The Healing Evangelist
1904 is renowned as the year of the Welsh Revival, when, in the space of six months, more than 100,000 conversions were recorded. The name forever linked with that move of God is Evan Roberts. Towards the end of his life Roberts was asked to name some people from the Welsh Revival who had been especially used of God and he replied, 'Beyond all those I know - Stephen Jeffreys.'
Stephen Jeffreys was a coal miner from Nantyffyllon, Maesteg. He was converted during the revival, on Sunday morning, November 17th, 1904 , in his home town at Siloh Chapel, under the preaching of the minister there, Rev Glasnant Jones. Stephen was then twenty-eight years old.
He was born on the 2nd September, 1876 , the third of twelve children. His father suffered with asthma and struggled to make his living as a miner. It wasn't easy with such a large family and as soon as Stephen was twelve years old he had to accompany his father 'down the pit'. His father finally gave up the unequal struggle and died at the early age of forty-seven, leaving his gallant widow to battle on alone. She never dreamt that her struggles would be rewarded by two of her sons - Stephen and his younger brother George - and her grandson Edward (Stephen's boy), becoming three of the greatest evangelists of this century.
Before the revival, Stephen's interest in church went no deeper than membership of a church flute band during his teen years. Unlike his father, Stephen was physically strong and robust and able to endure the hard work down the coal mines. He was stockily built and his powerful frame was enlivened by striking blue eyes and enhanced by a head of wavy, sandy hair. On Boxing Day, 1898, he married Elizabeth Lewis, a farmer's daughter from Ynys-y-bwl, Bridgend. It was a good marriage, which was blessed with three daughters: May, Gladys and Lilian (who, sadly, died when only six months old) and one son, Edward. For the most part, the life of the little family moved on uneventfully - until 1904. In that year Evan Roberts confided to a friend: 'I have a vision of all Wales being lifted up to heaven. We are going to see the mightiest revival that Wales has ever known - and the Holy Ghost is coming soon, so we must get ready.'
According to Edwin Orr: 'The Welsh Revival may be traced to the chapel of Rev Joseph Jenkins at New Quay, Cardiganshire, as early as February 1904.' The stream gathered momentum over the next six months and when the well-known evangelist, Seth Joshua, visited the chapel in September he found a remarkable 'revival spirit' in the place. As he ministered, the momentum increased and shortly afterwards, at a special service at Blaenannerch, Seth Joshua closed his meeting with a moving prayer, crying out in Welsh, 'Lord . . . bend us.' Evan Roberts was present and he went out to the front to kneel, crying in great agony: 'Lord, bend me.' Seth Joshua made a note in his diary remarking upon the prayer of the young man. By November the stream had become a river and suddenly the river overflowed - Wales was in a flood-tide of blessing. For the next thirteen months young Evan Roberts was thrust into prominence and was the revival's outstanding personality.
The lives of hundreds of coal-miners and tin-plate workers were transformed. Men went straight from the mills and mines to the chapels; the pubs were almost deserted. Stephen went to several services and came under conviction. The joy of some of his work-mates only made him feel worse. Conviction by the Spirit of God made his life unbearable. He said, 'It was an awful week before my conversion.' On Sunday morning he went to Siloh Chapel and the faithful ministry of Rev Glasnant Jones bore fruit that 17th day of November, 1904, when Stephen Jeffreys was gloriously converted and immediately filled with indescribable joy.
He became a member of Siloh Chapel, attending all the prayer meetings and taking an active part in the life of the church but his special love was the open-air service. The Revival was now reaching its height; all classes, all ages and every denomination shared in the awakening. David Lloyd-George compared the Revival to an earthquake and a tornado. Stocks of Bibles were sold out. Prayer meetings were held in coal mines, in trains and places of business. Crime decreased and drunkenness diminished drastically.
In that divinely charged atmosphere Stephen started preaching on the streets of Maesteg. One evening, such a crowd gathered that a dear old lady brought him a chair to stand on so that all could see him. He preached until it was going dark and still the crowd stayed, whereupon the old lady returned to her house for a miner's lamp, which she held so that he could be seen as well as heard. From the first it was clear that he was an evangelist.
For several years he continued working as a coal-miner but at every opportunity he preached in the open air. Prayer meetings were the order of the day in the great years following the Revival and Stephen was faithful also in that equally vital ministry.
When news of the Pentecostal outpouring in Alexander Boddy's church at Sunderland began to reach South Wales , in the autumn of 1907, hungry hearts were stirred to seek God for similar manifestations. These first occurred in the English Congregational Church at Waunllwyd, near Ebbw Vale, in December of that same year. Moncur Niblock, who had just received his personal Pentecost at Sunderland , came on a visit from London and on December 22nd, at a wonderful praise meeting in the pastor's study, the Spirit fell upon one of the seekers. Soon afterwards the Pastor, Rev Thomas Madog Jeffreys, received, along with others. Waunllwyd became a centre for seekers and the blessing quickly spread. Special meetings were arranged at Maesteg and Stephen and his brother George were among those who experienced a mighty baptism of the Holy Spirit accompanied with speaking in other tongues. Stephen claimed that this experience added the power he needed in his witnessing for the Saviour.
He had the supreme joy of leading others to Christ -including some of his work mates. One of his mining colleagues, a W. J. Thomas, noticed the difference between Stephen and some of the other miners who were only nominal 'chapel-goers'. However, he couldn't understand what Stephen was on about when he kept talking to him about the 'great plan of redemption'. Eventually, Thomas became one of a trickle of converts with whom God was honouring Stephen's efforts. It happened at a Harvest Thanksgiving meeting on a farm at Drysiog. Stephen saw that his friend was 'under conviction' and he pleaded with him to accept the Lord as his personal Saviour. Mr Thomas testified: 'He was the first one ever to show me the plan of salvation and on that memorable night of October 29th, 1912 , I there and then accepted the Lord as my Saviour.'
Around that time Stephen received an invitation to conduct his first evangelistic campaign at a place called Cwmtwrch, near Swansea . It was a success and he was invited to return for another three days. Such was the blessing of God upon him that he remained for several weeks. The news quickly spread and the Life of Faith dated 5th February, 1913 , under the caption, ' Wales in the Dawn of Revival', carried this story:
'Although day after day it has poured in torrents, people have walked miles over the hills to hear the preaching and all over Wales congregations are praying that the revival will spread. In a week or two, possibly, Stephen Jeffreys will be considered another Evan Roberts.
