In 1970 Bryn Jones, a recognised Welsh evangelist, church planter and widely-accepted Christian leader, moved to Bradford. Over the next few years his involvement with three small local churches developed. They were a Brethren Assembly, a charismatic House Church and an independent Pentecostal Church. Each group began to recognise Bryn as having an apostolic ministry towards them and he encouraged many shared events.
This was during what is now referred to as ‘the charismatic renewal’. There was a new awareness of the work of the Holy Spirit in the believer’s life and many long-standing Christians were being baptised in the Spirit, (such as speaking in tongues) which gave fresh impetus to outwork mission. Churches were divided on the issue. Some promoted the gifts and work of the Spirit, others resolutely resisted them. But those with ears to hear what the Spirit was saying to the churches at that time took note, embraced all that God was moving His people into, and stood for a dynamic Spirit-filled life.
Standing for these important truths drew the three groups closer together, until in September 1975 they merged to form the basis of what was until recently called The Abundant Life Church in Bradford (now know simply as Life Church), under the banner of ‘Harvestime’ (later renamed ‘Covenant Ministries International’ and then later ‘Together’). In the early days people were drawn from the surrounding towns and cities, including Leeds. Over time, these groups were planted back out into their own areas of Halifax, Huddersfield, Keighley and Leeds.
City Church Leeds (The previous name of Freedom Church) was formed as a pioneer group of fifty people in the autumn of 1981. City Church Leeds continued to grow and meet in a number of different places around the city. At one time we occupied Leeds town hall on a regular basis! In recent years the membership of the church has fluctuated and now we find ourselves in the 70+ membership mark.
In May 2015 City Church Leeds sold Ashwood Centre, a church building we had been using since 1995, and moved to the east of Leeds with a view to becoming a more locally connected church. Around this time we also changed the name from City Church Leeds to Freedom Church. Today we are an independent church with apostolic and other church relationships spread across the country.