so I could go with Dave for 3 weeks at the end of the year to spy out the land! Unbelievable! I am going there in 3 months! I asked at work today Word and I felt the Holy Spirit say to me that He was going to bless us drastically. We wondered why God was sending me early but Dave seems in England. To add blessings to blessings, I was walking past Vinnie’s (charity shop) and thought I’d have a quick look. I got a hip length English coat made of through the shop said she had lived in England and the same jacket was
Up the Creek Without a Paddle
4 MARCH 1991 (THREE MONTHS AFTER RETURNING TO OZ, WE PACKED OUR BAGS AND SAID ‘FAREWELL’ TO THE LAND DOWN UNDER! I HAD JUST TURNED 25 AND DAVE HAD JUST TURNED 31.) We got to Heathrow at around 4.30am and caught a train into London, a taxi to St Pancras Station and a two and a half hour train journey to Barnsley) picked us up. It took us about 5 days to get back to normal sleep. We’ve been so tired. We went to church in Darton (near Barnsley) yesterday. I got an attack of the ‘lonlies’. You don’t feel at home without all your friends. Alongside our mixed emotions we have bought a car - A ROVER!! Posh eh! It’s a 1988 reg and only done 30,000 miles. It’s burgundy with pin stripes and all the extras - velour seats etc. We had a bit of a miracle with it. The car only came with a radio and Dave really wanted a cassette deck. Anyway, when I was praying the morning before we picked it up, I thought to myself, tape deck. That is just what happened; Dave got his tape deck. It has been really depressing looking around for rental houses. Rent is beyond us. We’ll have to buy something with the diminishing money we made on our small house in Australia to be able to afford to live. To get a loan Dave has to get a job. That is going to be really hard too. We need a miracle. The houses we could afford are mostly revolting, overlooking gas tanks and look onto sewerage works, I’ve exaggerated slightly, but you get my drift! God has to be in control somehow. It would have been much easier to take on a church somewhere in Australia than to step out cold turkey like this I can tell you. It wouldn’t be hard at all to return home but God must be with us in all our impossibilities. We found out that a house contract takes 3 months here before you own it, so if we buy a house with the deposit we got from selling our Brisbane house, we won’t have a house till I’m 7 months into my pregnancy.
11 MARCH 1991 (AFTER BEING REFUSED A MORTGAGE BECAUSE DAVE HAD NO WORK, THE BARCLAY’S MANAGER FROM BARNSLEY CALLED US A FEW DAYS LATER SAYING SHE’D CHANGED HER MIND. A MIRACLE – ME THINKS!) 20
The Untold Story from the Diaries of Dave and Jenny Gilpin
This afternoon the lady from the Real Estate rang and said it looks like we will be able to buy this little house we have fallen in love with. Actually, after we had seen it we got a peace not to look any further. It has 3 bedrooms, a downstairs toilet as well as a bathroom upstairs, built in wardrobes, is centrally heated and has double glazed windows, double doors to the back yard, a sensational kitchen and lounge - and backs onto an open away from the youth hall Dave has found for church. He only found it this I have put on 2.5kgs but am rapidly developing a pregnant shape. My body is changing fast! You don’t worry about it as much here as you hardly ever show your legs. This week, I have walked for 2 hours and done 2 aerobics sessions at home. I swam a kilometre last week. It cost about
24 MARCH 1991 (TWO WEEKS BEFORE MOVING INTO OUR MIDDLE OF THREE HOUSE IN AN ESTATE ON THE EDGE OF SHEFFIELD AND JUST BEFORE LAUNCHING THE CHURCH!) I feel really alone. I even had to walk out of the church we’re temporarily attending. You know when you are open to God sometimes you just want to cry. It is easier to be hard than to soften yourself and be real about how you feel. I have resorted again to mild panic over a few things which I know I shouldn’t. Dave hasn’t got a job yet and we have to start paying the mortgage in 2 weeks. No doubt it will work out. It always does doesn’t it. I hate being squeezed all the time but Antoine (the Pastor of a Brisbane church that graciously included us on their missions budget) rang this morning and is sending some support over for next month. It’s not huge but will certainly be appreciated. We are not buying an awful lot for the house yet as we are trying to be careful. We did buy a new bed in faith and bought a solid teak table and six chairs out of the paper. It’s really nice. You can take a leaf out of the table so it becomes round instead of oval. There’s a few dog eaten legs but overall it’s fabulous. We are having two rooms carpeted because there is no carpet. I said to Dave I would rather have carpet than furniture. It just feels more homey. almost 5 kilos! I thought I was having twins. I don’t seem to be any fatter 21
Up the Creek Without a Paddle
in myself so it all must be baby. They took a scan and the baby has grown a lot (and waved to us). All is perfectly normal. I used to be really scared of having an abnormal baby. God took away the fear but it is good to know all is A OK. I am walking every 2nd day for an hour or so as pools are hard to come by. We are starting the church this Sunday and I have to take communion, lead the worship, smile at the door, pour tea etc etc. More than a bit scary I can assure you.
“It wouldn’t be hard at all to return home but God must be with us in all this.”
The MindMap Series
SacredCowsMakeGreat BBQs - Dave Gilpin
Jesus Save Me From Your Followers - Dave G
Boost Your EQ (DVD) - Dave Gilpin
Think! (Two Books in One!) - Dave Gilpin
A.D.H.A (Audio Book) - Dave Gilpin
Manboobs - Dave Gilpin
Classic Lines - Jenny Gilpin
Classic Lines Dave and Jenny Gilpin
(Book, DVD, Map, Leaders Notes)
- Dave Gilpin