In the year 1850 – when bull-baiting was still countenanced in Crediton – Robert Gribble, of Barnstaple, preached the gospel in the open air at Crediton Fair and it is recorded that he was roughly handled by hostile crowds. Two years later a company of believers commenced to meet regularly in the Gospel Hall for worship and service, and for over 100 years the testimony was continued there. It was then felt, not surprisingly, that present-day requirements necessitated extensive reconstruction and repairs, and it was agreed to incur considerable expenditure on the property, provided it could be purchased or security of tenure obtained. his proved impossible, however, and it was evident that some-thing else must be done – but what? Much prayer was made and discussions continued over many months, but the assembly hesitated to make a move. After about two years a suitable site became available, but the over-all cost of erecting a building to meet the needs of the work seemed prohibitive and the saints still hesitated to go forward.
The time came when a church-meeting was arranged and all felt confident that a decision would be reached to buy the site and build. But God had other plans. On the morning of the day fixed for this meeting, one of the brethren learned from a Trustee of the High Street Methodist Church that it had been decided on the previous evening to vacate those premises. So this was the unexpected position which those present at the meeting found themselves considering. Convinced that God had moved in a most wonderful way. no doubt was left in their minds as to His will in the matter. The price required for the property was found to be most acceptable, and within one week everything was signed and settled.
For years the saints had been restrained, an insurmountable problem seemed to face them continuously. Then, quite unex-pectedly and in the course of a few days, the darkness had lifted and the problem was solved – and they say “all glory be to God!”
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