Inn Christian Ministries was founded in 1991 by Peter Marchand.
Peter had originally been a very successful Head of Religious Studies at a number of secondary schools, but in 1983 he and his wife Gillian left teaching and went to Egypt as missionaries with the organisation World Outreach. It quickly became apparent to him that evangelism in the Muslim world was extremely difficult but it was during that period that he became aware of the evangelist Reinhard Bonnke who was reaching very large numbers in West Africa. Back in the UK and pastoring an independent Pentecostal Church in Gillingham, Kent, Peter decided to ask Reinhard to preach at a Crusade in Kent. Somewhat to his surprise he agreed and Crossroads 2000 took place in December 1990 in a tent seating 25,000 people on Detling Showground just outside Maidstone. Reinhard shared with Peter the fact that he received far more invitations than he was able to accept and the seed for Inn Christian Ministries was sown.
The original aims were based on the 3 commandments of our Lord Jesus Christ which centre on the word GO!
EVANGELISM – “GO and preach the Gospel…”
And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28.18-20, New American Standard Bible
EDUCATION – “GO … and teach them…”
And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28.18-20, New American Standard Bible
SOCIAL ACTION – “GO and do the same.”
But wishing to justify himself, he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbour?” Jesus replied and said,
“A certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho; and he fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went off leaving him half dead.
And by chance a certain priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, passed by on the other side.
And likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.
But a certain Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion, and came to him, and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, “Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return, I will repay you.”
Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbour to the man who fell into the robbers’ hands?”
And he said, “The one who showed mercy toward him.”
And Jesus said to him, “Go and do the same.” Luke 10.25-37, New American Standard Bible
Initially Peter travelled in Spain and Portugal, using a purpose-built articulated lorry which converted into a stage with on-board electrical equipment. They would simply park somewhere, let down the stage and preach. This led in turn to contacts in Uganda, India, Brazil where Peter travelled (without the lorry!) preaching the gospel but also importantly planting churches and providing training for Pastors. He always worked with known contacts and was particularly insistent that churches in the areas he visited should work together, rather than a single church ‘doing its own thing’.
Other needs would become apparent and Inn was able to provide bikes for Pastors and support for widows and orphans, particularly, though not exclusively, with regard to school and university fees.
Back in the UK, following on from Crossroads 2000, Inn was able to take on much of the organisation for many joint church initiatives – Priestfields 2000 to celebrate the Millenium, Global Day of Prayer from 2005 to 2010, Medway More than Gold 2012, JustOne at Priestfield Stadium with J.John in 2018.
In addition to this Peter saw the need for a church to cater for international students when the universities in Medway opened. Two Ugandan Pastors came over for a year and The VOICE (Victory Outreach International Church England) was born under the auspices of Inn Christian Ministries. At one point over 23 different nations were represented. Because of the nature of the church the membership has been very fluid but there remain strong relationships with those who have passed through and many point to their time in the VOICE as being a significant turning point in their spiritual lives. In due course The VOICE became an independent entity and Peter handed it over, now known as King’s Church, Gillingham, to Pastor Chris Gill in 2013.
Peter went to be with the Lord in September 2018 but Inn has continued to support widows and orphans, and with the organisation of local joint evangelistic initiatives. It is our desire that his vision should not pass away with him but continue and develop – we are currently in the process of appointing new Trustees and looking to continuing the ministry trips. We rely on donations and have always found God faithful to meet whatever needs arise.