FROM 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 Britain. (1)
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 words, 14
“ 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 elaborates:
“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 families.”16
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 replies.
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 23
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 in 1924.
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 1908 35
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 unrecorded: 37
“ 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 says:
“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 in 1916.
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 candidate.”
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 Cwmtwrch.
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 Hall.
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.” 48
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 in Clapham.
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 Darragh.
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 Tabernacle.
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 of God.
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 was stated:
“… 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 its weakness.”
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 30.
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 been kidnapped!
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 International
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, 1963,pp.25-28.
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 1907,pp. 17-19.
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,” Jeffreys”.
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, 1991.
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, 1962.
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. 120-230.
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 Hall, Doncaster.
49 George Jeffreys, Elim Christ Church What We Believe, Belfast, circa 1916.
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 University, 1987.
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, 1992,p44.
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 World, 2000.