Reports of Gospel Work
C. H. Darch, Taunton, England
"The assembly Gospel meeting has had its day,"
Have you heard this?
Do you believe it?
Readers of the Reports on these pages will know that it is not true everywhere, but from far too many quarters comes the lament that people cannot be induced to attend.
Do we accept this situation as inevitable?
Are we sure that we have rightly diagnosed the caused?
How do you tackle the problem in your assembly?
If you have a method which, has been honoured of God, it will doubtless help others "who are faced with the same difficulty; so why not use these pages to toll them about it? Our Correspondent for your area will be delighted to hear from you.
LONDON and HOME COUNTIES
(London and the Counties of Middlesex, Hertford, Essex, Kent, Sussex and Surrey). Stanley H. Savers, 33, Crieff Road, Wandsworth, S. W. 18.
(Wilts., Gloucester, Oxford, Bucks,, Berks, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight). A. C. Payne, 39 Solent Road, Drayton, Portsmouth.
(Cheshire, Derby, Notts., Shropshire, Stafford, Leicester, Rutland, Hereford, Worcester, Warwick and Northampton). Pearson P. Chamings, 3, Birth Road, Rubery, Nr. Birmingham.
(Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Dorset and the Channel Islands). C. H. Darch, 'Netherlea," Tamar Avenue, Taunton.
(Lancashire, Westmorland, Cumberland, Northumberland, Durham, Yorkshire and Isle of Man). J. Howard Hall, 12, Borough Road, Jarrow-on-Tyne, Co. Durham.
(Lincoln, Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridge, Bedford, and Hunts). T. G. Smith, "Charis," St. David's Drive, Broxbourne, Herts.
(The Counties of Inverness and Aberdeen, and the Areas north of them). A. Mulholland, 6, Commerce Road, Elgin.
CENTRAL and SOUTHERN SCOTLAND
(All Areas south of the Counties of Inverness and Aberdeen). Andrew McNeish, M. A., "Mayfield," Belshill Road, Uddingston, Glasgow.
Walter A. Norris, 3, Morais Street, Cardiff. or Harold Thomas, 269, Caerphilly Rd., Cardiff.
David Craig, "Ailsa," Fisherwick Gardens, Balymeena, Co. Antrim.
T. Ernest J. Archer, "Dunran," Avoca Avenue, Blackrock, Co. Dublin.
PERSONAL INVITATIONS AT PURLET
When Montpelier Hall, Purley was visited by Harold Wildish for a special Gospel effort, there was a sustained interest with very large week-end meetings. There were two Saturday meetings with lantern addresses, and these made a deep impression on the young people attending them. The evangelist also spoke on "Parents' Sunday" and addressed the Boys' and Girls' Classes and the Women's Meeting. The evening meetings were characterized by the steady attendance of quite a number of unsaved folk, many of whom came to the Hall for the first time, and who, in the majority of case, came as a result of personal invitation by someone in the assembly. A number confessed Christ as a result of the campaign and many more showed an interest in spiritual matters. Further, the assembly itself was stirred to desire blessing on the Gospel.
PRAYER CHANGES THINGS
Harold Wildish conducted an Evangelistic Campaign, at Woodcroft Hall, Burnt Oak, early in October. For nearly six months prior to the campaign, special payer-meetings were regularly held, but the whole of the publicity was concentrated into the last two weeks. By careful organization and enterprise, various methods of propaganda were successfully used, including a personal invitation to more than four thousand homes. The meetings were well-attended, especially on Saturdays and Sundays, when the Hall was packed to capacity. It was very encouraging to see many strangers, some being brought in off the streets, and others accompanying their Christian friends. The messages were given with great earnestness and conviction. Many were visibly affected, and afterwards spoke of their appreciation. During the course of the campaign nearly sixty inquirers were interviewed, a large proportion professing faith in Christ. All these have since been contacted, with encouraging results. The campaign undoubtedly made an impression on the neighbourhood, and has stirred the assembly to greater interest in Gospel activity.
