In early April, New Cumnock Town Hall was the venue for a series of six talks given over two weeks by Stewart Gillespie and Craig MacKie, on questions such as ‘Is there a God?’, ‘Is there Life after Death?’, ‘Am I too bad to be saved?’, and ‘The Bible: Fact or Fiction?’ A number of people came in, and the questions aroused some interest, which we trust will deepen.
The believers at Holburn Gospel Hall, Aberdeen hosted a similar series of ‘Public Lectures’, given by Stephen Grant in Victoria Hall in the Torry district from 17th to 20th April, and centring on the credibility of Christianity, the resurrection of Christ, the integrity and authority of the Bible, and the fact that death is not the end. They were well advertised, and each evening there was a mixed audience of about 35-40 interested listeners of different age groups and with varying spiritual backgrounds. Unbelievers were challenged as each talk closed with a clear presentation of the Gospel, and younger believers, most coming every night, were given material to help strengthen faith and cope with current vigorous anti-Christian propaganda. They purpose to repeat this form of outreach in the Holburn area of the city at the end of June. During May to September, the Holburn assembly holds its Gospel Service on one Lord’s Day afternoon each month in a seating area of the nearby Duthie Park. Many who are in the park hear a clear message about the way of salvation and receive Gospel literature. Prayer is requested for all of these efforts to reach out with the Word of God to a needy population.
Gordon McCracken returned to Cullen in April for a seventh annual Holiday Club at which over 120 in all attended, 105 being the largest number present on any one day. The chosen theme was ‘Transformers’, and most of the children memorised 2 Corinthians 5.17. At the Prizegiving, the Town Hall was well filled with adults and children, who heard of the transforming power of the Gospel as seen in the conversion of Saul of Tarsus. As previously, this effort has led to new children coming to the regular Sunday School. Please pray that the Lord will bless what was done at the Holiday Club, for the ongoing children’s and mothers’ and toddlers’ work, and for the regular visits to the nearby Primary School by a local brother, who also visits three other schools in the area.
Before that, Gordon made his 12th annual visit to Shetland, and visited more schools than in previous years. One school on the island of Yell hired a bus to get to another school where he was speaking, because he did not have time to visit their school. In Sound Gospel Hall, the numbers at the Children’s Meetings increased from 25 to over 80 on the last evening, with the Hall packed with parents at the Prizegiving.
The Christians who meet in Perth Gospel Hall have been encouraged to see numerical growth in the past year, with believers moving into the area and a number of young believers being added to the fellowship. In March, Gordon McCracken did school visits and ran a ‘Superclub’. He reported: “A great two weeks in Perth have come to an end. 25 schools visited; 119 kids came through the week to the meetings; 112 kids plus 44 parents at the Prizegiving.” Through the Superclub, new contacts were made with families in the community, and it was encouraging to see seeing the unity of Christians working and praying together. From 3rd to 14th April, Gareth Edwards and Jack Hay led a Gospel outreach when 10,000 leaflets were distributed, and others were contacted by personal invitation and via the Gospel Hall Facebook account. Although fewer attended compared with previous occasions, a good number of unsaved folk were present each evening, and there was rejoicing with the angels in Heaven over sinners repenting.
As a follow-up to the Gospel outreach, the assembly arranged a series of weekly talks/discussions, primarily for young believers, called ‘Living Christianity’, and prepared by Gareth. At the end of May, Gareth and Graeme Paterson plan to use the portable hall for a Gospel outreach in Methven, a few miles to the west of Perth, where some of the believers live, and from which some children come to Sunday School.
It is good to note how many thousands of Gospel tracts are distributed regularly throughout the country. Sometimes this supports special efforts in the Gospel, for example the 10,000 in Perth as noted above, and similarly 36,000 were delivered in west Fife prior to a fortnight of Gospel Meetings being conducted by Craig Munro at the end of April with Hospital Hill assembly in Dunfermline. Tracting has also been very effective at special seasons such as Easter, with some people taking up invitations to Easter Services, a few for the first time. One faithful distributor speaks of hardly any refusals this time, as well as some interesting conversations on the streets.
At other times, regular and persistent weekly efforts are made with tracts in both winter and summer to reach people as they pass by. For example, many walkers on the Fife Coastal Path are politely offered a tract as they go on their way through St Monans each weekend – some accept and some refuse! In the early part of the year, Dan Gillies distributed tracts in the more isolated parts of his area and out to the villages on the coast, and briefly in west Shetland before that. Similarly, Ainslie Paterson was distributing tracts and calendars in and around Moray, as he has been doing in many other places for a long time.