'I sat last night in his packed iron church and saw folk, their faces lit with ecstasy, swaying with emotion. "The spirit has come!" shouted one woman, sinking on her knees and bursting into prayer, and fervent ejaculations of contrition and devotion came from all around as, preaching in Welsh, Mr Jeffreys exhorted his hearers to repent. For hours it went on and so it will go on day after day and night after night. Remarkable cases of healing are reported.'
Stephen's brother George wrote a letter to Alexander Boddy in Sunderland : 'The work here is deepening and numerous conversions are taking place daily and many have received the baptism of the Holy Ghost with signs following. Praise the Lord! Some miraculous cases of healing have also taken place and it is a real apostolic revival.'
The Life of Faith also carried a report by a magistrate:
'I am much pleased to answer your questions concerning the Cwmtwrch Revival. I was much impressed with the earnestness and sincerity of Stephen Jeffreys. He has a most winsome way and carries his audience with him. He speaks in Welsh but is quite fluent in English. His brother George has joined him. They are both excellent singers and there is a good deal of singing in the meetings. They are clear on the atonement; no new theology, but the judgement to come sounded forth with dread alarms. They expect that the saved shall become new creatures -old things passing away. All the converts come right out and confess Christ. There were about a hundred conversions when I came away. The fervour in the meetings is as great as in 1904. Some of the women seem to carry all before them in prayer.'
Stephen's wife, Elizabeth, visited the meetings and came away convinced of her husband's call to the ministry. When she got back home to Maesteg she gathered up his pit clothes and gave them away to a friend saying, 'Stephen will never need them again.' How right she was.
His second campaign was at a small village in Radnorshire, called Pen-Y-Bont. When he arrived there his spirit sank within him; the place where the meetings were to be held seemed miles from anywhere. Alone in his lodgings, as he prayed he was reassured and believed that God was going to bless the mission and draw the people in. After a rather slow start, things started to pick up - especially after a notable miracle of healing. Although there had been healings at Cwmtwrch, Stephen regarded the healing which took place at Pen-Y-Bont as the first miracle of instantaneous healing he had experienced. It stirred the district and thereafter the meetings were crowded and people came from near and far. Up in Sunderland , Alexander Boddy heard reports of this new move and travelled down to Pen-Y-Bont to see for himself.
In his magazine Confidence dated March, 1913, he described his visit:
'I arrived in the evening at Llandrindod Wells and made enquiries about getting out to the Revival Meeting at PenY-Bont. It was about five miles and seemed a long way in the dark. At last I saw lights and heard singing. I made my way in quietly and sat in a side room. Stephen Jeffreys began his address on "What think ye of Christ?" in English but with Welsh musical cadences and "hwyl". When all was over I made myself known to Stephen and George Jeffreys who were surprised at a visit from "Pastor Boddy". A knot of earnest folk lingered and we sang and praised God. I taught them the chorus - "We are marching on to victory, Lord Jesus.
During the visit Boddy had a long heart to heart talk with the two brothers, who shared with him their feelings of the need for evangelists in the Pentecostal work. They told him, 'There are many teachers and would-be teachers but few evangelists. The Lord is giving an answer through this revival to the criticism that the Pentecostal people are not interested in evangelistic work and only seek to have good times.'
Boddy was impressed with the meetings and he visited the woman who had received the instantaneous healing which had stirred the district and created a new faith in Stephen's heart. He wrote: 'I visited Miss Edith M. Carr, who had been lame for nine months through diseased bone in the foot and had relied on a crutch to walk. She requested prayer by Stephen Jeffreys, who went to her home and anointed her with oil and laid his hands upon her.'
Boddy then reported what Edith Carr had told him: 'A great light came round about me and filled me with great power and I arose from the couch and stood on both feet and gently walked round the room with scarcely any help.' That evening she was in the meeting telling what God had done. It was a most convincing miracle as her surgeon had feared an amputation would be needed. Edith Carr was a good pianist and volunteered her services for the remainder of the campaign.
In the last meeting before Alexander Boddy returned to Sunderland he heard Stephen Jeffreys say, 'I want to go all the way with the Lord and he will make me a flame of fire.'
Stephen's reputation was growing and he received an invitation from a Baptist church in Llanelli to conduct a campaign. This proved successful and continued for several weeks. Afterwards, Stephen decided to stay on in Llanelly, to open a church of his own in a building which for some obscure reason was called ' Island Place '. It had had a rather chequered history since its erection in 1830, but in seven of the happiest years of his ministry Stephen made it world famous. It was not a large building and for seven years, with meetings every night, it was always packed to the doors.
On a Sunday evening in July 1914, some two weeks before the outbreak of World War I; a most remarkable happening occurred. Stephen was preaching on the text, 'That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made comfortable unto his death' from Philippians 3:10 . Stephen was conscious of extra power and blessing and he could see that the people were riveted in his direction and yet not him. As soon as he finished his wife beckoned him to come down from the pulpit and then he saw the reason for the remarkable effect upon the congregation - there on the wall behind the pulpit was a vision of Christ for all to see.
A lady called Mrs Harris Williams who had been sitting next to Mrs Jeffreys in the service said, 'Just behind our dear pastor there appeared the head of a lamb with two horns. Then, as I was trying to get Mrs Jeffreys to see it, the head became a face with two beautiful tears rolling down. The pastor was appealing to sinners and the beautiful face of the Man of Sorrows was enshrouded with glory.'
Stephen recounted, 'When I came down among the congregation and looked where I had been, there in the wall was the living face of Jesus, with a Roman nose and Jewish features. His hair was like wool, parted in the middle. When I examined closer it looked as though his hair was streaked with white like that of a middle-aged man in grief. We remained in the chapel for a long time looking and scores of others who heard about it came to examine. Among them was a strong sceptic, who declared, "I have seen and now I believe." He came in an infidel and went out a believer.'
Hundreds flocked in to see the sight, which remained for several hours. Some actually tried to erase the face but failed to do so. One man, John Richards - a painter and decorator - testified: 'With my handkerchief in my hands I went and placed it over the object. Then imagine my surprise to find that object shining through my handkerchief.'
Another lady who was in the congregation, Mrs Every, declared, 'The chapel was very full. Between eight and nine o'clock I saw my Saviour's face distinctly on the wall, his eyelids flickered quite clearly. A Man of Sorrows - so he appeared. At the close of the meeting it was still there, and after when I went home.'
