Gospel Work and other Assembly Activities
D. C. Hinton, Hayes, Middx.
Somerset. Although there are a good number of assemblies in this county there is a large tract between Bridgwater and Minehead where there is little evangelistic witness. During the latter part of last summer D. Willcox took his tent to Blue Anchor in this area. Assisted by friends from Bristol and elsewhere many of the dark villages and small towns of this district were reached with the Gospel. The work with the children on the beaches was much blessed and many adults heard the message of life. One teenager accepted the Saviour.
Devon. The believers meeting at Newton Abbot have been encouraged during the past year. They first had the joy of welcoming some six believers who came to reside at the Devon Assemblies Eventide Home. In June four young people brought joy to their Lord by their baptism. In the following month the baptistry was opened again for a middle-aged sister from Chudleigh. This sister had never witnessed a baptism before but had been exercised a few weeks previously after hearing ministry on the subject. Many of the women from the women's meeting, mostly unsaved, attended the service. A young local lad was baptized at the same time.
In October the baptistry was again open and four young people from the little assembly at Lustleigh and three from the local gathering took this step of obedience. The last resident brother at Lustleigh was called home over a year ago and brethren from the surrounding district have gone in turn to assist the four or five sisters to maintain a testimony. The Lord has now been pleased to reward their efforts by increasing the number in fellowship. Two of these were schoolgirls and the other a young married man saved a year ago. Many of his unsaved relatives were present to witness this ordinance. With over two hundred present it was an occasion that will be remembered.
News has come of the results of open-air preaching in Cullompton, when B. Sutton and a number of like minded helpers spent a holiday together last July, preaching the Gospel each evening.
Great stress was laid upon the fearful and eternal consequences of rejecting Christ. 'Turn or burn' was often heard in the preaching.
Some thirty motor-cycle teenagers listened to this warning. At the close of the last Lord's Day's preaching, B. Sutton gave his final word on the solemnity of sudden death from the not infrequent road accidents and passing out into eternity unprepared. One lad subsequently cut his long hair, dressed soberly and then went on his way to sell his motor-cycle, but was killed on the way. His great change may indicate that he was converted. A second lad lost control of his cycle and was killed, while four others of the young fellows were seriously hurt in an accident in their mini.
The combined effect of the warning preaching and these tragic accidents has been that by September the remaining lads went thirty strong to the local minister and spent a considerable time with him. Their main burden was that the mission and the church made much of the love of God but the open air preachers had spoken of hell fire and judgment as well. They wished to be clear as to what happened at the end of life and appeared to be awakened to the need of salvation.
Is the truth of eternal punishment being dropped from our Gospel preaching? The above report shows the need for it.
Guernsey. Regular house to house visitation has begun to bear fruit in the work at Green Lanes Hall where a faithful witness has been maintained for many years. The Sunday School has grown and several young people have recently been baptized. An open air witness is maintained each Lord's Day evening at St. Peter Port and many personal contacts are made with visitors.
South Wales. Blessing was experienced in a Gospel campaign conducted by P. Brandon at the Evangelistic Hall, Llanelli, where attendances were good at all meetings. During special Gospel meetings at Ebenezer Hall, Cardiff, S. Ford was able to make many contacts during services in schools and the prison.
London. To some the name of the Carrington House Mission may be well known but the following details of this work are appended so that the interest of others may be aroused in the maintenance of this testimony for our Lord Jesus Christ in this large hostel in Deptford, south-east London. The House accommodates between seven and eight hundred men and is full most nights of the year.
On most Lord's Day evenings a congregation of around one hundred men may be found listening to the old, old story of Jesus and His love. On winter evenings this number may well be doubled. Since the large majority of these men would appear to be unsaved it will be readily seen that an excellent opportunity presents itself to the brethren who proclaim the Gospel.
It will be appreciated that a very 'mixed bag' of men may be encountered in such a place, men of all ages and all classes and of various nationalities. There are elderly ones whose wives have passed away and for whom there is no room with their married children; men who have known better days - university men, professional men, all having been brought down through sin of one kind or another; younger men who have had trouble at home and deserted their wives and children j and there are those who are just unemployable. There are those who show an interest in spiritual things and even some who profess to have trusted the Saviour in earlier years, whilst there are those who quite patently have no time or place in their lives for the One who died to redeem them. Yet, strange to relate, some of the latter will join in the singing of old, well-loved hymns without a hymnbook. There are those who had godly parents and who know the way of salvation as well as anyone, and yet are now in the grip of sin and vice, seemingly unable and unwilling to change their way of life. What a privilege and responsibility to have access to such a place where there are so many who need the Saviour.
As in all Christian activity there are both encouragements and discouragements. Some, it is believed, have been blessed and brought to the Saviour. For example, the Jamaican night porter of gigantic proportions whose face lights up when the workers meet him.
In the New Year a dinner is provided for the men of the House through the kindness of believers and usually some three hundred sit down to enjoy a good meal. This is followed by an evening of singing with a Gospel message at the close.
The Secretary, whose address is 6, Melville Road, Sidcup, Kent, would be pleased to hear from any reader wishing to receive the annual report.
Lancashire. The work at Boarshaw Gospel Hall, Middleton, Alanchester, has come to a halt owing to the failing health of the two remaining brethren. Earlier last year some eighty youngsters attended the week-night meeting while the regular attendance at the Sunday School would be coveted by many assemblies. Only on rare occasions were unsaved folk not present at the Gospel meeting. The need is for workers, and we trust that this report may cause some to be exercised as to whether the Lord would have them help in this very needy area.
Southern Scotland. R. McPheat was responsible for a month of Gospel meetings in Falkirk during October. A number of unconverted were present every night yet none made a profession of faith. However three children were saved and two backsliders were restored.
At the end of last summer the Glasgow Gospel Tent was erected in Scotstoun for four weeks, five assemblies taking responsibility for this joint venture with the preaching being undertaken by A. Noble. Considerable numbers of unconverted were among the weeknight audiences of over three hundred, while on the Lord's Day almost nine hundred were present. A number professed faith in the Lord Jesus and some backsliders were restored. All were encouraged by the large number of young people who attended, and follow-up rallies have been arranged each month in Anniesland Hall.
Following up new converts has sometimes been difficult in rural areas. In the Mull of Kintyre J. Carrick and R. Sharp, working from Springbank Gospel Hall in Campbelltown, will follow up those who accepted the Saviour during the special efforts last summer. Door to door visitation will be undertaken, meetings held for young people and children in the surrounding villages, and regular Bible Study gatherings arranged.
Mid-Scotland. A. Leckie preached in Hebron Hall, Kirkcaldy, for three weeks last October. Attendances were good, two adults made profession of their faith and another was restored to the Lord.
Northern Ireland. We are pleased to report that the children's meetings in Londonderry were recommenced at the beginning of November, and the believers were encouraged to see the good attendance which reached over ninety by the end of the month in spite of the troubled state of the city. Most of the children are transported to and from the meetings by hired 'bus, and the remainder by private cars. Numbers compare very favourably with previous years and the attendance at the Sunday School noticeably increased with the recommencement of the weeknight gatherings.
It is quite a responsibility to conduct children's meetings in such troubled circumstances but the believers feel that they should continue since Satan's objective is to cause such work to cease. The assembly is looking to the Lord to preserve and keep the children and to prosper the work amongst them.