Antrim: N Emerson (Ardmore) preached the Gospel for two weeks, answering the question “What does the future hold this Easter?” Using a large prophetic chart, he explained God’s dealings in the various dispensations. Some of those who attended had never heard these truths. Prior to the meetings, 5,000 specially-designed invitations were distributed. There was a good interest in the meetings, and they were supported by believers from surrounding assemblies, and by others.
Ballymena (Harryville): A four-week series of Gospel Meetings concluded in Dunclug College with P Kissick and A Steele. Many local people came, and God was pleased to save.
Ballywatermoy: B Currie and J Palmer have now concluded a spell of Gospel Meetings where a clear presentation of the Gospel was given, with help to speak. The meetings were well attended, with a good number of unsaved present nightly, and the assembly was encouraged by the number of neighbours who came to the meetings. Prayer is appreciated for those who attended and still remain without Christ.
Clonkeen: Wesley Martin had five nights of ministry at the end of April, which was most interesting, helpful and instructive. Please pray that the Word spoken may be effectual in the lives of the encouraging number of believers who attended.
Kells: J Fleck conducted a week of Bible Readings, which were very well attended. The assembly requested that ‘Local Church’ matters would be considered, and these were faithfully and clearly handled. Quite a few had not heard teaching on these subjects, and many expressed their appreciation.
Growell: A very good number of local people attended the Gospel Meetings conducted by E Fairfield and M Radcliffe, and the assembly is thankful to the Lord for blessing in salvation.
Kilkeel: The Gospel Meetings conducted by N Fleck and T Wright have concluded, with the assembly being much encouraged by those who trusted the Saviour.
Mullaghfernaghan: The assembly was greatly encouraged by the very good numbers who attended the Gospel Meetings conducted by J Fleck and S Gilfillan. Good interest was shown, and prayer is requested for the Seed sown.
Newry: On five consecutive Tuesday evenings in March and April, A Finney organised Children’s Meetings in his local townland of Burren (near Warrenpoint), in a disused National School. Each night there were over 100 children and teenagers present, all from a Roman Catholic background. The speaker was Jeff Rogers, and the response from the young people was excellent, with the children eagerly learning verses each week. On the last night, over 50 parents and friends attended, which was most encouraging. The large number meant that another venue had to be found, and the local Gaelic Hall was kindly granted to facilitate this.
Newtownbreda: The assembly members, and visitors, thoroughly enjoyed ministry by D Gilliland on the subject ‘Practical Profiles of Bible Brothers’, which brought out many very practical lessons for believers today from the lives of brothers recorded in both the Old and New Testaments. The teaching was illuminating, interesting and instructive, and all were edified.
Portavogie: The Gospel Meetings arranged by the Ebenezer and New Road assemblies, and conducted by D Gilliland and J Rogers in a portable hall erected beside the harbour, have concluded. Both assemblies worked enthusiastically in the district, and consequently many unsaved attended the meetings. Prayer is earnestly requested that the Lord will yet grant blessing as a result of this united effort. Also, the assembly’s Annual Conference, held on 29th April, was well attended. The ministry given by A Steele, D Gilliland, J Hay and J Rogers was stimulating and very encouraging.
Moneydig: Gospel Meetings, with J Fleck and A Steele, are expected to commence on 25th June, and continue for a number of weeks, in a portable hall in John McIlrath’s yard.
In the Small Heath area of Birmingham, Andy Mullan is pioneering Gospel work among the majority Muslim population. A week’s special effort has been made during the last two summers with the help of Robert Armstrong and others. Another is planned for 22nd to 28th July this year, with prayer and training being given in cross-cultural issues in the mornings, Gospel outreach in the afternoon, then ministry in the evening from Leslie Craig. If believers in assembly fellowship would like to join them for the week (accommodation and food are provided free), please email email@example.com. Meantime, they continue patiently and gently to sow the Seed, avoiding heated arguments. With the help of local sisters, 3,000 Birmingham City Bibles have been purchased, which they will try to get to people in these ethnic communities over the next three months. Prayer is requested that the Lord would send labourers into this harvest field, would bless in the salvation of souls, and in the continuance of the testimony of the small assembly at Small Heath.
Prior to the Easter Conference in Bicester, 5,000 tracts and invitations were delivered to around 20 villages in Oxfordshire, resulting in some new faces being seen at the conference Gospel Meeting. Ministry through the weekend from David Gilliland and Jack Hay proved profitable. Numerous other conferences were held throughout England and Wales over Easter: for example, in Tyneside, Whitehaven, Helions Bumpstead, Basingstoke, Datchet, Coventry, Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Caerphilly, Cardiff and Port Talbot.
Gospel Tent meetings in Bicester are planned from June 4th to July 2nd with G Higgins (USA). Details are available at www.hebrongospelhall.org