In a Devon Coastal Town (Seaton)

Keith Clayton

Part 3 of 12 of the series How it Began

Category: History

“But, Monty, we have asked twice for the room and they have refused it, what is the use of asking again ?”  Two young men, who had been demobbed after the first world war, were discussing the possibility of starting some evangelistic meetings in their home-town, Seaton, the most easterly of the county's watering-places, very near to the Dorset border. The need for this was urgent, and was in the mind of both of them independently- The great difficulty was a convenient meeting-place. There was only one suitable for the purpose, and the fore­going conversation explains what was happening. Monty was for asking a third time, which he did, and the owners rented it to them ! Other Christians gave evidence of their interest, and it was felt that ,i meeting for praise: and prayer would be an appropriate start. Then it was discovered I hat there were no lighting arrange­ments. This difficulty was overcome by a brother loaning two motor headlamps. In I hose days they were acetylene, and as the little company gathered round in the unshielded glare of these strange lights, they looked very ghostlike. However, their prayers were real and substantial and there were indications that they meant business. As numbers and interest increased, it was decided to commence some Bible study as a preparation for some regular gospel effort. When these gospel-meetings were started on Sunday evenings the room was crowded, and very soon the Lord set His seal on the work as souls were saved. The believers were keen and enthusiastic, and it was no uncommon sight to see eight or nine brethren on their knees in a little ante-room before the service pleading for blessing. From such a small and humble beginning it was a privilege to witness these stirring scenes, and it was an effort to keep humble through it all.

A problem soon presented itself. What was to be done with these new converts ? They had to be instructed from the Scrip­tures as to their faith and conduct. They needed help and every encouragement to live a consistent and godly life. They discovered that baptism followed faith in Christ, and they gladly obeyed in this matter. The gathering grew in spiritual power and New Testament order, and there was a. desire to remember the Lord's death in the breaking of bread. About 20 believers gathered for the latter purpose, and as this remembrance was renewed week by week, they were like " days of heaven upon the earth." This company of believers recognized its obligation to make Christ as Saviour known in the locality in which God had placed them, and in the summer months went to the sea-front to witness for the Lord. This caused quite a stir, and the devil raised opposition— some  subtle,  some  open—but  it  was  a  great  blessing  to  the Christians.   History proves that the persecuted Church is kept purer in life and doctrine than the Church that is indolent. Live fish enjoy swimming against the stream.

The boys and girls were not forgotten, and a Sunday School was started. Numbers were not huge, but there was fruit for God as some of these children were converted.

After two happy years in this room, the way opened up to secure a very convenient site for a permanent place of worship and service. This came in an unexpected and remarkable way and, looking back over the years, the Hand of God can plainly be traced. guiding and working for His people. An old workshop on the site was reconditioned and the work transferred from the hired room. It was a great day when the place of meeting was altered, but a brother prayed. " If Thy presence go not with us, carry us not up hence." It is a good prayer to pray. God continued to save souls. and the assembly grew. It soon became evident that a larger hall was needed, and after much prayer the work was started, There were about 38 in fellowship at this time, and looking to God to supply the need, and seeking to do I heir own part they went forward. The cost of site, renovations, building, furnishing, etc., was about £2,600. This was a big sum in those days, and a daring move to make, but. if faith is not daring it is no faith at all, and God delights to honour it. With sacrificial giving and splendid help from other assemblies, the whole cost was cleared in just over 10 years.

The new hall was opened with much rejoicing in March, 1927, and for over a Quarter of a century has been the scene of active Christian witness. At one time there were 70 in fellowship, and for the last 10 years there have been about 60. The meetings, already mentioned, continue together with a Bible-class, women's meeting and other activities. A bi-annual Missionary Conference has stimulated interest and prayer in the Lord's work in the " regions beyond." David's words sum it all up, " For all things come of Thee, and of Thine own have we given Thee."

B. T.

There are 11 articles in
ISSUE (1955, Volume 7 Issue 4)

Church Finance

The Climax of World History

Don’t make a mistake

God’s Sovereign working in the Telugu Desh

In a Devon Coastal Town (Seaton)

The Lord’s Supper

Peter’s Second Epistle

The Sacredness of Personality

Spiritual Blessings - Remission

We thank God and take courage


There are 10 articles in this series

Brierfield, Lancashire

Priter Way, Bermondsey - A Story of Dockside London

In a Devon Coastal Town (Seaton)


How It Began - Ebenezer Hall, Weymouth

Canley - Coventry

Musbury, Devon

Musbury, Devon - 2

Loughton, Essex

Whipton, Exeter

There are 91 articles by this author

We Consider Blessed Those Who Have Persevered

Travelling On My Knees - 2 Corinthians 1.11.

The Teignmouth Gospel Hall

An Appreciation OfIvan Steeds

We Count Them Happy That Endure

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures. Psalm 23. 2

Celebrating 100 years of service for The Western Counties and South Wales Evangelisation Trust

Choice Gleanings

Bethany Residental Home

Who says the Word of God is not important?

Winshill Gospel Hall

Mill Green Gospel Hall


Look for God’s Look for God’s hand in it!

The UK Assembly Address Book

The Benefits of Belonging

Deep-Water Faith!

Emptied to be Filled

Empty Chairs

Merrion Hall, Dublin

Report of Gospel Work & Other Assembly Activity

A Family

A Body

Reports of Gospel Work and other Assembly Activity

A Hospital

The Greater London Crusade

Brierfield, Lancashire

Priter Way, Bermondsey - A Story of Dockside London

Be Neighbourly

Nursing a Grievance

God’s Sovereign working in the Telugu Desh

Don’t make a mistake

In a Devon Coastal Town (Seaton)


Is this your Gospel Meeting?

Special Notice

A Situation we must face

Crediton - from 1850 to 1956

New Hall for Lynmouth

Why and Wherefore?


Spending and being Spent

Canley - Coventry

Dwindling Assemblies

Divine Sovereignty and Human Responsibility

Income and Expenditure

Resignation of Mr L. F. Morice

Musbury, Devon

Musbury, Devon - 2

Please Don’t Forget This Time

New Committee Members

Income and Expenditure

Holiday Evangelism

Home for Elderly Believers

Eastern Counties Missionary Home

The Holy Spirit

Loughton, Essex

Accounts of the Year ended August 31st, 1959

Our Future Programme

A Library for Biblical Research

Homecall of A. C. Hinton

Our Programme for 1961

Tell Yorkshire

Statement of Accounts for Year End August 1960

Dr John Heading


Home Workers Fund

The Indispensable Man

If God should go on strike

Scripture text posters

Denis Clapham

Views from the News

Copimg with difficulties within a marriage

Bexley Christian Assembly


Slow Down

Golden Bells

Bethel Gospel Chapel

Are you hooked on logic?

I cannot understand

The Bow Assembly, Devon, England

What is Relational Evangelism?

God is ...

Code name: Confusion

Matthew 24. 42

Faskally House and Trust

A Hunger for the Word

Parkside Hall, Maidenhead

2008 China’s Year!

Walk Before God

Yorkshire Christian Camp