THE BACKSTREETS OF BRIXTON TO THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL
British Pentecostalism 1907-1928.
By Des Cartwright
European Pentecostal Theological
Association, Leuven, Belgium, December 1981
In January 1907, Mrs Catherine Price of 14
Ackerman Road, Brixton spoke in tongues thus becoming the
first person to do so in the modern Pentecostal Movement in
Before that date the ground had been prepared
by the teaching of the various holiness groups, that included
the Pentecostal League (1891) led by Reader Harris Q.C.(2)
and the Pentecostal Union, later re-named the Pillar of Fire,
which was first introduced to England in 194(3).
The Keswick Convention, that commenced in
1875 was also a powerful influence. The Convention of 1905
in particular that hosted a number of the “Children
of the Revival” led to great expectation. Though this
expectation was not realised it was anticipated that that
the looked for breakthrough might come in 1906 (4).
The Welsh Revival also had a powerful influence.
Whichever figures we take, those of the Western Mail (5) that
reported some 70,000 converts, or the more modest total of
35,000 given in the South Wales Daily News (6)
The future of the British Pentecostal Movement
was influenced by the Revival in two ways. In the first place,
some of those who were to become leaders in the new Movement
were in touch with the Welsh Revival. Alexander A. Boddy (1854-1930),
vicar of All Saints, Monkwearmouth, Sunderland, stood with
Evan Roberts in Tonypandy7. Joseph Smale8, pastor of the influential
First Baptist Church, Los Angeles, also visited Wales and
upon his return helped to create an atmosphere of expectation
in his own church. Frank Bartleman corresponded with Evan
Roberts and he received a reply9. There is no foundation however
for the claim made by Vinson Synan when he declares:
“ Tongues were also prevalent in the Welsh Revival of
1904… It is quite probable that Bartleman and Smale
were aware of this aspect of the Welsh revival when they began
their efforts to duplicate it in Los Angeles”10
A number of histories of British Pentecostalism
repeat the same myth. More sophisticated commentators quote
the Yorkshire Post report dated December 27th, 1904. Others,
particularly those belonging to the Pentecostal Church, state
that speaking in tongues occurred, but give no proof. A recent
historian, writing on the Revival says:
“ So far, I have found no explicit
reference to glossolalia in any first hand report, either
in Welsh or in English, dealing with that eventful period11.
There need be no doubt that this is so.
The Welsh Revival of 1904-05 was influential
in quite another way. It led to the conversion of a number
of the important figures in the British Pentecostal Movement.
These included Daniel Powell Williams (1882-1947), leader
of the Apostolic Church who was converted on Christmas Day
1904 through the preaching of Evan Roberts12.
Donald Gee13 was converted in London in October 1905 under
the preaching of Seth Joshua, as was W. G. Hathaway (1892-1969)
who was first a member of the Apostolic Faith Church and later
held high office in the Elim Foursquare Gospel Alliance.
The two brothers, George and Stephen Jeffreys
were also converted at the beginning of the Revival in November
1904. As far as Stephen was concerned this began when he was
brought under conviction by observing the radical change in
the lives and habits of some of his fellow miners at the start
of the Revival. Stephen had joined his father, Thomas in the
mine at the age of twelve in 1889. His mother, Kezia needed
the extra income to help support her growing family when the
latest addition, George arrived on February 28th, 1889. He
was given the name George after a younger brother who had
died at the age of fourteen in November of the previous year.
In 1904 Stephen and his wife were living opposite Siloh Independent
Chapel in Nantyffyllon. The brothers were present at a meeting
in Siloh on Thursday, November 17th when Stephen was under
deep conviction. His son Edward recorded his father’s
“ It was an awful week before my conversion.”
The matter was settled on the following Sunday morning following
a sermon given by their minister, Glasnant Jones. The date
was November 20th, 1904. Nine years later Stephen would begin
his work as an evangelist, a work that would give him a most
successful ministry in Britain but would also make an impact
on the lives of thousands in places as far away as New Zealand
and South Africa.
Thomas and Kezia Jeffreys were members of
the Old Duffryn Chapel. Thomas had died at the age of 47 in
September 1895. Five of their twelve children had been laid
to rest in the same grave at Llangynwyd before the Revival
swept through the Llynfi Valley with such dramatic effect
in the few months between November 1904 and February 1905.
In the recorded lists of registered converts,
Maesteg stands second. The first list records 1,208 converts;
the second list of January 1905 added another 2,115 with a
further list adding a further 2,091. By any standard these
are remarkable figures. The effect upon the religious life
of the valley was dramatic. Even the Times15 was to report:
“During the six months before the Revival began the
number of people summoned at the Bridgend Police Court from
Llynfi Valley has not been more than two per week”.
One of the popular accounts of the Revival
“Mr David Davies, Justice of the Peace and chairman
of the Maesteg Council says:
“As regards sobriety, there is a remarkable
improvement throughout the district. A brewer’s traveller
admitted to a friend of mine that his returns had fallen seventy-five
per cent. The ‘tone’ of the district had undergone
a great change, the street language being much improved. The
stillness of the early morning is broken by hymn-singing of
the colliers going to and returning from work, and practically
no police work now, as quarrelling and drunkenness seem to
be almost at an end. The chapels were never so well attended.
I know dozens of men who previously simply squandered their
money, but who are now spending it on food and clothing their
The Jeffreys family transferred their membership from Duffryn
Chapel to Siloh and stayed at Siloh until Glasnant Jones left
for Cross Keys in October 1907 17 Glasnant was a great encouragement
to the young George Jeffreys and in this way George received
the first instructions and preparation for his future ministry.18
There were many changes in the years following
the revival. There had been a large influx of new members
into many of the chapels in the valleys. But, if the decline
recorded by C. R. Williams 19 in Penrhriwceiber in 1908 occurred
to the same degree in other places, and my research would
indicate that this is so, then clearly those who looked for
the maintenance of spiritual life were going to be interested
in any reports of spiritual work that sought to maintain the
fire of revival.
The American connection.
The English-born Norwegian Methodist minister,
Thomas Ball Barratt (1862-1940) wrote to Evan Roberts on January
2nd, 1905. 20 In the reply he received from Roberts’s
co-workers there was a significant section. “…We
are praying for Norway…May the Lord bless them with
the Baptism of the Holy Ghost…” Barratt adds the
comment, “ None of us thought then how all these prayers
would eventually be answered.”
The way that they were answered is perhaps too well known
to be repeated here in detail, but, for the sake of clarification,
I offer a brief summery.
In the summer of 1905 Barratt announced that he was going
to the United States of America in order to raise funds for
the building of his City Mission in Oslo. He was given splendid
testimonials- even the King allowed his name to be used in
connection with the enterprise. Barratt was to be in the States
for more than a year. Financially the trip was not a success
and at times he had was reduced to despair. His experience
on October 7th 1906 and the later and more significant experience
of November 15th made the long journey worthwhile.
He had heard of the events that had taken place in Azusa Street,
Los Angeles and he read the first magazine, Apostolic Faith
that had been sent from there in September 1906. He wrote
several letters to them and received helpful and understanding
At the time in November when he received his fully pentecostal
experience a doctor’s wife who had been in Los Angeles
was also present. Barratt left America in December 1906 and
returned home to Norway. What took place there attracted very
considerable attention.21 22 Alexander Boddy was one of those
who visited Norway in order to witness at first hand what
was taking place. What he saw made a deep impression on him.
He persuaded Barratt to come to hold a mission in Sunderland.
