Our History

Our history: The Short and the LongVersion

The Short version!

George Jeffreys founded Elim in 1915, in Monaghan, Ireland, and since then, the Elim Movement has grown to 660 churches in the UK and Ireland and around 10,000 worldwide.

Although Jeffreys was an outstanding evangelist and church planter, Elim grew rapidly thanks to a move of God characterised by miraculous healing and an explosion in the number of people becoming Christians.

This heritage has guided Elim for more than a century, with our leaders and churches consistently seeking to:
reach up to God in worship
reach out to the community in service
share the difference that Jesus Christ makes to lives
challenge the trend towards declining church attendance

Our history, the long version!

The year was 1915. It could hardly have been a less promising time - the full horrors of the First World War were being realised. But in Monaghan, Ireland, a new fellowship of Christians was springing up.

A young Christian from Maesteg in South Wales, George Jeffreys, was welcomed into the area and here Elim began as a small group called the Elim Evangelistic Band. The band preached, founded churches, spreading first through the north of Ireland and then to England in the Essex area and London.

Things were moving steadily, but not spectacularly, when suddenly God answered the prayers of those early pioneers in a big way. Miraculous healings became almost commonplace instead of occasional, and the number of people becoming Christians exploded. The meetings hit the headlines, and from 1924 to 1934 Principal George Jeffreys (as he became known) and his team became household names as they toured the country.

When, for instance, George Jeffreys went to Cardiff, there were only a dozen people in his first meeting in a large public hall. But two were healed of cancer, the news spread, and from then on it was difficult to control the crowds who wanted to get into the hall! Cardiff City Temple, the Elim church that resulted from that campaign, is still a flourishing Elim church today.

So why did this happen? Well, the Elim leaders held the same beliefs as other Christians, but with one important difference. They believed that God's promises in the Bible about the Holy Spirit and healing were for Christians today. In other words, miracles didn't stop after the Bible was written. The Elim pioneers had rediscovered God's power, promised in the Bible to all who would completely commit their lives to following Jesus. It was a 're-discovery', not a discovery, because it was nothing new. God had worked in power through different Christians throughout the centuries, right back to the dramatic miracles of the early Church so frequently mentioned in the Bible.

The basic teaching of Elim, which was publicised under the heading 'The Foursquare Gospel', highlighted this rediscovery: it stated that Jesus is the Saviour, the Healer, the Baptiser in the Holy Spirit and the Coming King.

Such 'Pentecostal' beliefs raised a lot of opposition from some traditional church leaders at the time, because miracles are always controversial. But the pioneers were just getting back to what Jesus had taught in the first place - after all, Jesus Himself healed many people and had promised the Holy Spirit to His followers.

These doctrines were firmly 'orthodox' - shared in common with the historic Protestant denominations like the Anglican Church, Methodists, Baptists, etc, who all believe in 'the Trinity' - God in three persons: Father, Son (Jesus) and the Holy Spirit. This core belief is totally rejected by the so-called 'Christian' cults - Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, etc.

Elim took God at His Word, and so God honoured that by delivering on His promises in the Bible. And He is still doing the same today!

These beliefs have now been accepted by many within the traditional churches, and are shared with many new church groups that have sprung up in the last 40 years - called 'charismatic' churches or simply new churches.

But the vision wasn't confined to this country. Today, Elim comprises over 600 churches in the UK and Ireland, but we are also linked to around 10,000 Elim churches in other countries. Elim is also in co-operative fellowship with thousands of Pentecostal churches around the world, and has missions work in over 40 countries.

The governing body of Elim is the annual conference. Over 2,000 people gather for a week of worship, teaching and fellowship, and time is set aside for ministers and delegates to discuss matters relating to Elim.

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. To find out more about Elim you can visit http://www.elim.org.uk

Key Events in Elim's History

The Elim Pentecostal Church From a small group of people to a global movement.

Before Elim
OCT 1904

31 October 1904 Birth of Welsh Revival
1904

Commencing on Monday night 31 October 1904, a series of prayer meetings were held at Moriah Chapel, Loughor in which Evan Roberts made urgent appeals to the people to rise and confess Christ publicly. Each night the presence of the Holy Spirit became more powerful and more people confessed the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour. As the revival swept across Wales, George and Stephen Jeffreys come to faith in Christ within a couple of weeks.

Before Elim
20 NOV 1904

November 1904 Revival in Wales
1904

15 year old George Jeffreys from Nantyffylon, Maesteg, Wales, comes to know Christ in the first throes of the Revival sweeping Wales. George, and his brother Stephen, were converted during the Revival at Shiloh Independent Chapel in Nantyfyllon, Wales on 20 November 1904, under the evangelistic ministry of Glassnant Jones.

Before Elim
AUG 1910

August 1910 Baptised in the Spirit
1910

One Sunday morning in late summer George was in the Old Duffryn Chapel before the Service when he "began to sing in tongues and magnify the Lord". This baptism in the Spirit gave him a new found boldness. Soon after he was completely healed of a speech impediment and facial paralysis. He described it “as if his whole body had been connected to a powerful battery".

