Gospel Work and other Assembly Activities


'… behold now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation’.

The content of the report at this time of the year looks back, of necessity, to work done during the summer months. The burdens of the evangelists have been reflected in their activities, designed to reach young and old with the message. It is good to read that many responded to invitatons given. For how many more have there been opportunities missed, never to be recalled. The ‘now’ of opportunity needs vitally to be impressed on all those whom we seek lo reach for Christ. How soon will the cry be ‘too late'?

Northern Ireland
At Ballymena and Cloughmills, R. Eadie and A. Caulfield preached the gospel in a portable hall. K. Fadie and R. McKeown shared 15 weeks preaching at Moneymore and a number professed faith in Christ. Some interest was shown as J. Martin and W. Jennings preached the gospel in the Old School House at Straid. Large crowds enjoyed good weather at the Auld Lammas Fair at Ballycastle. Hundreds of tracts were distributed and the gospel was proclaimed in the open air each day. These meetings lasted several hours as various brethren gave the message. Annual open-air meetings were held for two weeks at Carnlough where, because of the good weather, many were able to hear the gospel. In Co. Armagh, S. Jennings held a week of ministry meetings on the life of Elisha the prophet, and the conferences were held at Clones {across the border in Eire) and Bleary, where good companies gathered for the ministry of the word.

At Bangor, Co. Down, the annual open-air meetings were held on the sea front in connection with the Central Hall assembly. The preacher this year was R. Pickering. Again the good weather encouraged good numbers to listen to the gospel and about 8000 scripture portions were distributed to passers-by. At Ballymacreely, near Ballymacashon, E. Wishart and N. Coulter found the response poor as they preached in the Orange Hall. The conference at Ballymagarrick was considered profitable. About sixty children gathered each evening at a week of children’s meetings in a tent, at Ballylintagh, Co. Londonderry, as L. B. Mullan conducted meetings. Good numbers attended tent meetings conducted by A. McShane and D. Cilliland at Coleraine. At Castlederg, Co. Tyrone, blessing was seen in meetings held by B. Wishart and N. Coulter. At Dunmullan, S. McBridc saw very little local interest as he concluded six meetings in the gospel. At tent meetings held between Fintona and Trillick, vv. 1. Nesbitt and D. Kane saw a full tent as they preached the gospel. The annual conference at Fintona was considered good with a large crowd present. The conference at Kilrnore was also well attended with timely and practical ministry given. The tent at Dunmullan was packed for their annual conference and this was reckoned to be the best for many years. At Lunas and Kingsmills the conferences were considered to be good and profitable.

From the north-east comes a report of work, sent to us by W. Mowat. At Lossiemouth the assembly has been encouraged by a recent interest in the gospel Good contacts have been made and unsaved are attending the meetings with apparent interest. One or two professions have been made and since May there have been six baptized. During the summer many surrounding towns have been visited with the gospel, both the spoken and written word being given to the people. This work has been conducted by the assemblies in Morayshire and Banffshire, Response has been varied, some indifference and opposition. But the seed has been sown.

We have some interesting items of news from Jim Anderson concerning the work in the South West. The Kilbirnie assembly in Ayrshire celebrated its centenary this year. The highlight of this time was the setting up of an exhibition of photos illustrating the history of the assembly. This included accounts of those who had been commended to the Lord’s work both at home and abroad. The exhibition was open to the public in the Gospel Hall on three successive Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays in June and some 800 people visited during this time. Coffee was served and a bookstall attracted an unexpected amount of attention. Various people expressed surprise at the assembly’s contribution to the Lord’s work in general,

Robert Revie held three youth camps in July, at Moffat with the High Parks assembly, at Banff in the Aberdeen camp where quite a few trusted the Saviour; lastly the Paisley and District camp at Aberdeen, and here also there was quite a bit of blessing. Many of these children need prayer as they go back to difficult moral and spiritual conditions. Robert also was responsible for two weeks of children’s meetings in two different schools in the Nitshill housing scheme in Glasgow as a send-off for the winter’s children’s outreach conducted from Victoria Hall, Glasgow. Thinking of an effort to be made at Lockerbie it is hoped that the people will be more open to the gospel than before. One of the brethren is a member of the Friends of the Lockerbie Disaster Victims’ Association and is called upon to befriend relatives of victims when they visit the town.

