Gospel Work and other Assembly Activities – November-December, 1992

‘… the harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few’, Matt. 9. 32.

If there is one word that perhaps comes most readily to mind, as this report has been put together, it is the word opportunity. There are so many open doors. The camps have been full to overflowing, with young people keen to go, knowing that it was not just for a good time. Hearts have been open to the gospel and commitments have been made. Truly there is an abundant harvest to be reaped. Many prayers have been answered. Praise God for such evidences of the good hand of the Lord. Where are the labourers, the sowers and reapers? May these reports bring us to our knees in earnest prayer, that labourers will grasp the opportunities to reap the harvest that is there. The time is short - the end is sure.

Northern Ireland

News continues to come from the North, and there is much to report concerning the Lord’s work. At the Ould Lammas Fair, County Antrim, thousands of tracts were given out and the gospel faithfully preached. This was followed up by L. Mullan and R. McAllister visiting the Glens area with tracts, and L. Mullan preached the gospel in the hall at Ballycastle. The autumn season of children’s work has now commenced, and L. Mullan had a week’s meetings in Ahoghill. The open air meetings in Broughshane were again conducted by A. Aiken with help of local brethren and were most encouraging. At Craigywarren, near Ballymena, E. Wishart and N. Coulter saw one lady converted at meetings held in an Orange Hall. The local interest was disappointing. A man and his son were saved in tent meetings conducted by J. Martin and W. Jennings at Drones. The hall was packed at Buckna, where H. Paisley commenced gospel meetings, with locals present. The area was well visited and numbers were encouraging as W.J. Nesbitt and T.W. Wright preached at Newtownhamilton, Co. Armagh. R. Pickering had 5 weeks of meetings in a tent outside Ballynahinch. The meetings began with small numbers, but the interest grew and the gospel was plainly presented each night. Our brother went on to work in Courthouse, in Saintfield in association with the Lessans assembly. There is a growing children’s work in the town and prayer would be valued for this needy area. At Newtownards, P. Lutton and T. Wallace saw blessing in meetings in a large tent. Such was the blessing and interest that the meetings were extended for one week and then transferred to Frances Street Hall.

At Killinchy, J. Hawthorne and T. McNeil had a series of meetings in a tent but found it difficult to get consistent local interest. At Cardy, J.G. Hutchinson and R. Eadie saw the hall filled each night and a Roman Catholic young man and a girl professed faith in Christ. At Rathfriland, J. Thompson and S. McBride was a young man saved in tent meetings at Redbridge Road. The area around was well visited door to door with gospel tracts.

An interesting item comes from Co. Londonderry. At Coleraine, S. Ferguson and N. Turkington saw a Roman Catholic mother and teenage son saved. This was a wonderful experience as they had been contacted years earlier through visitation work and other contacts and came to spend their holidays with Christians. How many links there are in the chain as God works in the hearts of individuals. Prayer is now asked for the lady’s husband. A large number of unsaved attended meetings at Kilrea with W. Millar and T. Sloan. This was where brother Millar was brought up. At Cookstown, Co. Tyrone, D. Gilliland and A. McShane had well attended tent meetings with good local interest. The Gospel Hall at Strabane has been reopened after renovations; the assembly is small and appreciated the fellowship of other assemblies at the re-opening meetings. Prayer is sought for this very needy area right on the border.

News from Belfast district. The tent meetings at Derriaghy were very well attended when T. Matthews and L. Carswell preached the gospel. At Cregagh Street Hall, J. Graham and S. Thompson saw a growing interest as they preached the word. About 5000 homes received invitations and many have been visited for a second time. Some very interesting contacts were made and one boy of ten was saved. Children’s meetings were conducted for one week at an earlier hour by J. Patterson. Most of the children who came were from non-christian homes.


In Co. Donegal, G. Stewart and S. Patterson continue to labour faithfully in the gospel. In Donegal town there was a fair interest in the meetings. At Bailieborough, Co. Cavan, T. Tople rented a chip shop for a spell of meetings. This was only the second series of meetings conducted in the town for 96 years. A few attended. Pray for this work. The annual conference at Clones was large and profitable.


News from Jim Anderson of work in South West. The Ayrshire Gospel Outreach stages two campaigns during each summer. The first three week effort for 1992 was conducted by Jack Hay in the village of Tarbolton, traditionally a difficult place for evangelism. As with quite a number of assemblies in Ayrshire, Tarbolton has been running a regular Senior Citizen’s night. The county effort began with one of these. Thus it was quite a number of senior citizens, both men and women, attended the meetings regularly. This campaign, as far as attendances were concerned, was easily the best in the assembly’s history. Also a good number of children attended the twice-weekly children’s meetings.

