Plymouth England

Plymouth England: Land of Hope and Glory

ENGLISHMEN who hove never before heard of Seventh-day Adventists will join the church four weeks after attending their first evangelistic sermon. . .

-Assistant Professor of Christian ethics at Andrews University at the time this article was written

ENGLISHMEN who hove never before heard of Seventh-day Adventists will join the church four weeks after attending their first evangelistic sermon. It happened this past summer in Plymouth, England, in a seminary evangelistic field school conducted from June 7 to July 8 by Pastor Don Doleman, evangelist of the Southern California Conference. One evangelist from Finland, eight ministers from Britain, nine students from Andrews Theological Seminary, and I participated in the campaign. Pastor Cuthell, pastor of the Plymouth church, coordinated finances, housing, and advertising.

Several major facts emerged from the campaign. 1. Conducting a Five-Day Plan prior to the campaign brings results three adults who were baptized had attended the stop-smoking clinic. 2. The direct gospel approach sustains a consistent attendance in England and leads to decisions. 3. Fellowship activities involving members with interests draw non-Adventists into joining a lively, warm Adventist community.

The No-Smoking Clinic

The stop-smoking clinic was held in the church building the five days prior to the start of the evangelistic series. Dr. Wilbur Nelson, of the Loma Linda University School of Health, who conducted the clinic, continued health lectures as part of the evening program after the evangelistic series began. Many of the regular audience for the evangelistic lectures had first attended the stop-smoking clinic. Pastor Doleman made it clear in his advertising and visitation that he was preaching on Christianity and the Bible. His first lecture was entitled "The Man Called Jesus," and two nights later he preached on "How Men Are Saved." The fact that the series of meetings was being conducted in the Plymouth Seventh-day Adventist church building also left no question but that Pastor Doleman had come to witness to the gospel. No doubt, that limited initial attendance, but those who came at the beginning of the series continued to attend regularly. Indeed, attendance by non-Adventists grew during the month of meetings. Eric Bunker, the head elder of the church, who has helped many evangelists hold meetings in Plymouth through the years, was convinced that Pastor Doleman's presentations were perhaps the finest yet. "I wish he could come right back here next year. I think people who heard him the first time would want to hear him again and bring their friends. Even more would be baptized than this year."

Why I Joined

Mr. Taylor, an executive with the telephone company who joined the church with his wife, a schoolteacher, said, "You know, I had never heard of Adventists before these meetings. I joined for three reasons. First, I was convinced by the clearness of the lectures. Second, I was moved by Pat's [a young professional woman who insisted on being baptized the day before entering the hospital for major treatment] having the courage to be baptized. And finally, the folks at the Adventist church are so friendly. I've never seen anything like it before. I especially could tell it in their eyes. You folks radiate joy and genuine interest."

Pastor Doleman noticed how eager those attending the meetings were for fellowship. "I've conducted many series of meetings, but never before have the non-Adventists stayed so long after the lectures to visit as these folk here in England have. They just don't seem to want to go home."


Sensing this hunger for companionship Pastor Doleman and the team made fellowship activities a feature of the meetings. On the second Saturday night the seminarians put on a Gate-type program called "What's Happening Now?" Twenty to twenty-five teenagers from the church, their friends, and children of interests attending the meetings gathered immediately following the evening lecture for a couple of hours of singing, interviews, testimonies, and readings. The teenagers requested that the program be continued, so each succeeding Saturday night there was a program.

One night during the announcement period non- Adveniist adults interrupted to ask from the audience that a similar fellowship program be planned for adults. As a result, on the last two Saturday nights immediately following the evening lecture two fellowship programs were carried on simultaneously upstairs for adults and downstairs for teenagers.

In addition, on the evening of July 4 Pastor Dole man invited the entire audience to remain after the lecture for a fourth of July celebration. The English seemed to take to the idea in good humor, closing the evening by singing with the Americans the song "Land of Hope and Glory." Members took advantage of the informal atmosphere to get acquainted with the interests even before they joined the church. Perhaps the warmest social event was the fellowship dinner on the final Sabbath morning, when the new converts ate with the whole church and the departing evangelistic team.

Reflecting later on the summer's activities, Pastor Doleman said he would of course have been delighted to see more join the church, but he rejoiced that so many fine people had made their decision. "With a little more preparation there is no question that succeeding intensive campaigns in England could win even more converts to the church." Pastor Doleman and those who worked with him this past summer are convinced that the future of Adventism is bright in the British Isles.

