by Alice Belle Garrigus
CHAPTER 21. THE WORK SPREADS
Time had come for a forward move for Pentecost in Newfoundland and God laid it on the hearts of Bro. and Sr. C.L. March and Bro. and Sr. Herbert Eddy to move to Humbermouth and open a Pentecostal work.
A large building, commonly known as "The Ark", was erected, and the work opened with great blessing from the Lord. Corner Brook soon followed, then Deer Lake, Grand Falls, Bishop's Falls, Springdale, Twillingate and Botwood.
Perhaps no assembly required more sacrifice than that of Deer Lake. Those were pioneer days and brought together a very rough element. The hall was in the business section of the town and became a target for the attacks of the lawless. I was there one night and must say I never saw a gospel service carried on under more difficulties than that one. Two young women, Sr. Broomfield, now Mrs. Lewis Eddy, and Sr. Peach, now Mrs. Wm. Gillett, were in charge.
Tears have come to my eyes as I have listened to some of their experiences in those early days. I can only magnify the grace of God that is able to keep under the most trying circumstances.
Among those that frequently attended the mission was a man who according to his own statement, was the roughest of them all, a slave to drink and one feared by his companions, as he was a great fighter. His heart was touched to see those two young women in the midst of reckless sinners, and appointed himself as their guardian. He had it thoroughly understood that anyone that laid hands on "those girls" would have to settle with "Uncle Jimmie", as he was called. A word to the wise is sufficient, no one cared to risk such a serious challenge, so the girls went in and out unmolested.
One day they were missing at the table and "Uncle Jimmie" found they were out in the fields praying for him. This greatly stirred him and he tried to convince them it was useless to pray for him, but they still prayed on, till one day, unable to resist such pleadings, "Uncle Jimmie" surrendered to God and became a soldier of the Lord Jesus Christ.
A fire broke out on the main street of Deer Lake, taking building after building. The Pentecostal mission was in direct line, but as it reached the building, the wind changed and the mission was unharmed. All around was smoking ruins but God's house stood as a token of His care and protection.
The time came when the authorities decided to remove all church buildings to Church Hill, and the Pentecostal assembly was given the first choice of a site for their building. To my mind they made a wise choice, as it seems to me the best. A neat little hall and now a fine parsonage have been built, and the seed that was sown with such difficulty, has brought forth an abundant harvest. Many of the leading men of Deer Lake, have been convinced that the Pentecostal message is the true one, and have boldly taken their stand for the full gospel. The Pentecostal mission of Deer Lake has the respect of the town's people, and best of all, the approval of God.