The second county campaign was conducted in the Garnock Valley by Peter Brandon, based at Kilbirnie. Three assemblies, Kilbirnie, Glengarnock and Dary co-operated and support from other assemblies was good. The entire area was covered with Christian literature and invitations. Monthly prayer meetings had been held by the three assemblies, and children’s meetings conducted by Alistair Young and coffee mornings as a preparation for the main campaign. Altogether about 10 people were saved or restored to the Lord. These included a woman and her two nieces from Tarbolton, a 16-year old youth from Kilwinning, and an elderly lady from Kilbirnie at a coffee morning. Quite a number have been attending the Kilbirnie Sunday evening meeting since the effort.

Some interesting items tell of baptisms in various places. These cover a wide area of Scotland. The isolated Gospel Hall in Stornaway, Isle of Lewis, has been refurbished by Bobby Souter and Frank Reid, and restored by lan Munro. It was an extra great pleasure, therefore, when they witnessed two baptisms. Two Inverness assemblies rejoiced in baptizing believers on the same day in August. The Culloden assembly borrowed the local swimming pool for the occasion and the Celt Street assembly baptized three people in their own hall. Three young people were baptized at Crosshouse, Ayrshire, in September. This was followed by the baptism of a young girl, who had no assembly background, in October. She was saved at a S.U. meeting at school. The Gourock Gospel Hall was packed for a service in September when two English people were baptized. One of these was a lady living in Inverkip, who was very much disillusioned with her association with the established church. She had tried various things, including a study of world religions. A girl interested her in the gospel, and she attended gospel meetings held in the village by Robert Revie. On the last night she came back to the hall after it was locked up. Happily Robert was still chatting to some friends and she was led to the Lord. The other who was baptized was a youth who left home in the Blackpool area, and found his uncle and aunt’s home in Greenock, only to discover that they had been converted two years before at a Billy Graham livelink and were in fellowship at Gourock. The outcome was his conversion and baptism.

The 1992 North Ayrshire Youth Camp was held at Inverkeithing High School at Fife for the third year in succession. About 86 persons, including leaders, attended camp mainly from the North Ayrshire district. The Camp experienced a happy atmosphere with everyone working together well. The meetings at the Camp were conducted once again by the leaders, being divided into two groups for the morning Bible Studies. Considerable interest was aroused in spiritual things, with some trusting the Lord and others clearly searching for the truth. Some who were saved were very concerned about their unsaved parents. Many will return home to witness where parents may not be sympathetic to the gospel. They need much prayer that they will go on with the Lord.

From Arthur Pollard comes news of the Tayside and Orkney Camps. The Tayside camp ran into difficulties when just five days before commencement was due the school at Aberdeen was not available. The Assembly at Victoria Hall, Torey, came to the rescue and the 70 seniors, plus leaders were accommodated in their premises. Robert Revie and Bert Cargill were responsible for meetings in the Junior and Senior Camps. Some made professions of faith and others spoke of the Lord helping them in their Christian life. So often the camp is a reaping time after all the sowing of the good seed of the word of God over the winter months. The Orkney Camp was slightly smaller than last year but it proved to be a very happy experience. For the most part of the time it was the usual ‘Orkney weather’, wind and rain. Bert Cargill spoke to the Juniors and Arthur Pollard to the Seniors. No one openly spoke of trusting the Lord, but there was a very good interest shown. Let us pray for these and the many other camps held in Scotland during the summer months.

North West England

The Lancashire Gospel Tent was erected in Newsham Park, Liverpool, for a four week Gospel effort during July. Frank Lonney was responsible for the adult gospel meetings and these were encouraging with strangers present every night. At least one young man responded to the message. Newsham Park is open plan and is well used during the day. Personal invitations therefore were distributed and this gave opportunity for many interesting conversations. It was felt that an invaluable work was done through these visits. The children’s works also gave encouragement. Over 300 children passed through the meetings, and on many nights over 100 were present. It was good to see the parents joining the children. A young boy made a very positive decision during the meetings. Seven people applied for Emmaus courses as a result of leaflet distribution in the houses. The gospel was preached in power to the adults and the word taught to the children.

The Manchester and District Sunday Schools’ Camp, held at Lakeside (Windermere, was marked by a positive & spiritual impact made on both saved and unsaved. Eight campers confessed Christ as Saviour. But young believers | especially were challenged as to the quality of their spiritual condition. Ray Tate, the camp evangelist, made a point of appealing to them and a very definite response resulted. Many of these young people have returned to their local assemblies to ask for baptism. It was felt that the camp was one of the best of recent years and rewarding for the 26 leaders, as well as a blessing for the 110 campers. A young German student, who was part of the Y.M.C.A. staff working at the camp, attended the nightly meetings. On the Wednesday she told the evangelist that she had found the Saviour. Praise God for this and pray for her and all who attended the camp.

