Thursday, November 5, 2009

Big trees from small seeds grow

“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed” said Jesus. “Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches” (Matthew 13:31-32)

Here is how the Primitive Methodists grew to become a movement of 200, 000 members, 6000 churches and half a million Sunday School children in attendance each week:

  • 1799 Hugh Bourne converted to Christ

  • 1801 Hugh Bourne led Daniel Shubotham to Christ on Christmas Day 1801

  • 1802 Hugh Bourne, Daniel and a friend, Matthias Bayley bring four coal miners to Christ

  • 1802-1804 The four coal miners lead others to Christ – they become great “talkers” of the gospel

  • 1804 A revival breaks out in the village of Harriseahead and they experience a powerful outpouring of the Holy Spirit

  • 1807 This group of believers organise an open-air camp meeting. Thousands come from the surrounding localities to attend

  • 1808 -1810 Hugh Bourne (1808), William Clowes (1810) and others expelled from the Wesleyan Methodists, for organising open-air camp meetings

  • 1810 New movement formed. There are 35 formal members

  • 1816 Open air camp meeting at Nottingham Forest, more than 12,000 present

  • 1819 William Clowes, preacher, evangelist and missionary enters Hull and the movement expands rapidly in that region

  • 1820 Movement grows to 8000 formal members

  • 1852 Movement expands to 100,000 members and almost 10,000 preachers

  • 1888 Nearly 200,000 members, 6000 churches and half a million Sunday school scholars, and 17,000 preachers. The movement spreads to England, Wales, Scotland, America, Australia and New Zealand

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