Barratt landed in Sunderland on the last day in August 1907
and stayed there until October 18th. One young man received
the experience of speaking in tongues before Barratt arrived
One of the first to manifest glossolalia during Barratt’s
visit was Boddy’s young daughter, Jane, who spoke in
tongues on September 21st. 24 Alexander Boddy had to wait
until December 2nd 25 when he became the fiftieth person in
Sunderland to do so.
When Boddy had returned from Christiania (Oslo) in March 1907
he was aware of only five people who had received the experience
in Britain. By the time he wrote the first issue of Confidence
in April 1908 he could say that there were “ probably
five hundred in Great Britain so Baptised.”
There are several interesting people among
the first few. A number of these deserve closer attention.
The first came to my attention almost accidentally when I
was reading the Donald Gee’s magazine, Pentecost: 26
“ In 1906 two coloured ministers opened
an assembly in Sumner Lane Peckham, and returned from Sunderland
in 1907 baptised in the Holy Ghost. It was stigmatised as
the ‘Black Man’s Church.’ Led by Brother
Wilson until his death in 1929, it was pastored by Bro. James,
and Bro. P. van der Woude, until the present Pastor, C. Corston,
took over in 1940.”
This was new to me and I suspected at the
time that it was to many others. A few days later, as often
happens when doing research, I was reading T. B. Barratt’s
account of his visit to Sunderland where he mentions “…a
coloured gentleman from London…”
While this needed further investigation it appeared that this
was T. Brem Wilson who hailed fro Ghana. I need to add to
this how quickly this developed. Present in the meeting in
Leuven were Ian Mc Robert and Cornelius van der Laan who were
both students under Walter Hollenweger. Van der Laan was the
only one who knew anything about Brem Wilson and even had
some photographs of him. He had obtained them from Peter van
der Woude a previous minister of the church who had taken
these pictures and other papers from the Peckham Church when
he returned to Holland. Since then I have been able to publish
a more detailed article about him in the Journal of the European
Pentecostal Theological Association.2007, vol.xxvii No.2pp128-136.”Black
Pentecostal Churches in Britain”.
Another interesting character included among
the first fifty was a middle-age builder from Lytham, Lancashire
Henry Mogridge (1854-1931). He was a strong-minded man who
had been a class leader in the Methodist Church. He visited
Sunderland where he was baptised in the Holy Spirit on November
30th, 1907.27 He opened his home, “ Northlands”,
Agnew Street for meetings shortly after. It was to these meetings
that the Preston Estate Agent, Thomas Myerscough (1858-1932)
made his way together with a delegation to see what was taking
place. He was to come into his own pentecostal experience
in Sunderland in 1909.28 Myerscough was to be very influential
in the British Pentecostal Movement. He was responsible for
the Training Home and Bible School in Preston that was used
by the Pentecostal Missionary Union. It was at this school
that George Jeffreys began his studies in November 1912. 29
Other students included W. F. P. Burton, James Salter and
E. J. Phillips to name a few. Myerscough became one of the
leaders of the Assemblies of God in Great Britain on its foundation
Just as there were recorded instances of
speaking in tongues in the United States- such places as Topeka,
Kansas and Houston, Texas with an even earlier event in the
Shearer Schoolhouse in Cherokee County, North Carolina in
1896, so there were similar isolated case in Britain in places
like Brixton, Bradford and Port Talbot.
Sunderland and its importance
The first visit of T. B. Barratt did not
attract many people at first. Some would have been aware of
reports of speaking in tongues having been reported both in
the United States and also in Norway. There had been reports
in a number of Christian papers including the Christian Herald,
the Record and the South African Pioneer. Boddy had written
two reports on what he had witnessed in Norway and he rated
it higher that what he had observed in Tonypandy with Evan
Roberts during the Revival of 1904.
The first visitors to Sunderland were mainly leaders and workers
responsible for mainly small missions who were seeking fresh
renewing in their own ministry. Many of them were laymen;
very few of them belonged to the main denominations; few if
any held any high office. They had no Tertullian as the earlier
Montanists had; there was no long list of illustrious names
as was the case of the earlier Oxford Movement in the previous
century; neither could they match the early Brethren. It was
largely a working class movement. Boddy himself was trained
as a lawyer and practiced for a few years in a tough area
in Manchester before graduating in theology at Durham under
Bishop Joseph Lightfoot. The parish of All Saints, Monkwearmouth
was in a working class area with a factory next door with
its noisy steam hammer.
In April 1908 Alexander Boddy took the bold step of launching
his magazine, Confidence and in this he announced the first
Sunderland Conference that was to be held in his Parish Hall
over the Whitsun holidays.
It is to Sunderland that we have to look if we are to discover
the place that was to become the launching pad for modern
Pentecostalism in Britain. Martin Robinson has shown that
it was the attention of the secular press to the claims of
the occurrence of speaking in tongues that gave focus to many
Christian people on the possibility of experiencing a new
encounter with the Holy Spirit that took them beyond what
had been taught at the Keswick for more than thirty years.
Some later Pentecostals may not have given
Alexander Boddy the credit that was undoubtedly owed to him.
When he died on September 10th, 1930 30 his death was hardly
noticed by any of the Pentecostal papers. The Assemblies of
God spelled his name incorrectly; the Elim Evangel of September
26th recorded his death under a simple notice that was probably
inserted by the family, even thought they had written to him
and had received correspondence from him after his retirement
in 1922. Earlier they had recorded his retirement:31
Smith Wigglesworth is the name that is the
most widely known and we have waited a long time for a detailed
biography32 of his remarkable life. He had gone by stages
from Anglican, Methodist, Salvation Army, Baptist, Brethren
and the Pentecostal League before he became identified as
a Pentecostal after he was baptised in the Spirit and spoke
in tongues after Mrs Mary Boddy laid hands on him in Sunderland
on October 29th, 1907.33 He was the leader of Bowland Street
Mission, Bradford, Yorkshire. On February 13th 1904 there
walked in one James Berry (1852-1913)34
Former Public Executioner 1884-1892.Berry was converted at
Bowland Street on February 13th 1904. He became an evangelist
and an outspoken opponent of capital punishment. During his
service as executioner he was responsible for hanging some
134 men and women. Many artefacts that had belonged to him
are now in Madam Tussard’s and they include a tract
telling of his conversion.
Wigglesworth was not the first person from Bradford to speak
in tongues. This was reported to be a Mr Salter who did so
on July 2nd 1907. He was said to have spoken in tongues, interpreted
or prophesied at various meeting between that time and April
Smith Wigglesworth was an almost illiterate
plumber. His wife taught him to read. He could read and wrote
many letters during a long and worldwide ministry; the punctuation
is almost non-existent, the grammar and spelling erratic.
For all of that he was able to communicate with people with
meaning that was unambiguous. He was not a typical Pentecostal-whatever
that was or is- he was unique.
Reference has already been made to Henry
Mogridge and Thomas Myerscough two Lancashire businessmen
who became leaders in Lytham and Preston respectively. To
this we would add the names of solicitor Joseph Walshaw of
Halifax and Insurance official Frederick Watson of Blackburn
who were representatives of a number of those who became leaders
in the emerging Movements. No record of British Pentecostalism
would be complete however without reference to the importance
that should be attached to the contribution of Cecil Polhill
of Reynold, Bedford.36 While many of these men provided leadership
at a local level, the future leadership of the Movement would
be developed by a rising generation of younger men.
Developments in Wales
The brothers George and Stephen Jeffreys
were not at first connected to the Pentecostal Movement in
the beginning and in fact they were both opposed to its teaching.
