A. A. Allen at the Town Hall

   We had a good morning in the office, the usual pile of letters, many from overseas requesting Bibles and literature, £9 came in in gifts and Godwin Anyadiegwu sent 2/- and E.O. Lamptey 1/3d in Commonwealth Reply Coupons. We spent 4/-d on white record cards, 2/3d on a new receipt book, and 7/9d on stamps for the 31 letters we answered today. We have 17s 5d in the Deposit Account and £112 6s 9d in the Current Account.

   This evening we took Mrs Ridout, Mrs Townsend and Jane with us to the A.A. Allen Crusade at the Town Hall. There was a crowd of people outside, including Peter Warsop and Jimmy Marlow and other people we know, and folk from all over the country; but ranting students too with a JE$U$ banner, their faces distorted with hatred and hostility. There was some difficulty getting in as people were admitted only one or two at a time through a half-open door in an effort to keep trouble-makers out. We had no problem though, having Bibles in our hands, and managed to get seats on the right-hand side, quite close to the platform, but the meeting was late starting.

   I have waited eight-and-a-half years to actually see Brother Allen, having followed his ministry since reading the December 1956 Miracle Digest, which I got at Mary Street and have had ever since. [jpg] We have twice seen his Miracle film [one of his weekly half-hour Miracles Today programmes], and I have many of his books, tracts and tape-recordings, which I copied from his record albums and have sent out all over the U.K. I am one of about 5,000 ministers in Miracle Revival Fellowship.

   I love the ministry of Oral Roberts, T.L. Osborn and William Branham, but somehow identify more with Brother Allen because of the great opposition he has had. He was saved in an old-fashioned Methodist Church and after years of poverty and struggle the Lord began to use Him mightily. He has a dynamic ministry, confirmed by the most extraordinary signs, wonders and miracles, and he is fearless in casting out devils. He has the common touch about him which endears him to the poor and disadvantaged, and there were many West Indians in the audience tonight.

   Brother Allen came on stage to rapturous applause, and there were tears in my eyes. But the students immediately began screaming abuse at him, not even allowing him to speak. “Get them out of here,” shouted Brother Allen. The police were brought in, there were scuffles and the students were ejected. I felt so sorry for Brother Allen, that “God’s Man of Faith and Power,” was reduced to this, and wondered what I would have done in similar circumstances. And then I remembered that only a few weeks ago, in Ethiopia, I was addressing over a thousand students in one meeting, and had quite a rough time, but at least I was allowed to speak.

   Tonight’s meeting defies description — loud singing, worship, dancing in the Spirit, tongues and interpretations, collections (I put £10 in), prayer-lines, people slain by the Spirit — but no sermon from Brother Allen, which was what we had gone for. It would have been a real disappointment, but for the fact that Brother Allen called a prayer-line for all those seeking a special anointing on their ministry.

   I remember standing at the front, with people on either side of me, my hands raised, all my desire and longing fastened on Jesus. When I came to, I was lying on the Town Hall floor. How I got there I have no idea. But it was as though a thousand volts of electricity was flowing through me. How long I had been there, a few seconds or minutes, I cannot say. But I felt it all the way home and I can still feel it.

   It is absurd really. I acknowledge that people were slain by the power of God in the Bible, but I never dreamt it would ever happen to me. It happened quite frequently in the early days of my ministry. The first time I remember it happening was when I laid hands on Lynne Stephen’s father at Margate. I went down into the congregation to pray for him, and the moment my hand touched his head he crashed to the floor where he lay unconscious, but he got up healed. Another time, which I remember all too well, was at the Rotunda, Cheltenham, when a man came in the line and asked me to pray for him to receive the Holy Spirit. I gently laid my hands on him, and he crashed to the ground with a thud that sounded all over the theatre. Two women screamed and fled the building. There was also the Christmas morning a few years ago when a young Nigerian appeared on the doorstep unexpectedly. We invited him in, I ministered to him, and he too crashed to the floor. We went to the morning service leaving him there, and he was still there when we got back an hour later.

   I talked about this one time in the Bible Study, and Dorothy Robbins said, “Well Brian, at least you know that I would never do such a thing.” The next week I prayed for her in the service at Mary Street, and she was likewise “slain in the Spirit.” I used to think that people were falling down because they wanted to. Peter Warsop told me that in one meeting he saw a sister fall down “under the power;” but then she sat up, pulled her skirt down over her knees, and then lay down again! If someone is slain of the Spirit, they will never fall down immodestly.

   But I have told my congregations that falling down “under the power” is unnecessary. People are healed by faith in the Word, not faith in phenomena. Some fall down simply because they want to, some because they are resisting the Lord in some way — spiritually proud perhaps — and others because the preacher pushes people over in an effort to demonstrate what a powerful ministry he has — I have seen it happen. But I am certain that Brother Allen didn’t push me over. So what exactly is the scientific explanation?

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