Bethel Church in Green Lane was born out of a powerful local revival, sovereignly inspired by the Holy Spirit. The man God used was Edward Jeffreys. He came with the gospel message of repentance and faith, and the Lord confirmed the preaching of the Word with signs following.
In this case the confirmation was that of healing miracles.
“The Merseyside campaigns were the greatest in my career as an evangelist” said Pastor Jeffreys on the occasion of our Silver Jubilee. “I shall never forget the wonderful services we had in the old marquee. The campaign opened in a very quiet way. There was nothing to suggest at the beginning that God was going to open such a flood-tide of blessing in the city of Liverpool. It was simply amazing in every way. At times one felt such a sense of God’s presence and such a manifestation of power that our souls were filled with awe and amazement, almost to the point of being afraid at what would happen next.”
The marquee with its seating capacity of 3,000 — and later one still larger — was packed with people and there was an even greater crowd listening reverently outside. The dominant note of the meetings was that of quietness and order. The people had been arrested by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Edward Jeffreys began the campaign meetings in Breeze Hill, Bootle, but it was from the tent meetings at Lister Drive that the Tuebrook Bethel was founded. “We recall those early days” says Nell Hawkins, when “night by night we sat under the ministry of Pastor Jeffreys. We can never forget the mighty Hallelujahs that resounded from the corners of the tent, or fail to remember the tremendous wave of joy as we witnessed miracles of spiritual and physical healing”.
Mrs Hawkins tells of the wilderness days when the church, newly formed after the campaign, wandered from cinema, dance hall and skating rink to the old Elizabeth Street Chapel. It was at the Welsh Chapel that Ernest Wales was inducted as the first pastor of this new church. In October 1936 both he and Edward Jeffreys laid the Foundation Stones of the Tuebrook Bethel Temple as it was then known, and these stones can still be seen in the foyer of our new church. At the opening service the Crusaders sang the dedication hymn, part of which reads;
Pour down Thy love, and in this church may all Thy glory shine, We consecrate it now to Thee, not ours dear Lord, but Thine.
Many in Bethel today can testify of the faithfulness of God to His people in their joys and struggles. It is a record of the fact that God, in His mercy, answered the prayer offered in that hymn. He has poured down His love and His glory has shone down the years. The consecration of those early Bethel folk back in 1936 was not in vain, neither has their labour in the Lord been in vain, but in every way profitable to the extending of His kingdom.
The work is on-going. Many have met the Lord here in Bethel and their lives have not been the same since. Many have gone on to full-time service for Christ and have in turn seen their lives bearing fruit for the Lord. If the early Bethelites were children of the local revival of 1934, then there are countless grandchildren and great grandchildren of that same sovereign work of God’s grace.