London Road Baptist Church (1921)

We had the church packed in the evening. When our brother had deliv­ered his message, he told the people he was going into the vestry and would be glad to see any who wanted help or desired to surrender themselves to Jesus Christ. I shall never forget that night as long as I live. Our brother passed through the deacons' vestry — up a little stairway and into the pastor's vestry — and he had not been there many minutes when first one came, and then another, and then another. I showed them the way into my little vestry, and then I came down the stairs into the chapel. The people were singing that grand old hymn —

'I hear Thy welcome voice,

That calls me, Lord, to Thee:

For cleansing in the precious blood

That flowed on Calvary,' As I entered the church again and stood looking at the people, brother Edwards paused for a moment and asked it there were any others coining into the inquiry-room. We had been praying for 'showers' that night and He gave us a 'cloudburst. They came from all parts of the building and filled the deacons' vestry. It was just like waiting outside some theatre: there was one queue down this aisle and another down that. I went to Douglas Brown and said. 'What are we to do? You cannot deal with these people one by one!' So we just opened the schoolroom and in they came -- fifty or sixty people to start with. Some of the Christians had the good sense to come with the anxious and help them. I got them together in the schoolroom and began to speak to them in a company. I had been speaking for only a few minutes, the door opened and another batch came in, and all was confusion for a few minutes. Then I tried to speak to than again, and again the door opened and another batch came in. It was a wonderful sight. We got those who had definitely surrendered to Christ to keep on one side, and those who had difficulties we put into classrooms with a good Chris­tian worker to help them and deal with them. Presently there was quietness and that night between sixty and seventy of my dear young people, those we had been praying to God for—young men and women, from the ages or fifteen to twenty — some sixty or seventy of them that night 'passed from death to life.' One convert that night was Robert Browne, a young lad of fifteen years, who gave his version of the events of that memorable night: 'I had connections with the Baptist Church and used to walk from my home in Oulton Broad with my pal to the Bible Class. It was so large that two rooms were hired in the old technical college, one for the young men's class and one for the young ladies' class. I was one of a large company of young men from fourteen years of age upwards. On the first Sunday in March the leader of our class, the late Mr E. G. Paley, asked his boys' as he called us, to do something for him that week. 'I want you to come to these special services, come down one night, come down on Tuesday.' Someone said, 'Yes, we'll come.' And so I remember that on the Tuesday night I went with my friend and took part in this gospel service. There were hymns and prayers and Douglas Brown spoke; nothing particular happened but there was the sense of the moving of God's Spirit. I remember how the next day my pal came along as I was digging my father's allotment. 'Hey! You going down to the meeting again tonight?’ he asked. 'I think I shall go.' I’ll come with you,' I replied. The Wednesday night was an occasion that many will never forget. At the conclusion of his address, Mr Brown appealed for those who wished to know more about Christian things to come forward. The aisles were immediately filled with peo­ple, I was among them, so was my friend and many other young peo­ple connected with the church. As I remember we went down the aisle, up by the organ and up a staircase into the schoolroom, which was packed with inquirers; they were not all young people but older people as well. That was the night when I first knew what it was to have true faith in Christ. I knew very little, just as every new convert knows very little, but I knew sufficient of the facts and I had trusted Christ as my Saviour.'

From 'A Forgotten Revival', by Stanley Griffin, page 22-3, with permission from the publisher DayOne Publications.