Reports of Gospel Work and Other Assembly Activities – May-June 1953


A well-constructed wooden building has been erected at Filton, just outside Bristol, and the work there is the responsibility of believers at Ebenezer, Filton Avenue, over a mile and a half away. The opening service at “Bethany” (the new hall) was conducted by A. Pulleng (Bath) and D. W. Frost (Callington). The latter stayed on for a gospel campaign lasting two weeks. The weather was cold and gales were blowing, and this had an adverse effect on the number of adults attending the week-night meetings, but the children came along well. The evangelist’s energetic service in preaching and visiting was used to the salvation of a number of children and the restoring of a few backsliders. Although no assembly has been established at “Bethany” yet, Sunday-evening meetings continue to be filled, Thursday-night children’s services are packed, there is a good women’s meeting, and about 200 children attend the Sunday School. In addition to this there is a meeting for prayer and Bible study. (Maurice E. J. Packer)


Handel Evans (Swansea) conducted a gospel campaign in the North Street Gospel Hall, Cheddar, for two weeks in February last. Women’s meetings on the Wednesday afternoons were well attended by mothers of young children of the Sunday School, coming from a nearby Council Estate. Evening meetings were well attended by those in fellowship, bringing others with them, and one young woman confessed Christ as Saviour. (Howard Harris)


After a lapse of about eight years Cobmbe Head Chapel, situated in an isolated area near Bow in mid-Devon, was re-opened last year. A month later a Sunday School was started with three children, but after more visitation numbers soon rose to twelve, including two mothers. Pigs and geese often come around the door and once two pigs had to be refused admission to the Sunday School! William Ward and his wife have visited many homes in the district, and almost everywhere have been received with kindness. There is an average attendance of 20 at the gospel meeting, many of them being unsaved. Prayer fellowship is sought for this pioneering work. (G. H. Maxwell).


Three splendid testimonies have been received from Paignton of men whose whole lives have been revolutionized by meeting the Master. Whereas not so long ago for them life meant the pursuits of sinful, selfish and worldly desires, bringing no satisfaction but only barrenness to their souls and great distress to their wives and children, now in obedience to their Lord they have been baptized with many of their own house, are actively engaged in His glad service, and gladly remember Him at His table. May the experience of these our brethren in Christ encourage the many servants of God who seek to win lost men and their families for Christ. (G. H. Maxwell)


We continue to hear echoes of Stan. Ford’s campaign in Barnstaple at the beginning of the year. Letters to the Press and speeches at public meetings in the town have referred to the attraction and power of the simple gospel, inferring that a more widespread return to the old Message would do more to meet present-day moral problems than some of the measures usually suggested. We have just heard that the wife of a man who was converted as a result of the campaign, was herself brought to Christ a few days ago at a meeting held by Mr. Ford in another part of the county.


The assembly at Lynmouth are now able to hold meetings in the Church Hall, kindly placed at their disposal by. the Vicar. The resumption of the Sunday School work presents difficulties, and prayer will be valued for guidance. The site from which the original hall was swept away by the flood will not be available for re-building, but it is hoped that a suitable site will be provided; even then it will probably be some time before a new building can be started. Readers will find it easy to understand how the local believers were affected by the fact that an inlaid text “Till He Come,” which used to hang over the platform and which with the hall and all its contents was swept out to sea, was washed back into the harbour and recovered many weeks later. The pulpit Bible was also recovered from the sea by a lady visitor who had been converted recently. She has had it rebound and inscribed, and returned to the assembly. Can we wonder if these incidents are taken as symbolic?


Sunday School work has been in progress for several years in an Elementary School building, with most encouraging results. Some two years ago a site was purchased in this new, large housing estate, and within the last few weeks plans have been approved and permission obtained to erect a Gospel Hall. As soon as circumstances permit the work will be started. Prayer is requested for guidance. (A. C. W. L. Payne)


A. C. W. L. Payne has sent us a copy of a booklet entitled “Those Fifty Years” - a short history of the assembly of Christians meeting at Argyll Hall, Littlehampton. In the year 1898 a few of the Lord’s people were concerned that there was no place of meeting for them at Littlehampton, and after seeking guidance from God they commenced a meeting for the Breaking of Bread at 41 Norfolk Road. After a while this meeting was transferred to Argyll Hall, River Road, and has continued there until the present time. In those early days there were not many in fellowship, but their hearts were true. Some of them walked twice from Arundel on Sundays, a distance of four miles each way, to attend the services. Argyll Hall was used for secular purposes during the week, and until 1924 the assembly rented the front portion only - a most inconvenient and unimpressive place. Then disaster threatened, for notice was received that the premises must be purchased or the assembly must quit. After seeking God’s mind it was felt that the premises should be purchased, the price agreed being £1,250 freehold, and this was quite- a large sum in those days, but all helping together the greater portion of the money was subscribed in a short time. Since then the accommodation” has been greatly improved, and increasing numbers have made extensions necessary. The Sunday School work, which has flourished from the beginning, has always been blessed of God. Quite recently the house adjoining the Hall was purchased and the large basement converted into accommodation for the Sunday School overflow. The last assembly-roll contained 160 names, 44 of them being those of young people. Energetic gospel work continues both in the assembly meetings and in such outside activities as open-air meetings, village work and services in public institutions, and the assembly has a keen interest in overseas missionary work.


Crowded Jubilee Meetings were held in the Gospel Hall, Ammanford, in October last, when hearts were filled with praise to God for His goodness to the assembly since its commencement in 1902. It was stimulating to have recalled how William Herbert (Llwynon), after’ a brief visit to New Zealand where he was converted to God, returned to his home in Ammanford in 1888 and after witnessing for the Lord for about 14 years by holding open-air services, tract distribution and personal dealing, was used of God to found the present assembly. The first record shows, the names of seven brethren breaking bread in 1902, including that of Henry Rees, who for so many years has served the Lord in India. The assembly now numbers almost 150.

