Who is Carl Brettle?

Carl Brettle Action Button Image [250x250]

Carl Brettle is a Welsh author, publisher and evangelist.

Carl was born into a working class family in the small village of Tonna, Neath Port Talbot, South Wales at the very beginning of the 1970's. His was one of four siblings.

Tonna is effectively a hamlet of Neath which established itself around the crossing point of the River Neath when the Romans built an auxiliary fort there circa AD74. The fort of Nidum (NIDVM) possibly had its own quay or small harbour on the waterside. [1]

The Brettle's were a close-knit family with grandparents living in the next village. His grandparents attended a tiny rural village evangelical church and weekend's would see Carl stopping over at their house and attending church with them.

Throughout his formative years he waxed strong in the things of God and aged 14 became more actively involved in the church as he helped run the youth group. He found the role challenging and enjoyable and helped run the group for over 5 years. He learned so much there about the character and nature of God but not much about the Holy Spirit although he heard about it from a biblical and historical point of view. Nothing personal. However that changed in the later part of his teens when he had a personal encounter with God:

“I had been wondering for many years if I would ever reach the point of no return. Then, from nowhere, God gave me a crystal clear vision that God would give the church a new building which would be constructed on the site of what was then, small church constructed of metal sheeting. I knew that from that moment on, there was no going back and with the benefit of hindsight, that was almost certainly my moment of initial commitment to the purposes of God”. [2]

The Pursuit of Riches:

However these were the days just after leaving school and with thoughts of work taking root in his productive mind he planned a moved away from home to Swansea. Here he threw himself into the world of business - which became his primary throughout his early twenties.Swansea button image [250x250] He and some friends set up a publishing and printing brokerage which he ploughed everything into it; thoughts of faith and the church were left far behind. The pursuit of riches proved quite successful as the company grew however it wasn't without problem. Carl had success and money in his pocket and started to live the lifestyle as well. He says of this time: “I moved to Swansea, set up a print brokerage business and pursued & achieved great success and comfort but fell into a lifestyle that revolved around frequent drinking and drug-taking”. [3]

It wasn't too long before things started to slide and life and business began to go downhill. Eventually a significant debt had been run up and the company had to be sold for a fraction of its worth. Worse still Carl was made bankrupt. If he thought at that time that things couldn't get any worse he was in for a shock as he was seriously assaulted and then found out that he had cancer. The next 2 years were very dark days as he struggled with his life as it was. He drank too much and eventually one evening contemplated ending it all with a bottle of pills in hand. However, God had other plans for Carl and he remembers hearing God's voice - the voice he learned to recognise in his youth, speak to him saying simply "I love you". The voice brought great calm to his inner being and his mind became evermore peaceful. That night he slept as deep as he ever had and awoke knowing a new chapter had begun in his life.

One Door Closes Another Opens:

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A well timed unannounced visit from an old friend from church crystallised things in his mind when he invited him to go with him to the church's anniversary service. Finding his way back to that tiny small chapel closed the door on his Swansea adventure; when he arrived, having overslept, the only seat available was down in the front row next to one of the old ladies of the church. This was a God ordained moment as she was so pleased to see him and told him that she had prayed from him every day whilst he had been away. Touched by her kindness his heart warmed and God once again began to speak to him. That meeting transformed his life and gave him the opportunity to get right with God. During the meeting Carl heard God say to him: "The ministry I will lead you into will see 100 million souls come into my Kingdom"... this was rather troubling at the time so he put this on the back burner of his mind.

Carl moved back to his parents home leaving Swansea behind rather like the returning prodigal son. He started to attend church regularly and began to hunger after God through prayer. He also began to devour Scripture and avidly digested the Bible - especially in the context of the Holy Spirit's work today. He says:

"I returned back to my local chapel and then terrorised the pastor for the next 18 months asking so many questions, reading and studying the bible and spending most days in prayer. My motto was 'use me Lord' ... from cleaning the church, to leaning how to preach, to helping drive the church bus!"

Chasing after God:

Young Carl Brettle Button Image [120x120]

With his passion for God re-ignited with this ‘I will do anything attitude’ ministry quickly became a new way of life and he turned his hand to whatever came his way. After a schools ministry visited the church one weekend he volunteered to work full time with them and shortly afterwards moved to Aberdare 20 miles away, to be close to them and work with 'An Open Door' organisation. They helped rebuild his faith and life and gave him the confidence in ministry that he was so lacking.