They were brought to a change of mind and a dramatic change
of direction shortly after Stephen’s only son, Edward
(1899-1974) spoke in tongues for the first time while he was
on holiday in Cross Hands. He was only ten years old at the
time and he did not tell his parents what had happened. Writing
twenty-one years later as the founder and leader of the Bethel
Churches he gives us the story that would have otherwise remained
“ This made my father and mother, also
an uncle of mine, [George] think very seriously concerning
this wonderful gift. My mother at this particular time was
antagonistic to the truth. However, the dear Lord baptizing
her dear son, completely changed her views.”
The highly respected Church of Ireland clergyman,
Thomas Hackett (1850-1939) writing in Confidence in 1918 he
“George Jeffreys and his older brother
Stephen…were children of the Welsh Revival, and at first
opposed to this Latter Rain Outpouring of the Spirit, with
the supernatural Sign of speaking in tongues. Feeling, however,
their own deep need of the promised power on high, they betook
themselves to united prayer, with the earnest cry, ‘
Lord, baptize us with the Holy Ghost’ when, to their
utter astonishment, the elder brother’s little boy began
to speak in tongues of manifestly ‘diverse kinds,’
and followed at great length in Welsh with a wonderful and
quite unwonted use of Scripture. A few days later the younger
brother, George found himself one Sunday morning singing in
tongues, though but a short time before he had publicly preached
against it as from below.”
George confirmed this part of the story in
the Christmas issue of the Elim Evangel in 1929. He had written
this following a visit to his old home in Maesteg where his
mother had died earlier in the year and where his sisters
were still living. In the latter end of the year he had held
highly successful meetings in Cardiff and Swansea where he
was able to plant large churches after hundreds were converted
and numbers were healed. He confirmed that this incident occurred
in the Old Duffryn Chapel.
Another person who received a pentecostal
experience at Cross hands was Welsh Baptist minister, William
George Hill (1874-1941) former minister of Smyrna, Pen-y-Fey
who from November 1908 was minister o Calfaria, Welsh Baptist
Chapel, Cwmfelin. He was in sympathy with Pentecostal teaching
but had to wait until he visited Cross Hands before he spoke
in tongues for the first time. His family still possess his
Bible that bore the inscription: 38
“ Baptised in the Holy Spirit June 3rd, 1910 the Spirit
falling upon me then speaking through me in other languages,
according to Bible evidence, Bless His Name.”
This brought him into conflict with his church.
He had been at odds with some of them for some time over the
methods of fund raising among other things. The result was
that he resigned from the pastorate and from the denomination.
A small group began to meet in the home of Mr and Mrs Bedford
at the Cross Inn, Bridgend Road and on Sundays they held services
in Oakwood School close to his former church. It was these
meetings that the Jeffreys brother began to attend.
Stephen continued in his employment in Caerau
Colliery. He had been a miner since he started work on leaving
school at the age of 12 in 1888. George had joined Stephen
and two of his other brothers in the mine as soon as he left
school on reaching his twelfth birthday in 1901. He left there
to take employment in the local co-op stores in Nantyffyllon
after two of his brothers died. Another, younger brother died
George had received some encouragement while
Glasnant Jones was his minister and he was a careful student
who sought to prepare himself for ministry. When he threw
in his lot with the despised Pentecostals the door to ministry
was now closed, or so it seemed. He was baptised by immersion
by Price Davies (1881-1966) who had been converted the day
after George and Stephen in Mountain Ash through the ministry
of Evan Roberts.
George began at first to associate with one of the Apostolic
Faith groups.39 This group that was founded in 1910 had opened
the first church to be specially built as a Pentecostal Church
in Winton, Bournemouth on November 5th 1908. The leader was
a former regular army sergeant, William Oliver Hutchinson
(1864-1928). Hutchinson was converted in Wesleyan Methodism
before joining the Baptists. He was employed by the Society
for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. He visited Sunderland
in 1908 where he was baptised in the Spirit. The meeting that
he erected in Bournemouth was opened by Cecil Polhill and
named Emmanuel Mission.
Several others who were to play a part in
the emerging Pentecostal Movement associated themselves with
the work in Bournemouth. One of these was a Baptist minister,
James Brooke (1883-1960). He joined Hutchinson in 1910 and
went on to take charge of the Apostolic Faith work in Bell
view, Swansea before sailing to pioneer the Apostolic Faith
work in South Africa in 1912. One of the young men who attended
the Swansea meetings on Saturday evenings was George Jeffreys
(1889-1963). I interviewed Mrs Brooke in her home in London
when she was 103. She had a vivid recollection of those days.
Her eldest son, Percy later wrote a small book on the history
of what became the United Apostolic Faith Church of which
he served as General Overseer for thirty-five years.40
Following the first Sunderland Conference
the Pentecostal Missionary Union was founded in January 1909.
The purpose of this was to provide support and training for
prospective candidates for overseas missionary work. Training
homes were set up for men and women in London with another
under the supervision of Thomas Myerscough. George Jeffreys
wrote a letter to the Pentecostal Missionary Union in 1912
requesting an application form to join the college for training
as a prospective missionary: 41
“ A candidate Schedule was duly filled
up and signed by George Jeffreys at Swansea with satisfactory
recommendations were read, and it was resolved that he be
admitted on probation for training under Mr Myerscough at
Preston and that the latter be notified and asked if he will
kindly make the necessary arrangements for reception of this
He went to Preston in November 1912 for what
was to be a two-year course. He was only there however until
January 1913 when he was called to assist his brother Stephen
on his first mission in the small village of Cwmtwrch near
Swansea. The committee of the PMU discussed his absence from
the school and the Secretary wrote to him requesting his return.
It appears that he did so, at least for a short time and he
was shown in a photograph with other students at the school.
This was published in Confidence in the issue dated October
1913. Though George did not spend a long time at Preston it
seems very clear that some important aspects of ideas were
certainly gained from there. These can be seen on his views
on the single life and also on the teaching that sought to
make a distinction between the Holy Spirit and the Spirit
of Christ 42.(such a view was never officially held though
it was being put forward even as late as 1952/523when the
writer was a student- The references in Acts 16:6-7 seemed
to settle the matter as showing no distinction and a reading
of Romans 8 seemed to settle the issue and I never heard it
as much as suggested again).
A few months later, another entry states: 43
“ George Jeffreys having been absent
from training at Preston for some weeks whilst conducting
Missions in Wales and London, the Council thought it very
desirable for him to return to Preston for training under
Mr Myerscough at an early date and it was resolved that Mr
Polhill see G. Jeffreys thereon.”
The first mission came about after George
had ministered in the Tro’r Glein Mission Hall, Cwmtwrch
in the Swansea Valley.44 He had ministered there several times
earlier in 1912 at what was a very small meeting. During that
time he had mentioned to the people there that his brother
Stephen would be a good speaker who would be happy to help
them with ministry. The leaders of the meeting met Stephen
at a meeting in Swansea one Saturday and as they did not have
a speaker for the following Sunday they asked him if he would
come and take their meeting. They found his ministry very
helpful. They wrote to his brother George to ask him if he
would come and minister at their first convention that they
planned to hold at Christmas time. George was unable to commit
himself as he was awaiting a reply from the Bible School in
Preston but he suggested that they should invite Stephen.
