Lead Pastor, Charlie Mackenzie
Born in the beautiful city of Inverness, Charlie was brought up by loving parents who taught him biblical truth and godly manners. He was saved in Leeds on the 13th October 1983, it was a dramatic conversion, as instantly he became a new creation in Christ. After being part of Leeds City Mission outreach team for a year, Charlie returned to his native Scotland and spent two years at an international mission bible college. (and later at a theological college in Manchester) before pastoring an Edinburgh City Mission centre in the city’s notorious Craigmillar housing scheme.
Edinburgh had just been named the AIDS capital of Europe, and many of his congregation were treated for the illness, Charlie lost many close friends including the wife of his youth director and those he had witnessed to. It was here that Charlie’s counselling skills were born, as he spent many nights with dying friends and grieving relatives. He also ran a mixed football team for under 11’s the parents of these amazing children were either in prison, in rehab or had died. Both the skills of counselling and reaching out to young people through sport were to play a major part in his ministry in years to come.
Charlie went on to pastor churches in the North East, South Yorkshire, and again in Scotland. In South Yorkshire, Charlie founded the Oasis Centre, a 4-storey youth enterprise funded by local Christian businessmen and churches. He also coached the Barnsley Royals and Barnsley Monarchs which were football teams for street kids which he started with a grant from the Prince of Wales Trust. He was also Club Chaplain to Barnsley FC and through this was able to witness to many football professionals including Kevin Keegan, Sir Alex Ferguson and Viv Anderson. He also met with Chelsea’s Gavin Peacock, who is now an associate pastor in Canada. During this time, Charlie was also Chaplain to South Yorkshire Police force and a regular speaker at school assemblies.
After his parents died within two years of each other in the late 1990’s, Charlie obeyed the call of the Holy Spirit to go to the far east and be a missionary. As one could not go simply as a pastor, Charlie went as a teacher. Before beginning his new vocation, he gained a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate and a further TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) this added to the Master’s degree in Education he already possessed.
He began his missionary work in Thailand before moving to Tanzania where he was promoted to school principal after only a year. Whilst in Tanzania, Charlie also founded Tanga International Church, the Tanga fraternal of international headmasters, and preached regularly at both Lutheran, Elim Pentecostal and independent charismatic churches. He also managed Coastal Union FC, who played in the Tanzanian Premiership and at one point was even asked to consider joining the ‘Taifa Stars’ (The Tanzanian National Team) From Tanzania, he moved to Shanghai where he ministered at an international school in the city and met his wife Jasmine who was just beginning her career as a teacher. In 2013, Charlie graduated with a Doctorate in Educational Psychology.
Charlie and Jasmine spent 6 years in Vietnam where among other things, he founded All Nations International Church, was founding principal of Gateway International School, (now 800+ students) and was appointed staff trainer, international news editor and cultural narrator to Vietnam Television (VTV) in Hanoi.
Jasmine gave birth to their daughter Holly (now 5) while in Hanoi in 2015.
The family visited the UK in 2018 where Charlie taught scripture at HMP Berwyn which is the UK’s largest Category B prison, co-founded an interdenominational weekly prayer meeting for the political leaders of the UK, and worked to help establish football chaplaincy in the Welsh football League.
Charlie and Jasmine returned to Vietnam and established the nation’s first ‘All School’ Christian Counselling Service, while heading up a Cambridge International School in Hanoi. He has a British Diploma in Counselling and is a fully certified CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) practitioner. Jasmine has an honours degree in Environmental Engineering, a qualification in WEB Design, a TCSOL, (which qualifies her to teach Chinese to non-Chinese children and adults) and a Cambridge teaching certificate. (TKT)
Today, Charlie is leader of Life Ministries International, a YouTube bible teaching channel that reaches out to over 20 countries worldwide including China, Tanzania, Uganda, and India. In his spare time, Charlie likes to write, (his first book ‘Scot-Free’ is available on Amazon Kindle) paint with oils, spend time with his awesomely pretty wife, and play with his 5-year old superstar.