Sceptics who came in were not slow to make their suggestions. One said it was some kind of hallucination 'caused by the flickering of the light'. A witness said, 'The pastor did not stop to argue that the electric light was not flickering but turned it out at once and there more clearly shining, living and real was our Saviour. Not to be beaten, the sceptic averred: "It must be projected by some kind of optical apparatus through a window from outside" and then the pastor had all the blinds drawn and that made no difference whatever, for the Saviour was there just the same.'
The vision was thoroughly investigated and all but the most obdurate accepted it as a sign from God. For many years there was no shortage of dependable eye-witnesses to confirm its genuineness. The Vicar of Wall, near Lichfield , Rev J. W. Adams, MA, twice visited Llanelly, first in 1926 and again the following year. He questioned many eyewitnesses and listed over a score of people with their names and addresses who were all ready to confirm the story.
The caretaker of Island Place , Robert John Williams, in his account said, 'I looked at the face from all angles but which ever way I looked his eyes seemed to follow me everywhere. I stayed there for some time, so I am quite sure of what I saw. The crowd became so great that I locked the place up. After going about a mile on my way home I decided to return. The vision was still there, exactly the same as when I left. My wife and daughters saw exactly the same as I did.'
Stephen prayed to know the meaning of this strange and wonderful happening. He said, 'I thought the vision was granted for something more than emphasising my sermon. After I had prayed to know the meaning it seemed to be a sign of terrible suffering about to come but I did not know what. Then a fortnight later when war began I knew what it was and ever since have recognised it as a sign of the beginning of the end of this age.'
The vision made a deep impression upon Stephen and increased his zeal to proclaim the Second Coming of Christ as drawing near. In the light of this he felt he had to warn people of God's impending judgement and preach the absolute necessity of the new birth through faith in Christ as the only remedy for sinful man. He filled ' Island Place ' to overflowing with converts who included tradesmen, boxers, professional men, gamblers and drunkards. At the same time as his fame spread he was in constant demand to conduct campaigns all over Wales and further afield. God was preparing his servant for still greater things.
Evidence of Stephen Jeffrey's growing power was seen in an outstanding campaign in Aberaman, South Wales , in November 1919. The' invitation came to him from its small assembly of just nine members and God wonderfully answered their prayers. As Stephen preached the crowds quickly built up and some 300 - mainly young people -registered their decisions for Christ. Stephen's was no soft gospel; he preached the judgement of God like an Old Testament prophet and strong men trembled and wept. The Second Coming of Christ featured strongly in his ministry and brought with it a great 'sense of urgency. News of this move of God carried over the borders of Wales and the national newspapers became interested. The Sunday Chronicle of November 16th, 1919 , headed 'Big Welsh Revival - More Visions in a Colliery Village ', reported:
'A new religious revival, which reproduces many of the extraordinary features of the Evan Roberts revival of several years ago, has broken out at the colliery village of Aberaman, a place of some five thousand inhabitants.
'Indeed, so remarkable are the scenes of intense religious fervour, coupled with supernatural visions on the part of converts and cases of what are claimed to be divine healing of physical diseases among them, that one aged religious leader declares that he has seen three revivals but that this is the greatest of them all!
'For three weeks Pastor Stephen Jeffreys, a missioner from Llanelly, has been entreating the crowds of people to turn from the wickedness of their ways and prepare for the second advent of Christ into the world, which he declares is near.
Shortly after this, Stephen received an invitation from Cecil Polhill to conduct a campaign in the early part of 1921 in the fashionable Horbury Congregational Chapel in Kensington, London . Mr Polhill was the wealthy squire of Howbury Hall, Bedford , and one of the earliest Pentecostal leaders in Britain , having received his Pentecostal experience in 1906 in the notable outpouring in Los Angeles . His name had been well-known in Christian circles since the 1880s when he joined C. T. Studd and the other university graduate's who formed the 'Cambridge Seven'. Their going to China as missionaries made international headlines. It was a daring move of faith by Cecil Polhill to invite the 'Welsh miner' to mission in London 's West End . Stephen's English, though quite good, still carried a very strong Welsh accent, and when he got excited in his preaching (which he invariably did at one stage or another) all but his Welsh compatriots had difficulty understanding him.
Although many of the fashionable 'West-enders' - who at first crowded into the church mainly out of curiosity - found his Welsh brogue almost beyond their comprehension, the Spirit of God moved upon them and not a few found themselves weeping. God broke through and soon long queues of cars formed; ladies in evening dress attended and the elite of London 's West End came under Stephen's spell. One couple attended a meeting and on the following evening visited a London theatre. Sitting there waiting for the performance to begin the lady turned to her husband and said, 'We shouldn't be here; we' should be in Horbury Chapel listening to that Welsh man.
'I agree,' said her husband, whereupon the two of them left the theatre and arrived at the' chapel in time to hear Stephen preach. That night they both responded to his appeal to receive Christ as their Saviour.
Mr Polhill had arranged for a promising young Pentecostal pastor, who was also a gifted pianist and organist, to come down from Edinburgh and play for these meetings. His name was Donald Gee and he was also destined for Pentecostal fame, but with his pen rather than on the piano. He wrote of those meetings:
'After his characteristically passionate messages, Mr Jeffreys prayed for long queues of sick people. The lame left their crutches and one paper aptly described it as " Bethesda in the West End ". My greatest personal thrill was to see the smile drawn over the face of a deaf man as his hearing was restored. At times the great crowd got excited to a degree' and it was all I could do to make' them hear the piano as I tried to lead them in some hymn. I remember watching (as a former Congregationalist myself) the' row of staid but fascinated deacons standing on the back pews to get a better view of what was happening in the front as the evangelist laid his hands on the' sick. It was not one of Stephen Jeffrey's greatest campaigns but it was memorable.'
During the campaign another wealthy Christian was so impressed that he offered to book the Albert Hall for a fortnight if Stephen would conduct a campaign there. The' offer overwhelmed him; the vastness of the Albert Hall petrified him and he felt unable to take advantage of the generous offer. In later years he confided to friends that he felt this to be one of the few occasions on which he had missed a God-given opportunity. When the' Horbury Chapel campaign ended, an exhausted Stephen was more than happy to return to his beloved Llanelly, but not for much longer. God was grooming his servant throughout those seven Llanelly-based years for still greater things.
In 1922 Stephen accepted an invitation to join the' Elim Pentecostal Alliance which had been founded by his younger brother, George. The two brothers complemented one another and, during the few years in which they worked together, they swept all before them.