Ministry reserves the right to approve, disapprove, and delete comments at our discretion and will not be able to respond to inquiries about these comments. Please ensure that your words are respectful, courteous, and relevant.

comments powered by Disqus
-Assistant Professor of Christian ethics at Andrews University at the time this article was written

March 1973

Download PDF
Ministry Cover

More Articles In This Issue

The Spirit in the Wheels

EZEKIEL saw a fiery cloud, living creatures, wheels, and wheels within wheels. It was all "so complicated that at first sight they appeared . . . to be all in confusion." But then the prophet observed a wonderful harmony, for "when they moved, it was with beautiful exactness and in perfect harmony." --Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 751.

Lift Up Your Eyes

JESUS was standing beside Jacob's well in Samaria. From His vantage point the Saviour could look out over the fields of waving grain about Him. As the golden sunlight touched the tender green stalks Jesus knew that it was but a few weeks until harvest-time. . .

Using Illustrations in Preaching

THE great British preacher Charles H. Spurgeon once referred to America's Henry Ward Beecher as the Shakespeare of the nineteenth-century pulpit.1 Doubtless the encomium was in recognition not merely of the rich variety of his gifts, but particularly of a Shakespearean faculty of perceiving all aspects of human life and character, and of presenting these in vivid images to the minds of people. It is generally admitted that no preacher before or since has used the illustration so successfully. . .

Pastoral Care and the Sick

OUR day is a transitional period in Christian pastoral care, characterized by confusion as to the nature, purpose, and function of the pastor. . .

The Challenge of Secularization for Seventh-day Adventists

MANY people think of secularization in its negative sense. For instance, a secularized world as a world that is not interested in God, a secularized church as one that has lost its identity as a dwelling place for God, or a secularized idea as a concept (such as Marxism) that has been completely separated from its religious origin. . .

Planning For Guest Speakers

DOES the pastor have a responsibility to the guest speaker as well as to his congregation when planning for a guest speaker? Does the guest speaker have a responsibility to the congregation to treat it as a unique group even though his standard preaching procedures have fared well elsewhere?

Seventh-day Adventist Apologetics

The following message was delivered to students attending the Andrews University Extension School at Newbold College in England, July 15 to August 17, 1972.

Today's Religious Music Scene (Conclusion)

TRULY there is something about a perfect marriage between a text and its musical setting that raises the power of the words to a completely new level. . .

The End of an Era in Biblical Archeology

THE purpose of this essay is to provide the busy pastor and evangelist with a brief introduction to the most significant scholarly books produced in 1971 that have a bearing on our understanding of the Old Testament, with particular reference to archeology, geography, and history. In harmony with the objectives of this feature of The Ministry, its compass does not include books on Old Testament language, exegesis, and theology. Depending on a minister's individual interest, those works marked with an asterisk (*) are suitable additions to his general library. Other volumes are either more technical or more restricted in their scope and therefore of greater value to the specialist, though the minister should be aware of their availability.

Preaching on Bible Biographies

ELLEN G. WHITE declares, "As an educator no part of the Bible is of greater value than are its biographies." --Conflict and Courage, p. 10.

Can Diet Create Alcoholics?

ALTHOUGH it may seem strange in our enlightened age, there are still areas in the world where beriberi is common. It has been known for some time that this disease is due to a diet which is deficient in thiamine (vitamin B1). . .

The Call to Complete Ministry

FOURTEEN verses of the Old Testament are pointed to in the Spirit of Prophecy writings as being especially pertinent to Adventist spiritual living and last-day witness. These are found in Isaiah 58 and among the numerous references to these in the Ellen G. White writings we will refer to three. . .

Losing With Leo

IF YOU think that the basic cause of overweight is some psychological problem such as over eating as a way of compensating for feelings of inferiority or a form of repressed hostility, you may be only half right. . .

Are You Fit For the Ministry? (Conlcusion)

THERE are at least three parts to any exercise routine properly performed: (1) the warm-up, (2) the actual endurance training, (3) cooling down. We would remind you again that before embarking upon an exercise program you should get your physician's approval. . .

Incarnation and the Latter Rain

THE latter rain will never fall upon the church except as members are prepared to receive it. Reception of the Spirit at any level of experience always represents relationships based upon personal decisions. Many talk "about the Holy Spirit, yet receive no benefit. . .

View All Issue Contents

Digital delivery

If you're a print subscriber, we'll complement your print copy of Ministry with an electronic version.

Sign up
Advertisement - Southern Adv Univ 180x150 - Animated


Recent issues

See All
Advertisement - Healthy and Happy Family - Skyscraper 160x600