Reports of Gospel Work and Other Assembly Activities
C. H. Darch, Taunton, England
“How shall I go up to my father and the lad be not with me?” Gen. 44. 34.
We remember an address on the above text given by Dr. Northcote Deck. He used it to stress our responsibility to others in connection with the gospel. Most of us live and work with those who do not know the Saviour, and we are” debtors” to them as Paul was in his day. Let us seek to discharge this responsibility by personal witness as well as by our active support of evangelistic work.
It is necessary that we should from time to time ”remind our readers that Evangelists whose work is reported are in no way responsible to the Committee of “Previous Seed” and they do not receive any financial support from the Magazine. The publication of the news ”we receive does not necessarily imply that we are in agreement with all the methods employed by the worker concerned.
N. M. B.
When Bob Pettifer conducted a mission in the Victoria Hall, Wands worth, he was helped by John Grant, who before his conversion had been a well–known B.C. singer and music–hall artiste. As a result of the mission 15 people were saved, including 9 boys and girls.
LONDON MOBILE UNITS
Mobile units in the London area have continued to operate throughout the winter, in spite of the rain. The broadcasting of gospel hymns aroused interest and curiosity and, even when a crowd could not be gathered round, the amplifiers enabled speakers to pass on gospel messages,
Aneurin Ward held a fortnight’s mission at Swanwick. Despite wet weather, attendances were very good and the hall was full for a Women’s Rally. During the mission a young man professed to receive Christ as Saviour and a backslider was restored to the Lord.
It has been the custom for several years to hold special gospel meetings for young folk at Bitterne during the winter. This year John Knight was the Evangelist. Approximately 100 young people gathered every night. Some made a definite confession of faith in Christ, including one whose parents are Roman Catholic. Weekly meetings have been arranged for the purpose of instructing the young in the faith. These meetings, besides being well supported by the new converts, have proved of great interest to unconverted who have attended in good numbers. On account of growing numbers an extension to the hall is contemplated.
TYNTESFIELD PARK, BRISTOL
With just four in fellowship an assembly was formed last December at Tyntesfield Park, an old U.S.A. Hospital Camp, near Bristol, and already a gospel campaign has been held. George Barton (N. Ireland) was the missioner, and five adults professed faith in Christ as Saviour, A special mission for children was conducted by Alwyn Harland (Stockton–on–Tees), and quite a number said that they were trusting the Saviour as a result of what they had heard in the Sunday School. The 160 families on the estate are visited regularly, and gospel literature is distributed.
WOLSELEY HALL, PLYMOUTH
Thirteen children were saved during Dan Cameron’s seven days’ mission to children at Wolseley Hall, Plymouth. Special prayer–meetings were arranged, both before and during the mission. Keen interest was shown and attendances averaged 230 each night. Novel methods, including object lessons and the flannelgraph, were employed by the Evangelist to attract both children and parents, and the gospel was listened–to with rapt attention.
GUERNSEY, CHAN ISLANDS
With a fellowship of about 45, Bordage Hall accommodates the only “open” assembly on the island of Guernsey. Alter the gospel service on Sunday evenings a meeting is held under the Market Hall, in winter as well as in summer. This assembly and the two in Jersey carry on alone during the winter months, but to the summer season welcome help is received from visitors. Alderney and Sark have no assembly witness, except when a visiting Evangelist is in the Islands.
The gospel meetings which wore held dating March in the Village Hall at Copplestone, were preceded by prayer and house–to–house visitation. These informal gatherings were addressed by various speakers and drew an average attendance of 40 – 50. Interest was aroused among the unconverted as the gospel was proclaimed. A special feature of the effort was the after–church services. The many Village Halls in our country districts provide a splendid avenue of approach at a time when comparatively–few unsaved are to be found in gospel meetings.
Despite much discouragement a steady work is being done at Colyton, Devon. Meetings for children during the winter, a Women’s meeting every fortnight and a gospel meeting each Sunday, are among the activities of this small, but happy, assembly. A special feature is a Saturday–evening Youth Rally, to which some folk come who would not attend either of the other meetings.
We have received details of the Birmingham Inter–Hospital Prayer Union and of the Christian Tract Distributing Enterprise. Reports of both these: efforts have appeared in previous Numbers, and we are glad to note that the work is being continued and extended. We have also received a copy of the first edition of the Hope Chapel Fellowship Magazine. Some of the larger assemblies are finding such magazines most helpful in strengthening fellowship between members and maintaining contact with those who are away. At the Dell Road assembly, Cotteridge, Dan Cameron held a mission for children. Attendances of children and adults were good and at least four children professed conversion. Keen interest was shown by parents, some of whom visited the hall for the first time, and one woman –accompanied by her live children–attended most of the meetings. A lad of 15 years attended tent meetings held by Dan Cameron at Saltcoats (Scotland) three years previously. His parents, who do not profess to be Christians, moved to Birmingham. The boy heard of ”Uncle Dan’s” visit, attended the meetings and was brightly saved.
David Walker (Aberdeen) spent a fortnight in gospel effort at Bethany Hall, Newcastle. The meetings were very well attended and some were interested, but no visible evidences of fruit unto salvation have so far been seen.
Seven people professed conversion during meetings held at Gates head. Attendances were large, especially at the children’s meetings. The town was well circulated with tracts, homes and sick people were visited, and open–air meetings were held in many streets
Drummore, Wigtownshire, is a smallvillage almost at the Mull of Galloway. Some time ago, after much prayer arid exercise, the small local assembly–which numbers only nine or ten –decided to make a special effort to break the marked indifference of the villagers and reach them, with the gospel. James Hutchinson of Londonderry, was invited to conduct Special gospel meetings in the convenient little hall, capable of seating about 100 people, in which the assembly meets. After about ten days of regular visiting of people in their homes, the Evangelist was greatly encouraged in seeing the hall well filled almost every evening. There was a record attendance on the closing night.
John Dan Jones had good attendances during a series of meetings at Deri, Bargoed. No one confessed faith in the Lord, but many were spoken–to personally. Llandaff North assembly has a good Sunday School and Women’s Meeting, also an interesting work among young people. Meetings conducted by Arthur Greenwood for children were well attended. Interest was shown, and help and blessing received, at other meetings held during the visit, L. H. Tranter held a series of meetings at Pwllgwaun (Pontypridd) and C. H. Darch helped in the ministry of the Word at Deri, Thornhill, Tredegar, Harry, Treforest and Cefn Fforest. Ynysybwl assembly was encouraged by interest shown during meetings conducted by Harold German. Two young women am) several children spoke of being Saved. Three young men were baptised a tit I received into fellowship. Harold Herman’s visit was followed by a visit from Douglas Hunt (recently home from Tobago). Unsaved ones gathered night by night and some believers were restored to fellowship in the assembly. The small assembly at Ebbw Vale has been particularly encouraged by the attendances at a week–night children’s meeting commenced last November. It is believed some have been genuinely saved,
LONDONDERRY, N. IRELAND
For a number of years a Sunday School has been held in a farmhouse in a rural district a few miles from the city of Londonderry. At the beginning of the year B. Reilly (the Sunday School teacher) and James Hutchinson felt exercised to conduct a series of gospel meetings in this house. The meetings were held nightly for over six weeks. The Lord granted His presence and the local people showed remarkable interest. Some have professed to be saved, and others are concerned about salvation. Quite often there were no fewer than 60 people seated in one of the rooms of the house. It may be that this type of” cottage” meeting, which certainly has apostolic precedent, would be useful in country districts which are normally termed” hard.”
NEWRY, N. IRELAND
Newry is a harder–town in Northern Ireland with a population of 12,000, the majority of whom are Roman Catholic. A special gospel campaign lasting six weeks was held in the Newry Gospel Hall by the Evangelists John and James Hutchinson. The town was visited systematically and regularly by local Christians and the Evangelists. From the commencement there was evidence of God’s presence and many of the people appeared to be interested. A number professed salvation, including a member of the Royal Ulster Constabulary and a man of almost 80 years of age. The testimony of the local assembly is good, which is an important factor in the spread of the gospel.
BALLYMENA, N. IRELAND
Harold Paisley conducted a series of gospel meetings for ten weeks in the Bally men a district of Northern Ireland. On nine Sunday evenings the meetings were held in Ballymena. Town Hall which scats 1,200 people, and among the townspeople who came were many who were unaccustomed to attending gospel meetings. Hundreds of God’s Way of Salvation, booklets were distributed and quite a number of sinners were saved. On the last night of the campaign, well over 1,000 attended. It is interesting to note that Harold Paisley is a native of Bally men a, and that he conducted the meetings in association with the assembly into which hp was first received as a believer and from which he was commended for the Lord’s work.
In the Nov./Dec. Magazine we reported that John Scott, whose activities in Eire we have frequently recorded, had entered hospital for treatment. We now hear that he has been taken to be with the Lord at the early age of 42. Colportage work is one of the few avenues of gospel service which are open in some parts of Eire and there are few workers willing and able to undertake it, so our brother’s place will be hard to fill.
For many years Samuel Lewis and co–workers used an old portable hall for meetings in and around Stranorlar, Conway, Raphoe, Letterkenny, Castlepin and Newtown–Cunningham, and quite a number are known to have been saved as a result. Through the kindness and help of some of the Lord’s people a new hall has been provided. During a series of meetings at Whitecross near Raphoe, good interest was shown and there were two eases of conversion. S.G.M. portions and gospel literature are distributed during house–to–house visitation and there is often a friendly response, even from many Roman Catholics.
In 1945 G. K. Lowther commenced pioneer work in the Grimsby district of Lincolnshire and a local assembly, which now comprises 25 believers, has come into being. Since that time regular meetings have been held for the breaking of bread, prayer, gospel testimony and conversational Bible–study, and a Sunday School has been formed. During 1947/8 L. M. Randall worked in the area and gave valuable help with house–to–house visitation. There is an open–air testimony nearly every Saturday afternoon in the town’s busy shopping centre and many thousands of tracts have been distributed. It was decided to make a special e/fort this year to help believers belonging to the various denominations in the town, and G. K. Lowther gave a series of lectures on New Testament principles. The local interest that resulted was the most encouraging yet seen in the activities of the assembly.
(D. A. Ray)
John R. Stone tells us that the Kemball Street assembly in Ipswich holds open–air meetings each Tuesday on the new housing estates in and around the town, and there have been good numbers listening, especially among the–children. On Sundays, open–air meetings are held near Derby Road Station when those returning from Felixstowe hear the Word. When the weather hindered, brethren met together in conference and, after prayer, agreed to seek openings in villages where there was no sound evangelical witness. As a result good meetings have been held and are still continuing. One brother, a semi–invalid, agreed to pay the cost of the halls hired: another, who has a car, is thrusting out into places further afield with an amplifier. A good work, too, is going on among teen–agers and children.