"DISCOVER CHURCH" - A 100,000 word web site.

AN INTERESTING WORLD RESEARCH STUDY OF EVERY CHURCH IN ONE SAMPLE CITY, FOR ANYONE WHO WANTS TO SEE INFORMATION ABOUT CHURCH.

The old address for Discoverchurch was March 2003 until Sep 2009 was www.geocities.com/discoverchurch and the address since Oct 2009 has been http://churchdiscover.com

 

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*** - Three asterisks means it's the most important sentence to read.
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* - Means it's interesting.

 

9.30am TOOWOOMBA CITY CHURCH. Address: Neil and Thomas Sts

1. # of people: 252.
2. Available chairs: 400. (Also, the Basement has 100 chairs, Thomys Cafe can fit another 100.)
*3. Type of person: Businessmen and others with socio-political influence.
4. Socio- Economic Status: Middle.
5. Kids: 70 aged 0 - 18.
6. Ages: Not only younger people but older people as well.
7. Men: 50%.
8. Offering: Not disclosed.
9. Late arrivals: 9 at 9.38am.
10. Interesting info: -.
11. Date & Time spent: 30 visits including 17 Oct 1999; 30 Jan 2000; 30 Apr 2000; 13 May 2001. 10 Nov 2002 9.25am- 12.20pm. THE OLD FIGURE FOR TCC is 190 people worshipping in 2000.
12. When service finished. 11.10am. Allow 1.5 - 2 hours. Or an hour longer if attending free new comers BBQ.
13. This & other service times: 9.30am. 6.30pm. AS OF NOVEMBER 2003 THERE IS ONE SERVICE. IN MAY 2001 THERE WERE TWO SUNDAY MORNING SERVICES. (See closed services and churches file)
**14. Preacher: Senior Pastor Ian Shelton.
15. Feeling: Good.
16. Their belief: Charismatic. To win the whole world to Christ.
17. Dress code: Casual to Smart.
18. Travel towards city, turn west along Chalk Drive from Hume St, turn right or north along Neil Sts.
19. (Note) Acceptance in church as a visitor: -.
20. People who talked to me after the service: 7.
21. Length of time they talked: 1- 10 mins.
22. How soon do visitors get talked to after service?: -.
23. (Note) How much church is open to wider Christian community: Very.
24. Unusual things about worship: Nothing.
**25. (Note) Emphasis of ministry: Senior Ps Ian Shelton fulfills more of a role as organizer of conferences, special events, church unity. Christian Leaders Network was started by Ps Ian Shelton and is the largest Charismatic and Evangelical Ministers association / fraternal / working group who meet Friday mornings for Pastors who work full time ministry. They say the meeting is for prayer. However, in this meeting they also discuss parishioners they have shared problems with and how to deal with that person. Especially if it effects the city. They also hold a combined church service at the Empire Theatre 4 times a year. They bought George Otis from the "Transformations" video to Toowoomba. Pastors are known to mow each others lawn as a sign of humility. Pastors get invited to preach in other churches as well. Ps Colin Shaw travels the world widely promoting church unity.
26. Famous business people: -. There are businesses set up specifically to fund the church. (For example, Hydroponics Tomatoes are grown for Woolworths at Crows Nest.) Emu Gully, an outdoor recreation large area on the Range highway between Withcott and Toowoomba is affiliated with the church.
*27. Famous people: In August 2006, Lyle Shelton ran for the seat of Toowoomba north with the National Party in the Queensland State elections. Ian Shelton's son is Lyle Shelton. Lyle was a councillor for 6 1/2 years in the local government "Toowoomba City Council" till August 2006. Lyle was the youth Pastor at TCC. (In 2005 his sister Letitia Shelton was the Youth Pastor.) In Feb 2005 a publicly printed "Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship International" biography stated- "Lyle Shelton was elected to the Toowoomba City Council in March 2000. A Toowoomba resident since the age of three, Lyle attended Gabbinbar State School and Toowoomba Christian College. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism from the University of Southern Queensland. As a journalist, Lyle was editor of the Queensland Graingrower newspaper and Toowoomba-based reporter for the Queensland Country Life newspaper. In 1995, he was transferred to Rural Press Limited's Melbourne office where he served as Group Commodities Editor for the company's national network of newspapers and magazines. In 1997, he returned to Toowoomba to take up a position as youth minister at Toowoomba City Church. He continues to work part time for the church and engages in occasional freeĀ­lance writing. Lyle's interests include jogging, Australian Football (he is a former player in the Darling Downs Australian Football League), public affairs and reading. He is married to Wendy and they have four children, including twin boys aged three."
28. Knowable songs: Well known Hillsongs etc...
29. Quality of sound system/ loudness: High standard on sound. Also they do video production. They have TV screens with computer generated words.
30. Quality of preaching generally: Big picture focused. "How to get things done in a corporate way."
31. Meaningfulness/ depth of preaching: Has an emphasis of doing, getting things done.
32. Enjoyment/ lightness of preaching: Yes.
33. Impact/ deepness/ enjoyment of worship: Quite OK.
34. Amount of home groups: About six. "As people tend to be quite involved in doing some direct ministry instead."
35. How to access home groups: See newsletter, boards at back, or a Pastor.
36. Friendliness of home groups: -.
37. Intention to build: One Pastor said "We don't have any intention to build as to put a large building on this property would cost 6-7 million and we'd rather put the money to something else."
38. Estimate percentage church owned / rented?: Owned.
39. Estimate age of building: 60 years. It was a clothing factory.
40. Dowdiness of building outside: OK.
41. Inside?: OK.
42. Have sister churches where? At Kawana Sunshine Coast is a church loosely affiliated with them started by a Pastor who came from Sydney to Toowoomba and then some 30 people followed him to the Sunshine Coast and as of 2002 he's in Canada.
43. Sunday School availability: Yes.
44. Ages availability: Creche in Thommys 0-3; Kindy 4-7; Kidz church 8-12yo. The children leave half way through worship. The program goes till 11.15am.
45. % kids attend: 90%.
46. Noise of kids at back: Good.
47. Where is bible college? Toowoomba. It was the only full time Bible College in Toowoomba under "World Changers" ministry from AOG Adelaide, is now entirely supported by AOG Spring St. A couple of students from TCC and Vision attended. Could do 1 year full time internally with an option of going 2 further years full time externally. The college was once accommodated through renovations at TCC.
48. Where do kids school? This church has their own medium sized school some 5 kms north of Mt Kynoch between Highfields and Toowoomba directly on the highway.
49. How many missionaries do they support: Several.
50. What cost? -.
51. What is average they give to missions: Have given $35,000 plus supporting several missionaries overseas.
52. What is average they give to local poor? At 11am week days the poor are directly fed and can take bread away.
53. International poor? There are business programs for the poor setup overseas so they can work their way out of debt. Called "Business Aid."
54. Other emphasis on giving: TCC has given $10,000 to AGMF; $15,000 for the Light for equipment; $30,000 profits of Transformations Conference video sales got 20 overseas Pastors to fly here; 4 days of chaplain work. The house behind the church which was used by the Light Radio Station is now used for Recovery Ministries as of 2002. This ministry has an office downtown, upstairs on eastern side of Ruthven St between Margaret St and Herries St near Dimmies.
55. Per head total giving: Not given.
***56. Extent of other church programs: Alpha, French class, independent MUD (Missionaries Under Discussion) meetings were also held there which 20 or so used to attend. In about 1995 8 people left Toowoomba to carry on "Logus" or the political arm of the church in Canberra. The background of this church is as such. Ian Shelton has been working on this church in Toowoomba since about 1980. He left Toowoomba for a couple of years to help some other churches in Sydney whom had a similar vision. This church, often referred to as "Logus" was infamous in that they once all travelled from Sydney to Perth. Then they all permanently moved to Toowoomba, making headlines in the local paper. They previously owned "Lords' Restaurant" on the Range and turned it into a bible college. The original Pastor from Sydney, Howard Carter, was caught in some highly publicised grievance (not criminal) and died of eye cancer circa 1991.
57. Pastor receive stipend? Yes.
58. How much? Ian Shelton has publicly stated he does not wish to disclose how much this amount is. Ps Colin Shaw travels throughout the world.
59. Qualifications of Pastor: Unsure.
60. Estimated of parishioners complaints. Many still feel they are too political, in the world and in the church. Often are accused of getting too focused on "their good works" instead of personally caring for their own and others.
61. Estimated ability to resolve parishioners complaints: There probably needs some work here.