The miners had two days holiday over Christmas (which was
on Wednesday in 1912) so they planned to continue over the
weekend through until the following Tuesday, which was New
Years Eve. Such was the blessing upon these meetings that
Stephen was asked to remain during the following week. This
presented him with a problem. He was a miner and had been
one for more than twenty years. He had a wife and a young
family to support. He wrote to the manager of the mine to
request his permission to be away and this was granted. Such
was the success of the mission that Stephen had to send an
urgent message to George to come and help him out. He had
almost certainly run out of sermons by that time and meetings
were to continue for seven weeks. There were a total of 130
who made profession of faith. There were also a good number
of cases of healing reported as well as quite a few also being
baptised in the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues. The original
group of 15 was greatly encouraged as it was greatly enlarged.
Reports of the meetings appeared in The Life of Faith,44Confidence,45
and Cecil Polhill’s, Flames of Fire.46 Polhill visited
At the close of these meetings the brothers
went to the remote village of Penybont, then in Radnorshire
some five miles from Llandrindod Wells. The invitation came
from a Quaker J.P. and farmer, Joseph Owen Jenkins (1856-1944).
Though the place was remote the meetings were well attended
and there was a very good response to the preaching of the
brothers. They received many invitations to hold meeting in
other places. Among these places was the Welsh Church in City
Road, London and Arundel Square Congregational Church. This
was the place where D. L. Moody had begun his London Ministry.
Their stay in the city concluded with ten days in Holborn
George Jeffreys sent a report of the meetings
to Alexander Boddy and in his reply Mr Boddy invited the brothers
to speak at the evangelistic meetings in Sunderland at the
forthcoming convention here beginning on May 20th. George
Jeffreys went there accompanied by a group from Wales. He
is to be seen with a group in a photograph that was taken
at the time. They took an active part in the meetings, especially
in singing and in the open-air services in the town. Some
of the visitors, including some from Germany were favourably
impressed with his contribution and Confidence carried a report
in its July edition.
Visitors came from and near and far. Among
that number was Frank Bartleman and a number from Ireland.
One of these was William Gillespie a young businessman from
Belfast. He had been converted in 1907 through the preaching
on of an American Pentecostal minister, William Anderson from
Philadelphia. Anderson had visited Ireland together with one
of his congregation, Lottie Smith whom he subsequently married.
Her brother, Joseph (1890-1980), a cousin of the Gillespie
brothers, on his return from Philadelphia joined the Elim
Evangelistic Band in Ireland in 1919.47
The brothers, in a practical expression enclosed three ten
shilling notes (worth £1.50 today but a very useful
sum at that time and enough to pay George’s fare to
Ireland). George was able to pay his first visit there at
the end of the year. Meetings were usually held over the Christmas
period but the first attempt to hold meetings in Monaghan
were thwarted when the local Methodists, in whose hall the
services were to be held, cancelled the engagement, even though
the leaflets had been printed.
George returned later and a group of young
men met in Knox’s Temperance Hotel, The Diamond, Monaghan
on Thursday, January 7th 1915. The reason of the meeting was,
“ for the purpose of discussing the best means of reaching
Ireland with the full Gospel on Pentecostal lines.”
This meeting resulted in the formation of
the Elim Evangelistic Band by George Jeffreys. The first to
join was Robert Ernest Darragh who had been a student at Preston
for a short time 1914-15. Margaret Montgomery Streight who
had applied to the PMU but had been turned down as “being
too fanatical”, also now joined him.
Interestingly another who had spent some time in Preston was
Ernest John Phillips (1893-1973) who would become the long-time
Secretary General of Elim. Another former Preston student,
Percy Newton Corry (1892-1940) and an early PMU missionary
to India would join Elim in 1927 at Dean of the Bible College
Later in 1915 a meting room was opened in
Belfast. The small hall in Hunter Street off Shaftsbury Square
was to be the first Elim Church in Britain. George Jeffreys
became pastor and it was named, “ Elim Christ Church.”
Having the pastorate 26-year old George became exempt from
military service when this was introduced in 1916 following
the heavy losses in France and elsewhere in the war. At a
later service George received another ordination following
the laying on of hands by his brother, Stephen. One might
ask, who ordained him? The answer would be that a number of
ministers in Llanelly had recognised his ministry in Island
Place following his meetings in the town in 1913 and his subsequent
work in the town. In an elaborate Ordination Certificate that
was drawn up during a convention on July 18th 1917 and signed
by W. Moelfryn Morgan, Bettws, Ammonford and Stephen as ministers.
The other five who signed were designated as deacons of the
church. They included George W. Gillespie and Robert Ernest
In the elaborate certificate and with a desire to give an
earlier date and more time to his experience it was recorded
that he “ was set apart for the regular work of the
Christian ministry by the independent Apostolic Church known
as Emmanuel Christ Church, in the town of Maesteg in the County
of Glamorgan, Wales on the thirteenth day of November in the
year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and twelve…”
Mr Morgan had been a minister for 27 years before he was converted
in July 1915. He was baptised in the Spirit five months later.
When he was at the meetings in Ireland together with George
and Stephen it was the first time that he had ever preached
in English. He carefully wrote out his sermon but abandoned
this after a short time and he discovered a new eloquence
according to his testimony at the time.
A Statement of Faith was drawn up49 and this
to become the Statement of Fundamental Truths of the Elim
Evangelistic Band. The same was used to form the Statement
of Fundamental Truths issued by the Provisional Council of
the General Council of the Assemblies of God following the
meetings in Sheffield in May 1922.50
That effort proved abortive and eventually the Assemblies
of God of Great Britain and Ireland became a separate body
following a conference in Birmingham in February 1924. The
Elim Evangelistic Band met in Belfast at the end of 1924 and
discussed the possibility of amalgamation. They were unable
to meet before that date owing to the absence of George and
Stephen Jeffreys, E.C.W Boulton, James McWhirter and R. E.
Darragh in Canada and the United States between June and the
end of October. The twenty-one members decided:
“…We believe it to be the will
of God that we work each on our own lines, as heretofore,
both striving, side by side with mutual sympathy, for the
salvation of souls and the truths which are so dear to us.”
Many years later, when I interviewed Robert Tweed (1899-1992),
the last surviving member of that group, he had no recollection
of either the meeting or of the decision. He had very good
recall of many details of those early times.
There were twenty-two Elim churches in Ireland
by 1922; there was one in Dowlais, Wales where Stephen Jeffreys
was the minister from 1920. George Jeffreys began meetings
in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex in 1921 and this was followed by Grimsby
and Hull with other places to follow where small meetings
had been already established. Examples of this were seen in
Tamworth where F. B. Phillips (1896-1979) the printer of the
first Elim Evangel in 1919 then lived. Meetings were also
held in Letchworth where H.C. Phillips (1891-1973) lived.
He became a missionary in Africa in 1928 and founded the Emmanuel
Press. Their initials of E.J., F.B. and H.C distinguished
the three brothers. They were all sons of John Phillips of
Bedford who was for a time one of the leaders of Costain Street
in Bedford. They were members of the Anglo-Jewish family of
Phillips that included the well-known auctioneers. One of
their ancestors was the first Jewish Lord Mayor of London.
There are many reasons why emerging Christian
groups develop into separate denominations. The Methodist
Church became a separate denomination even though John Wesley
resisted such a step for many years. His hand was forced by
the refusal of Dr Louth, Bishop of London to ordain any more
ministers for the church in America. The bishop was satisfied
that the three ministers who were there was sufficient for
the needs of the whole country.51
One of the reasons why the American Assemblies
of God were registered, as a denomination was in order to
obtain concessionary train fares for their ministers.
