Cecil Polhil (1860-1938).

Cecil H. Polhil was born into a wealthy family at Howbury Hall near Bedford in England. His father was a member of Parliament and of great respect. He was educated at Eton and Cambridge after which he served as an officer in the Dragoon Gaurds. His brother Arthur was saved through the powerful evangelistic ministry of D.L. Moody. When Cecil attended Moody's meetings he came under conviction of sin which finally led to his salvation.

The life, testimony and work of Hudson Taylor had a profound affect upon him. Along with his brother Arthur and C.T. Studd he felt the call of God to the Chinese mission field with Taylors ministry called the Chinese Inland Mission or CIM. This mission never made appeals for money or made known its needs to man. Its workers trusted God alone, yet were never in debt and were able to penetrate deep into China with hundreds of faithful workers. Before leaving for China in 1885 he travelled with the Cambridge Seven around Britain holding meetings, seeing hundreds saved every where they went and many young students dedicating themselves to missionary service. Over the next years he ministered in China and India but always with a great burden and drive to reach into Tibet. Hudson Taylor's strong faith and prayer life left a mark on the young zealous Polhill. After 15 faithful years of missionary labour he had to leave China during the boxer rebellion in 1900 after which he returned to Britain with his family. 

While passing through America in January 1908 on a return journey from China he heared of the Pentecostal outpouring of the Holy Ghost in Los Angeles. He made his journey to Azusa Street seeking for the Baptism in the Holy Ghost. After recieving a mighty baptism he returned to Britain and soon joined up in fellowship with A.A.Boddy. That year at Sunderland the Pentecostal Missionary Union (PMU) came into being with Polhill elected the first President (1909-25). Over the following years this union sent missionaries to China, India, Tibet, Congo and Brazil. Also the same year (1908) he started weekly meetings in Sion College, London. In these meetings a number of students and future leaders were saved, baptized in the Holy Ghost and healed, as well as making there first attempts to testify publicly. He established separate training homes for both men and women in the city. And also an annual Whitsuntide convention in London similar to those in Sunderland. Polhill helped the Jeffreys brothers at an early stage in their ministry and financially sponsored young George Jeffreys who had been recommended to attend the Preston Bible College under Myerscough. A few years later he brought Donald Gee from his struggling church in Edinburgh to play the piano at one of Stephen Jeffreys Campaigns in London.

He carried the responsibility of training and sending out the first Pentecostal missionaries. His experience and missionary burden were critical in moulding this revival from the beginning to look out with a vision of the harvest fields in foreign lands. During the rest of his life he would make several short missionary trips back to China. His financial help, missionary vision and training facilities were of great importance at this early, formative stage to Pentecostal believers. Like Alexander Boddy, he remained within the Anglican Church and had no desire to see a new separate Pentecostal denomination established. A missionary Union was one thing, but a denomination quite another. During the whole period of his ministry with the Pentecostal Movement he also remained on the Council of the C.I.M. until his death in 1938.

by Keith Malcomson.

Cecil Pohill was edited from "Pentecostal Pioneers Remembered" by Keith Malcomson. Copyright 2008 by Keith Malcomson. No part of this article may be reproduced without the permission of the author.

Days of Blessing in Inland China by M. Beauchamp. A tremendous record of the Cambridge Seven and J Hudson Taylor in Shan-si province, China during a period of revival. It contains first-hand accounts of the early ministries of C T Studd, Pastor Hsi, Cecil Polhill others. Read More...



by Keith Malcomson.

Here is a story long untold and mostly forgotten, of faith, power and glory.

This book commemorates the 100th Anniversary of the Pentecostal Movement in Great Britain & Ireland, 1907-2007. Herein is the story of the Men, the Movement, the Message and the Miracles that became known as the Pentecostal Movement. These testimonies are timeless, powerful and stirring but sadly most of these pioneers have long disappeared from the sight and remembrance of the church. This is a very simple attempt to stir up the mind of the church to remember these men and women who so impacted families, cities and nations by a life of consecrated prayer, crowned and sealed with Holy Ghost power. Amongst them you will find pastors, teachers, evangelists, prophets and apostles. Although all these pioneers were born in Britain & Ireland yet their ministries deeply affected the world. Their influence and power was amazingly greater than their birth, upbringing, number, education or financial resources. These testimonies will deeply inspire another generation to go and do likewise.

"I take great pleasure in writing the foreword for this book written by Keith Malcomson...I believe the reading of this book...of how God used these men to recover the spiritual in their day will greatly encourage us, especially the preacher, to believe God to do it again." B.H. Clendennen

New Edition will be avilable for Christmas - December 2017

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