In January 1922 Stephen went to Grimsby to campaign for Elim. On the' first Sunday he started with just a handful of people' in a large hired hall but he' never 'trimmed his sails' in order to attract crowds. His preaching was fearless and forthright and one Grimsby newspaper described him as a modern John the Baptist fiercely denouncing sin and ungodliness and calling for a clean cut between Church and the world. God honoured the' faithful preaching of his Word by this rugged miner with signs and wonders. The Grimsby Telegraph for March 10th, 1922 , carried the story of the healing of a Mrs Altoft who walked after being helpless for eleven years. She had been confined to a spinal carriage since' 1911 but when prayed for by Stephen she' testified: 'I was able to rise up from the spinal carriage and walk almost without a tremor up one aisle' and down another. Not only can I now walk but after fifteen years I can see without wearing dark glasses. I am a new being from top to toe, free from morphia-taking, although I was told I never would be able to give this up.'
A few weeks later, Stephen and George Jeffreys moved on to nearby Hull to unite' in one of the greatest campaigns that city had ever witnessed. On the first night some 200 people' from Grimsby supported them and their testimonies of healing and salvation aroused the people of Hull . Interest increased and soon people were queuing for hours to get in. In the July 1922 issue of Elim Evangel , E. C. W. Boulton wrote:
'What wonderful scenes were witnessed at the divine healing services. One woman told of nineteen long years of suffering through paralysis, but when anointed by Pastor Jeffreys she was completely healed. Another lady related how after four years of suffering from hip disease, during which time she had undergone no less than four serious operations and had lain in irons for over three years, her case was pronounced as absolutely hopeless by the physicians. God stepped in and marvellously delivered her and now she is able to do her own housework.
'Another lady had not left her house for sixteen years, except in a bath-chair; three times she was operated upon. The doctors pronounced her case as incurable. When Pastor Stephen Jeffreys anointed her she said she felt the power of God go through her from head to foot with a mighty thrill. Her bath-chair was dispensed with and, to the astonishment of her friends and neighbours, she walked home unaided. She testified: "I have been able to do more housework these last eight weeks than I have done all my married life."
'One' of the cases which excited most interest was that of a young man whose condition was pitiable in the extreme; paralysed in almost every limb and unable to speak intelligibly
he was as helpless as a child. What a change was wrought in him. I remember so well the evening when, full of new life, he swung his arms above his head and then in the exuberance of his joy jumped again and again, demonstrating the reality of his healing.
'It is impossible to describe the after-meetings when, night after night, the penitents' form was lined with those seeking Christ. Sometimes as many as forty or fifty converts were kneeling together. Hundreds have been led to Christ and many and wonderful are the cases of healing.'
1922 was a memorable year for the Elim Movement and for Stephen Jeffreys. Wherever he went people flocked to hear him. September saw him in Swansea and, without any advertising, the Mount Zion Chapel was packed to capacity from the outset and proved far too small to contain the great crowds. In the morning as well as the evening the crowds gathered, including many chronically sick seeking healing. Always Stephen made it clear that salvation of the soul was the one vital thing, and before praying for the sick he emphasised that he personally possessed no healing power - they must expect a healing touch from the Lord Jesus himself.
His son Edward reported: 'At Swansea , miracles of healing of the most amazing character took place. The blind received their sight; cripples threw away their crutches; the deaf answered questions; withered and twisted arms were raised, and there were many other remarkable cures from heart trouble, rheumatism, neuritis, paralysis, ruptures, haemorrhages and other complaints.'
Many mature Pentecostal leaders gave it as their opinion that Stephen had the greatest healing and miracle ministry of any they had witnessed. Even so, to keep the preaching of the Gospel in its proper perspective, Stephen would regularly announce that no praying for the sick would take place, only a preaching service - but the crowds came just the same. This era with Elim in the early twenties was one of unprecedented power and glory for Pentecostal preaching.
In the summer of 1924 Stephen and George preached extensively for several months in Canada and America where great crowds warmed to their ministery. On his return to England , Stephen set the East End of London ablaze with revival. E. C. W. Boulton wrote as follows:
'The Barking campaign was one of the most glorious manifestations of Divine power that the writer has ever been privileged to see. For weeks the power of God swept through these constantly increasing congregations until hundreds had yielded to Christ and scores had been healed. From Barking the wave of revival spread in turn to East Ham, Ilford and Canning Town, each being caught in the wondrous flood-tide of heavenly outpouring.'
In May, 1925, Rev J. W. Adams, MA, the Vicar of Wall, near Lichfield , was in London for a week's holiday. He met a friend who urged him: 'Go to the Surrey Tabernacle, Walworth, to see Stephen Jeffreys. Staid Churchman as you are, you won't be there half an hour before you are shouting "Hallelujah".' Mr Adams thought his friend seemed a little off mental balance, but nevertheless decided to go.
Of that visit he wrote:
'I went as near to the front as space permitted and was soon profoundly impressed that he and his helpers were instruments of the Lord Jesus for healing cancer, tuberculosis and all manner of sicknesses. After being given up by doctors and discharged from hospitals, certified incurable, I saw many before and after the laying-on of hands, completely and some instantly healed. The blind received sight, the deaf heard, the dumb spoke, cancer was cured and the lame ran and leaped for joy. Above all the Gospel was preached to poor and rich alike.
'I was within five feet of a little girl who had one good eye; but her left socket was empty and had in its rear a blank skin, something like a thumb nail. I had just time to wonder what ailment her mother had brought her for, because she appeared to be in good physical health, when
Pastor Jeffreys caught sight of my clerical collar and very kindly beckoned me on to the platform. Thus it was my good fortune when the child was brought up for the laying-on of hands to be quite near her again.
'After a few seconds of earnest prayer, the Pastor lifted his hands away and there was a beautiful new blue eye that resembled the other, and through which, after the other was blindfolded, she saw quite clearly. Whilst her sight was being tested, Mr Jeffreys and the child's mother allowed me to touch and closely examine the girl. Friends have said, "Did you really see the child before the new eye and afterwards?" Yes, I really did. It is amazing how doubters will cling to any shreds of excuse for unbelief. For instance, a hospital matron tried to brush it aside with, "Probably there was an eye there all the time with a skin over that just needed slitting." I replied, "If that was all, why on earth did not one of the numerous doctors to whom the child was taken just slit it?" She gave no reply. At these healing services I was privileged to witness a hundred miracles in that one week. It is the Lord's doing, and like living in the Acts of the Apostles.
