Gospel Work and other Assembly Activities
D. C. Hinton, Hayes, Middx.
Somerset. A group of believers gathered simply to the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ has been in existence in Langport for over a century. Gathering first in a large private house, they have for some years been renting a disused chapel. This has now been sold, and they have moved to premises in North Street opposite the Post Office. The attendance at the Gospel meeting averages twenty and there is a fairly well attended Sunday School.
Devon. At the start of the summer Prospect Chapel, Newton Abbot was the centre from which A. Blackburn conducted a children's mission for ten days. Leaflets were distributed at the various schools and well over one hundred and twenty attended each evening. Many stayed to hear more and at least thirteen decided to accept the Saviour as Lord. There was a good gathering of parents on the Lord's Day evening. A weekly meeting is being held to follow up the work.
Republic of Ireland. Special Gospel meetings were held in the small town of Portarlington, Co. Leix, during July. Two caravans were sited in the town square, one as a Bible Exhibition centre and the other for use as a mobile hall. Here children's meetings were held each afternoon and meetings for teenagers and adults in the evening. Most of those attending were Roman Catholics.
For two weeks A. M. S. Gooding led Bible Readings each morning and ministered the Word in the evening. After this an open air meeting was held followed by an afternoon meeting in the mobile hall. Personal conversations often lasted a long while.
Mid Scotland. During the four weeks of June and the first week of July the Fife Assemblies Gospel outreach was focussed on the village of Kennoway. J. Gordon was the evangelist and the assembly at Windygates was the maintstay of the work, with good support from most of the county assemblies.
On weekdays a local primary school was used and on Lord's Day evenings a disused church. Unsaved folk were present each night and a good number of villagers came each Lord's Day. The reception at the doors was good and the Saturday evening Gospel march made its mark within the village.
One young lad of eleven and an older widow made a profession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and a teenage girl was baptized. The interest was such that further meetings have been arranged for September when J. Gordon will again be responsible.
Southern Scotland. The Lanarkshire portable hall was erected at Coatbridge with S. McKenzie in charge. The meetings were fairly well attended and supported and as a result at least three accepted Christ as Saviour.
The shire van work continues to prosper with J. Aitken carrying out much personal work in the villages and towns, dealing with the many contacts made. This is almost too much for one person as there are at least fifty unsaved people with whom he keeps in touch.
The Ayrshire tent was pitched at Cumrock, R. McPheat being responsible. The meetings were good from the first and interest continued to the end. Despite this and the presence of unsaved folk there were no known cases of conversion.
Northern Ireland. W. Nesbitt and J. Preston held a prolonged series of Gospel meetings in a garage in the Keady area of Co. Armagh. The owner of the premises had been exercised about the spiritual needs of the people of the district and offered the use of the garage. God was pleased to give interest and blessed in the conversion of several. It is hoped that some of these will be added to the neighbouring assembly in the not too distant future.
Happenings like this should encourage all of us to reach out with the Word of the Gospel and try meetings wherever folk can be contacted. If we fail in this they will not hear.
Lurgan, Co. Armagh, is a favoured town which has been a centre for the Gospel and ministry for many years. It has also been a place of many terrorist attacks.
Despite these T. McKelvey and J. G. Hutchinson commenced Gospel meetings in the early summer, although this was considered by many not to be a good time. It pleased the Lord to bring in excellent numbers for eight weeks. A number professed conversion, including a young man in his late teens whose parents were home on furlough from South America.
In spite of the years of riot and trouble the assemblies in the north of Ireland have sought to carry on with their annual conferences. The public holidays in mid-July are a suitable occasion and many are held in large marquees where hundreds gather.
Cumbria. The Gospel Van started the season in the little town of Kirkby Lonsdale, in the care of B. Deen and D. McMaster. The proposed period of three weeks was extended to four because of the good interest among the children. Two girls made profession of faith in Christ as Saviour and Lord. Only a few adults came but opportunities were given during the door to door visitation to make the message known.
Oxfordshire. The believers at Bicester have acquired a 'Rollalong' mobile hall, and its first siting was on the edge of a housing scheme occupied by American Forces families. From the start folk came along, fifty children and six adults on average. The first house visited in tracting the estate earlier this year proved fruitful during the meetings, the mother and a daughter both professing salvation. Altogether three families in particular have responded to the Gospel and some have followed on to obey their Lord in baptism.
The work is being carried on from week to week as the Lord leads as there appears to be more fruit to be gathered in.