Who is: Andy Economides?
Andy Economides is best known as an international speaker who ministers extensively in the UK, Europe and Africa. He is an ordained minister in the Order of St. Leonard. He is also well known as the man who in 1976 led Canon J John to the Lord whilst they studied together at Hendon College (now Middlesex University).
From Cyprus to London
Andy's family moved from Cyprus to the UK where he was brought up. Aged 17 a school friend asked him if he wanted to go with him to a Christian activity camp for young people and Andy agreed. He went to the camp with no interest in Christianity but listened with interest to what was said. Halfway through the week he started to realise that Jesus was knocking on his hearts door and by the end of the week he had opened up his heart to Christ.
Over the next couple of years his experience of this new found faith grew and this enabled him to begin sharing his faith with others through the discipleship that he personally received from the youth leaders at his local church. This gave him the foundation he needed to speak out with boldness in his fledgling faith.
After graduation from school Andy studied engineering and qualified as an engineer and worked for six years in research and development working on parachutes. During this time Andy trained as a lay minister and eventually left engineering to follow his hearts desire to serve the Lord.
For the next ten years he served on the staff of St Pancras Church, a lively and growing Evangelical Anglican Church in the heart of the city of Chichester, as the parish lay minister and evangelist. In 1989 he was awarded the College Hood for Theological and Pastoral Studies St John’s Theological College Nottingham.
Whilst at St Pancras Andy was invited by a West Country Evangelist Corky Davis (former director of Open Air Campaigners) to go on a short term mission to Nigeria with him. At first hesitant, he decided after speaking to the vicar of St Pancras that this was indeed something that God wanted him to do and consequently spent a couple of weeks on his first foreign mission with Corky. Within 6 months of his homecoming Andy returned to Nigeria with another team and this began a whole new angle to his ministry.
Education hand-in-hand with Example:
Over the years Andy has returned time and time again to Nigeria. Through his vision and perseverance he has been able to set up a schooling program where young vulnerable children are given the chance to receive an education. At any one time there are around 60 children receiving educational sponsorship through the Soteria Trust. Further to this work Andy founded the Soteria Business School (SBS) in Ibadan, Nigeria in 1994. The college is 2 hours south of Lagos and aims to train vulnerable young people aged between 16 and 35 years in business administration and computing.
Andy managed to gain accreditation for the SBS courses from Chichester College, who award diplomas to successful students on completion of their 2 year course. The college caters for 70 - 100 students at a time. Most students are given a scholarship through SBS and are sponsored by people in the UK. Andy travels to Nigeria 2 or 3 times a year and personally hands out the qualifications each year.
These two educational missions compliment each other and Andy promises that children who received sponsorship through education could graduate into SBS. Such is his commitment to them!
"Its not just about education, which is the second most important thing for me. It is about bringing these young people to Christ. It's about education and its about Jesus! It's about making disciples ...They [the students] live in the school, fed, watered, educated, come to Jesus, baptised... they love Jesus and follow Jesus!"
Evangelism, Training and Renewal
Back in the UK Andy travels extensively speaking at various events and conferences. Two or three weekends a month he can be found speaking at churches up and down the country speaking on evangelism, training and renewal which are the 3 main emphasis of his ministry. His unique insight on life and ministry and his kindly way of speaking bring across his passion for people to become whole in Christ and for Jesus to heal and restore them.
During his meetings and after his talks he can be found praying for people - praying for the sick, praying for the well, just to bring renewal to the church! His passion is to encourage the church, to strengthen the church and to love the church and to help others in the ministry of winning people for Christ!
" I was a parish evangelist and a lay minister for ten years, so my heart is for parishes, Anglican church and other denominations too, to win people for Christ and to disciple them!
Andy is the author of 5 books including 'True Relationships', 'Refreshed & Renewed', and 'You Can Fly'. The latter covers 26 difficult subjects including: faith, abuse, perseverance, enthusiasm, Holy Spirit, relationships, marriage, love, vision, the cross of Christ, natural evangelism and more. All five books are available from the Soteria Trust Resources web page. (click image to right to go to their online store)
Below you can find the 2017 interview with Andy by his friend Canon J John called 'Facing the Canon'. This is illuminating and an uplifting listen...