The Bible Pattern Church that was established
by George Jeffreys in Nottingham in 1940 after he left Elim
was set up in order to give exemption to military service
for two of his ministers, Albert Edsor and Albion Gaunt.
In the case of Elim, the early Evangelistic
Band was registered as a denomination because of legal and
financial complications that arose over a legacy contained
in a will.
A Welsh lady, Mrs Jane Rees, who came originally
from Maesteg died near Aberystwyth on November 5th 1917. In
her will she had George Jeffreys “…residual legatee
of all that may remain of the estate…”52 This
was disputed, both by the executor and by some of her family.
After long and costly arguments, in which it was shown that
George had behaved properly, the matter was finally settled
in September 1925. More than £1,000 was taken up in
lawyers’ fees. The total amount that was paid over was
£901.7.7. The money was used to pay for the new Belfast
There were discussions on the issue with
George’s Dublin solicitor, J. A. Henderson, brother
of William and Adelaide Henderson, members of the Evangelistic
Band. John Leach K.C., Deputy Recorder of Belfast and Judge
of the County Court of Antrim. He advised George Jeffreys
to register his group under the name of the Elim Pentecostal
Alliance. This enabled them to hold property and it was to
mean that the money was held in trust and that the gift was
exempt from tax. A Council were appointed and John Leach became
President. One of their Advisors was the distinguished Church
of Ireland clergyman, Thomas Hackett (1850-1939) whose youngest
sister was wife of the Primate of All Ireland from 1911-1950.
Thus, though there was no intention to establish another denomination,
this was the result. It was by no means the first time in
the history of the Church. It would not be the last.
With the adoption of the new name it became
necessary to frame a constitution. The Elim Evangelistic Band
at their Christmas meeting in 1922 adopted this. 53 This was
to use Richard Massey’s 54 phrase, “ a rather
loose Constitution”. Donald Gee, who would become a
leading figure in the Assemblies of God in Britain and Secretary
of the world Pentecostal Conference, paid a visit to the Elim
work in Ireland 54 early in 1923. He was favourably impressed
and on his return to Edinburgh he wrote to William Henderson
in Belfast making an application for himself 55 to join the
Elim Pentecostal Alliance. Shortly after this he wrote to
E. C. W Boulton 56, who had been Secretary to the group who
had helped to initiate the Sheffield Conference and had recently
joined Elim together with his congregation following highly
successful meetings conducted by Stephen Jeffreys in May 1922.
While these applications were being considered
George Jeffreys revised the 1922 Constitution, 56 and E. J.
Phillips sent an advanced proof copy to Donald Gee57to see
if this would make any difference to his application. Unfortunately
these changes appeared to Mr Gee to give increased power to
one individual (George Jeffreys) and Gee felt that he was
unable to proceed with his application. He also felt that
there would be restrictions placed upon him and that he would
not have been as free to also engage in a wider ministry as
he had done previously.58
In the year that followed George Jeffreys
was constantly revising his books of Rules and Regulations.
There were to be some sixteen different separate books, pamphlets
or leaflets before the introduction of the Deed Poll in 1934.
All of these earlier documents were marked, “ Private
and Confidential.” When new Rules were sent out the
ministers were asked to return the earlier ones. It is small
wonder that when Bryan Wilson wrote what was to be the first
academic attempt at writing a history of the Elim Church in
the late 1950s.59 He was totally unaware of almost all of
these documents. It is just possible that some of them may
have been in those that were one in the British Library collection
that were destroyed when the part of the library was destroyed
during the war-time blitz.
The Elim work in the north of Ireland continued
to grow and it would probably have spilled over to the mainland
earlier but for the difficult period during the war and its
aftermath. George Jeffreys was frequently absent in England
where he ministered to the troops in some places or wherever
churches were open to him. The main reason for his ministry
outside of Ireland was in order to raise funds to support
his growing work60. One of the places that he visited and
of which we have details was a small work that was led by
Howard Carter (1891-1971) in Lee, London. The extant church
book covering that period tells of the meetings that were
conducted in April 1920. The book gives the name of the preacher
and the title of his message. It also records the names of
some of the converts. Among these we read the names of those
who would become well know in the future of the Assemblies
During the time that the Elim work was growing
in Ireland there were other groups working on the mainland.
The first of these was that linked with the Apostolic Faith
Church established by William Oliver Hutchinson in Bournemouth.
They made rapid strides for a few years, particularly in Wales
and they attracted a number of workers from other groups who
joined their ministry. They had a number of churches in Scotland
but in the period 1915/15 the main group in Wales separated
from Hutchinson as began to teach a number of increasingly
eccentric ideas61. Later, in 1922 some senior ministers including
Percy Brooke and William George Hathaway went to Bournemouth
in order to confront Hutchinson. They wrote a report that
was entitled “ Shipwreck” outlining their complaints
but their plea went unheeded. Hathaway returned to Kilsyth
and eventually joined Elim following George Jeffreys meeting
in Glasgow in 1927. He never acknowledged his connection with
the Apostolic Faith.
The Welsh Churches that had previously been associated with
the Apostolic Faith were lead by Daniel Powell Williams (1882-1947)
and his brother William Jones Williams (1891-1945) seceded
and formed the Apostolic Church centred on the small village
of Penygroes in Carmarthenshire. These were mainly in West
Wales and some were Welsh-speaking. Later groups from Hereford,
Bradford and Scotland joined them.
W. F. P. Burton (1886-1971), pioneer missionary
in the Belgium Congo and founder of the Congo Evangelistic
Mission was on his first furlough in Britain in 1921. In his
travels round the country he saw the divided state of the
Pentecostal churches. He became one of the prime movers in
bringing together many of the leading figures62 at a conference
in Sheffield in May 1922. The meetings were held in the Montgomery
Hall following a series of evangelistic meetings conducted
by George Jeffreys. At this meeting they drew up a constitutional
document and a statement of faith that was signed by the leading
figures63. These included Alfred Howard Carter, Thomas Myerscough
and E.W. Moser all of whom would join the Assemblies of God
in 1924. George Jeffreys and George Kingston represented Elim.
Boulton, who was Secretary, was to join Elim. A provisional
General Council was appointed and it took on the name of the
Assemblies of God in Great Britain and Ireland (the Irish
leaders were George Jeffreys and William Henderson). Tom Mercy
and George Vale represented the Welsh assemblies. The President
was Thomas Myerscough.
The response to this circular was disappointing.
In England only 10 assemblies were in agreement. Out of 20
in London there was only 1 in favour of joining. Thus the
effort came to naught. In 1983 at a meeting of representatives
of the joint Executives of Elim and the Assemblies of God
in Nottingham I produced an original copy of the 1922 document.
None of those present had ever seen or heard of its existence
nor were they aware of the Sheffield Conference. Subsequently
a copy was discovered in the Nottingham archives (Elim had
several copies!). Arising out of the Nottingham meeting an
archive was established to hold materials on the history of
the Pentecostal Churches in Great Britain. This would include
a fine and growing collection of books, letters, papers, periodicals
and photographs on all aspects of Pentecostal history.
A year after Sheffield it was another oversees
visitor, Archibald Cooper, pastor of the Full Gospel Tabernacle,
Durban who was later to become the Moderator of the Full Gospel
Church in South Africa who sought to bring the leaders together
again. Donald Gee, writing after Cooper’s died in August
1959 wrote: 64
“ Assemblies of God in Great Britain
and Ireland owe him a great debt as it was largely his undaunted
efforts to overcome prejudice against organisation among the
scores of little independent Pentecostal meetings in the British
Isles that finally resulted in the historic meeting in Birmingham
on February 1st, 1924 that led up to the formation of the
Fellowship that has now grown to over 500.”
