Meet Steve Karma
Lead pastor at Hope Church
Steve was born in Bedford, England to Punjabi-born parents who had come over to England as children. When Steve was six or seven years old, he and his family relocated to Ayrshire in Scotland where his father’s “troubles” were eventually to lead to the breakdown of his family. This difficult family life was to take its toll and was largely responsible for Steve and his sibling’s early involvement in drug abuse and anti-social behaviour. At age sixteen, Steve and his twin brother Michael were dragged to a local Pentecostal church by his mother, who although being raised as a Sikh had something of a conversion experience in her late teens. It was there that the twins were converted and felt a deep calling for ministry.
Partly in his search for “life-experience,” and partly due to the coercion of his sister and mother (who like a man in uniform), Steve joined the Queen’s Own Yeomanry A-Squadron as a Territorial Army tank soldier at age eighteen and in the following year joined the Royal Navy (a uniform they preferred to combats). After five and a half years of memorable service in the armed forces, which was to include an operational deployment of the Mediterranean and shore-based operations in Basra, Iraq, Steve embarked on a training year with the Jesus Army in Birmingham. This was his most enjoyable and most challenging deployment of all and included living in an Acts 2-style Christian community, street work and regularly ministering to the most broken and impoverished in society. And although Steve has some misgiving surrounding the Jesus Army’s beliefs and practices he remains a lifelong friend and sees them as the most radical movement in European evangelicalism in the last 100 years.
On finishing his training year with the Jesus Army Steve was to return to his studies and complete Highers (Scottish A-level equivalents) in Psychology, Sociology, Drama, and English before going on to complete his theological training (International Christian College, Glasgow and Birmingham Christian College, Selly Oak).
In 2009 Steve was appointed as the pastor of a small, mainly elderly, congregation within the Wesleyan Reform Union. By God’s grace it began to grow steadily and Steve was asked to serve as an RAF cadet chaplain, be involved with an Indian Christian radio program, was appointed on to the general committee of the denomination and achieved a Post Graduate Diploma in Missional Leadership from ForMission College, Birmingham (formerly Springdale).
Steve is married to Abigail (Jan 2010) and he began the role of Lead Pastor in Lancaster Free Methodist Church in July 2015. In his spare time he enjoys weightlifting, spending time with family and friends and copious amounts of reading (mainly mission, theology, psychology, preaching and leadership). His hero's include Matt Chandler, JD Greear, William Booth, Alistair Begg and Charles Spurgeon.