To see a crowd of people queued up for a block and a half, waiting for the doors to open for a program at the New Gallery, London, is an experience one cannot soon forget. The program that evening was "The Best Saturday Night in Town," and by the time it began there was standing room only. It is an inspirational and educational program geared to modern youth.
Russell Kranz, associate evangelist and music director for the New Gallery, is in charge of the youth activities at the Center, and when this project for young people was started, it was held in the youth auditorium downstairs. But that place became so crowded that on the second night six people fainted. So the following month it was moved to the main auditorium. Since then it has grown in popularity and is contributing much to the over-all evangelistic program.
Evangelist E. J. Folkenberg, in charge of the New Gallery, is alert to every opportunity that will contribute to the success of the Center. His testimony, like that of every other experienced large-city evangelist, is that in such a center the approaches must be varied. Of course, there must always be strong preaching; but preaching alone will not suffice. We were gripped, however, by the powerful presentation of the message at the Sunday night meetings. The Lord is surely blessing these workers. The health programs on Thursday nights are also an impressive feature at the New Gallery, and one is led to feel that about the only thing lacking in London is finance. Set right in the midst of ten million people, this throbbing center is surrounded by many counter attractions. But it is a real beacon light for God.
Another special feature is the music. This magnificent auditorium has been equipped to produce the finest music of the day. Stereophonic recordings speak their soothing messages to hundreds every noon hour. And in the evangelistic team we have some of the finest musical talent in London. As we have often said, "When the Lord gave us the New Gallery, He gave us for good measure Louis Ravel, one of London's finest concert pianists." This devoted worker, like every other member of the staff, has many talents, and when not actually at the keyboard he is busy making slides and films to illustrate the messages of the preachers. Modern equipment, together with the know-how, makes it possible to take a picture of some important event and have it on the screen two hours later.
For two months the Film Worship Service was built around the excellent production Martin Luther with gratifying results. This Martin Luther service, like those preceding, opened with appropriate music. Then, the auditorium darkened, a spotlight was thrown on a large open Bible while a voice over the stereophonic system spoke forth the words of Scripture, closing with "The just shall live by faith." We have witnessed wonderful conversions through these services. Many have been baptized whose interest was first awakened by the Film Worship Service. A series of Christmas films was also used during the holiday season.
This fine evangelistic center is a combination of efficiency, comfort, and spiritual power.