Gospel Work and other Assembly Activities
D. C. Hinton, Hayes, Middx.
At the end of last year J. Campbell spent nine weeks with a portable hall in the village of Methven, six miles from Perth on the Crieff road. The interest of the local folk was evident from the start and grew until there were as many as thirty unsaved ones attending nightly. Four young fellows professed conversion, including one who had been notorious in the village. The first of these was among five baptised in Perth during January. Three of the others were from a family contacted when the evangelist erected the hall in a suburb of Perth. First the daughter was saved, then the mother, and finally the Catholic son-in-law.
In the town of Ballynahinch, Co. Down, E. Wishart and R. Colgan held a spell of Gospel meetings where there was blessing. A girl attending the meetings was taken ill and entered hospital, but while there she was saved and not long afterwards her father also made a profession of faith.
J. Andrews and S. McMorris obtained the use of an old store in the town of Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh. During the Gospel meetings held therein fair numbers attended and one man professed to have been saved.
At Kings Moss, Co. Antrim, the Gospel was preached for three weeks by A. Leckie. The interest shown was fair and some blessing was seen.
The month of December is usually considered a rather unsuitable time for Gospel meetings but this proved to be wrong last year when R. McLuckie had a very profitable series of Gospel meetings in Castlereagh Gospel Hall, Belfast. This is a fast developing suburb where a fine hall was erected some two years ago. From the start outsiders evidenced an interest, including former Sunday School scholars. One young man who was saved was very seriously ill, being provided with an easy chair at the back of the hall. Hearing the Gospel for the first time he trusted Christ as Saviour later in his own home, and about a week later his wife also made a profession. Very shortly afterwards he was taken into hospital and a week later was at home with his Lord. Perhaps one of the important lessons from this case is that contact was made with this family when collecting children for the Sunday School. All concerned were encouraged as the meetings continued and blessing was seen, and on the very last night an elderly lady also professed conversion.
On the opposite side of the city of Belfast R. McPheat was responsible for seven weeks of Gospel meetings in the hall at Glengormley, which were followed by two weeks of ministry. Prior to and during the meetings contact was made with the parents of Sunday School scholars, efforts being concentrated in this direction. The response was encouraging, as quite a number not in the habit of entering the hall did so. Indeed all those who professed to have been saved had not been associated with the assembly beforehand.
The Lord blessed in an effort at Forth, Lanarkshire, during last November when J. Clunas visited the assembly there. There were a few professions of faith in Christ and a couple were restored to the Lord. The believers evidenced great keeness in inviting folk in, and every home in the village was visited not less than three times, and the result was that unsaved ones were present every night.
In Dunbartonshire the rallies on Saturday evenings at Helensburgh have been very well attended with many unsaved folk coming. The believers at Clydebank are also having good numbers at their meetings on the same evening.
Renfrewshire. During November last the believers meeting in Cruden Hall, Greenock, held a Gospel effort but with no set evangelist. Various brethren with different approaches were invited on different evenings at varied times according to the audience concerned - teenagers, senior citizens, after church rallies or young people. The main success appears to have been among the older folk, at least one old lady being saved. Through contacts made in this age group the believers were asked to conduct a Christmas service in one of the Eventide Homes, and it is hoped that this will open the door to a regular meeting in the home.
At Shuttle Street Hall, Paisley, a series of four late meetings was held in November in place of the normal Gospel meeting. J. Robb was the preacher and a few made a profession of faith.
The Shire Campaign Conference was held in Paisley during January when believers were exhorted that their individual and assembly witness might be like that of the Thessalonians rather than that of the Laodiceans. They were also challenged as to the reality of their faith, especially as regard to the resurrection of the Saviour.
Senior Citizen Nights are becoming a feature of the Gospel activities of Scottish assemblies. Excellent audiences of elderly folk have resulted in Linlithgow, Lesmahagow, Kilmarnock, Springburn and Partick, Glasgow. One assembly commented that no other type of service had produced such a spirit of fellowship as that involved in arranging for the transport of these elderly ones to the meeting. It also provides an opportunity to be “rich in good works” - in which few assemblies have excelled.
The Youth Fellowship, drawn from several Glasgow assemblies, which meets in Knightswood Gospel Hall, does not only have typical youth gatherings on Lord’s Day evenings but each Monday evening is reserved for “practical Christianity”. This consists of visiting elderly ones and cleaning or tidying up for them. This has resulted in some of those visited attending the monthly meeting for Friends and Neighbours.
It is a long while since mention was made of radio broadcasting, and the opportunities thus provided in bringing what we believe before many who would not otherwise be aware of our existence, or if they do know this have completely wrong ideas concerning our beliefs.
At the end of January a broadcast took place from the assembly hall at Houghton Le Spring, Co. Durham, the preacher being Dr. W. E. Naismith.
Postal Sunday School.
One of the Saturday evening rallies in Cardiff during January was devoted to reports concerning the Postal Sunday School.
Wales has a population of over three million, of whom a large part will never be contacted physically by the postal school based in Swansea. If it was appreciated that there are so many who live in places bereft of any Christian witness, then there should be both a burden and a vision for other believers to think in terms of using the postal school to reach such folk.
The development of the work was reported including the provision of a five year correspondence course for Christians, which was needed to feed the forty or more converts.
Details were given of a young lady who trusted the Saviour in the autumn of 1969. She had seen the witness of the new birth in the life of a school friend who was herself saved as a result of the postal lessons, together with the witness of her sister. This sister had herself been saved in 1966 through the lessons.
The challenge comes to each reader, “How shall they hear without a preacher?”. Is there anyone we know to whom the postal lessons could be sent?
All enquiries for postal lessons should be sent to 19 Druidstone Way, Penllergaer, Swansea.
East Anglian Gospel Tent.
Mr. G. Fenn writes that he pitched the tent last summer at Old Buckenham, near Attleborough, Norfolk. In contrast with former years, the start of the young people’s work was astonishing. He visited the Headmasters of the primary and secondary modern schools in the village. Both were most helpful, and the meetings were announced in the classrooms. On the first day, the evangelist despaired of having a meeting, but eventually six boys and one girl came along. This girl missed very few attendances throughout the summer, and since the tent season she has confessed that she has been brought to the Lord. Gradually numbers increased, and about fifty testaments were given away for good attendance. There was, however, an appalling ignorance of the simple facts of scripture. When the school holidays began, there were loud protests at the proposal to close the class, so the meeting was held at ten o’clock each morning, and the attendance grew. At the last meeting, a bright intelligent lad said in front of a number of senior boys, “Mr. Fenn, if I do not see you again, I want you to know I have been saved in these meetings”. The evangelist is keeping in touch with these children, and some are doing Emmaus courses.
Reports of the Lord’s work among the assemblies of South Wales to be included in this section should be forwarded to W. Beale, Avalon, Railway Terrace, Fforestfach, Swansea.