The small assembly at Kilbarchan in Renfrewshire had three weeks’ meetings in August with Jack Hay, The children’s nightly meetings grew in numbers but the adults were hard to reach. In the small assembly at Bowhill, Hugh Keirs held gospel meetings with Dennis Barnes, senior, and had good support from the neighbouring assembly in fiallingry. One man professed faith in the Lord Jesus and another young man, who was contacted two years ago and was restored back to the Lord at the Billy Graham Relay at Kircaldy, came to the meetings and now desires to be baptized He has been to the morning meetings with his mother at Cowdenbeath. The children’s work was very encouraging and these meetings have continued with the help of the brethren in Ballingry who will carry it on as an outreach work.

News of gospel work conducted by Joe Baxter in Bannockburn. There was a week’s prayer meetings to begin with, and then abut 4000 leaflets were distributed in the afternoons. There followed three weeks of meetings for the gospel. There was a good response from locals and also from Plean village. It was good to see unsaved in every evening and also some backsliders, and there was a good atmosphere during the meetings as the presence of God was felt. A sister who has been in followship for one year and who has suffered a lot of persecution in the village of Plean from the Orange element, with her son having been beaten because they go to the Gospel Hall, had the joy of seeing her husband, who had never been in before, come on the last evening. The response on the doors in the afternoons was very good and there was good support from neighbouring assemblies with believers being much encouraged. There was no open confession of faith.

Galston assembly in Ayrshire has commended one of the brethren, Ian Robertson, to full time service at home. A full hall gave great encouragement to Ian and Mary at their valedictory meeting in August. John Aitken of Bolhwell has also been commended to the Lord’s work. He will be working with his wife alongside the team evangelising in the Viewpark district of Uddingston, but will also be available for service in other parts of the country. Both of these brethren are mature men with families and have had considerable experience in the Lord’s service.

Large companies gathered in Abingdon Hall, Glasgow, for a farewell meeting for the McCulloeh twins returning to Argentina to serve the Lord, and in Greenview Hall to wish Godspeed to Ian MacDonald, who with his wife and son are to spend a year in service for the Lord in Pakistan. It is aiso good to hear that the assembly at Gourock has commended Fleanor Mackroy to serve the Lord with a team in Italy. It gives real pleasure to hear of these commendations to work for the Lord in wider fields of service. May the Lord bless our brothers and sisters who go forth in faith.

North West England
During the month of July a very encouraging gospel campaign was conducted by A. Carew and J. Skingley in the Lancashire Gospel Tent which was pitched in the centre of Golborne, near Warrington. There were four who confessed faith in Christ, although only one of them was from the immediate vicinity. She was a Roman Catholic who stayed behind on the final night. The others came from Monton, near Manchester, Warrington and Blackburn. A lady who was a backslider, was touched by the message yn the first evening, but did not approach A. Carew until the following Sunday. She entered into the joy of restoraton, but it came as a great shock when during the following week she was called into the Lord’s presence. One pleasing feature for the assembly at Golborne was the response of three young sisters to the Lord’s command to be baptized. All three were baptized in the Gospel Hall after one of the week-night tent meetings. A good number witnessed the event and enjoyed a time of fellowship afterwards. Although John Skingley was disappointed that the Education Authority was not cooperative in allowing him into the local schools, he was cheered by the good response from the 50 to 60 children who gathered in the tent each night to listen intently to the presentation of the gospel. The majority of these were drawn from other than Sunday School members. As the campaign ended it was agreed by all to be a profitable three weeks. The assembly at Golborne was encouraged and felt rewarded for all the hard work put in. Archie and John were diligent in working together on house to house visitation and this brought results.

News from Stephen Pugh, who with his wife serves the Lord from the assembly at Shrewsbury. With Andrew Smith for the week and David Raggett and David Skingley for two of the days, a tour of gospel activity in North Wales was made. Because of the weather not as much was achieved as was planned, but open-air preaching and personal work was done each day in two of the towns. It was a joy to meet believers in many places, the general response was good, and there was an invitation given into many homes to speak about the Lord.

There has been a sad development in the work at Ludlow. A man came to know the Lord last Nuvember, and had been growing steadily since this time and was baptized in May. His wife had been very unwell for some time and was diagnosed as having cancer. She had shown no interest in the Lord and this was a cause of sadness to her husband. The end of her life could be near and he is praying much for her salvation. Open-air work in the villages progresses well. The greatest problem is following up contacts made in such a large area. David Locke and George Forbes were in Ludlovv for two weeks, in an effort to help the small assembly Lhere. The main exercise was to engage in door to door visitation where some contacts were made, but on the whole, there was a general lack of interest. Although numbers were small at the children’s meetings, the same children came regularly and listened well to the message of the gospel told in simplicity. Ministry to encourage the believers was also given.

An encouraging item of assembly news comes from W. Clarke, concerning the work at Charlton Road Gospel Hall, Birmingham. Three young people obeyed the Lord in baptism. The hall was packed to capacity and there was rejoicing in the further additon to the assembly. Much of the recent blessing is attributed to the early morning prayer meetings held on Saturday and Sunday mornings, and the deep desire of the assembly lo see souls saved. Door to door work continues faithfully each week but it is very difficult to get people to come in to listen to the gospel.

The assembly at Cranham Drive, Worcester, have seen evidences of the Lord’s blessing during the past months. On the first Sunday in August they had the joy of witnessing the baptism of four believers. It was encouraging to see the hall full, with unsaved friends and relatives present. One of the men baptized was the husband of a woman who had been wonderfully saved and baptized during the past year and it was a great joy to her and to the believers to see him saved and then baptized. A married couple who also were baptized, were with the Jehovah VVitnesses for a number of years and it has been a great joy to see them gradually come to salvation and then to baptism. The dreadful influence of error has been fell as they were helped to understand the true values of the truth of the word. The other woman to be baptized had been a believer for quite a while, but needed to come to the point of full assurance of salvation. So the joy of the Lord’s blessing has been experienced as they have been added to the assembly.

We have an item of news from Waterloo Hall, Weston-super-Mare. In addition to regular Sunday evening gospel services, they supplement the outreach work in two ways. The hall, which is not far from the sea front, is opened every Tuesday morning from 10.30 a.m. until noon as a Christian information Centre. Each week over 30 attend and sometimes during the summer twice that number, over half of which do not attend the Sunday services. Almost every week there is at least one person attending for the first time. There is a 15 minute Shoppers Service, usually consisting of a prayer and a brief taik based on a bible reading. Many use the free literature stall, stocked with S.G.M. booklets. A wide range of contacts has been made, lonely elderly people, one or two unemployed, an alcoholic, some recently bereaved and numerous casual passers-by. Not the least valuable part of this work is the opportunity for members of the fellowship to be active together in witnessing, counselling and speaking-Three times in the year in April, June and September, the assembly invites members and supporters of a local voluntary organisation to join them for Sunday evening services. These have proved popular with the organisations and many who would not otherwise have attended, have heard the gospel message. These services are recorded and the tapes have brought blessing over a much wider field. The R.N.L.I, service in September is the best established, but the St John Ambulance Brigade and Blind Associations, the latter for the first time this year. These have all been times of blessing.

The assembly at Neston, Corsham (formerly known as Corshamside) is proposing to undertake a programme of evangelical work in and around the village, commencing with house visitiation and leading up to a series of special meetings with Peter Brandon. House visiliation will continue, D.V., after the meetings are over. So the assembly are together in prayer for this outreach in evangelism.

London Area
The South West London Evangelistic Mobile Unit took their children’s Holiday Bible Club on ‘safari’ to Edenbridge in August. The Club was held on the Stangrove Park Fstate, and the programme included sports, games, and quizzes followed by a bible story. The children, whose ages ranged from 3 to 13, were divided into two teams. During the afternoons the Unit took the Club just over the Surrey border into Oxted. Altogether about 70 children and young people were involved and the Club ended with a prizegiving on the Friday. During the evening the Unit toured the area engaging in door to door visitation and holding open-air meetings. The Mobile was based at Crouch House Chapel, Edenbridge, where the Sunday School which was begun as a result of a visit two years ago, is still going strong.

An interesting report comes to us from George Andrews, Bethany Gospel Hall, Holbury (on edge of New Forest). About one year ago we reported them as a small, but growing, assembly which three years previously had been on the point of closing. We were asked to pray that a young married couple might join them and that the £18,000 which was needed lo provide building facilities would be given. As a small company they were solely dependent on the Lord. They are glad to report that the building is now complete with every penny to meet the need coming in wonderful and sometimes miraculous ways. The many answers to prayer have encouraged all greatly and strengthened the faith of new believers. To God be the glory. The prayer for ones to help with the youth work still continues. And the ongoing needs of further extensions and a car park are still being taken to the Lord in prayer. In the work of the assembly there is much to praise God for. There has been another baptism as a young lady, of Koman Catholic background, obeyed the Lord in baptism. Another boy of 9 years old has been saved, new believers are growing in faith, and there is a great response of praise for all the blessing received. Activities include youth work on Friday evenings, Sunday morning bible class, Sunday School, a ladies’ bible study and prayer meeting as well as the breaking of bread and a gospel service. The area in which the testimony is placed offers much scope for additional activities as numbers in fellowship increase. Amidst all the gloom and despondency attached to many assemblies today, it is good to feel the atmosphere of hope and optimism in this report. We give Cod thanks for such testimonies.