North East England

We have a report of the 1992 Yorkshire Assemblies Camp. This was a large camp with about 180 young folk between the ages of 10 - 13, and a further 96 between 14 and 17 in the ‘senior tents’. Rallies were held each day in the morning and evening. Challenging subjects were brought each time, and there was a great sense of blessing throughout the camp. It was a great thrill to all who worked in the camp, that over 27 young people responded to the claims of Christ. It was also a joy to know that some older teens had spoken of wanting to be baptized. They were counselled to share this desire with the elders in their local assemblies. Many of these who were saved came from families where there is no Christian witness. They need much care and prayer. The youngsters themselves have come through association of one of the local assemblies. These will have the difficult task of helping them to grow in grace. The convenors have knowledge of God continuing to work in the lives of young people who have trusted Christ in previous camps. One older couple too, saved at last year’s camp, were this time back as workers in helping to share the good news with others. We join with all who worked in this effort to praise God for His goodness in safe keeping and blessing.

News of children’s meetings at Thornley, with John Skingley. The two weeks’ series gave much cause for encouragement Beginning with 15, the numbers grew to an average of 40 and the children listened well to the Bible stories and joined in the quizzes and other activities. Some of the parents came along with the children. A number of children stayed behind on different nights to ask questions about the Saviour. Many took literature home with them. No positive commitments were made but a good interest was shown throughout. The adult response to invitations was poor, although a mother of 82 and her 60-year-old-daughter came on one of the Sundays. Every home in the village was tracted and John had the opportunity to go into the local school on 3 occasions. The headmaster sat through with the children and heard the message. It seemed that the Evil One was at work also, as an effort was made to burn down the school. Damage however was minimal. Pray for the aftermath of these meetings as it is hoped to revive the week-night children’s meetings.

We have a prayer letter from Ron Hutchinson, who visits Acklington Prison to conduct a Bible Class for the inmates. This is a training prison, but our brother speaks of encouraging contacts, which in some cases have resulted in prisoners coming to know the Lord. Recently the officers in charge of the men have resented them being away from work to attend Bible Class and this has eventually made it impossible to hold the class in the afternoon. Only five wanted to come recently and were prevented. A decision will be made about the future of the class so prayer would be valued. It is good to read of those who have gradually been led into the knowledge of salvation, and after being moved to other prisons they have gone on with the Lord. One instance of this, is a prisoner who has been saved for about 18 months and writes to our brother from Kirkham prison in Preston, sharing his thoughts on the scriptures. He has been granted parole and this means he will be able to join in fellowship with the assembly at Bensham Gospel Hall, Gateshead. His life has been saved and they need prayer. It will not be easy for them to build a new life together outside of prison. A converted prisoner from Acklington prison in Northumberland, was released on a Saturday afternoon in September to be baptized at Red Row, (Northumberland).

The believers at South Featherstone Gospel Hall celebrated 100 years of witness this year. Throughout the 100 years, the emphasis has always been on proclaiming the word of God. There are many stories that could be told of God’s faithfulness during the years, and also of the many activities that have expressed the witness of the local assembly. In addition to the normal assembly meetings, the believers visit local Senior Citizens’ Homes, broadcast to local hospitals, partake in monthly open air meetings, and Friday Night Fellowships. Much to praise God for, and we rejoice with our friends in this celebration.

Somerset and Avon

Special children’s meetings were held at Coleford near Bath, with Sid Mountstevens. Numbers were good through the week. Some parents came and many contacts were made with those in the village. Some continue to come two years after the previous mission in 1990 and it is hoped that this will be repeated. The meetings concluded with a prizegiving and family service on the Sunday afternoon.

News comes of the Kingfisher Camp at Cheddar. Two weeks of camp were held with about eighty campers attending each week. A team of 18 helpers, many of whom came to camp in earlier years served the camp. Two and a half hours spent each day on the study of the scriptures and the rest of the day was given over to various activities. Those who ministered felt God’s hand of blessing on them. There were 11 young people who accepted Christ as Saviour. There was much praise to God for a happy and safe time, and those who were saved need continued prayer.