The Secretary was John Nelson Parr (1886-1976)
of Manchester.65 On this occasion there was a more favourable
response. Early returns indicated that some twenty assemblies
were in agreement.66 Before everything was settled a further
meeting was called at 73, Highbury New Park, London May 8-9.
Most of the Elim workers were not invited. Three of the Elim
Overseers wrote a letter to the brethren at the conference
to see if there “…is any possible chance of us
getting together to talk over the matter of uniting for the
sake and glory of Christ.” As a result, the Elim representatives
were present on the second day. Unfortunately most of the
positions were had already been decided upon and by the time
that they arrived it seemed as if some of those who were present
would have had to go back and undo these. This was not the
end however. The discussion was electrified when E. J. Phillips
made the bold suggestion that there should be one Movement
and that the Elim Evangelistic Band should become its evangelistic
arm!67 One further meeting was held when the newly appointed
executive met with the Elim representatives in Birmingham
on June 7th. The planned to meet two or three times a year
and agreed that the proposed link up should be put to the
next meeting of the Elim Evangelistic Band that were to meet
in Ireland at their Christmas meeting in Belfast.
On June 21st George and Stephen Jeffreys,
Boulton, Darragh and James McWhirter left the country for
a lengthy tour of Canada and the United States. They did not
return until October 15th, 1924. It was unfortunate in some
ways that the Elim party had not gone in 1923 ad they had
planned to do. The trip seems to have also changed George
Jeffreys’ attitude in some ways. He did not say very
much about this but the did inform Phillips in a letter that
in his opinion that “…the Assemblies of God [in
USA] is not working.” It would appear that he became
aware of some of the difficulties that the American group
were having at that time. George, ever the pragmatist concluded
that it would not be a good thing to be to closely associated
with what appeared to be a similar body in Britain. Yet, it
was his first visit to Los Angeles and seeing the work of
Aimee Semple McPherson and her Angelus Temple that made a
great impression on his mind. This was so much so that shortly
after his return he added the term “ Foursquare”
to his own Movement. What had been successively the Elim Evangelistic
Band had become the Elim Pentecostal Alliance then became
the Elim Foursquare Gospel Alliance (the name that it still
holds for official purpose).
When the Elim Evangelistic Band met in Belfast
on December 27th, 1924 they reviewed the progress of that
had been made since the beginning in their own movement. It
“… They dare not take the risk of altering the
present working arrangements.
[After] …carefully…and prayerfully considering
the question of amalgamation with the Assemblies of Great
Britain and Ireland [we] believe it to be the will of God
that we each work on our own lines.”
This was surely a great missed opportunity.
It would have needed great courage at that time. There were
powerful characters involved and some were to take positions
that became polarised.
A few years ago, when I interviewed the last
surviving members of the twenty-two members of that meeting
of the Evangelistic Band, neither could remember the meeting,
though both have very vivid memories of events prior to that
time. One of them, Robert Tweed had seconded the proposal.
Ten years later, in 1934 when the Deed Poll
was drawn up, James McWhirter made an interesting observation:68
“ It was Principal Jeffreys who, in
co-operation with W. Burton was instrumental in the year 1921[sic-1922]
of gathering together the leaders of the disjointed Pentecostal
movements of the British Isles who are now a duly recognised
denomination called the Assemblies of God… the example
of our method of Church government has been copied by various
branches of the Movement at home and abroad, for the good
reason that it has proved the best.
“Thirteen years ago, when the Principal
was invited to accept another mode of government, he said
he would do so when it was tried and proved more successful
than his own. Its trial up to the present has only proved
When the Assemblies of God of Great Britain
and Ireland was formed some seventy assemblies joined. There
were 7 in Lomdon, 1 in Belfast and 30 in the rest of England.
There were none in Scotland at first. Wales and Monmouthshire
added another 39. The Welsh group had applied to the American
Assemblies of God in the United States of America for registration
as one of their districts in 1922. They were advised by E.
N. Bell to seek affiliation with a British group. They were
sent sufficient copies of the Statement of Faith of the American
group. It was the wording of the phrase, “initial evidence”
in that Statement that was to be incorporated with the forthcoming
constitution of the British body. This would be the wording
that was to be one of the things distinguishing the British
Assemblies of God from the other of what is now referred to
as the Mainline Pentecostal bodies, Elim and the Apostolic
Church. Neither of these use the word words “ initial
evidence” in any of their statements of their doctrinal
position. The Apostolic Church for example in its doctrinal
statement of Fundamental Doctrinal Beliefs identifies: “
The Baptism of the Holy Ghost for believers, with signs following.”69
The Elim Church used similar words following the Biblical
phrase taken from Mark 16; 16-20:
“ The Baptiser. We believe that our Lord Jesus Christ
is the baptiser in the Holy Ghost, and that this baptism with
signs following is promised to every believer.”
When the Fundamentals of the Elim Pentecostal
Church were changed in 1999 the statement on the work of the
Holy Spirit was expanded to include his work in the total
plan of salvation. The wording in respect to the baptism of
the Spirit read:
“ …the believer is also promised
an enduement of power as the gift of Christ through the baptism
of the Holy Spirit with signs following. Thought this enduement
the believer is empowered for fuller participation in the
ministry of the Church, to its worship, evangelism and service.”
Stephen Jeffreys served as pastor, first in Island Place,
Llanelli from 1914 until 1920. He had conducted meetings in
the town for one of the Baptist ministers and he was invited
to stay on in Island place. He was highly regarded by the
ministers in the town though he was frequently absent preaching
in other places whenever there was an opportunity. Following
a series of meetings in Dowlais in what was an independent
hall he became pastor of a church in the town and this became
associated with Elim. He remained there as pastor until late
1924 when he was engaged as a full-time evangelist by Elim
under special arrangements. This was organised by. J. Phillips,
E. C. W Boulton and Ludwig Naumann of the Baltic Exchange.
In the earliest of these meetings Stephen began in barking
in the east end of London. At first numbers were few but after
an outstanding miracle of healing crowds besieged the meeting
place. Stephen moved on and his brother George continued the
meetings. Within a short time they were able to open several
churches including East Ham and Ilford. Among those who were
converted during this time or were drawn from other churches
and joined Elim, Percy Brewster, Douglas Gray, Arthur and
Gladys Gorton and Edward and Walter Cole. Brewster became
an evangelist and minister of Cardiff City temple for 35 years
before becoming Secretary General of Elim and Secretary to
the World Pentecostal Conference. Douglas Gray was leader
of the London Crusader Choir.
If the brothers had been able to follow this
way of working much more might have been accomplished. Stephen
however launched out apart from his brother. He found that
the Assemblies of God were able to find an opening for him.
Alfred Missen who was to become General Secretary of the Assemblies
of God (he was first introduced to Pentecostal meetings under
Stephen’s ministry in Doncaster in 1928) wrote:70
“ It is not too much to say that his
campaigns altered the whole character of the Movement. Small
meetings gave place to crowded campaign services…To
the select companies of mature Christians were added many
hundreds of new converts, many of them won to Christ with
no previous experience of the things of God.”