Whilst chasing after God and crying out in prayer for God to use him he an African minister who had been sent to Wales by the Lord to 'teach people to pray'. During one weekend of prayer Carl had a vision which he shared with the minister for a missions trip to Uganda. As he shared the vision enthusiastically with others, dozens of people came together to pray for 'the Uganda trip' and in 1996 Carl and a dozen other people travelled out to Uganda to take part in schools work and open air preaching mission. This was his first mission abroad but it resulted in several further trips plus contact with some of Uganda’s largest churches.

On his return to Wales Carl joined an AOG church in Neath where he was asked to organise the church's mission work. It wasn't long before he was working full time for the church. This led to further trips to Uganda as well as Kenya, South Africa, Ukraine, Czech Republic and the USA.

One Million Hours of Prayer for Wales:

Prayer Magazine

Just before the turn of the Millennium Carl became involved with a massive project after hearing God's voice saying: "one million hours of prayer for Wales!" Carl threw himself into the work. The project ran TV ads, produced 45,000 prayer cards and received over 26,000 emails responses in just five weeks by which time it had reached the one million hours of prayer mark! By November 2000 this turned into ten million hours of prayer - with over seventy countries involved. Carl speaks of this time as "waking up in the morning knowing that this was a day when you were doing something you were born for".

A Prayer Movement:

After the completion of this successful campaign Carl realised the need for spiritual breakthrough, through prayer. Over time he was led to several large Christian organisations where he helped support the start of Prayer Week and the Launch of the Prayer MagazineSporting Heroes logo Button Image [120x120] - still the countries only magazine dedicated to prayer! He also helped set up the start of the Rhonda Valleys' Sporting Marvels charity where is he still a Trustee and Director. He has become heavily involved with several strategic prayer organisations and liaises with prayer networks all over the world. He travels extensively and often speaks in and coordinates conferences focused on prayer.

United Christian Broadcasters:

In August 2008 Carl was asked to join United Christian Broadcasters (UCB) - the UK's largest Christian Media organisation, as their Prayer Mobiliser. Within a year of working at UCB, the organisation invited Carl to join the Executive Board as their Ministry Director, overseeing all the ministry activity of UCB including 'Word for Today', 'Word 4U2D', 'Prayerline', 'Youth and Children's Ministry', 'Looking for God', 'UCB2GO' and the 'Prison Ministry'. The role saw Carl developing UCB's relationship with 1.2 million Christians each day in the UK.

Love and Marriage:

Carl and Rebekah Brettle

During this time Carl met Rebecca, a young female doctor who whilst working as a locum GP in Manchester had seen the need for community prayer and inspiring the church to prayer for the neighbourhood in which it is built. Carl and Rebecca were married and together talked about setting up a national prayer group aimed at inspiring Churches and Christians to pray for their streets. [4]

Neighbourhood Prayer Network

In 2012, Neighbourhood Prayer Network was born with the vision of seeing every street in the UK covered in Christian prayer, with Christians pray for their immediate neighbours, caring for them and sharing Jesus with neighbours. The launch was of Neighbourhood Prayer Network was shared in front of 30,000 people at the National Day of Prayer and Worship celebration at Wembly Stadium where Dr Jonathan Oloyede introduced her to the world. Carl was involved deeply with both of these projects and is on the advisory panel of the Neighbourhood Prayer Network.[5]

In 2015 Carl became UCB's Operations Director but found that the word he had been given when he turned back to the Lord long ago in Wales was stirring in his heart.It seemed to be a mighty challenge to see 100 million people make a commitment to the Lord, 100million.net logobut this thought just wouldn't go away. At the end of 2015 he resigned from UCB and set up 100million.net with the aim of developing this ministry and seeing people come to faith whilst recording their stories.

The Dream Continues:

That dream continues to this day however, over the years more than 200 mission trips have been made to over 40 countries. 20 churches have been built and a network of contacts across the world keeps Carl and family continually busy.

Wessex Filling Station:

Rebekah Brettle spoke at Wessex Filling Station about the Neighbourhood Prayer Network in July 2017 having previously been booked for February 2018.

Wessex Filling Station logo

However the date change was thought appropriate as prayer was such a hot subject in the Christchurch, Bournemouth and Poole filling station area that summer. Carl was invited to take over the February 2018 speaking engagement in her place.

Carl and Rebekah have a one son Reuben, and moved back to Wales during 2017, where the vision continues.


References:

Carl Brettle was interviewed by Brian Edgeley

  1. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nidum
  2. carlbrettle.typepad.com/about
  3. Memoirs of a Skinny Welshman.
  4. Rebekah Brettle interviewed by Brian Edgeley
  5. http://www.neighbourhoodprayer.net/about/who-we-are/