Gospel Work and other Assembly Activities
D. C. Hinton, Hayes, Middx.
Northern Ireland. The Ballyhackamore assembly in Belfast was encouraged recently when a woman of 91 professed faith in Christ at meetings conducted by J. Flanigan and E. Wishart. She told of being awakened to her need as a sinner over sixty years ago when the late Wm. Rodgers preached in Strabane. A coloured seaman also professed salvation. His companion was saved some time ago at meetings in Belfast and had witnessed in such a manner that he was convinced of the reality of salvation. J. Brown and J. Lennox preached nightly for eight weeks in the Gospel Hall at Newton -breda on the outskirts of Belfast. The meetings were well attended by both believers and unsaved but despite this there were no known cases of conversion.
Despite the troubles in Belfast most assemblies maintain an active gospel testimony although attendances are not as good as in the past. A. Aiken and S. Patterson recently had a Gospel effort in the Cregagh Street Gospel Hall when numbers were steady and one woman professed faith in Christ as Saviour.
T. McKelvey and J. G. Hutchinson held well attended Gospel meetings at Bally-watermoy, Co. Antrim for over five weeks. A number professed to have been saved and since the meetings ended a married man, whose wife was saved during the series, has professed conversion himself.
The Gospel Hall in the village of Brough-shane was filled to capacity as J. Allen preached for eight weeks. All concerned were encouraged when some young folk trusted the Saviour, but were disappointed that so many others seemed to miss the opportunity.
R. Jordan and J. Wishart preached for several weeks at Lisnagat. This is a very troubled area of Co. Armagh where conditions have been most difficult and the assembly is small. A few local folk came in and some young people professed salvation.
South Wales. The believers at Ebenezer Hall, Cardiff, have for many years held open air meetings every Lord's Day evening during the summer months. Many pass by while some stand and listen. The site is near a Bingo hall and the folk coming away are offered tracts by the young believers and generally receive them with thanks. This year similar meetings were started on Thursday evenings. Two stands are held each night while the adjoining houses are visited with tracts.
During late September G. Morgan held a Gospel campaign for all age groups in the above Hall. Children's meetings took place nightly, family nights occurred twice weekly, while on each Tuesday a meeting took place for senior citizens which was followed by refreshments. A little blessing was seen but the believers are looking forward to more in the future. Neighbours were seen in the hall who had not been there before and the family nights were attended by many parents.
During Gospel meetings conducted at Trimsaran and Llanelli teams of workers made house to house visits with A. Leckie and N. Mellish. Attendances at Llanelli were perhaps more encouraging than in the mining village of Trimsaran, but in both areas it was felt that it was necessary to visit the homes and 'gossip the gospel' on the door steps.
Bristol. Following extensive open air evangelism and literature distribution during the summers of 1975 and 1976, and the completion of a building extension to Speedwell Gospel Hall, the assembly held a 3-week evangelistic crusade. They were assisted by a team of full-time workers associated with Gospel Literature Outreach, led by J. Speirs (Forth), and a number of young people who were utilising their holiday in the Lord's service.
Activities included a local radio broadcast, visits to factories, door-to-door visitation (5,500 homes received a magazine-type gospel), and meetings for most-age groups. A profitable avenue of service was in the local school, where a bookstall was established and various workers took R.E. lessons, C.U. groups and school assemblies, and large-scale discussions were conducted with 5th and 6th formers.
Two teenagers were brought to know the Lord and two believers were restored, while in addition much blessing was experienced by the team members and the assembly in their fellowship together.
The believers who meet in Chelsea Gospel Hall were faced with requests for baptism at a time when they were very concerned about the prevailing drought conditions. They considered that it would not be a good testimony to hold the baptismal service in their hall. Accordingly they arranged to hire the local swimming bath for a Saturday evening in October. Eleven young people obeyed their Lord in this way and an address was given by R. S. Cook. Over 150 people were present at what proved to be a most reverent and blessed occasion. The local radio announced the service twice that day.
Swindon. The believers in the assembly at Markham Road Gospel Hall, Wroughton, were concerned at the falling numbers of children at the Sunday School. It was felt that the Lord desired them to conduct a two weeks children's mission. Although there are only thirty in fellowship, nine brethren were able to speak to the young ones and there were never less than ten helpers present on any night. Leaflets were handed out at the junior school and there was an average attendance of sixty. As a result numbers in the Sunday School have increased and many prayers answered. Twenty children and several parents were present at the Gospel meeting. One parent so enjoyed the singing at the prize night that she asked to come to the weekly children's meeting.
Southern Scotland. The Renfrewshire Gospel campaign was concentrated at Bishopton with R. Walker as the evangelist. Four after church rallies were held in the local community centre with an attendance of around one hundred and fifty including a fair number of folk from the village. The week-night meetings were held in the Lanarkshire portable hall and were well attended in spite of rather indifferent weather. Interest was aroused although there were no tangible evidences of blessing. The evangelist was well received at the doors and an impression was made on many of those who were contacted.
A publican and his wife were saved during an effort at Girvan and have since been baptized and received into fellowship there.
W. McKellar was one of three brethren who helped in a Gospel effort at Forgewood, Lanarkshire. He was allowed to take the religious instruction periods in the local academy and quite a number of the young folks came to the meetings thereafter.
At Bellshill, in the same shire, A. Aitken was encouraged as an old lady was saved and another restored to the Lord. They were both on his mailing list.
A number of other Gospel efforts were made in Lanarkshire, a common feature being that although many came and heard the message only a few were saved.
Northern Scotland. H. German and F. Whitmore held special Gospel meetings in October-November at Inverurie. A few strangers attended and although no conversions can be recorded some are still interested. Four teenagers from a local "home" regularly come to the meetings. The Lord's servants were faithful and the local believers were stimulated.
A young Nigerian Christian came to Aberdeen for further study. He knew nothing of New Testament church teaching but asked the Lord to guide him to a "church". He noticed a prominent Gospel Hall near his place of study and began to attend. The brethren counselled him wisely until he recognized the simple truth of gathering; he was soon baptized and received into fellowship.
Shetland Isles. The assembly at Selivoe has been encouraged over the last year or so. A young widow who had not long moved to the island was shown kindness by local believers and this led to her salvation. She severed her "church" connection, was baptized and took her place in the assembly. Her children were then saved and are bright for the Lord. A young "hippie" couple living on the island of Papa Stour have also been saved and show a marked interest in the Word of God. When saved they promptly married and the young man cut his waist long hair to please his Lord. He commented, "I though there was no experience to beat drugs until I found Christ".