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RE:QUEST

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Church: The Elim Pentecostal Church

How did the Elim Pentecostal Church begin?

 

The Elim Pentecostal Church is a growing movement of around 650 churches in the UK and Ireland.

The Elim movement was founded in 1915 by George Jeffreys: a young Christian from Maesteg in South Wales. George and a group of friends, known as the Elim Evangelistic Band, preached, started churches and saw God working in the most amazing ways. During their meetings, they witnessed miraculous healings and huge numbers of people becoming Christians.

A gifted evangelist, teacher and administrator, Jeffreys first started new churches in Ireland where he had been invited to speak. It was after he worked there that he then turned his attention to mainland Britain. Between 1925 and 1934 he travelled the country preaching and teaching about the Christian message. Everywhere he went there were huge crowds, dozens of healings and thousands of converts. Without any real support from other churches, and with only a handful of workers at the start of a campaign, he went from place to place establishing thriving new churches.

Perhaps Jeffreys’ most amazing work was in Birmingham where 10,000 converts were recorded with 1,000 baptised and over 1,000 healed. Within six years there were eleven Elim churches in Birmingham. Jeffreys also travelled and taught in mainland Europe including Switzerland where he saw 14,000 people becoming Christians between 1934 and 1936.

The basic teaching of Elim began and remains ‘The Four-square Gospel’, which states that Jesus is the Saviour, the Healer, the Baptiser in the Holy Spirit and the Coming King. This belief is now common among the main Christian churches but at the time of Jeffreys this was seen as radical teaching - especially as the teaching was so often accompanied by amazing miracles.

The strength of George's work was not just the crowds or healings but the new churches which grew from it. The results of Jeffreys’ work proved to be lasting as there are still hundreds of Elim churches operating across the UK today.

Did you know? The name ‘Elim’ comes from the name of an oasis in the Bible that the people of Israel discovered as they wandered through the desert and which provided shade and refreshment.