Mr Adams had gone to London for a week's holiday with the intention of doing the round of shows and theatres. Instead, as he said, 'I went twice a day to the Surrey Tabernacle and gave to the collections what I had intended to pay for enjoyment and recreation elsewhere and it was worth it.'
The Vicar of Wall's own testimony to healing was impressive. He had been invalided home towards the end of the First World War suffering with rupture and shell shock.
'When I saw what the Heavenly Physician was doing in Walworth I asked Jeffreys to pray for me. Mr Jeffreys said, "Don't listen to the singing or to me, but see Jesus on the Cross bearing all your infirmities and let yourself go with him." A lovely soft feeling of rest came over me and in a few seconds I knew I should take off my truss that night and never put it on again. Also I was lifted in spirit and felt happier than any time since boyhood. Many friends ask: "But does the healing last?" The answer is yes. At some of the services numbers of men and women who had been healed years before gave convincing evidence that their cures were real and permanent.'
The Vicar of Wall attended a number of Stephen's meetings over several years and compiled an impressive little book, Miracles of Today, containing quite a catalogue of cases of healing under Stephen. In order to check most thoroughly the stories of the vision of 1914, he made two visits down to Llanelly.
The campaign in the Surrey Tabernacle, Walworth, went on daily for some months. Stephen had a childlike faith in the Word of God and lived continually in an atmosphere of expectancy. His forthright preaching was tempered with a gentle sense of humour and an infectious, irrepressible joy. After the meetings he would go on the local tram to the place where he was staying. As many of the congregation as possible crowded on with him, singing choruses and hymns and praising God all the way. It was revival and the Sunday Express of April 19th, 1925 , described the meetings when 2,000 were present with crowds turned away. The reporter spent a day with Stephen and described the healing of a girl who had been dumb: 'The congregation became silent. Then the stillness was broken by the halting, but nevertheless clear speech of the girl as she repeated lines from a simple prayer. Her mother burst into tears.
After one of those great meetings in the Surrey Tabernacle, George Jeffreys confessed to George Every, a mutual friend of them both and a Pentecostal minister, that for years he had been critical of Stephen's habit of praying for the sick and afflicted on the platform but now he was convinced that thousands were being saved by seeing the signs and miracles which took place before their eyes.
Stephen's healing ministry did not depend on great crowds or a special atmosphere. He was just as happy and effective when praying in the home of some sick one. William Hacking, then a young Pentecostal minister from Blackburn , Lancashire , worked with Stephen in the follow-up work inthe mid twenties after a successful campaign in Folkestone. Stephen was next scheduled for a campaign in Canterbury . Mr Hacking was travelling with Stephen and relates:
'By request en route he called on a family of newly converted farmer friends, some of the family having been wonderfully healed in the Folkestone campaign. Their mother of seventy-nine years was dying of heart disease and gallstones. Stephen went in to pray for her. In his usual simple way he asked: "Mother, do you love Jesus?"
"Yes. I accepted him when I was a little girl and have loved Him all my life."
"Do you believe that if I pray for you Jesus will heal you?"
He laid his hands gently on her head and offered a simple prayer. A convulsive "Oooooh" came from the old mother.
"It's alright," Stephen reassured her, "God has given you a new heart."
He had. She got up from her bed and later at the age of eighty-two years she was the first to be baptised on a winter's night in icy cold water and came out speaking in other tongues. She lived to the ripe age of ninety-three in perfect health and I travelled with her on many occasions to the Kingsway Hall, London, for the great Whitsuntide Pentecostal Rallies, a round journey of 140 miles in a little Ford car with a "dickey seat", sitting through three convention services and arriving home about two am.
Unfortunately around this period of time a rift occurred and Stephen ceased campaigning for Elim, but his impact in those few years had been tremendous. E. C. W. Boulton, one of Elim's most respected leaders, gave this tribute: 'In the early pioneer days of Elim, when it was more or less struggling into existence, Stephen Jeffreys meant much to it. In the Elim Churches there are substantial proofs of the reality of the work he wrought.'
On leaving Elim, Stephen was invited to campaign for the Assemblies of God, which had come into existence only two years before, in 1924. At that time some sixty independent Pentecostal Churches had united with a view to fostering fellowship and safeguarding doctrine. Stephen's ministry brought the Fellowship a much needed evangelistic thrust. In many ways the next few years were the greatest of all.
One of the first campaigns with Assemblies of God was organized by the Clapton Assembly in Hampden Chapel, Hackney, and it resulted in a permanent Assembly being founded. Many Assemblies were very small, as at Walthamstow, the scene of Stephen's next campaign. This resulted in a greatly enlarged Assembly. Other successful campaigns in 1926 were at Ramsgate, Dover , Bedford and Edinburgh .
Rev J. W. Adams spent a week at Bedford during the campaign in the Corn Exchange, which was packed with congregations of 1,500. He described the healing of a cripple:
'One man, aged thirty-six, born with diminutive, twisted legs, who had never walked, was carried from his bath chair on to the platform. After the laying-on of hands, he scrambled for a minute on all fours and then walked - not properly, but still, walked - backwards and forwards and up and down rather steep steps by himself. Next day his legs were straighter and stronger, and next, better still.'
Mr Adams also described how one morning he had gone with Stephen to pray for a man some miles away at Great Barford: 'We went to the cottage and found the man bent, stiff and deaf, huddled in a chair. We prayed and laid hands on him.'
After a few minutes the man was jumping and walking in his garden which he had not been able to do for twenty years. Adams said finally: 'He walked briskly to the furthest tree and ran back almost like a boy.
Later in the summer of 1926 Stephen went to Edinburgh at the invitation of Donald Gee, who wrote: 'His special meetings concluded with a meeting of such power that the writer saw men literally gripping their seats under the convicting solemnity of the warning of judgement to come. One result of the campaign has been the way it has melted prejudice and doubt in many hearts regarding the Pentecostal work in Edinburgh .'
In the Spring of 1927 Stephen went to Bishop Auckland, Co. Durham , with the most amazing results. He began his meetings in the Town Hall with just a handful of people and the local backing of only a dozen or so Pentecostals who had invited him.