QUESTIONS AT SYDENHAM
To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Mayow Road Hall, Sydenham, London, a ten days Evangelistic Campaign was arranged, and was conducted by S. Jardine. The meetings were preceded by much earnest prayer and were widely advertised by handbills, posters, public-address and visiting. Numbers were disappointing, but unsaved - both old and young - were present, and the messages were clear and convincing. One evening was set aside for men only, fathers of Sunday School children being specially invited, pub lie-houses were visited mid other means of reaching men with invitations were used. The meeting was of an informal character and, following the message, a cup of tea and cake were provided. Opportunity was then given for questions, which were readily forthcoming.
A HARVEST AT BRISTOL
The Chelsea Road (Bristol) assembly entered wholeheartedly into the serious business of getting the unconverted under the sound of the Gospel during a three weeks' mission conducted by Harry Bedford, of Crediton, This effort, coupled with continued and earnest prayer, resulted in about twenty professions of conversion.
If you happen to be in Wolseley Road, Plymouth, on a Wednesday evening at about six o'clock, you will see boys and girls forming queues outside a building which will not open its doors for another twenty minutes! The building is not a. cinema but the Wolseley Gospel Hall, and the children are some of the three hundred who attend the weekly Children's Meeting. This is the second season of this encouraging work, and attendances have increased since the introduction of "star cards,' prizes being given to those who attend regularly, behave well, and keep their cards in good condition. The leader is assisted by "keen and able "helpers. The assembly has a fine Sunday School, but by means of the Children's Meeting they reach those who attend other Sunday Schools—or none. Occasional use is made of the optical lantern, which still attracts in spite of the popularity of the cinemas; and on other evenings carefully selected speakers give short and pointed talks. Chorus-singing forms on important part of the work.
THE GOSPEL IN A TOWN HALL
The Town Hall was hired for meetings conducted by H. E, Bentall at Blandford. At a series of meetings arranged for men only, at least one was converted. These meetings are being continued. The children's meetings were well-attended and a number professed faith in Christ.
When David Clifford, visited Gosport, over 200 young persons attended a "teen-agers" rally.
INITIATIVE IN THE MIDLANDS
Reports have been received from the Midlands of three forms of service; which have the same end in view.
The Birmingham Inter-Hospital Prayer Union seeks to promote prayer fellowship in the various hospitals in the men, and to encourage Christian life and witness. The work has its joys und sorrows, but it is evidently being honoured of God.
The Small Heath Gospel Tract Team, recording their activities, write of the experiences (if one of their members — a baker roundsman — who speaks of the "Bread of Life" as he delivers the daily bread.
The Derbyshire Evangelistic Work was helped by the splendid weather during last summer. Open-air Gospel testimony tent meetings, slum work and hospital visitation are among the activities recorded, and some people have received the Saviour. The report of R.C. opposition in the county strikes tin ominous note. In one market town, 5,000 people bowed before a wooden cross. Elsewhere the priests threatened parents who allowed their children to attend the Gospel meetings. For years the county has been neglected, and much prayer and hard work will be needed if the tide is to be turned.
WHOSOEVER WILL MAY COME
David Hyslop and co-workers have completed a ten weeks' tour of Cumberland with the Gospel Van, covering over 500 miles. They report: "Seventeen people made definite profession of faith in Christ, and many other interesting contacts were made. It was encouraging to watch the faces of the children as they listened to the Gospel message. In one village, six girls, who had heard the Gospel since infancy, decided for Christ. At Silloth, a thirteen-year-old B.C. lad told us he had accepted the Saviour after listening- to the messages. In the village of Glass on, a fisherman over seventy years old, who had all his life trusted in his own good works, found rest in what Christ had done for him. In this same village we had what we called the 'Preaching Yard,’ where opportunity was given to preach the Gospel to visiting farmers. Our oldest listener was a woman of 92, who put on her clogs and came to the van to hear the Gospel. Many hundreds of Gospel tracts were distributed during the tour."
