Soar Baptist Church (opposite our building) began life in 1851 as a fellowship of "Protestant Dissenters from the C of E of the Denomination of the Baptists".
Soar was a Welsh-speaking church until after the 1904-05 revival, when 100 were baptised and membership reached 254, and services began to be entirely in English.
Our Church is still affiliated to the Baptist Union of Wales.
In 1950 the church described themselves still as" fundamentally a Strict Baptist Church Welsh" and even until the 1980's the church remained fairly traditional, with membership of around 30 to 40.
In 1988 a worship group was launched and in 1989 The Lighthouse (the present building) was purchased to be developed as a community centre. In 1991 the first elders were appointed, to share in the spiritual leadership of the Church.
Attendance during this period reached a peak of over 120. Two years later the fellowship affirmed its Baptist foundations in issues such as believer's baptism. It also recognised the importance of a shared leadership team and such ministries as apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher, and the involvement of every member. In 1995 the church began to set up ministry groups in the areas of pastoral care, worship, finance, outreach etc. The Church has steadily moved to accept the wide activity of the gifts of the Holy Spirit and the ascended Lord.
During 1992 the old chapel building was discovered to be in need of demolition and decisions were made to move out and hire various premises such as the Beaufort Ballroom and the Welfare Hall for our Sunday services with house groups been used during the week for prayer and bible study. Also certain members left to establish the Beaufort Christian fellowship and also to start a witness on the site of the 1992 Garden Festival.
It was quite clear from these times that there was a desire to have our own base and decisions were made to make "The Lighthouse " as our base of operation and to incorporate the original vision of reaching out to the community and making the building as a resource centre.
Since July 1997 the church has been led by a team of elders and in May 1998 the fellowship adopted a vision and aims for the work and purpose of the church for today, in the belief that after 150 years or so of witness in Beaufort, God still has specific purposes for the Church to fulfil at this time. A building plan and building team were pulled together and the Church agreed to renovate the existing Lighthouse Building and make use of the potential that we had had all the time on our doorstep. The main building renovation was completed in Nov 2003 and since that time to our official opening on the 16th October 2004 we have been equipping the church for a 21st Century congregation.
Various grants from the WDA , Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council, Pantyfedwen Foundation Trust and the Lloyds TSB foundation have enabled us to create a warm welcoming church community centre catering for all the needs of our community. The majority of the funds needed however have come from its own members as we have dug deep showing the commitment of our people as prompted by their Christian walk with God. We are amazed what God has done for us and we are already reaping the rewards of seeing people coming to know him in a real way and Christians been blessed by the ministry and challenged to reach out in acts of service.
To acknowledge a new era in the Church's life and to meet the new challenges of an upcoming generation it was decided to rename our Church as Church on the Rise - yes we are the only church actually on Beaufort Rise but also we believe that we are rising from the ashes of the past and rekindling a flame of witness in our community.
Praise be to God for his wonderful acts amongst us and to Him be glory and honour!