In November 2006, men and women from a variety of reformed churches gathered at The
Hayes, Swanwick, to hear God’s Word and to pray that he might graciously grant a
time of Holy Spirit revival in our land.
Mark Webb from Grace Bible Church, Olive Branch, Mississippi, reminded us of three
exhortations to ‘ask’ in John 14-16. First, if we ask in the name of Christ (14:13)
the Holy Spirit will enable us to do greater things, so that we witness the great
miracle of conversion. Second, if we abide in Christ as living branches nourished
by the Vine, we may ask what we desire (15:7) and the Lord will answer — granting
us the blessing of supernatural fruit through the gospel. Third, as the Lord experienced
a ‘reversal’, from deep darkness to great joy, in the two days following his crucifixion
(16:20), so also we may ask the Father in the name of Christ (16:23) to bring about
a ‘reversal’ in the spiritual condition of our land.
Ministry of encouragement
Geoff Thomas, from Alfred Place Baptist Church, Aberystwyth, showed from Mark 2:18-22
that true religion is not to do with ‘patching up’ our sinful lives. We need new
natures. Only the gospel of grace can bring about this change. He also preached with
urgency and passion from Acts 18:18-28 on how God makes a man a ‘Revival Preacher’.
God uses men of limited gifts, as well as those with exceptional gifts. The key is
to be ‘mighty in the Scriptures’ — an ability that even those who do not preach can
also acquire. Aquila and Priscilla show us that godly men and women, though not preachers,
may be used to prepare others for the ministry of the gospel. Mr Thomas’ third message
was a challenging exhortation to the ministry of encouragement. He stirred our hearts
to exercise such a ministry, using many practical applications from Hebrews 10:19-25.
Gary Nixon, from Geneva Road Evangelical Baptist Church, Darlington, told how he
was brought up as a Gypsy and converted in 1986 in a Pentecostal environment — but
later came to accept Reformed doctrine. He worked among the Gypsy people in Romania,
founding two churches there. His enthusiasm for standing for the Lord was a challenge
to us, as he reminded us from 2 Chronicles 20:1-24 that we are in a war but are victorious
Jacques Teeuwen, from the Evangelical Free Church, Apeldoorn, Holland, warmed our
hearts with a testimony that will remain in our memories for a long time. He belonged
to Hitler Youth during the war, was converted in 1952, and went in 1964 to New Guinea.
There, he and his wife served for 13 years, bringing the gospel to the primitive
and fear-ridden Dani tribe. They saw a rapid and remarkable transformation, as 22,000
of the tribe trusted Christ over a period of four years. Throughout the conference
we were reminded that the Lord is still able to work in remarkable ways in his sovereign
Geoff Thomas wrote an appreciation of the 2006 Conference as follows:
"There was not a single dud session; I believe that there was a special work of the
Spirit of God present throughout the whole time, a warm affection building up among
the people. The great hymns were sung with tuneful earnestness. If it had lasted
a day longer I would have become weepy. There were days in the past when Dr. Lloyd-Jones
spoke at these conferences when something of a holy, humbling atmosphere developed.
I can thank God I was there this year; the conference was for me a model of what
conferences can and sometimes do achieve in personal reviving and renewal."