Gospel Work and other Assembly Activities
D. C. Hinton, Hayes, Middx.
Sussex. About 1903 a Christian lady in Birmingham made a gift of a timber and corrugated iron hut for a mission in Ditchling. Known as the 'little green hut', this has been in use ever since for the setting forth of the Gospel. Following the destruction by fire of the Barn Meeting House, Clayton Hill, in 19479 believers were offered the use of the hut and renamed it the Gospel Hall.
Three years ago, in view of its dilapidated condition, it was decided to rebuild on the site. An attractive brick building Emmanuel Chapel was opened in July this year when over one hundred believers gathered to listen to the ministry of the Word from C. Phillingham and F. Tatford.
Lancashire. A tent was pitched in Sale, near Manchester, for the month of July. For the first two weeks the responsibility rested on a group of young brethren from the area, while N. Mellish took over for the last weeks. The main outcome of this Gospel effort was that half a dozen teenagers who in the first instance were quite rebellious eventually showed sincere interest so that they now meet weekly at the home of the evangelist for further Bible study.
The meetings for youngsters were well attended. A young couple attended regularly and showed definite interest.
For the second half of the season the Lancashire Tent was pitched in Flixton, the evangelist being B. Dean. So much interest and concern was shown by people from die neighbourhood that the meetings continued for a week longer than was originally programmed. Numbers of young and old attending gave encouragement and some professed to have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour.
Southern Scotland. The Corporation of Glasgow granted a very favourable site for the Gospel Tent in Queen's Park for the month of August. The tent was comfortably full each evening and to overflowing at weekends. The title of 'Faith for Today' was used, and considerable interest was evident throughout the area. A. Noble was the preacher and a number professed to have exercised faith in Our Lord Jesus Christ. During the school holidays meetings were held each afternoon for the children; there was a weekly meeting for the ladies and an open air witness on Saturday afternoons. Homes were visited and folk contacted on the streets, in cafes and public houses.
In die Border district D. Locke has been visiting the villages, distributing tracts from door to door. In many places really good hearings have been obtained in the open air work. The weekly ministry meeting in a home in Yetholm continues and two sisters have asked to be baptized by immersion in accordance with the teaching of die New Testament.
F. Whitmore started a Gospel campaign in Lesmahagow, Lanarkshire, at the end of July. The first week was held in Hope Hall until the portable hall was erected on a housing scheme. The local people came regularly and unsaved were present every night. Six young people were saved and one lady restored to die Lord. An open air witness was held every evening, and during the last weeks, afternoon meetings for ladies were held in the homes of believers. The area was visited beforehand with invitations and an average of thirty were present. By this means over one hundred people not connected with the assembly heard the Gospel.
The summer visits of the Lanarkshire Gospel Van proved that there is still a place for open air work in Gospel outreach. One assembly that had not engaged in such work for a number of years joined in the activities with the Van for two weeks. As a result one teenage lad was saved and the believers greatly encouraged.
There is also a place for literature distribution. As believers were delivering tracts from door to door, a lady who had received one came after the Lord's servant and asked for more. She proved to be a victim of alcohol and needed, as she described it, 'a power outside herself to deliver her'.
Meetings for children were held on weekdays during the school holidays at Newton Stewart. Great enthusiasm was aroused and this has benefited the Sunday School. An interest developed among teenagers and it is believed a genuine spiritual work took place.
Mid-Scotland. In the middle of August a portable hall was erected in the town of Newburgh, where there is no assembly. This hall is a great improvement on the old one and, although much larger, is easily heated. J. Campbell and M. Newman were responsible and the efforts among young folk brought in large numbers in the age groups 12-16. Their consistent attendance was encouraging but their behaviour left much to be desired. One teenage girl was saved during the first week.
Northern Scotland. The believers at Inverbervie, Kincardine-shire, have been greatly encouraged by the purchase of their own hall in the town. There are only fifteen believers in fellowship and they met for the first time in the Gospel Hall, Church Street, in September. A weeknight children's meeting has been maintained for the past four years when around forty youngsters have gathered to be taught the Word of God. Many children are completing Bible courses and one parent has joined them. The local tradesmen, whose children attend these meetings, have shown their appreciation by offering to do any work to the hall at greatly reduced rates of charge. The believers are hoping that they will show even greater interest by attending the Gospel meetings themselves.
In the city of Aberdeen the open air meetings on the main street each Saturday evening have again taken place. These have been a feature of assembly life in the town for over a century, though the venue has changed from time to time over the years. Many have been spoken to concerning their need of a Saviour.
In the village of Gourdon in Kincardineshirc, a county with but the one assembly mentioned above, A. Pollard had encouraging Gospel meetings during June and July. In the fishing villages there has always been a ready ear for the Gospel, but the hinterland has been much more difficult to reach.
H. Burness and F. Reid pitched their tent at Invergordon for the summer. This is one of the new development areas of the Highlands and the smelter has attracted an influx of people. The response from adults was less encouraging than the children's work.