For the years between 1926 and 1928 Stephen
Jeffreys was very active with the Assemblies of God. He helped
to establish or build up a number of assemblies in Kent and
in the north of England. The two of the most spectacular were
in Bishops Auckland in the spring of 1927 where whole families
were converted. Among these were the four Young brothers,
Clarence, Clyde, Harold and Norman. All of became ministers
in the Assemblies of God. In September of the same year Stephen
commence a series of meetings in Sunderland. It was exactly
20 years after the visit of T. B. Barratt. Such crowds gathered
that mounted police had to be used to control the crowds.
One of the papers said that the scenes of those who came seeking
healing were those, “resembling the scene in a waiting
room of a large hospital.”
George Jeffreys was also expanding his work.
At the end of 1925 he purchased the former Redemptorist Convent
in Clapham and this was opened in January 1926 as the Elim
Bible College with E.J. Phillips as the Dean. The title of
Principal for the head of the college was not used until the
1960s though George Jeffreys was called Principal, as was
Percy Parker (1890-1959) from 1927. During the years between
1925 and 1934 George would be responsible for founding fifty-one
churches. Some of these had been started by other people but
all were small and most had been struggling along and made
little impact. Their locations stretched from Plymouth to
Carlisle in England to Aberdeen in Scotland and Swansea in
Wales. The 21 churches left in Ireland after George left there
in 1922 to pioneer in Clapham, London remained virtually static
and it would be forty years before the total reached over
Growth would be patchy. South London and Birmingham witnessed
the opening of a number of churches but the former would find
the wartime conditions particularly difficult.
London was to hold a particularly important place in Elim
History. It was to be the place where the Bible College, the
Publishing Company and the administrative offices were to
remain for forty years. The hundreds of students who studied
there remembered the college. The ministers were regularly
in touch with the various offices at 20, Clarence Avenue.
The city would have a greater draw to many Elim people for
many years. The reason for this was that large meetings would
be held in there, particularly at Easter time beginning in
1926 and continuing without interruption every year until
the outbreak of WW2.
The first occasion when these large meetings
were held was at Easter in 1926. Easter was a time of a longer
public holiday and the railway companies offered reduced fares
to London. This gave people living in the provinces the opportunity
to take the whole family on an excursion and at moderate cost.
It had seemed possible that Elim and the Assemblies of God
would share meetings in Kingsway Hall that year but this did
not take place. At the end of January it was learned that
Aimee Semple McPherson was expecting to preach in London.
She held a few meetings there from March 4-7 and these were
well attended. She went on to visit Palestine and on her way
stopped off in Paris. It was from there that she phoned Elim
offices on a Saturday morning to say that she would be spending
a few days in London before a brief stopover in Ireland.
As Elim were planning to hold their meetings in Surrey Tabernacle
off the Walworth Road from April 2-11 they made the snap decision
to hire the Albert Hall for Easter Sunday, April 4th and that
Aimee should preach there at night and again in the evening
of Monday. Huge crowds attended and provision had to be made
for a large gathering of the Press. George Jeffreys preached
on Healing on Monday afternoon.
This was the first time that Pentecostals
had ever hired such a large prestigious hall. It would not
be the last. From 1926 to 1939 George Jeffreys preached there
every Easter. He would fill the place year after year without
having to rely upon the additional attraction of Aimee.
After her return on April 26th to Los Angeles,
Aimee “disappeared” after going swimming off Venice
Beach on Tuesday afternoon May 18th. A widespread search was
made for her (she was a powerful swimmer) but she was not
found. In desperation her mother, Minnie Kennedy wired George
Jeffreys with the news. This was followed with an urgent invitation
for him to come and help them. The cablegram included the
words: “ Imperative need you here immediately this crisis
hour cable earliest possible date you can leave. Mother Kennedy.”
As an immediate response George cabled intimating that it
was impossible for him to go to Angelus Temple at present.71
The next issue of the Elim Evangel contained
a picture of Angelus Temple that was described as “the
largest church membership in the world.” It also said
that they were “ calling for Pastor George Jeffreys.”
They asked, “ Will our readers pray that the will of
the Lord may be done.” 72
On June 23rd,five weeks after Aimee “disappeared”
she turned up in a Mexican border town saying that she had
It was not the last contact that George had
with the American evangelist. She would visit Britain again
for a tour covering all for countries. The meetings were organised
by the Elim leaders and George’s driver, Albert Edsor
drover her to places as far apart as Exeter, Brighton and
Glasgow. For all the media interest they made little impact
and Jeffreys himself felt that it harmed his work in some
ways. Expectations were not the same on this side of the Atlantic.
It was not very far geographically from Brixton to the Royal
Albert Hall but such a move meant that British Pentecostalism
had travelled a long way in other respects in a very short
time. Though they never reached the level of penetration that
was to be seen later in countries like Sweden, Brazil or Korea,
British Pentecostalism would play an important part in its
worldwide witness. This would be seen in the contribution
of writers like Donald Gee or evangelists like George and
Stephen Jeffreys in addition to the unique contribution of
the inimitable Bradford plumber, Smith Wigglesworth.73
1Report in Confidence, October 1916, p.167.
2 Mary E Hooker, Adventures of An Agnostic, Marshall, Morgan
and Scott, 1959. Tongues of Fire, November 1907.
3 Jack Ford, In The Steps of John Wesley, Nazarene Publishing
House, Kansas City, 1968, p.300.
4 Life of Faith, August 16, 1905. J. B. Figgis, “Iddo”;
August 23, A.T.Pierson, “ A Review of the Convention”;
November 22, Robert Middleton.
5 Western Mail Cardiff, January 28, 1905. Total 70,000. See
also D. M. Phillips, Evan Roberts, The Great Revivalist and
His Work, Second Edition Marshall Bros., 1906, pp.455-462.
6 South Wales Daily News, February 20th, 1905.
7 Martin Robinson, The Charismatic Anglican- Historical and
Contemporary: A Comparison of the Life and Work of Alexander
Boddy (1854-190). Unpublished M.Litt dissertation, University
of Birmingham, 1976.
8 Robert M. Anderson, Vision of the Disinherited, Oxford University
Press, 1979, p.64.
9 Frank Bartleman, How Pentecost Came to Los Angeles, 2nd
edition, 1925, and p.18. Reprinted in, Azusa Street: The Roots
of Modern-Day Pentecost, Introduction by Vinson Synan, Logos
10 Vinson Synan, The Holiness/Pentecostal Movement in the
United States, Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, 1971, p.99.
11 Cyril G. Williams Tongues of the Spirit, University of
Wales Press, Cardiff, 1981, p.55.
12 T. N. Turnbull, Brothers in Arms, Puritan Press, Bradford,
13 Brian R. Ross, “Sectarian in Search of A Church (1891-1966),
Evangelical Quarterly L: No.2April/June 1978, pp.94-103. ibid
Donald Gee: In Search of a Church, Knox College, Toronto,
1974. John Carter, Donald Gee-Pentecostal Statesman, Assemblies
of God, Nottingham, 1975, p.75.
14 Edward Jeffreys, Stephen Jeffreys-Beloved Evangelist, Elim
Publishing Co., 1946, p.3.
15 Times, March7 th, 1905.
16 Arthur Goodrich, et.el. The Story of the Welsh Revival,
Fleming H. Revell and Co., 34d ed., 1905, 13
17 Brindley Richards, Eglwys Siloh, Maesteg, Nantyffyllon
1841-1941, Maesteg, 194.
18 E. C. W. Boulton, George Jeffreys; A Ministry of the Miraculous,
Elim Publishing Company, 1928,p.11.
19 C. R. Williams,” The Welsh Religious Revival. “British
Journal of Sociology, September 1952,p.254.