One of the many hundreds of converts in that notable visitation was a young man called Tom Wilson. His mother went along to one of the evening meetings early in the campaign and was quite late returning home. Tom and his father were getting worried, fearing something had happened to her, so that when she eventually returned they wanted to know where she had been. When she explained that she had been to a religious meeting in the Town Hall, her husband was rather incredulous and wanted to know what kind of a religious meeting it was that went on for hours. Full of excitement, she began to tell them: 'You know the blind girl Celia Brown; well she can see.'
'Don't be silly, mother,' said Tom, 'that's impossible; we all know that Celia hasn't even got any eyes, so how can she see? Her eyes are just empty sockets.'
'I'm telling you,' his mother replied, 'when this Welshman, Stephen Jeffreys, prayed for her tonight she received a pair of blue eyes and she can see.
Celia was thirteen and well-known locally. They still couldn't believe what Mrs Wilson was saying but they soon discovered it was true. This, along with other miracles of healing, became the talk of the town.
The Vicar of Wall, Rev J. W. Adams, became very friendly with Stephen and helped in the campaigns at Walworth, Kensington, Bedford , Southend-on-Sea , Chelmsford , Bishop Auckland, Sunderland , Maidstone , Tunbridge Wells, Wakefield and others. He was not present at the meeting when Celia was healed but arrived a little later in the campaign and got Stephen's own account:
'On March 11th she came for prayer. She did not then appear to have any eyes even in embryo condition and had never known the difference between light and dark, day and night. Immediately after the laying-on of hands a new world began to be opened for her: with her new and very small eyes she discerned the marked difference between light and shade. Next day she saw more clearly, and power began in her to count and pick up pennies from a white tablecloth.'
Mr. Adams himself testified: "I have seen and talked with her since on several occasions and each time her eyes had slightly grown in size and ability. She could count fingers held before her and form some estimate of distance. In this she was as an infant learning to see. Her eyes are blue and like those of her father."
Stephen saw many blind people receive their sight in his meetings over the years, but that was the first and only case in his experience up to then of someone born totally blind being able to see.
In view of such a miracle it was not difficult for Mrs Wilson to persuade her son Tom to attend Stephen's meetings. The only difficulty was getting in, for people queued for hours to gain admission to the service at seven pm . The campaign lasted six weeks, and for all but the first few meetings people queued for hours arid police had to control the crowds. Hundreds were turned away and twice there were nearly 2,000 people who could not get in. Inside, the hall was packed to suffocation. During the first two weeks alone, some 964 people went through the inquiry rooms and made professions of faith in Christ.'
Tom Wilson described the scene as follows:
'Stephen Jeffreys came up the platform steps and something seemed to stir the congregation. He was strong and happy; he danced with the joy of the Lord and his pianist (Mr T. D. Dorling) switched into the chorus: "Give me oil in my lamp." (Before the campaign finished they were singing that chorus on the streets, on the football field, on the buses and in the mines.) Stephen preached - and it was full of melting tenderness and of fiery wrath. Like a hammer came, "thus saith the Lord". Like a sword flashing, the Word pierced our hearts. People started to sob. I looked up during that appeal - Stephen's face was filled with unutterable tenderness. I heard the appeal of his Welsh voice saying, "Come, oh come to Jesus." That night I left the hall under conflicting emotions. I have never regretted that some nights later my hand was the first to be raised.'
Tom Wilson became an evangelist with the Assemblies of God and has served with outstanding distinction for some fifty years. He was not the only convert from that campaign to enter the ministry. For young men, from a family called Young, became pastors with Assemblies of God; their Christian names were Norman , Clarence, Harold and Clyde .
In some ways the most remarkable convert to enter the ministry was a woman called Nellie Welford from Even-wood, a village just a few miles from Bishop Auckland. Stephen regarded her case as one of the most remarkable he experienced. He recounts the incident himself:
'During the service on Saturday, March 26th, I was told of a woman brought on a stretcher in such agony that they could not bring her into the hall and I was begged to attend her outside. On going down the steps I saw over the bannister such a revolting spectacle I was afraid even to look at her. The lower part of her face was covered by a massive black scab, something like a man's big moustache, that at first I thought was some contrivance put there by the doctors. Oh, she was ghastly blue and horrible, but I went to her and asked: "Do you love Jesus?" She moved her head in assent; she had not been able to speak for two and a half years. Then I asked: "Do you think he will heal you?" Again she nodded. While I was praying and laying hands on her she exclaimed, "I can speak. I can talk now, thank the Lord, and I can walk. Let me get off this and try," and she did so, up and down the passage. You know, her doctor had been angry at the idea of her coming and said it might be her death and it was cruel to bring her; but, praise the Lord, only an hour afterwards the black scab fell off and the next day another from her eye, and the day after one from her arm. On the Saturday morning following she was so well she walked to the Evenwood church and gave this testimony: "See, my new flesh is clean and the skin over it like that of a little child. Glory to God."
In due course Nellie Welford became the pastor of the Evenwood Assembly of God and was a living witness to the power of God in the district.
Another who experienced a wonderful healing was a seventeen year old girl who had contracted polio as a baby of fourteen months, which left her lame, in spite of two operations by specialists to lengthen and straighten her left leg and foot. She was 'sentenced' to wear leg irons. She went with a friend to hear Stephen Jeffreys but had no intention of being prayed for, having accepted the verdict of the hospital that nothing more could be done for her. However, they arrived to find the crowd so great that they could only get in by going through the side entrance where places were kept for the sick needing prayer. As Stephen preached, she realised her need of the Saviour and she accepted Christ there and then. Her friend cajoled her into going forward for prayer and, to avoid a scene, she went forward but with no faith or expectation of anything happening. She describes it herself:
'When I reached the platform, Pastor Jeffreys turned and saw my leg irons and said, "You have paralysis, you will have all those off in five minutes."
I replied, "I hope so."
"Now look," he said, "I can't heal you; I couldn't heal you of toothache (just what I thought, I said to myself - why did I let my friend persuade me to come?)
but God can, and he will. Now forget about all these people here and forget about yourself and get your eyes on Jesus."
I sat in the chair and he prayed the simplest prayer:
"Lord, heal this woman of this paralysis now in the name of Jesus."
I seemed to lose touch with this world and all I could say was "Jesus".
Someone touched me on the shoulder and said, "You are healed."
I said, "Am I?"
Stephen Jeffreys asked, "Didn't you feel it? - That was the power of God going through your body healing you." He got down on his knees, unstrapped my irons and I went home in my stocking feet, leg straight, two legs the same length, blood circulating equally in both legs.'
