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27087
“Alpha Building the One - World Church”
by wayoflife.org   
June 7th, 2016

Alpha is an interdenominational evangelistic program that has grown phenomenally since its inception in the early 1990s. More than 18 million people have participated in the program in 169 countries, and its materials have been translated into 112 languages. It was birthed at the charismatic Holy Trinity Brompton Anglican church in London, England, and the developer, Nicky Gumbel, said that he experienced "massive electricity going through" his body in 1994 when the charismatic "revival" broke out at the parish. The May 2015 Alpha Leadership conference at Holy Trinity Brompton featured Catholic priest Raniero Cantalamessa (household preacher to the pope), Archbishop Justin Welby, and Cardinal Vincent Nichols. Female preacher Joyce Meyer also spoke. Nicky Gumbel opened the conference with a speech entitled "A Vision for a United Church," saying: "Unity doesn't mean we have to agree on everything--disagreement is healthy. ... I have come to love the Catholic Church--if God has given them the same Spirit, who are we to oppose God? ... The same Spirit lives in the Catholics, and the Orthodox, and the Pentecostals and the Protestants, even the Anglicans have the same Holy Spirit living within them. That's what makes us one!" ("Letter to the Editor: Alpha Course Founder, Nicky Gumbel, Asks for Ecumenical Unity with Catholic Church," Lighthouse Trails, May 28, 2015). Alpha is promoted by influential contemporary musicians such as Stuart Townend, Tim Hughes, Matt Redman, and Chris Tomlin, because Alpha and Contemporary Christian Music share the same enthusiasm for ecumenicism.

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