20 T. B. Barratt, When the Fire Fell and an outline Of My
Life, Oslo, 1927 P.96.
21 Arthur Mercer, The South African Pioneer, xx, February
22 Clarence Hall, Samuel Logan Brengle: Portrait of a Prophet,
Salvation Army, New York, 1933, pp. 232-236. See also William
Clark, Dearest Lilly…A selection of the Brengle correspondence
edited and arranged by William Clark, International Headquarters
of the Salvation Army, 1985, pp.4-6.
23 Confidence October 1916,p.169.
24 Confidence, May 1908, p.6.
25 Confidence, April 1908, p.6. He wrote a postcard to tell
Jessie Penn-Lewis about his experience. The letter was preserved
among her papers when Brynmor Pierce Jones gave them to the
author in 1997. It now forms fart of the Penn-Lewis Papers
in The Donald Gee Centre at Mattersey Hall.
26 Pentecost, No. 12, June 1950, p.12.
27 Confidence, April 1908, p.6.
28 Stanley H. Frodsham, With Signs Following, Gospel Publishing
House, Springfield MO., 1946, p.61.
29 Pentecostal Missionary Union Minute book, Index,”
30 Church Times, September 12th, 1930.
31 Elim Evangel, vol. iv.No.1. January 1923, p.7.
32 When this paper was given in 1981 little had been written
on the life of Wigglesworth apart from Stanley Frodsham’s,
Smith Wigglesworth, Apostle of Faith, Gospel Publishing House,
Springfield, MO, 1947. The Elim Publishing Company reprinted
this in Britain in 1949. Since then several others have appeared.
Jack Hywel-Davies, The Life of Smith Wigglesworth, Hodder
and Stoughton, 1987. Desmond Cartwright, The Real Smith Wigglesworth,
Sovereign World, Tonbridge, Kent, 2000, Baker books, Grand
Rapids, MI, 2003. Julian Wilson, Wigglesworth The Complete
Story, Authentic Media, Milton Keynes, 2002.
33 Boddy to Barratt, October 29th, 1907.
34 Stewart P Evans, Executioner: The Chronicles of James Berry
Victorian Hangman, Sutton Publishing 2004, pp.309-312
35 Confidence April 1908,pp.7-8.
36 Peter Hocken, “Cecil Polhill-Pentecostal Layman”,
Pneuma Fall 1988. 10:2 pp.116-140.
37 Bethel Messenger, vol. IV. December 1931, p.187.
38 David Ollerton, The Revival’s Children, Early Welsh
Pentecostalism, Cefn Cribwr, 1980,p.18.
39 See Kent White, The Word of God Coming Again, Apostolic
Faith, Bournemouth, 1919. James E. Worsfold, The Origins of
the Apostolic Church in Britain, Wellington, New Zealand,
40 Percy J. Brooke, The United Apostolic Faith Church Story,
Evangel Press, London, .
41 Pentecostal Missionary Union Minute Book, I, p.190.
42. Thomas Myerscough, “ The Holy Spirit and the Spirit
of Christ,” Elim Evangel, v.No.7. July 1924, pp.156-160.
George Jeffreys, Pentecostal Rays, Elim Publishing Co., 1933,
pp. 39-52. See also, The Foursquare Revivalist, March 29,1929,pp.4-5.
43 PMU Minute Book, l, p.250.
44 George Griffiths, What God Hath Wrought, Port Talbot Press,
44 “ Wales in the Dawn of Revival,” Life of Faith,
February 5th, 1913.
45 Confidence, vi.2. February 191, pp.27-29.
46 “ A sound of Rain,” Flames of Fire, Ed. Cecil
Polhill, No.10. February, 1913, pp
47 A detailed study of this story is told in James Robinson’s,
Pentecostal Origins: Early Pentecostalism in Ireland n the
Context of the British Isle, Paternoster Press, 2005, pp.
48 Elim Evangelistic Minute Book. See, Albert Edsor, George
Jeffreys: Man of God, Ludgate Press, 1964,p.23. The original
Minute Book is now held in the Donald Gee Centre at Mattersey
49 George Jeffreys, Elim Christ Church What We Believe, Belfast,
50 See Richard Massey, “ A Sound Scriptural Union”,
an examination of the Assemblies of God in Great Britain and
Ireland during the years 1920-25. Unpublished Ph.D. Birmingham
51 A .W. Harrison, The Separation of Methodism from the Church
of England, Epworth Press, 1945.
52 Affidavit of the said George Jeffreys, Re. Jane Rees deceased,
High Court of Justice, Chancery Division, Mr Justice Younger
1918 R 854.
53 Constitution of the Elim Pentecostal Alliance, by Pastor
George Jeffreys, Christmas 1922. 14p.
54 Richard Massey, Another Springtime: The Life of Donald
Gee, Pentecostal Pioneer Highland Books, Guilford, Surrey,
54 Donald Gee, “ A Visit to Elim”, Elim Evangel,
May 1923, pp.81-82.
55 Gee to Henderson, March 23rd, 1923.
56 Gee to Boulton, April 10th, 1923.
56 Constitution of the Elim Pentecostal Alliance, by Pastor
George Jeffreys, Revised, July 1923. This was further amended
at Christmas in the same year.
57 E. J. Phillips to Donald Gee, July 14th, 1923.
58 Gee to Phillips, July 18th, 1923.
59 “ Social Aspects of Religious Sects: A Study of Contemporary
Groups in Great Britain. With Special Reference to a Midland
City”, London University Ph. D. thesis, 1955, 2 vols
(manuscript.). Heinemann subsequently published this in 1961
under the title, Sects and Society. The section that was particularly
concerned with Elim-the most important part of the whole work-
occupies the first part of the book (pp.15-118) but the writer
seem to have been unaware of any of these earlier documents.
60 Elim Christ Church Minute Book, June 6 1922.
61 There have been several accounts of this. James Worsfold,
The Origins of the Apostolic Church in Great Britain, Julian
Literature Trust, Wellington, New Zealand, 1991. Gordon Weeks,
Chapter Thirty-Two- Part of A History of the Apostolic Church,
Barnsley, 2003. Malcolm R. Hathaway, “ The Role of William
Oliver Hutchinson and the Formation of the Apostolic Faith
Church in the formation of British Pentecostalism” Journal
of the European Pentecostal Theological Association, 1996.vol.
xvi, pp. 40-57.
62 E.C. Boulton, Circular, April 27th, 1922.
63 Circular 24.8.1922,1p. Constitution, 2pp.
64 Obituary. Archibald Cooper, Durban, South Africa, Redemption
Tidings, September 25th, 1959. P.9.
65 J. N. Parr, Incredible, Fleetwood, n.d. 
66 E. W. Moser to T. H. Mundell, January 30th, 1924,p.2.
67 John Carter, “ E. J. Phillips, A tribute to ‘
The Architect of Elim’”, Redemption Tidings, October
11, 1973, pp8-9. ibid. Howard Carter-Man of the Spirit, Assemblies
of God, Nottingham, 1971, pp. 77-78.
68 James McWhirter, Elim Evangel, March 2nd, 1934, p.136.
69 The Apostolic Church Its Principles and Practices, Apostolic
Publications, 1937, p.18.
70 Alfred Missen, The Sound of a Going, Assemblies of God,
Nottingham, 1973, p.20.
71 “A Tribute to Sister McPherson, Elim Evangel, June,
I, 1926, p.122.
72 Elim Evangel, June 15, 1926, p.142.
73 Desmond Cartwright, The Real Smith Wigglesworth Sovereign