The minister at Cedar Church Birmingham , Pastor Andrew Kisumba, talks recording an up-tempo Christmas version of Land of Hope and Glory, Kanye West, swimming with dolphins – and making peace with personal tragedy
BEEN THERE, DONE THAT
Four years ago my family and I moved from West Yorkshire to pioneer and lead Cedar Church, Birmingham, where I currently minister in the visionary role of Senior Pastor. Prior to this, I was fully employed by Huddersfield Christian Fellowship as creative co-ordinator and as well as aiding the usual ‘hatch, match and dispatch’ – births, weddings and funerals – activities, I served as a trustee and elder.
IT’S WHAT I DO
I act as a bridge between where people are and where they need to go, helping them to make the necessary connections beyond themselves and with others. This year we have been asked by the West Midlands’ Mayor’s Office to arrange a community sing over this seasonal period. We have put new words to Elgar’s Land of Hope and Glory and recorded an up-tempo version entitled Christmas Hope And Glory. We hope it will bring people together from all walks to celebrate this special time.
WHAT I’D LIKE TO SEE
My greatest satisfaction has always been connected to others so my deepest ambition is to enable and see people, myself included, discover the reason why they were born and reach their full potential. Church is the perfect place for that to happen. My dad was killed two days before Christmas in the year a horrific regime ended in the country of my birth. Years later, I was invited to a film night at a local church and I made peace with that tragedy when I wholeheartedly embraced the unconditional love of my Heavenly Father. Church is where I met my beautiful wife, raised my family and met all my closest friends. My dream is that Cedar Church will grow in divine purpose to meet the deepest needs in our society. I long for one of my songs to add real value to the soundtrack of our world. Perhaps even have Kanye West’s Sunday Service Collective do a rendition of one of them. I also have a secret desire to one day swim with dolphins!
I remember once getting eight per cent in an A-Level mathematics exam! After making a lifestyle change that involved 5am starts, I ended up with the best maths results in the entire school (second best in the whole country). This led to a scholarship studying architecture at Huddersfield University, where a talented young lady was also destined to study music. Next year my wife and I will celebrate 25 years of marriage and our two girls are now 18 and 16. They are people I am most fond and proud of and we have shared an incredible journey.
BIGGEST LESSON LEARNED
People are your greatest source of joy, and pain, so understanding and maintaining good relationships is a major key to success in life. True wealth is found in genuine friendships.
WHAT I LIKE ABOUT BRUM
The views of the city from the top terraces of Birmingham Library are wonderful but my favourite place is the Birmingham Botanical Gardens where we have made so many memories, including a life celebration for my late mother, Catherine. I love the youthful, vibrant cultural and economic scene in Birmingham.
I want to get back into watching lots of films, as I used to BC (Before Children). Every now and then I like the idea of being able to turn my phone off to temporarily escape to other worlds.