 

6.00pm TOOWOOMBA CITY CHURCH. Address: Neil and Thomas Sts

1. # of people: 104 people 31 July 2005.
2. Available chairs: 400.
*3. Type of person: Businessmen and socio-politics influence.
4. Socio- Economic Status: Middle.
5. Kids: -.
6. Ages: A lot of 15-22yo's normally.
7. Men: -%.
8. Offering: -.
9. Late arrivals: -.
***10. Interesting info: This is interesting in that this is a PUBLIC church service and technically it could be said that now church isolates the poor as some of these courses one needs to take in which to take part of this public service had a monetary cost. This is the first time ever in Toowoomba where it costs money to go to church. Or be embarrased. It's the thin edge of the wedge. Is this acceptable? Also, Ps Shelton said "Put your churches name on the offering envelope." The courses are on things like Marriage enrichment, evangelism etc..
11. Date & Time spent: 31 July 2005 6.25pm - 9pm. 23 Mar 2003 6.45pm- 7.10pm. 10 visits from 1985- 2005.
12. When service finished. Allow 1.5 hours. The courses used to start after 45-60 mins.
13. This & other service times: 6.00pm; 9.30am. Please note on the 2nd Sunday of each month this church used to split into 3 at night. One group went to Living Grace Lutheran. Another group was at TCC doing a paid Alpha course. Another group did a paid Marriage Enrichment course. There has been no public meeting on the 2nd of each month. Has been
182 people (This was a combined church activity with leaders involved from Living Grace Lutheran, Vision, Range Christian Fellowship etc..) However, before these other churches came in to do these short (paid) courses began there were approximately 122 Toowoomba City Church people.
**14. Preacher: Senior Pastor Ian Shelton. On 31 July 2005 Associate Ps Adam Grant spoke.
15. Feeling: Good.
16. Their belief: Charismatic.
17. Dress code: Casual to Smart.
18. Travel towards city, turn west along Chalk Drive from Hume St, turn right or north along Neil Sts.