In the resort of Nairn, on the Moray Firth, S. Stewart and J. Gordon held a Gospel effort stretching into several months. This was the first Gospel campaign in the town for well over forty years. Interest was fairly good and contacts are being kept in touch with.
Shetland Isles. J. Burns reported that meetings in Cunningsburgh continued far longer than anticipated because folk kept on coming. On the Lord's Days there were as many as sixty in the public hall in a place where there are only about one hundred houses. Yet there were no definite results as far as is known.
Kent. Through the fellowship of the assembly at Herne Bay who gather to the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ at Ebehezer Chapel a team of workers with the S.E. London Mobile Unit together with a group of students held a series of children's beach services and coffee bar activities. The council permitted the beach services and through the offices of a local minister die cellars of an empty shop were found for the coffee bar.
Two who entered the coffee bar the first night professed faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. One of these had been a worshipper of Satan, and was literally translated from die kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of His dear Son. Of the two or three hundred who were spoken to personally concerning their need of salvation some forty made a profession of faith. One of these has since borne testimony to his faith by being baptized in the sea, and eight others have asked to follow their Lord in this way.
As a result of the children's activities the names of some fifty who did not attend Sunday School were passed on to the assembly.
This was achieved through much prayer and personal self sacrifice; Some of the believers were out until the early hours of the morning seeking to contact souls for the Saviour.
Wales. The work at Llanharan was reported in the July-August issue, Subsequently an aged sister was called home, leaving just four in fellowship. Then came great encouragement, for one lady and three teenagers decided to obey their Lord and gladden His heart by being immersed in the waters of baptism. About thirty local folk attended this service, the hall being filled to capacity.
Republic of Ireland. There was a good attendance at the Postal Sunday School camp at Co. Wexford and some conversions resulted. The Bible Study sessions held at night revealed a real hunger for the Word of God and a desire for teaching by die postal pupils who have been saved. Since they live in areas where they do not have much opportunity for group Bible study, a weekend Bible school is being arranged once a month during the coming winter at Portarlington.
D. Stevens made a number of visits to the town of Newcastle West. In many homes an elaborate copy of the Bible was already possessed but more often than not relegated to the shelf and read on but rare occasions. In an attempt to stimulate interest in Bible reading a leaflet was offered entitled 'Know Your Bible Better'. This points out diat the Bible has the answer to important questions such as iiow many ways are there to heaven?'.
London. Following the air crash at Staines earlier this year, some of the believers at Hounslow were exercised about their responsibility to those in the area, seeing diat throughout the day they lived in the flight path of die airport. At the end of August there was a special outreach on a Saturday afternoon and evening when houses around were visited and personal invitations given to the assembly meetings. Different nationalities were contacted and as a result a lady asked for her six children to attend Sunday School.
A similar effort was made in September and the opportunity was taken of reaching young people congregating at a funfair. Four children came to Sunday School the following day and several unsaved were present at the meeting for young folk on the Lord's Day evening.
Souls all around us are literally in the shadow of death today. What are we doing about bringing before them their spiritual needs?
Oxfordshire. The believers meeting at Hebron Hall, Bicester, arranged two weeks of Bible Study and Gospel Testimony during August. The mornings, after a time of prayer, were spent in Bible Readings on the Tabernacle conducted by J. Glenville.
In the afternoon tracting and open air work was carried out on various estates. There was a good response from children, especially on American Airforce estates where as many as sixty listened. The Sunday School has nearly doubled in numbers as a result.
In the evenings an open air witness in the market square was followed by the Gospel Meeting taken by R. Walker. Several showed a concern about spiritual things and one lady who had been coming for some time previously was saved.
Camps. Blessing was seen in the South Wales camps for Sunday School children. Various camps were held in the Gower Peninsular. Several made a profession of faith in the Saviour. The Postal School were able to bring many of their pupils from a wide area.
Over one hundred young people attended a Holiday Conference for the study of the Word of God at a school in Malvern. Led by P. Brandon and C. Hocking, many experienced spiritual blessing.
The Paisley and District camp was at Garelochhead. J. Carrick was die preacher and eleven young folk trusted the Lord Jesus Christ.
The assembly at Hebron Hall, Port Glasgow, had a time of blessing at their camp in August. Twelve young people made a profession of faith in the Lord Jesus.
Northern Ireland. E. Wishart and M. Wishart preached to good numbers in a
portable hall at Sheepwnlk, an outreach of the Lisburn assembly. Several stated that
they had trusted the Saviour. - •. :
The large Gospel Hall at Banbridge was filled nightly in spite of the troubled conditions when T. McKelvey and J. Hutchinson held a special effort. Good numbers of unsaved were present and a number professed to have accepted the Loid Jesus as Saviour and Lord.
A portable hall was erected at Ballymaguire and good numbers listened to the preaching of J. Martin and W. Halliday. The meetings continued for three months and several professed faith in the Saviour.