Before Elim
MAY 1913

May 1913 At the Sunderland Convention
1913

Pioneer of Pentecost in Britain, Anglican minister Alexander Boddy held annual Conventions in Sunderland from 1908. George Jeffreys was invited as one of the speakers in 1913. Whilst there a young Irishman, William Gillespie was so impressed he invited him to hold meetings in Ireland sending three ten shilling notes for his fare.

Elim
JAN 1915

7 January 1915 The Birth of Elim, Monaghan, Ireland
1915

George Jeffreys meets with a group of young men in Knox's Temperance Hall to discuss the best means of reaching Ireland with the full gospel on Pentecostal lines. This meeting resulted in the formation of the Elim Evangelistic Alliance with the aim to conduct evangelistic meetings and open new churches.

Elim
AUG 1915

15 August 1915 The First Elim Church
1915

After 2 months looking for a building, the first Elim Church began in a disused laundry in Hunter Street, in the Donegal Road area of Belfast, with George Jeffreys as pastor. The building was old and decrepit. There was hardly an unbroken pane of glass, and many of the holes were blocked with rags to keep out the wind and rain, as new glass was too expensive for their meagre resources.

Elim
FEB 1916

February 1916 Elim Evangelistic Band Formed
1916

In February 1916, George Jeffreys began meetings in a tent in Ballymena. Over a period of five weeks, 120 people were saved and many were baptised in the Holy Spirit. During their time in Ballymena, George Jeffreys and his fellow workers first called themselves The Elim Evangelistic Band. By the end of December 1920 there were 21 workers in 15 churches in Ireland.

Elim
FEB 1919

February 1919 First Missionaries
1916

Dollie Phillips was the first of the new Elim converts to go overseas as a missionary. With a steely determination and raw passion to take the gospel to those who had never heard, she sailed for Bombay. Dollie's uncle was E.J.Phillips, Elim's first Pastor and Secretary General. Her brother was Hubert Cyril Phillips who pioneered the work in South Africa in 1928 now known as Emmanuel Assemblies. Dollie returned to the UK in 1928 to take over from Hubert as Pastor of the Letchworth Church. By 1921 the emerging Elim movement had begun to officially send out missionaries including Adelaide Henderson and Cyril Taylor.

Elim
DEC 1919

December 1919 Elim Evangel
1916

In December the first Elim Evangel is printed by F.B.Phillips in Tamworth to begin to tell the story of what God is doing through Elim. Within a few years this would lead to the establishing of the Elim Publishing House. Initially a quarterly publication, the Evangel became monthly in 1922, then fortnightly and weekly in 1929. It served to unite the emerging movement with a shared sense of identity and mission.

Elim
1920

1920 Establishing new churches
1920

By 1920 Elim had made steady progress across Ireland with 15 churches and 21 ministers and evangelists.

Elim
1921

1921 Churches outside of Ireland join Elim
1916

By 1921, Pentecostal assemblies in the Welsh towns of Dowlais and Llaneli, along with Guernsey (Vazon) on the Channel Islands had joined the Elim Pentecostal Alliance. George continued preaching wherever he could in England, even during the war, but he never established any churches. But in 1921, he was asked by butcher George Kingston to hold meetings in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex. Thus the first Elim work in England was established.

Elim
1922

1922 National Base Opened In Clapham
1922

In 1922, George moved to London where he pioneered a church in Clapham, London's first Elim church. They were able to acquire a disused former Methodist Free Church in Park Crescent and the headquarters was transferred from Belfast. The first offices were in the minor hall of the church, and then a two storey building was added for the newly established Elim Publishing Company.

Elim
1924

1924 The Foursquare Gospel
1924

In June 1924 George Jeffreys sailed across the Atlantic for what was to be his first and only visit to North America. His brother Stephen, Robert Darragh, James McWhirter and Ernest Boulton, accompanied him. They began ministering in Canada, where George preached at the Conference of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada. They then travelled separately to cover more ground while preaching in leading assemblies - before eventually reuniting in Los Angeles, the cradle of modern Pentecost. There they visited Aimee McPherson's Angelus Temple, where they saw the word 'Foursquare' used in the name of the church that was founded by Aimee. Even today, it is an impressive sight for any visitor. The British visitors were so impressed that, not long after their return to England in October, they decided to incorporate the name into the title of their own work. Therefore the full name became the Elim Foursquare Gospel Alliance, which remains the legal name of the Elim Pentecostal Church today. It summed up the fundamental doctrines that proclaimed Jesus Christ as Saviour, Healer, Baptiser in the Holy Spirit and Coming King.

Elim
1925

1925 Elim Crusader Movement Established
1925

Inaugurated during 1925, the Elim Crusader Movement was established for young people aged 14 to 35 years. Known for it's enthusiastic, evangelical effort, including open air witness, social work, Crusade Choirs and Orchestras, it reached out to the communities, prisons and hospitals around the country. The junior section for 7-14 year olds was known as the Elim Foursquare Cadets.