10am "GREGORY ST CHURCH" or "THE REVIVAL FELLOWSHIP" 10 Gregory St.

1. # of people: 122.
2. Available chairs: 220
*3. Type of person: Most of the men are blue collar workers such as painters, carpenters, labourers etc..
4. Socio- Economic Status: Mostly Working class or blue collar workers, higher ranked members in church are sales people, non high management office types.

5. Kids: 40 12-17yo 6. Ages: 1-70 but mostly young families. 7. Men: 50%
**8. Offering: Pastor said from pulpit "Could we watch our tithes and offerings as we are down several thousand dollars this year January till April 2001." (Many churches across the board said they lost much money at this exact time.)
*9. Late arrivals: 25 late. Service started 7 minutes late, people only got there to open the doors of the church 20 mins prior to church opening.
*10. Interesting info: There are 20-30,000 Papua New Guinean members, all due to 1 PNG tram driver who visited Brisbane. TRF are in 17 countries of the world.
*11. Date & Time spent: 8/4/01 Was at the church 6 hours straight! 8.55am-2.45pm!

12. When service finished. 2 hour first service.
13. This & other service times: 10am and 1pm. (Self bring lunch in between.)
14. Preacher: Ps Russel Gay.
15. Feeling: Not a "militant" feeling, they sing most normal older Charismatic songs. Things do feel a little "controlled."
***16. Their belief: This church has a well known National reputation as they believe speaking in tongues is the only real evidence of having the Holy Spirit, which is necessary for salvation. Their international church had a split when 80% including Toowoomba said you could be saved and having committed adultery. When the founder said you couldn't, the 80% formed a council of 12 pastors, so the 80% group is called "The Revival FELLOWSHIP" and the 20% denominational split are called "The Revival CENTRE" of which there is NO Toowoomba group as of 4/2001.) Both groups of churches do NOT believe in being slain NOR raising hands in worship nor dancing. (If you do, they'll come up to you and ask if your waving hello to God!!) Apparently, none of the church drink or smoke as it's outlawed all together. Their bulletin says "Phillips Modern English Eph 5:18 "Don't get your stimulus from wine for there is always a danger of excessive drinking." They claim 100% of their parishioners speak in tongues, however this is something AOG's, COC's or any other charismatic church would never claim. Their defense for having to speak in tongues lies in John 3:5 "..unless one is born of water and the spirit.." In 3:8 they take the word "sound" out as "it really means language" and they say "The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound (language) of it.." Then they refer to other churches by quoting "I marvel that you are turning so soon.. to a different gospel, Which is not another; but there are some who.. want to pervert the gospel of Christ." The Pastor is paid a stipend or ministers salary. He drives a new Pajero with a full body kit. Their church is run like many churches, as a company. "2,000 - 2,500" meet at their yearly National Assembly. Their Toowoomba camp at Perseverence at Easter was attended by 170 people. (134 can sleep there.)
***17. Dress code: Interestingly the bulletin says "..we feel it necessary that we ask you do not wear clothes that expose your tummies when you are at meetings.. if anyone were to ignore this request, they would be asked to wear a blouse to cover themselves.. young men are asked not to wear over sized pants exposing their under clothes."

18. Travel north along Ruthven, turn right past North St.

 

1pm "GREGORY ST CHURCH" or "THE REVIVAL FELLOWSHIP". 10 Gregory St. (INSTEAD OF HAVING A NIGHT SERVICE THEY HAVE A MEETING FOLLOWING LUNCH.)

1. # of people: 106, same people from 10am service.
2. Available chairs: -.
3. Type of person: -.
4. Socio- Economic Status: -.
5. Kids: 40.
6. Ages:
7. Men:-
8. Offering:-
9. Late arrivals:-
10. Interesting info: The church "Gregory St Church" got a name change from being purely "The Revival Fellowship" which is it's denominational name to the individual name of "Gregory St Church" updated 2009.
11. Date & Time spent: 8/4/01 8.55am-2.45pm.
12. When service finished. 1 hour 10 min service.
13. This & other service times: 1pm, 10am.
14. Preacher:-
15. Feeling: -.
16. Their belief: -.
17. Dress code: -.

 

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