The Welsh Revival
In 2004 we celebrated 100 years since what is known as the Welsh revival. During the spring of 1904 a young Welshman named Evan Roberts, a 26 year old student, had a spiritual experience which led him back to the young people of his own church where he shared this experience and encouraged them to be open to God’s Spirit.
God poured out His Spirit and within two weeks the Welsh Revival was national news. Before long Evan Roberts and others were travelling the country conducting Revival Meetings. Meetings which broke the conventional and bypassed the traditional – often the ministers just sat down unable to preach or even to understand what storm had arrived in their usually sedate churches.
People were changed in so many ways. The crime rate dropped, drunkards were reformed, pubs reported losses in trade. Bad language disappeared and never returned to the lips of many. The Times observed that the whole population had been suddenly stirred by a common impulse. Religion had become the absorbing interest of their lives. They gathered at crowded services for six and eight hours at a time.
A powerful spiritual awakening that brought 100,000 people to Christ was under way. The revival storm that hit the hills and valleys of Wales in the dying months of 1904 soon became a hurricane that affected the world. Visitors caught the flame then passed it on to new countries.
Our Elim churches were birthed out of the Welsh revival. The Elim Pentecostal Church was founded in 1915 by a Welshman named George Jeffreys who was an outstanding evangelist and church planter. He was strongly influenced by the Welsh Revival of 1904.
A well known evangelist, Smith Wigglesworth - the great man of faith, came to New Zealand for crusades in 1922. This was the beginning of what was to be known as the Pentecostal Church of New Zealand. In August 1949 negotiations were set in motion by the Conference of the Pentecostal Church of New Zealand to link up with the Elim Church of Great Britain.
The Elim Pentecostal Church in the United Kingdom has over 500 churches, and over 9000 churches in many countries around the world. The Elim Church of New Zealand has over 40 churches throughout the nation with significant churches in the main centres. Every year we hold our Annual Conference where over 1000 people from around New Zealand gather for 3 days of worship, teaching and fellowship.
It is our belief that Elim has a significant part to play in the world today, and we are confidently looking forward to what God will do in the future.