“Incredible”: autobiography of John Nelson Parr — Contents
Chapter Two: Incredible Stops
INCREDIBLE SEARCH FOR POWER
It would be about 1908 when I commenced attending prayer meetings held in the home of Brother Dan Parsley, who was also a member of Star Hall. The prayer meetings were held every Friday and I understood it was one of many organised throughout the country by Mrs. Penn Lewis to pray for revival. Unfortunately Mrs. Penn Lewis and her organisers rejected and condemned the revival when it came, because it was accompanied by speaking in tongues and mighty signs, wonders and miraculous healings and even to this day (1970) there are many religious leaders who do not recognise this great world-wide Pentecostal revival as God’s revival. The Friday night prayer meetings were terrific. I had never been in such prayer meetings. They were charged with the power of God. I was longing, at that time for a life of continual unbroken fellowship with the Lord and a greater life of power in service as revealed in the Acts of the Apostles. I remember going down to the old fashioned altar at one of Star Hall Easter Conventions and claiming the “Second Blessing”. Some called it “The Cleansing Baptism”, other preachers called it “Entire Sanctification” and still others called it the “Baptism of Fire”. The Lord certainly blessed me but ultimately I became very dissatisfied. One year I went with a friend to the great Keswick Convention, held in the Lake District; and, I remember responding to the appeal when it was made. I was instructed to take by faith the Gift of the Holy Spirit. The Scriptures given me were “If you being evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your heavenly father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him” and the other Scripture was this “If we ask anything according to His will. He heareth us and if He hears us then we know we have the petitions desired of Him”. I believed and received the Holy Spirit by faith. The Lord certainly blessed me for my obedience but sometime after I realised that the power of God, known by the servants of Christ as revealed in the Acts of the Apostles, was not being shown in my life and in my preaching. Our first contact with the Pentecostal outpouring of the Spirit was in 1909 when we met a Missionary from India at the Star Hall Easter Convention. He was going to Sweden on furlough. We had a private conversation with him and he told us how, in passing through America he attended meetings where he witnessed scenes similar to those recorded in the Acts of the Apostles. Many people were speaking in tongues and mighty miracles of healing were witnessed. We were thrilled and felt sure this was the revival for which we had been praying so long. From that time we started seeking this amazing power. We knew the mighty signs, wonders and miracles recorded in the Acts of the Apostles were the acts of the Holy Ghost but we had no idea how we could know we had this power or how to obtain this power, so we continued praying more than ever.
The news of the Pentecostal revival which was sweeping America soon reached Europe and the leaders of Star Hall heard we were praying much that this revival would come our way, and they became very antagonistic. The Evangelist, Rev. John Thomas, who had been a great blessing to me and for whom I had great admiration, had a personal talk with me and definitely told me I was in danger of being side-tracked by the devil. I would then be about twenty three years of age, and coming from such a well-known Evangelist this warning shook me, however, we pressed on but had to leave Star Hall, owing to increasing opposition. We heard that a few Plymouth Brethren were seeking the Pentecostal blessing so we joined them and commenced attending Stanley Hall, Longsight, Manchester. Then we heard that a preacher named Rev. T. B. Barrett from Norway was holding meetings in All Saints Church Hall, Sunderland. Apparently Rev. A. A. Boddy (the Vicar) had invited him to come, having heard of the Pentecostal Revival Meetings which were taking place in Norway through the Ministry of Pastor Barrett. The latter had recently returned from America, where he received the Pentecostal Baptism with speaking in tongues; this was how it was described in those days.
Chapter 4: Incredible Pentecostal Revival
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