Thomas Myerscough was a Lancashire Estate
Agent in based in Preston, England. Saved in 1874 Thomas
was the leader of a group of Bible students described by
Donald gee as a ‘small company of devoted followers
of the Lord Jesus, who were meeting to study the deeper
things of God.’ They were members of several local
churches, and took the name of the "Preston Evangelistic
Association". They used to gather almost every evening
for Bible study, and then go out to preach. Among them were
William F. P. Burton, James Salter and Edmund Hodgson.
A Methodist Class Leader in nearby Lytham
had received the Pentecostal experience in Sunderland, and
was holding remarkable meetings in his own house. A deputation
of four went over from the Preston group to investigate
and they each believed this move was of God. For nine months
they searched the scriptures and became convinced that only
unbelief had robbed the Church of the gifts of the Spirit.
In 1909, at the Sunderland Whitsuntide Convention, Thomas
was baptised in the Holy Spirit.
The growing Pentecostal Missionary Union
was placed in his care at Preston. Many outstanding Pentecostal
leaders who passed through this training base were George
Jeffreys (1889-1962), R.E. Darragh (1886-1959) and E. J.
Phillips (1893-1973), all subsequently Elim ministers, and
W. J. Boyd of China. In addition the pioneers of the Congo
Evangelistic Mission also trained here – W.F.P. Burton
(1886-1971) and James Salter (1890-1972)). In time inevitable
clashes of doctrine occurred with the Anglican leaders of
the P.M.U., and so, in 1918 Cecil Polhill opened an official
Men's Training Home in London. But the senior students completed
their training In Preston under Mr. Myerscough. Burton and
Salter went out independently of the P.M.U. to the Congo,
and Mr. Myerscough promised to stand behind these great
pioneers from the homeland. He was the first secretary-treasurer
of the Congo Evangelistic Mission until his death in March
During the 1920s there was a growing sense
of the need of closer co-operation among the many small
Pentecostal Assemblies in Britain. Initial efforts to draw
them together proved abortive. All were afraid of sacrificing
their complete independence, and after the eclipse of Boddy
and Polhill, following the first World War, there seemed
nobody of sufficient stature to take the lead. The only
personality who commanded general confidence was Thomas
Myerscough, and he felt too old to adopt the strenuous role
of a national leader. But the need was urgent, and finally
he promised to lend his full personal support to J. Nelson
Parr, an energetic business-man of Manchester, if he would
take the brunt of the work. As a result there was formed
in 1924 the Official Fellowship of Assemblies of God in
Great Britain and Ireland.
Thomas Myerscough had outstanding qualities
as a competent and painstaking Bible student and teacher.
He is an illustrious example of a mentor of the next generation,
multiplying his ministry through a deep and wide influence
on younger men who carried on the proclamation of the Gospel.
He will also be remembered as the pastor of the substantial
Preston Assembly and a great promoter of missionary work.
Bibliography: Donald Gee, 'These Men
I Knew' 1965; D.W. Carwright art. 'International
Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements'