Tag Archives: Great Britain

Thomas J. Jones: The Dynamic Pentecostal Preacher/Educator from England

JonesThis Week in AG History — June 20, 1942

By Ruthie Edgerly Oberg
Originally published on AG News, 20 June 2019

Thomas J. Jones (1896-1970) was a dynamic British preacher and Bible teacher, much in demand by American congregations. Jones taught at North Central Bible Institute (now North Central University) in Minneapolis for 21 years and was known as a man who could make the Old Testament come to life.

Accepting Christ as Savior in Birmingham, England, in 1914, Jones had an insatiable desire to understand God’s Word. Along with that desire came the desire to teach the Bible to anyone who would listen. He was a pastor in England when he married one of his congregants, Doris Lancaster. He found her attractive partly because she was as dedicated to the importance of teaching the Word of God as he was. Despite their great love for each other, that dedication to ministry would cost them separation, often during difficult times.

In 1937, a letter arrived at the Jones’ home with an invitation to preach in the United States. Jones told his wife, “I’ve always had an inkling to go.” Doris released him for ministry and travel while she stayed in England with their five boys. This invitation led to others in 1938 and, again, in 1939. It was while Jones was in America that Britain declared war on Germany on Sept. 3, 1939. Jones could not return home, so Doris and the children evacuated from London to a cottage 20 miles away. The bombs came within a quarter mile of their home and the doors were blown open. She and the children stood at their window and watched the sky turn orange with the burning of London during the Blitz.

Jones was able to return to his wife and children after the war, bringing with him an invitation to teach at North Central Bible Institute (NCBI), the Assemblies of God Bible school in Minneapolis. Arranging passports for the family took time; it was December 1947 before all seven members of the family were finally together, the boys arriving in English schoolboy short pants during a blizzard.

Doris would later say of Jones, “My husband studied the Bible as few did. People would quote him Scripture, and if he couldn’t pin down the chapter or verse, he could tell them the book. And he did not want to stop preaching.” She described their 40-year marriage as “wonderful” because she shared his vision for providing solid biblical teaching to anyone who wanted to hear it.

Jones was considered a “preacher’s preacher” by the students at NCBI and those who gathered around the country to hear him speak at camp meetings and ministry schools. He began each of his classes with the prayer, “Open our eyes that we may behold wondrous things out of Thy law” and then opened the Scriptures and lovingly trained thousands of young students for the ministry.

He was also concerned with ensuring that students managed the practicalities of life, often saying that young men studying for the ministry should obtain “books first, a Buick second, and then a bride.”

The Pentecostal Evangel published more than 60 articles and sermons by T.J. Jones between 1938 and 1969. The June 20, 1942, issue contained a sermon preached by Jones at the Glad Tidings Bible Institute in San Francisco called “The Blessedness of Salvation.” In the sermon he used the first two verses of Psalm 32 to give a well-thought-out doctrine of the remissions of sins. He masterfully used the words of the Psalmist to explain the different ways each person is a sinner and the ways that God perfectly provides a remedy for “transgression, sin, and iniquity” through “forgiveness, covering, and imputation.”

Jones displayed in his written sermons a principle he quoted in this particular sermon: “You can take every word (of the Scripture) and the more minutely you examine it the more wonderful it seems. Why? Because it is the Word of God.”

Jones developed heart problems in 1963 but, despite his illness, he accepted speaking assignments whenever and wherever he could. In 1967 his health forced him to retire. Although sad at stepping out of the classroom, he turned over some of his notes to students and colleagues who would take his place, receiving comfort from II Timothy 2:2, “…entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.”

Jones died in Prior Lake, Minnesota, on July 17, 1970, at the age of 74. At his funeral, the president of North Central Bible College, Cyril Homer, quoted a favorite text of Jones from Genesis 49:33, “And when Jacob had made an end of commanding his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the ghost, and was gathered to his people.” In 1974, the college named its library, the T.J. Jones Memorial Library, in his honor.

Read Jones’ sermon, “The Blessedness of Salvation,” on page 2 of the June 20, 1942 issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

• “Life A Trust” by E.S. Williams

• “Wanted: Men Who Can Pray” by Joseph Kemp

• “Prayer Brings in the Souls” by E. Hartmann

And many more!

Click here to read this issue now.

Pentecostal Evangel archived editions courtesy of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center.

Do you have Pentecostal historical materials that should be preserved? Please consider depositing these materials at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center (FPHC). The FPHC, located in the Assemblies of God national offices, is the largest Pentecostal archive in the world. We would like to preserve and make your treasures accessible to those who write the history books.

Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center
1445 North Boonville Avenue
Springfield, Missouri 65802 USA
Phone: 417.862.1447 ext. 4400
Toll Free: 877.840.5200
Email: archives@ag.org
Website: http://www.iFPHC.org

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George Jeffreys: The Boy Who Overcame a Speech Impediment to Become a Prominent British Pentecostal Evangelist

George JeffreysThis Week in AG History —October 30, 1920

By Glenn W. Gohr
Originally published on AG News, 01 November 2018

George Jeffreys (1889-1962) was possibly the most gifted preacher that the British Pentecostal Movement ever produced. He had a bold resonant voice and a magnetic personality. He had a solid background in the Bible and loved to share the gospel message. But this was not always the case.

George was the son of a miner, Thomas Jeffreys, of Nantyffylon, Maesteg, Wales. His family belonged to the Welsh Independent (Congregational) church. In his youth, George suffered from a speech impediment and showed the beginnings of facial paralysis. His life was about to change. Together with his older brother, Stephen, George was converted in the revival at Shiloh Independent Chapel in Nantyfyllon, Wales on Nov. 20, 1904, under the evangelistic ministry of Glassnant Jones. This was during the Welsh Revival.

When the Pentecostal movement was introduced to Wales early in 1908, George and Stephen were both opposed to the new revival. But after Stephen’s son, Edward, was baptized in the Spirit, the two Jeffreys brothers sought this experience for themselves. In 1911 George was baptized in the Spirit and received healing of his speech.

George was mentored by Cecil Polhill, who helped him to receive specialized Bible training under Thomas Myerscough at the Pentecostal Missionary Union Bible School at Preston, England, and then he went into evangelistic work. He held crusades in Northern Ireland during World War I and started the Elim Evangelistic Band, which later became the Elim Foursquare Gospel Alliance in Great Britain.

George and Stephen began traveling together and were known as the Jeffreys Brothers. Soon they gained the reputation of being England’s greatest evangelists since Wesley and Whitefield. From the 1920s to the 1940s, the Jeffreys Brothers conducted revival meetings throughout England and Europe, with thousands converted and others receiving healing.

As one of England’s premier evangelists, George Jeffreys’ views on revival are worth reading. The Oct. 30, 1920, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel published a message titled, “How to Get a Revival.” Using the story of King Ahaz and his son, King Hezekiah, as background, Jeffreys described a spiritual revival in Israel. He outlined these points when seeking for revival: 1) recognize the need of a revival, 2) pray and ask God for revival, 3) turn from sin and pray for forgiveness, and 4) let Christ be exalted.

According to Jeffreys, repentance and turning from sin are key factors of revival. Jeffreys referred to the Welsh Revival of 1904-1905: He said that when the “mighty power of God began to sweep through the church” that all sin had to leave, for “God cannot live where sin is.”

How long should revival last? Jeffreys responded to this question: “Thank God, a revival started in my heart 30 years ago, and it has never stopped; it will never end.” He continued by saying, “As long as Jesus is kept in the front, and made the center of fellowship and blessing and unity, the revival will never end.”

Jeffreys also pointed out that the revival under King Hezekiah included a missionary spirit as letters were written to neighboring parts of Israel for people to repent and return to the ways of God. Jeffreys closed his address with this statement: “If you want a revival ask God to give you a vision of this old world, with its sin like a troubled sea …” Then after seeing the lost around us, he said we need to pray and ask God for revival, and then confess Jesus as Lord. These simple acts of faith can lay the foundation for revival in our personal lives, in the church, and in our communities.

Read George Jeffreys’ address, “How to Get a Revival,” on pages 6-8 of the Oct. 30, 1920, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

• “Back to Pentecost”

• “Politics from the Pentecostal Perspective,” by Stanley H. Frodsham

• “Greatest Missionary Opportunity in All North Africa”

And many more!

Click here to read this issue now.

Pentecostal Evangel archived editions courtesy of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center.

Do you have Pentecostal historical materials that should be preserved? Please consider depositing these materials at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center (FPHC). The FPHC, located in the Assemblies of God national offices, is the largest Pentecostal archive in the world. We would like to preserve and make your treasures accessible to those who write the history books.

Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center
1445 North Boonville Avenue
Springfield, Missouri 65802 USA
Phone: 417.862.1447 ext. 4400
Toll Free: 877.840.5200
Email: archives@ag.org
Website: http://www.iFPHC.org

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Smith Wigglesworth: How a British Plumber Became a Noted Pentecostal Healing Evangelist

Wigglesworth

This Week in AG History — April 5, 1947

By Darrin J. Rodgers
Originally published on PE-News, 6 April 2017

Smith Wigglesworth (1859-1947) was one of the most prominent healing evangelists of the early Pentecostal movement. He was, however, largely unknown outside his town in northern England until he was 48 years old. That was when, in 1907, he was baptized in the Holy Spirit under the ministry of a Pentecostal Anglican vicar, A. A. Boddy.

Born into a very poor family, Wigglesworth started working at age 6 in factories and farms to help support his family. He had little formal education and did not learn to read or write properly until married. While his parents were not committed Christians, Wigglesworth found the gospel message compelling and spent his youth in varied churches. He accepted Christ at a Methodist revival at 8 years old, was confirmed by an Anglican bishop, was immersed in water as a Baptist, and was discipled under the Plymouth Brethren.

Wigglesworth operated a plumbing business in Bradford, England, and helped his wife with a small gospel mission. Early in his ministry, he began encouraging people to have bold faith for both salvation and healing. His stalwart belief in divine healing arose from his own experience of healing from a ruptured appendix. He understood suffering, and he felt a special call to minister to the sick.

Prior to experiencing the baptism in the Holy Spirit, Wigglesworth had gained a reputation for aggressive evangelism, but he spent little time in the pulpit. After he was baptized in the Holy Spirit, he found himself preaching with uncharacteristic fluency and boldness. People who heard him preach experienced deep conviction, and healings and miracles often followed his ministry. He became a well-known speaker across Europe and North America and also helped to establish the Pentecostal movement in New Zealand and Australia.

Wigglesworth held credentials with the Assemblies of God USA from 1924 to 1929, and Gospel Publishing House published two books of his sermons: Ever Increasing Faith (1924) and Faith That Prevails (1938). Stanley Frodsham, the editor of the Pentecostal Evangel, wrote a best-selling biography, Smith Wigglesworth: Apostle of Faith (1948). These books remain in print and have been translated into many other languages.

When Wigglesworth died suddenly of a stroke in 1947, the Pentecostal Evangel published an obituary by Donald Gee and also republished one of the healing evangelist’s classic sermons, “Be Not Afraid, Only Believe.” Gee wrote that Wigglesworth had “a unique ministry, a gift of Christ to His church.” Seventy years after his death, Smith Wigglesworth’s ministry continues to inspire and influence new generations of Pentecostals.

Read “Be Not Afraid, Only Believe” by Smith Wigglesworth and “Awaiting the Resurrection” by Donald Gee on pages 3 and 11-12 of the April 5, 1947, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

• “Walking to Emmaus,” by John Wright Follette

• “Hallelujah! Christ Arose,” by Ernest S. Williams

And many more!

Click here to read this issue now.

Pentecostal Evangel archived editions courtesy of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center.

Do you have Pentecostal historical materials that should be preserved? Please consider depositing these materials at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center (FPHC). The FPHC, located in the Assemblies of God national offices, is the largest Pentecostal archive in the world. We would like to preserve and make your treasures accessible to those who write the history books.

Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center
1445 North Boonville Avenue
Springfield, Missouri 65802 USA
Phone: 417.862.1447 ext. 4400
Toll Free: 877.840.5200
Email: archives@ag.org
Website: www.iFPHC.org

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Review: Pentecostal pioneers remembered

“Pentecostal Pioneers Remembered”: British and Irish Pioneers of Pentecost, by Keith Malcomson. N.p.: Xulon Press, 2008.

This book commemorates the 100th Anniversary of the Pentecostal Movement in Great Britain and Ireland, 1907-2007. The author has a burden for present-day revival, and he hopes that the testimonies of early Pentecostal pioneers will inspire the next generation. He calls attention to their strong emphasis on the baptism of the Holy Spirit with signs following, their belief in healing for the sick, and their belief in the authority of Scripture (which includes testing and proving all things). These are important principles for today’s generation.

The book is divided into three sections: Moulding influences; Pentecostal pioneers; and Foundation, heresies, departures, and restoration. Background topics covered include the Brethren Movement, the Keswick Convention, the Welsh Revival, and the Azusa Street Revival.

Most of the book is a collection of short testimonies and biographical sketches of a number of “fathers of the faith” in the Pentecostal Movement in Great Britain and Ireland. Some of these include: T.B. Barratt, A. A. Boddy, Arthur Booth-Clibborn, Robert A. Brown, W. F. P. Burton, Howard Carter, John Carter, Mrs. Eleanor Crisp, Stanley Frodsham, Donald Gee, Harold Horton, Edward Jeffreys, George Jeffreys, Stephen Jeffreys, James McKeown, Thomas Myerscough, J. Nelson Parr, Cecil Polhill, James Salter, Douglas Scott, and Smith Wigglesworth. Most of these pioneers were born in Britain and Ireland and ministered there, yet their ministries deeply affected the entire world. In addition to the biographical sketches, the author includes additional comments and sidebars regarding some of the better-known individuals.

The last section includes sketches on the Apostle Paul, W. O. Hutchinson, A. E. Saxby, David du Plessis, and B. H. Clendennen. Each of these men has a unique message which is worthy of exploration as they forged ahead in ministry, although not always with the mainstream. Lessons can be learned from each example given in the book, and the testimonies should inspire the present generation of Pentecostal believers. There is also a helpful bibliography.

Reviewed by Glenn W. Gohr

Softcover, 476 pages, illustrated. $23.99 ($35.99 for hardcover) plus shipping. Available from www.pentecostalpioneers.org or www.amazon.com

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