In 1889 a group of Christians in Ashbourne had the desire to start a church built on the foundation of the belief of divine healing. A “Mission Hall” was built, for the cost of £340, on South Street in Ashbourne for this church to meet and operate from. The church met for 33 years but attendance started to dwindle and the surviving trustee of the building (Mrs Bamford) wanted to ensure that it was still used for the purpose of preaching the gospel to the town of Ashbourne. She invited a young preacher by the name of George Jeffreys to come and lead a campaign in the town.
George Jeffreys, alongside a group of gifted men and women, had recently setup the Elim movement in Ireland and had begun forming churches in England in 1921. For more information about the beginnings of the Elim movement – click here.
On Sunday 4th February 1923, a 6 week mission was started. The first meeting was a small one at the Mission Hall but the second one, “a day never to be forgotten” was held in the Town Hall on 11th February. By the end of the campaign, people were travelling from all over the district every night to see God do wonderful things. Testimonies were shared of healings, salvations, miracles and baptism in the Spirit.
At the end of the campaign, the keys to the Mission Hall were handed over the Elim Movement in order for a church to be started. 80 people attended the communion service that night and gave thanks to God for all He had done.
Details of the campaign can be found in Elim Evangel magazines in March & April 1923, and a testimony from Mrs E Finney was given in November 1923’s edition giving thanks to God for healing her. An extract of her testimony is below:
there came a mission in the same street where I lived, conducted by Pastor Geo Jeffreys The Lord led me there and I was soundly converted, Praise His Name. Since then He has worked wonderfully in my life. My body has been healed after ten years’ suffering from an internal complaint. Tn 1912 I had an operation and since then have been examined by several doctors who gave me medicine but could not cure inc. 1 so praise God that when I was willing to take Him as my Healer, He wonderfully healed me. I can now do my housework quite easily.
After the campaign, Miss Kennedy (who was part of the Elim Evangelistic Band) remained to pastor the church for the first 6 months of its existence. In the 100 year history of Ashbourne Elim Church, we have seen 38 different Pastors leading the church. With some notable names ministering in Ashbourne such as Pastor Greenway (who went on to become Elim’s general secreatry), well known evangelists Pastor Gordon and Pastor P S Brewster and Pasor Wynne Lewis (who led Elim’s Kensington Temple Church and was Elim’s General Superintendent).
Miss Kennedy regularly returned to Ashbourne to lead many successful campaigns including at the Elim Alliance Convention in Aug 1925 and in 1933.
Since its formation in 1923, Ashbourne Elim Church has always sought to share the good news of Jesus with the community around us. We have seen God do wonderful things in and through us and believe that He is still using us for His glory today.
If you want to know more information about the history of Ashbourne Elim Church, please watch our Seminar on the History of Ashbourne Elim Church using the link below.