Jubilee Meetings have also been held in the Gospel Hall, Mumbles, when an interesting account was given by Dr. Marks of the Lord’s help and blessing over the years.

There has been encouragement of late in the assembly at Treboeth, Swansea, especially in the work amongst the young.

At Fforestfach, seven believers were received into fellowship in January. William Trew saw good interest in the Word there during February.

The Sunday School in the Hut at Fenian continues with interest, and the open-air work on Lord’s-day afternoon around the new houses is maintained.

About 300 attend the Sunday School at Heol-y-gors, Swansea, each Lord’s Day and a good proportion of the assembly consists of young people who have been scholars in the School.

Charles McEwen, had well-attended meetings at Manselton, Swansea, during January.

L. H. Tranter was encouraged in Aberdare in January and later saw good interest over several weeks in Merthyr.

A good proportion of unsaved men and women attended a fortnight’s gospel-meetings held at Ynysybwl in February by W. A, Norris. (Harold Thomas)


As we go to press we hear of the opening at Dell Road, Cotteridge,-Birmingham, of a brick-built hall to replace the temporary building which has been for a number of years the home of the growing assembly there.

A brick-built hall is nearing completion at Catshill near Bromsgrove, where J. Lewis has laboured for several years. It will replace the wooden building which has been used since the work first commenced. Considerable building development has taken place on a Council Housing Estate at Catshill, and a, large number of children attend the Sunday School. (Pearson P. Chamings)


In previous reports we have commented on the special difficulties of work in Eire. T. E. J. Archer asks for continued remembrance in prayer of the colporteurs such as George Henderson, Fred. Pontin, George Latimer and George Thomas who continue day by day to carry on their work in the South, to a large extent unseen and unheard except by those whom they visit.


There is a desire on the part of many of the brethren in Northern Ireland to bring the Christians together so that the young and uninstructed may be taught more fully the truths connected with assembly life and practice. It was suggested that the meetings should be in the form of Bible Readings, each reading beginning with an introduction, with time allowed afterwards for interested brethren to help by questions and comments relating to the subject under consideration. In accordance with this desire Hawthorn Bailie had several readings with the believers in Cardy assembly - a small meeting in the Ards Peninsula. In the new year he had a few weeks with the brethren and sisters at Dollingstown, near Lurgan, where a Sunday School and Gospel testimony are carried on in a portable hall. Later he had meetings in Ormeau Road Hall, Belfast. The members of the assembly attended each night and, as before, the Lord granted His presence and blessing. Christians outside the assemblies also attended and we trust that there will be much fruit for the Lord’s glory, (J. Ferguson)


Sam. Thompson (Newtownards) made a strenuous effort in the gospel in Bishopbriggs during part of February and March. Faithful visitation of the homes of the people was carried out, but the response of the people to invitations to the meetings in the Gospel Hall was not good. There were, however, two encouraging cases of conversion, one being that of a young woman who had been attending meetings for young people which had been held previously in the hall each Lord’s-day evening after the regular gospel-meeting.

Frank Knox conducted special gospel-meetings in Shields Road Hall, Motherwell, during March. A few professed faith in Christ, among them being a man of 54 who, although related to some of the Lord’s people in the assembly, had gone far into sin. He gives evidence of a wonderful deliverance. (Andrew McNeish)


J. Merson, had a few weeks’ successful meetings during February and March in a farming district at Lyth near Wick. There was a good interest maintained throughout in this part, where a series of Gospel services was quite a new thing. Five people professed faith, and others were impressed. Help was also given at week-ends in the assembly at Wick, and some nights of ministry for believers were greatly appreciated. (Angus Swanson)


In our last report we made reference to the commencement of special gospel-meetings in three places in Shetland. Our present report will consist mainly of details of these meetings. G. D. Alexander and J. Moar spent four weeks at Sandwick. During the first three weeks, meetings were held nightly in the Hoswick Hall, but for the fourth week the centre of activity was transferred to the opposite end of the district, where a cottage-meeting was conducted each night. The interest in the gospel was most encouraging throughout the district for the whole period of the meetings. One young woman responded in faith to the gospel invitation.

The meetings conducted at Bigton by J. Burns revealed a keen interest in spiritual matters in that district. He preached nightly for four weeks in the Public Hall. The size of the company varied with the weather conditions, but the average attendance was very good and on some nights there were relatively large companies. One professing Christian who had lost faith was helped from the Scriptures to a renewed trust in God.

Five young people of responsible age made a clear confession of faith in Christ during H. Burness’s meetings in Lerwick. The series of meetings covered five weeks of intense activity, but the reward to all was wonderful. The Lerwick assembly received decided blessing from the meetings. The Christians were brought very near to the Lord, to one another, and to the unsaved as each night in the back kitchen a regular, faithful and not small company pleaded with the Lord to give the Spirit’s power and blessing to the meetings. The end of all this activity seemed to bring us to a point where returning to the customary routine appeared to be a difficult task. With the sense of victory in our hearts the usual, ordinary things were in danger of being ignored. We are happy to report, however, that not only have the believers taken up their former duties but they have done so in renewed strength.

Our evangelist brethren from the South have left us for other fields of service. J. Moar has commenced a series of meetings in Scalloway where the Christians, who have hitherto been meeting in a private house, have purchased a building which will be suitable for conversion into a Hall. (R. S. Bowen)


Your Basket

Your Basket Is Empty