Her married name is Mrs M. Serjeant; she is still alive and wrote this testimony in 1982, and is well known to the writer. She has served with great distinction for over forty years as a fully accredited minister of Assemblies of God, and pioneered the fine church at Lakenheath, where she still resides.
The Bishop Auckland campaign finished on April 10th and people wept as they waved farewell to Stephen, but he left behind a flourishing Pentecostal church of many hundreds.
His next campaign was at Sunderland , twenty years after the first outpouring of the Holy Spirit there in 1907 in Alexander Boddy's church. Donald Gee wrote of this campaign, 'In some ways it touched the high-water mark of all his campaigns with Assemblies of God.'
The great Victoria Hall, seating about 3,000 people, soon proved too small. Mounted police were needed to control the crowds and people 'were willing to queue up all through the night in order to get a seat for the afternoon service the following day. Some 3,300 professions of faith in Christ were recorded and many miracles of healing were witnessed.
Stephen's son Edward was with him for part of the campaign and he discloses that, unbeknown to most, his father went to each service at the commencement of the campaign in extreme weakness. He says:
'It was a real venture of faith to get out of bed each day to minister to the sick at the Victoria Hall. Sometimes God did put him to a test in this way, but his faith was really wonderful. He believed with child-like simplicity what he read from his Bible: "When I am weak then I am strong." He would step out on the promises of God, believing that he would come out more than conqueror and he did. In his own bedroom he was prostrated with weakness, but an hour later he was on the platform preaching with amazing power.
Once again Stephen left behind him a flourishing Pentecostal church of many hundreds and the Sunderland Assembly remains strong to this day.
Stephen's pageant of power progressed throughout the remainder of 1927 with Spennymoor following Sunderland ; then Chesterfield , with 1,554 decisions in three weeks. Bury was next with another 1,500 decisions for Christ.
On Boxing Day he commenced in Levenshulme Town Hall . This was at the invitation of John Nelson Parr, the Chairman Secretary of the Fellowship of Assemblies of God in Great Britain , in the founding of which, in 1924, he had played a major part. His Pentecostal church at Longsight was then the only Pentecostal church in Manchester and not very large. The work had been going since 1910 but had suffered severe setbacks during the First World War. In Nelson's Parr's own words: 'From 1914 and for about ten years the Pentecostal meetings in the British Isles made very little progress. In fact, during the war from 1914 to 1918 they were greatly impoverished. This was due largely to pastors and leaders, who were mostly conscientious objectors, being sent to prison or set to work on farms. Deprived of leadership the Pentecostal work seriously declined.'
Nelson Parr booked the nearby Levenshulme Town Hall for the Stephen Jeffreys Campaign, but Levenshulme had a reputation for being the worst district in Manchester . Furthermore, the weather was arctic-like in its bitter coldness.
Nelson Parr wrote:
'The first ten days were hopeless. The Town Hall seated about six hundred and there would only be about fifty people present. However, after two weeks, God broke through. One or two amazing miracles took place and then the crowds started coming. It was wonderful and thrilling to see the Lord honouring the ministry of Stephen Jeffreys and also our faith. The last week was a tremendous one of really Holy Ghost revival. The meetings were crowded and miracles were taking place every night and many people were accepting the Lord Jesus as their Saviour. Towards the end of the last week we could not get the crowds into the hall. Stephen Jeffreys very rarely preached on Divine Healing. Dynamic power was upon his ministry and he preached the Gospel with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven and people were under terrifying conviction of sin. When they came into the enquiry rooms they knew they were turning their backs on sin, hell, the world, the flesh and the devil.'
After the campaign Nelson Parr relinquished a profitable business career in order to give all his time to the pastoral care of the new converts. He succeeded in building up the largest Pentecostal Church in Britain which in its heyday had a congregation of almost a thousand.
Shortly after finishing in Manchester , Stephen commenced in the YMCA Hall in Bristol on February 14th, 1928 . Redemption Tidings (the national magazine of Assemblies of God) reported:
'At the first meeting there were about five hundred people; twenty came out for salvation and a blind child received its sight. By the second week the hall was filled to its capacity of about 1,200, many being turned away. Stephen Jeffreys then moved to the Colston Hall, holding about 3,500, where, on the second night, hundreds were turned away. People began queuing at l0am for the 3pm meeting. The healings were absolutely marvellous with a deaf and dumb boy both speaking and hearing. A woman who had been on her back for over fourteen years got up and pushed her carriage from one side of the hall to the other.'
The reaction of a fine young girl who had gone along at the invitation of her older sister was as follows:
'At the beginning of the meeting I was looking around pityingly at all the crazy people singing choruses and waving handkerchiefs in the air. By the end of the service I was wondering what had happened to me, for I now knew that I was a guilty sinner. More than that I had witnessed miracles of healing and I knew - beyond any shadow of doubt - that Jesus was alive! The crowds grew so much that mounted police had to control the long queues of people. Every night we witnessed mighty miracles. The blind saw, the deaf heard, the lame walked, goitres disappeared, cancers vanished. It was all completely overwhelming and there was great joy in our city. In the last meeting, feeling it was my last chance, I managed to stand to my feet, as all who came to the Lord were invited to do, and Jesus saved me!'
The girl's name was Grace Clement; subsequently she served as a missionary in the Congo ( Zaire ) and wrote this testimony in 1982.
Jeffreys finished at Bristol on March 4th, 1928 , and ever since that time there has been a strong Pentecostal testimony in that famous o14 city. On the following night of March 5th, Stephen commenced in Derby . The headline in Redemption Tidings read: 'Derby Revival. Over 800 seek the Lord; marvellous miracles.' During the midst of the Derby campaign the magazine reported that Stephen had been persuaded to go over to the nearby village of Heanor for a meeting on the Tuesday morning.
The Baptist Schoolroom, which had been specially hired, was packed with many standing - about 700 was the estimate. He preached and decisions followed. Then he prayed for the sick. William Arms, the secretary, wrote: 'Row upon row of infirm ones came - deaf, dumb, blind, lame, invalids in chairs . . . . I would estimate close upon 200 cases. Stephen Jeffreys, wet with perspiration, and Mr Dorling in his shirtsleeves, ministered to every one individually. Many were healed. Pastor Jeffreys and his assistants returned to Derby about 1pm to continue the campaign there at 3pm . ' What a punishing schedule; how he maintained it is a mystery.
