“Incredible”: autobiography of John Nelson Parr — Contents
Chapter Thirteen: The Incredible “Y.E.S.”
The work among the young people made terrific progress. Amazing opportunities were given them for practical training in preaching and working for Christ at our branch Sunday Schools, “Y.E.S.” Centres and Open Air Meetings; and other fields of service. It was laid on my heart to give them Bible training and so I started the “B.B.C.” i.e. Bethshan Bible College. This was held every Saturday at 6 p.m. before the Saturday Evening Service. I gave them lectures on all the fundamental truths of the Christian faith and also many other subjects. Ultimately over thirty-two of our young people went into full-time Ministry, Evangelism and Missionary work. Many of them have told me what a wonderful help those lectures have been to them. Many of our young people are today (1970) found in many countries of the world, including Africa, New Guinea, Malawi, Formosa, South Africa, Rhodesia, Australia, Congo and in many towns and cities of Britain. One, who is now the Pastor of an English Assembly told me recently, if it had not been for eleven years training as a “Y.E.S.” leader he would never have been able to retain his position as a Pastor.
All our young people, who are now labouring as Pastors, Evangelists and Missionaries were trained at Bethshan Tabernacle where they received Bible and practical training in addition to the fields of practical training already mentioned; every Summer a number of our young people spent a week of their holidays on “Trek”, in other words, they would visit Assemblies in many parts of Britain and spend just over one week winning souls for Christ. These treks gave them very valuable training in winning souls, open-air meetings and house to house visitation. They also conducted meetings for boys and girls.
When visiting U.S.A. in 1946 I witnessed the great advantages of the American method of Pastors having a full-time secretary, handling all the correspondence, clerical work, accounts, etc., and in 1948 my daughter, Miss Marjorie L. Parr, resigned a prominent, lucrative position as Personnel Officer in a very large factory and became the Church Secretary and the Pastor’s Secretary. This proved to be a marvellous move as it gave me more time for prayer, study and visiting.
The fantastic progress of the work of God at Bethshan Tabernacle after I had resigned all my offices in Assemblies of God in 1934 and devoted all my energies, time and God-given abilities to the Bethshan work was absolutely phenomenal; while we did not lay undue emphasis on finance, it does say in the Acts of the Apostles that when the Blessing of God was poured out abundantly on the early Church they gave abundantly. The fabulous growth of our offerings from 1934, when they were £1,201, to 1964, when they were £11,900 per annum is in itself a magnificent testimony of the astonishing growth of the work.
Chapter 15: Incredible Methods
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