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The Day of Pentecost

1965, the year that changed my life
Chris and I visit Hazel and Pam

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After The Day of Pentecost, I did not record any further audio for 1965, the year that changed my life. To round the story off, though, here is an extract from Chris Woodhead, a personal testimony.
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Sunday 6th June 1965
 1. The Day of Pentecost, or Whit Sunday, fell on 6th June in 1965.
 Both Chris and I have a memory of going to a local park with Hazel and Pam while we were going out with them, so this may have happened on Whit Sunday afternoon.
[0] I also have two photographs taken in the Williamses’ back garden, probably on the Sunday since I am wearing my suit: one of Chris and me sitting on a bench, with me attempting to strike a pursed-lipped, “Don’t you think I look sexy? — sexier than him!” pose; and one with my eyes seemingly glued to Pamela’s chest, as she sits, neatly attired in a modest cream cotton dress, on my knee in a deck chair, and looks as though she would rather be anywhere else but there.
[0] This may have happened on Whit Sunday afternoon: Chris’s comment on Chris and I visit Hazel and Pam places this event on the evening of Saturday 5th June 1965.


“I also have two photographs taken in the Williamses’ back garden, probably on the Sunday since I am wearing my suit: one of Chris and me sitting on a bench, with me attempting to strike a pursed-lipped, ‘Don’t you think I look sexy? — sexier than him!’ pose…”


“…and one with my eyes seemingly glued to Pamela’s chest, as she sits, neatly attired in a modest cream cotton dress, on my knee in a deck chair, and looks as though she would rather be anywhere else but there.”
 2. In the evening, we went along to the meeting at Sharon, and sat at our (by now) usual place with Hazel and Pamela, in the far left block of pews near the back of the church.

 3. The Day of Pentecost is quite special to “Pentecostal” Christians because it was on the first Day of Pentecost after the death, resurrection and ascension of the Lord Jesus that the Holy Spirit fell on the early believers. It is a distinctive teaching of the Pentecostal churches that the grace and power of the Holy Spirit, as received by those Christians on that day, is still available to Christians today.
 I had already had the experience of an influx of power when, a couple of weeks before, someone had laid hands on me.
[more] Chris, however, had not been present there, and didn’t know anything much about the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, apart from the little that he had heard — although he was convinced of its reality. For, as I have already related, in the first meeting that we went to at Sharon, somebody spoke in tongues, and spoke in a known language; a girl spoke in German and French: it was quite distinguishable. (Chris has never heard it since then; it has always been an unrecognisable tongue since then, which one presumes to be an angel’s tongue.[1] But Chris remembers hearing this girl; she stood up and started speaking, definitely in German — and then, again, she spoke in French.) So Chris had since then been convinced of its reality.
[1] An angel’s tongue: Compare 1 Corinthians 13:1.
 4. On the Whit Sunday, at Sharon, Pastor Williams got those seeking the Baptism in the Holy Spirit to go into the back room during the evening meeting. We went through the left door at the far end, Chris and I, and a number of others, into a sort of schoolroom. Despite my experience of a couple of weeks previously,[more] I must have been aware that according to the Assemblies of God teaching, the Baptism is accompanied by speaking in tongues,[2] which I had not done. What I received had possibly been explained to me as “an anointing”[3] and not “the Baptism” fully. We sat in a line, on chairs, in the middle of the room: one long line of people sitting there. Chris was a bit confused as to what would happen, or what he should do. It was perhaps similar to the “waiting meeting” I had been in, where we were praying and saying, “Praise the Lord”, and such like. Not really knowing what to do, Chris sat there and closed his eyes. It was Pastor Williams who came along the line and prayed individually for each person, laying his hands on them.
 When he came to Chris, he put his hands on his head. Chris felt a terrific power — not like the pins-and-needles experience which I have described, but more as a “power” — which made him start to praise God very loudly. He couldn’t remain in silent prayer and praise any more; and eventually he started speaking in tongues.
 But it was a power which seemed to force his head back. His eyes were closed, and he didn’t dare open them; it was as though there was a big light, and if he opened his eyes it would be blinding. He could see through his eyelids a great light.
[4] But aside from the light, there was this power that seemed to push his head back, further and further, and he couldn’t resist it; he seemed almost paralysed in that position.
[2] According to the Assemblies of God teaching, the Baptism is accompanied by speaking in tongues: The Full Gospel Churches Sharon and the one in Fleetwood, were in fellowship with Assemblies of God, in whose statement of belief is found written: “We believe… in the Baptism in the Spirit with the Initial Evidence of Speaking with Other Tongues…”
[3] An anointing: At any rate, those were the words used by Mrs. Wood a year or so later, when I was going out with her daughter Audrey.
[4] A great light: This is how Chris saw it, even if one supposes it was just owing to the fact that he may have been looking at a room light at that time!
 5. I remember repeating a phrase that came to me, “/ˈaː-gor-ˌa-gor-a-ˈsiː-kor-ˌa-gor-a/”, over and over; I think this happened after it was my turn for Pastor Williams to lay hands on me.

 6. Pastor Williams probably encouraged those who had “received” to keep on speaking in tongues, to speak in tongues every day; and as we did, the gift would become stronger or more words would start to come.

 7. Eventually, he led us all out to where the rest of the congregation were. Chris walked back through the door, still with his head back; even then he didn’t seem to be able to walk properly, being in a bit of a daze. We were led up to the platform at the forward part of the church. Pastor Williams was evidently pleased by what had taken place, and he said, “How does it feel, boys?”
 And all I could say was, “Oh, it’s great, it’s great!”

 8. Pastor Williams asked Chris to tell the church what he had experienced that evening. And by this time, he was in a very bouncy mood; Pastor Williams used to get like this, and he used to say things like, “Oh, I thought Jesus was coming!”
 And he asked if there was anybody there who wasn’t saved; and one lady spoke up and said that she wasn’t.
 And Pastor Williams said, “What’s the matter with you, woman?”
 And she said, “Oh, I’m not ready for it yet.”

 9. Then shortly after that we went back to our places with the Williams daughters. Still in a very inebriated and excited state, we went back to our places.
 And Hazel and Pam seemed very amused by it all. We probably looked quite funny — dazed — when we came out of the room.

 10. And then on the way back home to the Williamses’ house, walking down Chorlton Road in the direction of Brook’s Bar, I must have felt in my pocket for something and found a packet of cigarettes, and I just tossed them aside nonchalantly into somebody’s front yard, saying, “Oh, we won’t be needing those any more.”

"I just tossed them aside nonchalantly into somebody’s front yard" — one, out of the block of three-storey houses to the left of the church in this photo, seems a likely candidate for receiving my impromptu gift.
The trip to Buxton, and the “one moment of passion”


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