After 46 years of ministry at Holy Trinity Brompton, Alpha leaders Nicky and Pippa Gumbel are retiring from their positions in the church.
Tributes have poured in, as HTB marked the leaders' final service, including many from church leaders.
Pete Greig led the online applause with a lengthy post regaling stories from their long friendship. The end reads: "Nicky will hate all this adulation. And he'll be keen to point out that he is only retiring from HTB and will be continuing his role with Alpha, where he has the most incredible plans. World watch out!
"But as he steps out of the church building tomorrow, in which he has worshipped since 1974, and in which he was married in 1978, and in which he became a curate in 1986, and in which he was confronted with the prospect of my premature demise at a carol service in 2008, this is undoubtedly a moment when we may imagine that great cloud of witnesses applauding and picture the Father smiling as he says: 'Well done my good and faithful servant" (Matthew 25:23)
International leader of the Salvation Army, General Brian Peddle, said: "Best wishes to these two faithful servants. Not only have you served your church, you have contributed to our Christian community. well done."
Notable speaker Louis Giglio shared his well-wishes in Instagram, saying: "Legendary leaders and even better humans! Love and respect @pgumbel @nickygumbel"
Director of the Christian organisation The Sanctuary Foundation, Krish Kandiah said: "Dear @nickygumbel, thank you for your dedicated service. You are an inspiration to so many of us. Excited to see how you will continue to be used by God to bless nations. I particularly appreciate your passion to serve refugees and of course to share good news. #grateful"
Author Danielle Strickland said: "Wow. What a wonderful celebration of faithfulness!! I'm so grateful for @nickygumbel and @pippagumbel and their ongoing example of what following Jesus looks like!
With you in gratitude @HTBChurch excited about what God's cooking up now."
Christian Selvaratnam, St Hild's Dean of Church Planting and founder of the Centre for Church Planting and the Church Planting Track at St Hild College, said: "Through 36 years of ordained ministry in the same church @nickygumbel with Pippa has achieved an incredible amount in London and the UK & global Church. A great privilege to work for Nicky for 15-years at @alphacourse and now through connections with @HTBchurch & @churchrevtrust."
Mark Miller, vicar of Stockton Parish Church, said: "There are three people (plus Jesus, so that's four) responsible for me being ordained: my old youth worker, my old vicar and @nickygumbel - I'm so grateful to them all."
Vicar of Crofton Parish and Team Rector of North Gosport and Hants, said: "It's impossible to overstate the impact @pippagumbel and @nickygumbel have had over so many years at HTB. Thank God for their ministry, their example and their faithfulness. With much love for the new chapter ahead!"
Rev Charlie Boyle, a vicar at All Saints Branksome, said: "Thank you @HTBChurch and @nickygumbel for your passion, your commitment, your dedication your example @alphacourseuk. May God bless you and Pippa on the next phase of your journey with him."
Andy Glover, from HBC in Cheshire, said: "Very thankful to God for this amazing couple - their love for God His Church and one another is such a wonderful example."