George Jeffreys has died

   We are at Reading for the meetings with the A.o.G. [Assemblies of God] Church, Wokingham Road. We have meetings tomorrow with the Victorious Church of God [West Indian] at St. John’s Institute at 11.00am and 6.30pm, and an After-Church Rally at the Town Hall at 8.00pm, with a final meeting on Monday at 6.45pm at Mount Zion, before returning to Chepstow for the fourth and final week of the Crusade there.

   Bill Thomas drove us here this morning, Mr & Mrs North accompanying us so that they could go to meetings at the Bungalow. [This is next door to Mount Zion where some disaffected members have set up a rival church.] We went into Reading town centre this afternoon and Freda bought a nightdress.

   I preached tonight on The March of Deliverance (2 Kings 6:24–7:20), during which I happened to mention George Jeffreys. [620127a.jpg] After the service, one of the congregation asked if we knew that George Jeffreys had died. It was a great shock, I can hardly believe it. Apparently he died yesterday morning [the day my niece Rebecca Jane Julia Dugan was born at 5.30am] while we were at Chepstow, and the news of his death was in this morning’s papers.

   George Jeffreys packed the largest halls and auditoriums in the British Isles, including the Royal Albert Hall 49 times from 1926 until 1939. His meetings in Birmingham were phenomenal, starting in a small chapel in Steelhouse Lane (somewhere opposite where the Gaumont now stands), then at the Town Hall; from there to the Skating Rink in Walford Road, and finally to Bingley Hall where 10,000 came every night. 10,000 souls were won for Christ and 1,100 were baptised in water. Almost every Pentecostal Church in the Birmingham area owes its origin to that one Crusade.

   Stephen and George Jeffreys were the greatest evangelists of their day, Stephen [620127b.jpg] was born in Maesteg on Saturday 2nd September 1876, and George [620127c.jpg] on Thursday 28th February 1889 and both were converted in the great Welsh Revival of 1904. Stephen lived for a while in Birmingham with Pastor Every, but I don’t know exactly where. I heard that when he died on 17th November 1943 he was pitifully emaciated, He used to preach for weeks on end, and prayed for so many people that he lost vital salts from his body through perspiration.

   Principal would have been 73 next month, but he had sugar diabetes caused, I am sure, by the sorrow he felt over the split with Elim. I treasure the fellowship we enjoyed with him, receiving from him the laying-on of hands at my ordination, sharing with him in ministry to the sick at the City Temple, and sitting on his platform at the Central Hall, Westminster last Easter.

   I asked Pastor Down what it was that Stephen and George Jeffreys had in their ministry that Peter Scothern and I do not have in ours, and he said “Nothing, but they were different days.” But I do believe we are come to the kingdom for such a time as this, and I pray that the Lord shall bless us even as he did dear Principal.

  The story of George Jeffreys is told in George Jeffreys — a Ministry of the Miraculous [jpg] by Ernest C.W. Boulton (Elim Publishing Office, 1928), George Jeffreys Man of God — the Story of a Phenomenal Ministry by Albert W. Edsor (Ludgate Press Ltd., 1964) and Set Your House in Order — God’s Call to George Jeffreys as the Founder of the Elim Pentecostal Movement by Albert W. Edsor (New Wine Press, 1989). The split from Elim is the theme of Fight for THe Faith and Freedom by Noel Brooks (The Pattern Bookroom, 1956), and is dealt with at length in Sects and Society by Bryan R. Wilson (William Heinemann Ltd., 1961). The best eye-witness account of George Jeffreys’ ministry and of a personal interview is to be found in God is My Adventure — A Book on Modern Mystics, Masters and Teachers [jpg] by Rom Landau [jpg] (Ivor Nicholson and Watson Limited, 1935) under the chapter “Miracle at the Albert Hall”. Other chapters of the book are devoted to (among others) Rudolf Steiner, Krishnamurti, Frank Buchman, P.D. Ouspensky and Gurdjieff. It is unfortunate that the chapter on George Jeffreys has been omitted from a more recent reprint of Rom Landau’s book.

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webwork by Jim Nagel at Abbey Press, Glastonbury — this edition published 2007-06-30