Elim Pentecostal Church
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George Jeffreys (1889–1962), a Welshman, founded the Elim Pentecostal Church in Monaghan, Ireland in 1915. Jeffreys was an evangelist with a Welsh Congregational church background. He was converted at age 15 during the Welsh Revival of 1904. Alexander A. Boddy, Vicar of All Saints, Monkwearmouth, Sunderland invited him to preach at his International Pentecostal Convention in Sunderland in May 1913. Between 1915 and 1934, Jeffreys was extremely active as a revivalist, and preached to large crowds throughout the United Kingdom. The church was brought together, first as the Elim Evangelistic Band, but this was changed to Elim Foursquare Gospel Alliance when the Deed Poll was registered in April 1934. The name 'Elim' was taken from the account in the Book of Exodus, chapter 15, verse 27, where the Israelites, leaving the bondage of Egypt under the leadership of Moses, found an oasis called Elim: "Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve wells of water and seventy palm trees; so they camped there by the waters." This represented a place of refreshing and it was thought appropriate for a revival movement at that time.
Differences of opinion over Jeffrey's open aspousal of British Israelism and disputes on church governance led Jeffreys to withdraw from the Elim Pentecostal Church in 1939 and to form the Bible-Pattern Church Fellowship in Nottingham, which founded other churches throughout England until the 1960s, but that now only continues as a small fellowship. The presidency of Elim then passed to George Kingston, a wealthy businessman who had founded many of the Elim congregations in Essex.
On the night of June 23, 1978, 8 British missionaries and four young children (including a 3-week-old baby) connected with the Elim Mission in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) were bayoneted to death by guerilla fighters. Most of the women were raped.
Elim Pentecostal beliefs include: the Bible as divinely inspired; the triune nature of the Godhead; the divinity, virgin birth, humanity, sinless life, substitutionary atonement, bodily resurrection, present intercession, and second coming of Jesus; the universal sinfulness of mankind; the work of the Holy Spirit in conviction, repentance, regeneration and sanctification; the baptism of the Holy Spirit "with signs following"; that salvation is received by faith alone and evidenced by the fruits of the Spirit. The baptism of believers by immersion and Communion are held to be ordinances.
Elim has experienced steady growth and now numbers over 500 churches in the UK and almost 9000 worldwide. Kensington Temple of London is the largest church in the denomination and claims to reach over 15,000 people weekly. In addition to its work with churches, the International Mission Board operates hospitals, orphanages, and schools in 35 countries. The church operates Regents Theological College in Malvern, Worcestershire.
The authority of governance of the church is rested in the annual Conference. Guidance of the denomination is placed in the National Leadership Team and the General Superintendent between sessions. John Glass has served as General Superintendent since 2000. Elim headquarters is in Malvern, alongside its Bible College. Elim became a founding member of the Pentecostal Churches of the United Kingdom in 1998. It has been a member of the Evangelical Alliance for many years.
Though the local congregations are commonly and popularly known as Elim Pentecostal Churches, the legal name of the denomination is still Elim Foursquare Gospel Alliance, which is based on the church's stand for four fundamental truths - "Jesus Christ as the Saviour, Healer, Baptiser in the Holy Spirit, and Coming King."
The standard hymnal of the Elim Church has been the Redemption Hymnal.
- "Time Magazine: RHODESIA: Savagery and Terror". July 10, 1978.
- The full story is elaborated in Phyllis Thompson, The Rainbow or the Thunder, Sevenoaks: Hodder and Stoughton.
- Official website of the Elim Pentecostal Church
- Regents Theological College - official Web Site
- Serious4God - Elim's youth department, official Web Site
- Kingdom Living Pentecostal Church, Staines
- Pentecostal Pioneers - Biographical material about Jeffreys brothers etc.
- Elim Connect Centre - Elim Connect Centre in Wells, official Web Site