ADDITIONS TO THE ASSEMBLY
Lancashire Gospel Tent. Throughout the eight weeks of this effort a splendid interest was maintained, with increasing congregations. It was our privilege to point a number to the Lord and to help many of the Lord's people, same of whom have since been baptised and added to the local assembly. Darwen, the scene of the final month's labour, again brought much encouragement; increasing local interest proving that the characteristic indifference of the town was slowly, but certainly, yielding before aggressive evangelism. Souls were saved, including young people and a man of 80 years. Meetings convened for children were particularly fruitful, many of the older ones confessing their faith in the Lord Jesus.
INTO THE HIGHWAYS AND BYWAYS
An interesting and encouraging report has been received of the work of the Gospel Van in Scotland during the summer season, extracts of which are as follows. "At Hawick one man confessed Christ as his Saviour to the joy of all. Ho had been brought to the meeting by a young sister from Newcastle. In Academy Street Hall, Aberdeen, we had the joy of leading a young married woman to Christ. Her parents wanted her to have instruction for the R. C. church, but she had declined. At Cullen, we spoke for half an hour to many old people who ware having a day out. Many had been drinking and did not want to listen. Some were over 70 and careless of their souls' destiny. At Strathlene we had an excellent hearing during one-and-a-half hours with a crowd of over 300. After a meeting at Avoch an appeal was made, and, in response, a godly grandmother had the joy of seeing four of her grandchildren and a young tail friend trust Christ as Saviour. We visited Kingussie and Dalwinnie on our way to Pitlochry, where we spent some time with the hydro-electrical workers at their camp. One man seemed, deeply impressed. We had a, lively time in the open air on the Saturday night. Many of the workers wore in the town and, under the influence of drink, asked, many questions. Sunday night was very quiet. No questions were asked and all listened with keen interest."
(A. Dockerty and W. Greiff)
PREACHING ON THE PAVILION
The Fforestfach district of Swansea has a well-situated park, in which is a covered pavilion furnished with folding chairs, and with one side open to the grassy slopes The assembly has permission to use this pavilion for Gospel testimony or Sunday evenings during the summer. The fine weather at the past season brought many to the park, and week-by-week good companies listened to the messages, The Sunday School in an encouraging feature of the work here, it having been found necessary to hold two sessions at order to accommodate the children. The Weekly Children's Meeting is also well-attended. Special Gospel meetings were conducted by W. A. Norris during November.
FILLED TO OVERFLOWING
The commodious Evangelistic Hall, Llanely, was often far too small to accommodate the people during the well-attended meetings conducted by Harold Paisley (Belfast) during October. The very outspoken Gospel messages were much blessed to saint and sinner, and it was a joy to see the Lord's hand in some being brought to Himself.
W. Trew visited Tredegar during October. The Lord's people ware encouraged and some strangers were brought under the sound of the Gospel.
BAPTISMS AT CARDIFF
During October, special meetings were held to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the opening of Ebenezer Gospel Hall, Cardiff. Several young people were baptised on the Lord’s Day, when J. Hodson preached the Gospel. On the following Tuesday evening a children's meeting was held, and on the Wednesday, 170 old-age pensioners were invited to a tea which was followed by a Gospel message. Former scholars of the Sunday School had a reunion, at which an optional lantern was used to show photographs of the teachers who had taught them years before, and they heard again the "old, old story" that they had first learnt in childhood days.
THE LIFE STORY OF A TESTAMENT
What happens to the Scriptures which find their way into so many Irish R.C. Homes? Many have been burnt to comply with the wishes of the priests. Others are passed from hand to hand, and the colporteur sometimes meets with them again in a home many miles from the place where he sold them. Many have found their way to England and the north of Ireland in the pockets of work-people who took them "just for something to read on the journey." The vast majority, one would venture to say, are at this very moment lying (as does many of Protestant Bible) on the top of the kitchen dressers, covered with dust. An old lady recently made reference to "all the books in the house" and produced a little heap of dusty, torn booklets. Inspection revealed that only one or two were orthodox R.C. publications, the remainder having been purchased from colporteurs from time to time. Despite the difficulty and discouragement, it is a joy to know that God's Word can be found in so many Irish homes. May it be used to the salvation of many precious souls.