Gospel Work and other Assembly Activities
D. C. Hinton, Hayes, Middx.
“The power of God unto salvation.”
A young brother, exercised about the spiritual needs of his fellow students who were nearly all Roman Catholics, asked if they would consent to him arranging a meeting for them to attend. They agreed and some sixty came to hear a reasoned discourse on the Gospel, and one of the students was saved. This has not been a nominal profession but a radical change in outlook.
In such ways is the power of the old fashioned Gospel manifested. May this incident cause us to be burdened more with the need of those around us and also cause us to rely completely upon the simple exposition of the Gospel.
The spiritual needs of the ever growing estates on the outskirts of our towns should be a burden upon our hearts. Believers meeting at Bethesda Gospel Hall, Southport, were exercised concerning the new estates at Ainsdale, and a work was started there in 1966. Numbers have grown till now over forty gather to remember their Lord in the way He commanded. Their evangelistic outreach takes the form of a Sunday School of approximately 130 children and coffee evenings for adults, their efforts being restricted by having to hire school premises. Land for a building has now been purchased from the corporation and plans are being submitted for the first stage of the structure which it is hoped to have completed by October this year, to be known as Woodvale Chapel. It will then be possible to extend the work in the Gospel and make a greater impact on the neighbourhood.
Shaftesbury Chapel, Manchester, was at one time a city mission hall, but gradually over the years believers became aware of the divine pattern for gathering. For about five years they have been forced to meet in a schoolroom as their hall was demolished, but they now rejoice that a new building is nearing completion in a redevelopment area where many will be coming to live. The assembly trusts that the hall will be a centre of spiritual blessing and that it will now be possible to serve their Lord more effectively.
A young lad decided for the Lord in December at Portpatrick and is continuing bright and keen. J. Ritchie and J. Cowan were encouraged while at Crossmichael by the salvation of a woman, followed by that of her husband. This special effort continued into January.
Special Gospel meetings lasting two weeks were held by R. Walker at Hebron Hall, Rutherglen, Lanarkshire, during November, The Lord was pleased to bless in the salvation of five souls. It would appear that most of the strangers who attended, and there were many, came as a result of personal invitation or contact, not through the newspaper advertising or the handbills. “Fishing” off the streets had considerable success.
The result of personal work was also evident during a fortnight of meetings held at Salsburgh, in the same shire. A young couple from a neighbouring assembly contacted a husband and wife in a nearby village and took them to the meetings. As they showed an interest the evangelist visited them and the final outcome was their salvation.
R. McPheat, recently commended to the Lord’s work from Newtongrange, was responsible for special meetings at Kirconnell, Dumfriesshire. A real interest was evident; some were saved, whilst others were restored.
The assembly planted through the labours of the late Dr. Matthews and D. Oliver at Shanaghan, Co. Down, a country district some miles from the town of Banbridge, has continued to maintain a Gospel testimony which has been blessed to many. Recently T. McKelvey and J. G. Hutchinson preached nightly for almost ten weeks. There were good attendances and quite a number professed conversion - some connected with believers, others completely unconnected. After the series was over a young man who had been deeply troubled also professed conversion.
The Gospel was proclaimed nightly in Limavady, Co. Derry, for eleven weeks, and here also interest was manifested from the start. A, Lyttle and J. Brown were responsible at the beginning, but subsequently the former was forced to drop out because of illness, N. Turkington taking his place. A brother in the assembly who owned a bus arranged for this to collect people each night along a certain route which included five small estates where contacts had been made during openair work in the summer. A minibus was also used on a shorter route. Good numbers of strangers attended, and several told of having accepted the Saviour, including some of those brought in the buses.
S. McBride, recently commended for full time Gospel work, and G. Marshall, had fruitful meetings in a portable hall in the small town of Tandragee, Co. Armagh, where there is no assembly. Some from adjoining areas who had been long prayed for, professed salvation.
Matchett Street Gospel Hall, Belfast, is the home of one of the older assemblies in the city. E. Jaminson, on furlough from Bolivia, joined S. Thompson in a Gospel effort which was encouraging in that several professed conversion. One man who professed to be saved on the Monday passed away on the following Friday. This should surely cause all readers to search their own hearts to make sure that they are even now made fit for heaven by accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour.
Republic of Ireland.
S. Lewis and J. Finegan spent four weeks at Stonewall, Co. Cavan, where the very small company of believers was cheered. The few unsaved who came were irregular in their attendance, nevertheless the good seed has been sown. S. Lewis then went north to Co. Tyrone and held meetings in an old school between Omagh and Ballygawley, being helped by young brethren from Omagh. A number of unsaved came nightly and all were encouraged.
A campaign was held by the assembly at Lochore, Fifeshire, with D. Barnes, as the evangelist. As the meetings continued numbers increased so the series was extended by a further week. Three professed to be saved, one being a young lad of seventeen who was greatly impressed by ministry on the subject of the return of the Lord.
It is profitable for us all, individually and collectively, to look back from time to time and review what we have done for the Lord, and see how great an impact we have made on the area where He has placed us.
The 90th anniversary of the opening of Adamsdown Gospel Hall was celebrated last November, and provided the opportunity for such a review. Reference was made to godly pastors who lived for the spiritual interests of the flock and to the outstanding work of not a few godly sisters who were real “mothers in Israel” in the assembly. The great place given to the ministry of the Word was also highlighted. Some spoke of the great influence for good that the assembly had been because of its wholehearted adherence to the Word of God, and not least in upholding New Testament church principles. The large company was reminded that the work had commenced in a house, twenty-five years before the hall was built. The believers have always sought to reach out with the Gospel, and a work started in a small shop in Cathays resulted in the establishing of the Mackintosh assembly. Three “gospel missions” have also been maintained together with a regular open air witness.
Can your assembly look back on such a record of faithfulness to the Word of God and consequent fruitfulness?
What are we planning to do this coming summer in the will of the Lord to help spread the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ? Now is the time to be seeking His will in this matter. The various tent efforts in different parts of the land all need helpers. The results are of lasting value. For instance, as a result of the work with the Staffordshire tent last year a children’s work has been started at Madeley, and several girls from Hanford are attending meetings at Trent Vale.
The brethren responsible for “Tell Yorkshire” need workers for the “Next Town’s Teams” - write to the Secretary at 6 Trap Lane, Sheffield 11. Gospel literature may still be distributed in the Irish Republic, but this door could close very quickly. If you wish to spend your holiday in this way write to 34a Fenian Street, Dublin.