Close-Ups with the Assemblies.
IMPRESSIONS OF A VISITOR TO MACKAY.
“When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing; then said they among the heathen, the Lord that done great things for them. The Lord hath done great things for us: whereof we are glad.” (Ps. 126: 1-3).
It was my privilege to visit the old established Assembly at Mackay, upon the recent occasion of the re-opening of the Gospel Hall which had recently undergone alterations and improvements.
After months of persevering prayer regarding the necessary finance to renovate, the answer cam« in the form of £50 from a totally unthought of source, and the faith of the saints greatly stimulated .as the finance began to come in steadily. A committee was formed who planned and revised, until the present plan was set before the members of the Assembly and met with their unqualified approval. The contractor soon put the plan into operation, with the result that. Mackay now has a building which any Assembly might be proud of.
After the completion of the contract, willing hearts and consecrated hands did much more to beautify the interior of the building, and on August 26th is was ready for the reopening.
This accomplishment is the more marvellous in view of the fact that a little more than two years ago, only a few faithful members remained, and the closing of the work was seriously considered. About that time, however, Pastor Akehurst and his wife heard the call of the Lord to this needy field, and on reaching it, found much to dismay and discourage. But being confident of their call, they emboldened to remind God of His precious promises and claim their fulfilment. With a mind to work on the part of these faithful ones, there is now apparent the blessed miracle of restoration of oil that the cankerworm and palmerworm had eaten.
In view of the fact that the State Chairman (Pastor C. G. Enticknap) was unable to preside at the re-opening ceremonies, Sister Dennis, of Bowen—much loved and highly known because of her pioneering labours in the Mackay District --was asked to be present and to dedicate the practically new Hall.
On Sunday morning, about 35 adults with hearts full of praise and thanksgiving, gathered to worship the Lord and to feast at His table. Pastor Akehurst presided, and Sister Dennis—under the anointing of the Holy Spirit—brought forth the Word of Life, choosing for her text 2 Cor. 9: 8.
Though the City was given up to the hilarity of opening the Harbour, we were made to feast at the King's Table, and to understand something of the “more abundant” life which is ours. The Hall was well filled for the Evening service, about 100 being present. On enquiry, we learned that this was the usual attendance.
Pastor Akehurst again presided. Sister Dennis gave a timely word on the ordinance of Water Baptism, and its significance, at which juncture Pastor Akehurst led the way into a new Baptistry at the rear of the platform (a spontaneous love-gift from one of the members), and immersed seven candidates. It was then my Joyous privilege to bring forth the Gospel message from Acts 8:36-38. The love of God was manifest and His sweet hallowed presence rested upon each gathering throughout the day—many hearts being filled to overflowing with gratitude to God for the great things which He had wrought.
I was much impressed with the fine Open Air band. Twice weekly, men and women with a definite testimony stand forth to sing, play, and deliver with boldness the wondrous Full Gospel message of Redeeming grace. Crowds of attentive people gather on these occasions. Almost nightly, Pastor Akehurst and his assistant (Bro. S. Douglas) journey long distances and minister the Word of Life in halls or cottages as the case may be.
We trust that while Jesus tarries God may continue to work in the midst and enlarge their borders for service.
(Sgd.) L. Barnes (Pastor).