John’s book, The Journey, can be read by clicking here.
Below are highlights from his book.
John Yates was born in Coventry, Warwickshire, England during the devastating time of the blitz during the second world war. His early years were blighted by illness, loss of parents and the break up of a family home.
After four years in the British Army he was discharged from injuries received, and went from job to job. There was a sense of hopelessness, and emptiness, having a big chip on his shoulder, making him turn to drink and drifting.
In 1972, John found himself in the Salvation Army Hostel, Coventry, England. Hearing the gospel for the first time he came to Christ. After seven more years of searching, he eventually came into a deeper experience of God, receiving the fullnes of the Holy Spirit, and set free from all that had been holding him back.
God’s call and vision
In 1979, he received a call from God and was given a vision to establish a work in the Centre of England. Recognising the importance of the location, Heart of England Outreach was born. The scripture given to him was Ezk 34:11-16. and this was the mandate to reach people with the love of God.
At first a Christian Care Centre was set up in Coventry. During this time John was a catalyst for the founding of the Coventry City Mission. John then helped a church in Preston, Lancashire, establish and open a Prayer and Counselling Centre. There was also the Preston Christian Message ministry. John brought the late Nora Coggan to Preston to launch the concept of the ministry in Preston, Lancashire, England. A Community Care Centre was set up in Tile Hill South, Coventry, also the development of a Youth Centre.
Heart of England Outreach
In 1995, John married Pam who came from the Isle of Wight, England. God then opened up an opportunity for them to acquire a small shop on the village green in Meriden, the centre of England, which was named “The Centre.” Then reaching out to the community in many ways. Charity shop, selling second hand Christian books, a Christian Club in the local school, and counselling etc, also there was a very strong emphasis on prayer and intercession. While Pam managed The Centre, John concentrated on evangelistic work holding events, and pioneering a small church, while holding down a part time job as a tent ministry.