From Stephen Gillham, we have a report on the Dorset Adventure Time Camp 1992, at which the theme was the earlier chapters of Mark’s Gospel. During the three weeks of camping, about 280 came with 150 different helpers joining in. All three weeks were maximum size and there was a very happy atmosphere throughout. The Lord provided the necessary tent leaders, and there was a sense of unity, a happy team spirit in working together. The Junior 2 Camp ran into difficulties with the weather, rain and wind causing some damage. The total of those who trusted the Lord over the three weeks was 11 with one young man going home to ask for baptism. About 42 altogether showed interest in doing Postal Bible School Lessons. These camps represent a lot of hard work and very much prayer, yet there is always the joy of fellowship and blessing as the Lord is seen to work.

Stephen Gillham speaks of visits to 77 School Assemblies during the summer term. Many of these schools had been visited Christmas and Easter. A headteacher wrote, ‘your talks and the visual aids you have brought have helped not only the children but also the teachers to understand and convey to others the Christian message’.

At Kenton, the eight day mission proved to be a great experience. Stephen Gillham speaks of it as a learning experience as the area was predominantly Asian. The numbers of children coming through the week increased until there were 59 children from the Asian community and one English boy. It was thrilling to see a number of parents present on the final night. Fellowship from friends at Kenton was good, and Solomon Nathaniel worked with Stephen for part of the time. Contacts made were good, needing to be followed up. The local schools were also open to visit. Stephen says, ‘We were impressed by all that was achieved by an assembly that was prepared to give love and care for their local community, and work hard to create links so that a simple gospel could be given to children who had no knowledge of the Lord Jesus’.

South and West Wales

News from Don Roberts of work in the Cardiff area. Encouraging gospel meetings were held in the Gospel Hall at Deri when Joe Baxter returned to preach during three weeks in June. Unsaved were present on most nights. Some good contacts were made in visitation. On the night of Joe Baxter’s departure, a man with cancer made a distinct confession of the Lord as his Saviour. A week later he was taken to be with the Lord. At a gospel campaign at Porthcawl, John Baker saw as many as 40 brought in to hear the gospel. Successful open air meetings are held by the believers in the town. It is good to hear that Trevor Davies and Brian Nurse continue to witness to the men in Cardiff prison, with opportunities to show videos, and hold discussions as part of the prison’s education plan.

Reports of missionaries home on furlough sharing their experiences were interesting. Peter and Jenny Andrews gave reports at Mackintosh of work in Rwanda. A special ladies’ evening was held at Bethesda, Rhiwbina, when Dr. Coleen Red it gave a report of work for the Lord in Madras, India. Dr. Mounerr Hanna Anis, of Menouf Hospital in Egypt gave a report of the Lord’s work in the Middle East.

It is good to hear of blessing on the testimony a Caerphilly, with more baptisms and increase of interest in the gospel meeting. Although the testimony at Thornhill had already closed, vandals set fire to the empty shell of the wooden hut. The small assembly at Ynysybwl progresses well with 20 to 30 in the Sunday School. Prayer is needed for the small assembly at Hengoed, that it will be sustained and grow. A gospel campaign with John Baker is being planned. The Annual’Bible Readings at Nantgarw centred on 2 Timothy, led by Eric Parmenter. There was good support from local brethren. The Blackwood assembly is very small and needs much prayer. There is much tenacity and loyalty in these small testimonies and they call for our prayers.

From Wilfred Beale we have reports of work in the West. A profitable time was enjoyed at the Annual Gower Show. The local assemblies worked with Bruce Anderson, and the many people who passed through the witness tent were contacted with conversations that proved profitable, and Christian literature. There was opportunity for folks to sit down ad enjoy a cup of tea with workers, who were able to share the gospel with them. The weather was beautiful and about 9000 people attended the show. The Sunday Schools’ Camps were held at Llangenneth, Gower, and were well attended with fairly good weather for the three weeks duration. A good work was done amongst the boys and girls and also the members of the Postal Sunday School. Several young people professed to trust the Saviour during camp. In these activities, follow up work is all important. We continue to pray’.

Devon and Cornwall

The believers at West Hill Gospel Hall, Plymouth, are again giving consideration to the possible purchase of a Methodist Church Building about mile away from the hall. The asking price is £200, 000. Prayer would be valued that the right decisions will be made.

The youth camps at Menadue, Tintagel, this year were a source of encouragement. The Junior 2 camp proved to be a time of sowing and reaping. Prayers were answered as some were saved, and others were counselled as they were challenged by the word. The padre, Nigel Williams, gave very clear and concise gospel talks on Bible characters each evening. Professions were made each night, and testimonies were shared around the camp fire. Despite 48 hours of non-stop rain, there was a great atmosphere among the campers. The officers and workers shared a tremendous oneness in prayer and service.


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