It is good to have plenty of news from |. Harman about summer work in the county. At Rbenezer, Weymouth, Stephen Gillham conducted a mission with the help of a group of students. Meetings were held for children and teenagers with special meetings for ladies and also for men. The Westham estate was the centre for visitation and 400 gospels were placed in the homes and other tracts distributed. This was a time of encouragement, strangers came into the meetings and some good contacts were made. A fortnight’s mission was held on the sands for children during their holidays. Meetings held in the mornings and afternoons were well attended. Parents were also interested and some good contacts were made. Some opposed who resented the gospel being preached, but they could not stop the meetings as council permission had been received. Several adults were counselled and help given was appreciated. The work among the foreign students proved difficult and there were unexpected problems. The Lord gave help and although the numbers were smaller, one or two showed much interest and seemed under conviction. With the fine sunny weather, the open-air work on the sands saw many passers-by stop and listen. Other assemblies helped the believers from Bethany Hall, who are responsible for this work. Several visiting brethren on holiday gave help and many from all over the British Isles stood by as the gospel was preached. Literature distributed was well accepted.

The Dorset Adventure Time Camp was led by Stephen Cillham, and was spread over 3 weeks with two Junior and one Senior Camp. It proved to be Ihe largest camp ever with 244 campers and over 100 different helpers on site. Throughout the year, many had prayed that the 72 tent leaders which were needed to run the camps successfully might be found. Prayer was answered and more than prayed for came forward. There were themes for each camp. The first was ‘The Life of Jacob’. Good attention was given and a happy atmosphere prevailed. One girl was helped to gain assurance and another boy, recently converted at Wembley, received help. Others said how much they were helped.

The second camp studied ‘Following Jesus’. During the week 9 young people trusted the Saviour and on the final night abut 300 came together in the marquee-cause for great encouragement.

The third camp seemed to be the most difficult, with a large number of campers new to the gospel. At first there was little response to the gospel but during the last 24 hours, 11 campers came forward and told Stephen that they had trusted Ihe Saviour. It was a cause for thanksgiving that Ihe weather was fine and the camps were trouble free. The Lord answered prayer.

South Wales
Thornhill Gospel Hal! celebrated their 100th anniversary with great rejoicing. The hall stands alone on top of Caerphilly mountain and had seen in the past great blessing and revival. Many old Sunday School scholars attended and Bill Davics in a special report told of revival during a tent campaign after World War tl, before he went full time into the Lord’s work. It was an encouraging day. Leckwilh Gospel I lall was ‘on the air’ on August 13th at 8.30 a.m. on Radio Wales. Prayer is that the Lord will bless the message.

From West Wales comes report of a conference at Ammanford where ministry and reports were given by various brethren. John Baker conducted a series of gospel meetings at Fforestfach and many contacts were made in visitation. Hundreds of folks were contacted at the Gower Agricultural Show in August Bruce Anderson erected his tent, bookstall and up-to-date equipment. Tea and coffee were provided on a beautiful day. Workers from ihe Swansea assemblies distributed literature and had good opportunities for conversa-sion. A man of 68 years professed salvation.

Devon and Cornwall
Four weeks of summer camps were held at Menadue site, near Tintagel. Reviewing the weeks, John Powell says how much the blessing of the Lord was realised throughout. At the Senior Camp, Ken Rudge took the teenagers through the ‘dispensations’ of time, and this was much appreciated. These were mainly Christians and the ministry of Cod’s word was a great help to them. At one of the junior camps, one Muslim lad trusted the Lord. Returning to a Muslim family gives much need for prayer. At another junior camp, more than half of the children went to the ‘padre’ for counselling and assurance, and a number professed to be saved. There were one or two minor accidents, but a careful watching over the water supply, excellent weather, a good fellowship between officers and campers, all contributed to giving the Lord praise for four wonderful weeks. The ministry at the junior camps was shared by John Mansfield, Paul Young and Ivor Cooper and was much appreciated.

At the Postal Sunday School Camp held at Fowey School, Nigel Williams gave the ministry and there was good interest. There were some who trusted the Lord, moral problems were dealt with, spiritual help was given and four with Methodist background asked for baptism. An encouraging conference was held at Carbis Bay with Roy Hill and Ivan Steed. There were over 80 present and the ministry given was stimulating and helpful.


Your Basket

Your Basket Is Empty