In April he was in Doncaster for a glorious fortnight during which 'nearly 1,100 souls confessed Christ as Saviour' and once again Redemption Tidings reported a catalogue of miracles that could have come straight from the Acts of the Apostles.
A woman, who had been blind for thirty-five years, after the service pushed her way through the crowd to the front just in time to implore the stewards to let the pastor lay his hands upon her eyes. This was granted and the dear old lady said, "I can see something white shining; why, it's the pastor's face." With tears streaming down her face, she said she could see her daughter for the first time in thirty-five years.
One of Stephen's first converts - his old friend and mining colleague, W. J. Thomas - followed on after him and pastored the work for a number of years. From Doncaster Assembly a goodly number went out as pastors, evangelists and missionaries. Almost all of them traced the beginning of their call, if not their Christian life, to Stephen Jeffreys.
On Whit Monday, 1928, he launched a three week campaign in Newcastle-on-Tyne which stirred the city. There were over 1,400 professions of faith, with many outstanding healings. From Newcastle , Stephen sailed for America and then on to New Zealand and Australia .
Large crowds thronged his meetings in America . In Springfield , where the General Offices of the American Assemblies of God are located, he was specially blessed. 3,000 were in the meetings and people started queuing at five o'clock in the morning outside the home where he was staying. In Los Angeles the crowds grew to 7,000.
Stephen arrived in Wellington , New Zealand on October 22nd, where, in spite of atrocious weather, the crowds gathered just as they had done everywhere else, and with the same results of convincing conversions and amazing healings. A letter from Stephen in Redemption Tidings, February 1929, gave his own story of the healing of a Maori Chief.
'A doctor belonging to the Maori people had been attending some of the meetings, and the Chief of the tribe was poorly with cancer; so he told him that he could hold out no hope for him and advised him to try to get me. I shall never forget the welcome they gave us. I prayed for the chief and I am glad to say the Lord wonderfully touched him. He rose up, walked about and came into town.'
Stephen's restrained account was typical of the man. Fortunately, his nephew, Tom Thomas, who was with his uncle as campaign soloist, added more details:
'Pastor Stephen laid his hands on the poor emaciated body of the Maori Chief The power of God descended in answer to his prayer and the once-dying man literally shook from head to feet. To the amazement of the tribe, he got up from his bed and walked, a thing he had not done for a considerable time. He shouted and waved his hands, saying: "I am healed." The result was electrifying. There was no need to appeal for converts. They just fell on their faces and cried to God for salvation.'
From New Zealand Stephen moved on to Australia . In the Richmond suburb of Melbourne, a newsvendor, a well-known figure on the street corners, who had been deaf and dumb since the 1914-18 war, was brought into an afternoon healing service. His friends brought him in mainly as a joke but when Stephen laid his hands upon him he both spoke and heard. This once deaf mute went down the Hall waving his hands and shouting: 'Jesus has healed me!' Still shouting he ran out into the street. It was no wonder that overflowing crowds thronged the building that night.
From Australia Stephen and his small party sailed for South Africa . In Durban a great tent was packed to capacity and God moved in Such power that a beautiful church was subsequently erected on the site with a great congregation filling it. So great was the blessing that Stephen was prevailed upon to return for a year long visit.
In 1933 he preached for Lewi Pethrus in Stockholm in the great new church holding over 5,000 people. The Swedes loved him and warmed to his great ministry. T. B. Barratt (who had first brought the Pentecostal blessing to Sunderland in 1907) then invited Stephen over to Norway . In Redemption Tidings for December, 1933, T. M. Staurung reported:
'The meetings in Oslo have been simply swept by the glory of God. We had meetings that will not easily be equalled by any on record here. Pastor Barratt said after the Sunday evening meeting: "I don't think I have heard a sermon like this before; there was not only power and abounding joy, but a spiritual depth that made the address very precious to me." Many sought salvation.'
Quite suddenly in the mid thirties Stephen Jeffreys's health began to fail. Doctors repeatedly warned him and urged him to slow down and take things easier, but to no avail. He was only fifty-nine when he became crippled with arthritis. His last years were spent in his beloved Wales .
Donald Gee visited him there on several occasions. He wrote: 'It was a most moving experience to place my hands on his gnarled shrivelled hands as we prayed together and for me to recall how those same hands had been placed in healing power upon thousands. These are mysteries before which we are wiser to be silent.'
He was lovingly cared for in these trying years by his wife and daughter, May. His strong physical frame was reduced in a short space of time from twelve stones to nine. Throughout those eight years of sickness his true worth was revealed in his uncomplaining and cheerful patience. It was a tremendous personal blow to him when he suffered the loss of his faithful wife in January 1941, but his faith sustained him and his daughter May continued to lovingly nurse him.
He preached his last sermon in the little church at Pontardulais on Wednesday, October 27th, 1943 , three days before the beginning of a campaign to be conducted there by his convert from the 1927 Bishop Auckland campaign, Tom Wilson. The building was packed to capacity. Stephen went there from the Mumbles where he was recuperating. All were thrilled to see the sixty-seven year old warrior once again, but his evident weakness and frailty moved them deeply. His text was John 1:14: 'And the Word was made flesh. . . .' His first words were: 'On great occasions Kings put on their finest apparel, but God wrapped himself in dust when he entered the world.' His theme summed up his lifetime's preaching; it was 'The Glory of the Son'. His insight into the Word could only be attributed to the Divine anointing. His old friend, J. W. Adams, once wrote: 'The outstanding marvel is how clearly he revealed the inner, subtle meaning of the Greek original New Testament. Frequently I have come back from his mission to Greek lexicons and grammars with a desire to check his most startling and vehement assertions, but always in fundamentals, he has been right.'
After the meeting Stephen caught a chill and pneumonia Set in. He passed away peacefully at his daughter's bungalow in Mumbles on the Gower coast, on November 17th, 1943 , the thirty-sixth anniversary of his conversion. Only eternity will reveal the full extent of just what he packed into those years.
Despite the difficulty of travel during wartime, many ministers and people from all over the United Kingdom filled the Baptist Chapel in Maesteg for the funeral on November 22nd, 1943 . Stephen Jeffreys was buried in the churchyard at Llangynwyd church set amidst the Welsh hills.
On his coffin were two words: 'At rest'. As it was lowered into the grave, the hundreds gathered there began to sing one of his favourite choruses: 'In the sweet by and by we shall meet on that beautiful shore.' The warrior was finally at rest.