George Jeffreys (1889-1962)
As far as Britain goes, "The Principal" as in later life Jeffreys came to be known, was probably the greatest of Britain's Evagelists of the past century. He not only won a great harvest of souls but also pioneered churches right across the British Isles and left them established as fully functioning churches with new converts and new pastors, most of which continue till today.
George Jeffreys was born in 1889 and raised in a typically poor family in the Welsh vallies, his earliest memory was of a deep awareness of being called to preach. It was during the great revival of 1904 that young George was able to say "the blazing light of regeneration broke in upon my soul". At an early age he was weak in body and began to experience paralysis down one side of his body which then affected his speech. He thought it not worth living if he could not preach. But one Sunday while kneeling in prayer God touched and healed him totally. Although initially being against so called tongues, it was not long before he had received the Baptism in the Holy Ghost. Because of his Pentecostal experience he was barred from all normal routes of Biblical training. But he came to the attention of Cecil Polhill who sponsored this young preacher to go to the Preston Bible School, which he attended for just three months from November 1912. It was there that he was taught under Thomas Myerscough, for which he was forever grateful. Here also he made friends with a few who would later be key leaders in the Elim movement. From the beginning he was very strong on the absolute authority of the written Scripture on every issue. In 1913 he spoke as the Sunderland convention, where he received an invite to Ireland.
It was in a small upper room in Monaghan that the Elim Evangelistic Band was formed. The first Church was planted in Belfast, from here over the next decade the stream became a mighty river across these islands. Souls were saved, bodies healed, churches pioneered. At one point Jeffreys team almost became the evangelistic arm of the newly formed Assemblies of God. In 1926 the first Easter convention was held in the Royal Albert Hall, over the years he would minister at about 50 of these great meetings. At one service he baptized over one thousand converts in water, in a number of missions he had seen at times 500-1000 people come to Christ, normally this meant a new Church. In Ireland, Scotland and England crowds of 10'000 gathered. In Birmingham he drew greater crowds than Moody or Torrey. The simple Four Square Gospel of Jesus Christ as Saviour, Healer, Baptiser in the Holy Ghost and soon coming King was preached in power and demonstration. Donald Gee said of him that "he was easily the most gifted preacher that the British Pentecostal Movement has produced". With such great success he remained a humble servant of the Lord, always gracious with a single eye on the glory of God.
After a serious illness he felt the call of God to reform the movement he had raised up. Jeffreys desired to remove central Government from the Elim movement and to make each local Church self governing. This was not acceptable to some of the other leaders and sadly led to his resignation in 1939. He greatly regretted not organizing the churches as self Governing from the beginning. Others at the time disputed that the reason was because of Jeffreys 'British Israel' views. His revival party and a small number of Elim ministers followed him. He then started the 'Bible Pattern Bible Fellowship' within which he did teach British Israel views. Between 1933 and 1950 he held some great revival campaigns especially in Switzerland and France, but also in USA, Canada, Belgium, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Palestine. He also was one of those who ministered at the European Pentecostal Conference in 1939 and again in 1947. He never again seen the great campaigns of the 20's and 30's but followed the Lord faithfully until his death in 1962. Sadly today his split from Elim often overshadows the glorious testimony of his pioneering evangelism. He was greatly admired by a number of evangelicals outside the Pentecostal movement such as Martyn Lloyd Jones who had attended some of his meetings and vice versa.
by Keith Malcomson.
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.
"PENTECOSTAL PIONEERS REMEMBERED"
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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Sermons By George Jeffreys