Progress at the New Gallery Centre, London, England

During the seven years of its existence our London evangelistic center, with its unique position at the cross-roads of the world, has been instrumental in raising up a large central church of some 500 members. At the same time it has added to the membership of our other London churches.

Director

DURING the seven years of its existence our London evangelistic center, with its unique position at the cross-roads of the world, has been instrumental in raising up a large central church of some 500 members. At the same time it has added to the membership of our other London churches.

During this seven-year period the Centre has been served by six principal ministers: Pastors G. E. Vandeman, E. J. Folkenberg, R. A. Anderson, A. G. Ratcliffe, H. M. S. Richards, and Kenneth Lacey. Each speaker has made his own particular contribution in ideas and techniques, thus building up the work in spite of a marked lack of con­tinuity, especially in personnel.

I joined forces with the New Gallery team during the spring of 1959, and to­gether we worked to consolidate the inter­est that had been aroused during the brief ministries of Pastors Ratcliffe and Rich­ards. This, of course, was not the easiest task, but with God's help we were able to baptize sixty-seven souls before the end of the year.

Last year, 1960, we began the season with a three-session Sunday program that gave us an initial attendance of some sev­enteen hundred. Unfortunately, since our advertising has to be limited to the opening meeting of the series, owing to the fan­tastic cost of advertising in London, our Sunday evening attendances soon settled down to an average of about five hundred. These Sunday services were augmented and supported by popular midweek studies in the book of Revelation, and with a series of baptismal classes held on Sunday eve­nings after the evangelistic service. Seven baptismal services were conducted during the year in which ninety-seven precious souls were added to the churches.

Among other experiments, we tried an Easter baptism, which proved to be very successful, some thirty-one candidates par­ticipating on that joyful occasion.

Besides the main evangelistic program, several important subsidiary activities were conducted, all of which were directed toward the one primary goal of soul win­ning. For example, our youth activities featured a series of "Best Saturday Night in Town" programs, which along with a suc­cessful youth club has done much to inter­est and hold not only the youth of the church but an increasing number of young people gathered in from our evangelistic services.

Our special film programs attracted an attendance of some thirty thousand during the year and contributed approximately £1,000 toward our income. Many of today's faithful members can trace their first con­tact with this message to an attendance at one of our film sessions. These films are shown daily and change each week with the exception of the one on the Life of Christ, which is shown from Christmas to Easter, and our lung cancer films, which are shown continuously for two months during the summer.

Music is another special feature at the New Gallery Centre and plays an impor­tant part in the presentation of the mes­sage. Our faithful choir, the New Gallery Singers, performed a cappella every week during the season, and an enlarged choir of up to one hundred voices presented spe­cial music at Christmas and Easter. One outstanding contribution in this field was the first performance in England of Ber­nard Hamblyn's cantata "Tragedy to Tri­umph," which was attended by the com­poser himself. The Centre is fortunate in having the support of outstanding Adventist artists such as Kathleen Joyce (con­tralto), Uriel Porter (bass), and its own musical director, Russell Kranz (baritone), with Leslie Riskowitz at the piano and Da­vid Elliott at the Wurlitzer organ.

The reading room makes its own quiet contribution to the effective witness of the Center. During 1961 hundreds of truth-filled books were lent or sold, and thou­sands of tracts and leaflets were given away to the general public, while at the same time many valuable contacts were made by the receptionist.

Looking back in retrospect, we are con­scious of many needs, but one need in par­ticular stands out above all others. To make our witness all that it ought to be in this great center of world influence, we desperately need the help of an Adventist doctor who as a regular member of our staff could promote the "right arm of the message," and thus enable us to reach with our health message a class of people who can be reached in no other way.

Please remember the New Gallery and its corps of workers in your daily prayers, that God will help us to make the Centre all He intends it should be—a mighty in­strument in His hands for the salvation of souls.

 


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Director

October 1961

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