SPAC Nation is a vibrant, colourful and high-energy church made up of over 1200 young people aged 16 to 35, who congregate every Sunday for a praise-filled service at the Riverbank Plaza Hotel in central London.
SPAC Nation is an unorthodox Bible-believing church,with a core belief system: a relationship with God being the centre of how Christians can prosper as an individual, a church and a society.
It is led by senior pastor, Pastor Tobi Adegboyega, who started the church 10 years ago. He is leading what he calls a ‘Daniel-generation’ church of young people, who are sold out for Christ and are willing to follow God’s will for their lives and not their own – a generation of young, uncompromising, non-conformists Christians.
Their Sunday services are filled with all the colour, sounds and energy you would imagine with a young church. Music plays a big part in their ministry. There is extended praise and worship with their choir, Livingstone Choir, who are often heard singing a harmonious and moving special number. SPAC Nation is also home to ‘Gospel drill’ group, Hope Dealers and rapper Jordy, who perform in many of the services.
The church is not only active on Sundays but also during the week. On Mondays and Tuesdays, there are 15 hubs all over London called Community Units (Cus), where young people come together to worship, pray, utilise their talents, learn new skills, and discuss what they’ve read in the Bible.
Monday CUs: Islington, Croydon, C25
(South Norwood), Lewisham, New Southwark (Camberwell), Woolwich, Peckham, Bermondsey, Enfield
Tuesday CUs: Eastside (Shoreditch),
Tulse Hill, Hackney, Surrey Quays, Brixton, Essex Rise (Dagenham)
Friday CUs: City of London (Moorgate)
The five pillars of SPAC Nation are: the Word, prayer, holiness, evangelism and giving.
The Word of God in the Bible is the number one foundation of everything that happens in SPAC Nation. As led by the Holy Spirit, the church often holds conferences and services where the focus is solely on the Word. Many of the teachings of Pastor Tobi are uploaded onto the audio website Soundcloud, where most of the congregation can listen again to scores of messages from years past until the present day.
SPAC Nation believes in the power of prayer. The church believes in praying in tongues. Many of the young people have this gift among several other gifts of the Spirit. The church believes that communicating with God through prayer is one of the key components to grow spiritually as a Christian.
In a world where sin is easy to commit, particularly for young people, SPAC Nation is a beacon of light in the area of holiness. The young people are taught not only to stay away from sin but to hate it. There is a firm belief amongst members of the congregation that sin drains away the power we have as Christians to operate in the way God wants us to. They recognise that their bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit and members of Christ’s body, and as such vessels, they’ll do well not to be involved in sin.
Evangelism is a key part of what makes up the SPAC Nation culture, and the reason it has grown from just 300 people in 2016 to over 1200 in 2018. The church does this through traditional methods like street evangelism, which happens in various locations in London every Saturday afternoon with a dedicated outreach team, and also through social media with numerous posts, pictures and videos of the latest happenings in the church.
SPAC Nation prides itself especially in its giving. So much so, that often CUs try to outdo one another on how much they can give each month. On Easter Sunday, hundreds of young people gathered together to give hundreds of thousands pounds – much of which will go to other smaller churches, widows and many others who are less fortunate and who depend on the church’s help. The way SPAC Nation gives is also very different to traditional churches; they only give their tithes and offerings once a month on a particular ‘Giving Sunday’, instead of at every service.
Mentorship & Leadership
In house, there are property developers, city traders, doctors, lawyers, engineers, entrepreneurs and more. However, in the last 12 months, SPAC Nation has garnered much media attention for the work they do in impoverished local communities. The church believes that mentorship and leadership are key components to the advancement of an individual. There are countless young men and women in our church, who have left behind lives that are beyond imagination and description – such as gang life, violence, abuse, drugs, alcohol – and are now men and women of strong Christian faith, prospering careers and successful businesses. All because of the winning combination of their faith and mentorship.
Media platforms, like BBC Two’s Victoria Derbyshire programme, have taken a keen interest. They did a news feature on the church called ‘From Gangs to God’, which showed the rehabilitation work that SPAC Nation does with former gang members.
Kurtis Pykes, 21, is a young man who was brought up amongst the wrong crowd, but is now a city trader who teaches other young people to trade and be financially independent.
Kurtis said: “SPAC Nation has transformed my life. I know our presence in London and in this country can bring a positive change, because that’s exactly what it has done in my life. I’m no longer involved in questionable activities; I’d much rather focus on my faith.”
The church often gives out grants to not only members of the congregation but many others outside the church, who wish to start a business or further their education.
Kevin Yfeko, 27, was a gang leader from east London, who had been in and out of jail seven times. Upon his final release, he was introduced to SPAC Nation, and given a grant by the church to start a chauffeur business. Now, not only is his business growing, but so also is his spiritual life since being ordained as a pastor and becoming leader of the Eastside community unit.
As the church grows, every week it sees at least 100 young people come to the altar to give their lives to Christ. The church has almost 200 ordained pastors, ministers and evangelists equipped and ready to lead these precious souls to Jesus and receive salvation. Often at these altar calls, people are invited to drop anything they have from their old life that they no longer want to carry into their new life. Objects such as knives, drugs and designer handbags obtained illegally are just some of the items left on the altar.
SPAC Nation is a new generation church, leading the wave of a revival of the Christian faith in the UK. With its roots firmly in the Word of God and a sensitivity to the Holy Spirit’s leading, this church is set to go from strength to strength but, most of all, be a spiritual home of relevance for the youth in an increasingly secular society.