Elim
JAN 1926

January 1926 Elim Bible College Opens
1926

A small Bible School was started in the minor hall of the Clapham Church in 1925. And when a former convent came onto the market in Clarence Road in Clapham this was acquired and opened in January 1926 as the Elim Bible College with E.J. Phillips as the Dean. The college trained men and women for ministry in the growing number of Elim Churches, with offices built next door and this four-acre site became a centre of activity for the next 39 years.

Elim
JAN 1926

January 1926 Elim becomes Elim Foursquare Gospel Alliance
1926

From 1918, Elim was known as the Elim Pentecostal Alliance and changed to Elim Foursquare Gospel Alliance in 1926, incorporating the truth of pentecost within the message of the Fourquare Gospel.

Elim
MAR 1926

24 March 1926 Liverpool Revival
1926

"The City of Liverpool has been powerfully moved by the wonderful Revival Campaign at Windsor Street Chapel, and the large Boxing Stadium. Beginning with a comparatively small congregation of a few dozen the numbers grew rapidly to hundreds and then thousands. True revival fervour was in evidence, with hundreds of souls, over 800 in all were saved, with numbers of sick bodies healed." Elim Evangel - 15 April 1926

Elim
APR 1926

April 1926 Royal Albert Hall Easter Meetings
1926

Thousands of Elim people gathered at the first historic meetings in the Royal Albert Hall which coincided with a visit of Aimee McPherson. These Easter meetings would become a feature of the Elim Movement for the next 70 years. In 1928 over 1,000 people were batpised in these meetings in a portable baptism tank.

Elim
MAR 1927

20 March 1927 Leeds
1927

George Jeffries saw major spiritual breakthrough in Leeds when within 2 weeks 2,290 professed coming to Christ. James Gregson was a totally transformed man after he was brought to one of these meetings. For more than 5 years, he had suffered intense agony due to a serious injury. So much so, he had to be laid on the floor before the rostrum from which Jeffreys preached. He was healed and gave testimony the next year at the Royal Albert Hall. "When Principal George Jeffreys laid hands on me, the power of God came into my body and I was lifted from the earth and was instantaneously healed."

Elim
1929

1929 Cardiff and Swansea
1929

George Jeffreys and the Revival Team hold 51 nights of meetings in Cardiff seeing over 3,000 converts to Christ, resulting in a church of 1,000 birthed out of the meetings. Moving on to Swansea, the team saw over 2,000 decisions and astonishing healing of Glyn Thomas, the hunchback. A reporter from the Daily Express interviewed Evan Roberts in the Welsh revival interviewed George about what was happening.

Elim
JUN 1930

4 June 1930 10,000 come to Christ in Birmingham
1930

George Jeffreys and Team begin meetings in a church near the city centre with a handful of people. Within weeks they were filling the Historic town Hall. The crowds would swell to the point that the only venue big enough was the vast Bingley Halls. Over 15,000 per night packed the Halls and over 10,000 made decisions for Christ and many were healed. As a result numerous Elim churches were planted across the greater Birmingham area for the new converts to attend.

Elim
SEP 1931

12 September 1931 15,000 attend baptismal service
1931

"One hundred and fifty men and women were plunged in a tank of cold water at the Crystal Palace, London on Saturday, while something like 15,000 sat watching in a state of almost hysterical happiness. The congregation was a mixture of young and old, rich and poor, crippled and healed, but every one shared in the religious fervour." Daily Express, September 14 1931

Elim
1934

1934 Formation of the Executive Council
1934

In 1934 the constitution was revised and a Deed Poll agreed to, and an Executive Council of nine men was appointed to govern the Movement. George Jeffreys and E J Phillips remained in office while George Jeffreys, as the founder and addressed as Principal, was allowed three nominees. The ministers elected four others.

Elim
1936

1936 Crystal Palace 21st Anniversary
1936

The 21st Anniversary of the Elim Movement takes place at London's vast Crystal Palace with 15,000 Elim members plus choirs, orchestras and bands travelling from churches all over the nation. The iconic Crystal Palace was destroyed by fire later that year.

Elim
1939

1939 War and Conflict
1939

Elim ministers and churches commit to renewed evangelism and mission against the backdrop of war, suffering, and great sacrifice. Thousands come to faith through Elim's efforts in the War Years.

Elim
1944

1944 Fresh Call for Evangelism
1944

An Evangelistic Committee is formed to spearhead fresh waves of outreach to the nation. P.S. Brewster begins with a tent mission in Wigan in 1945. Over the next few years P.S and others like John Woodhead, as well as a young scot Alex Tee lead the way back to pioneer church planting.

Elim
JUL 1945

1 July 1945 7 Weeks of Tent Meetings
1945

After the war, Pastor Percy Brewster, who had begun on his own initiative in Neath ten years earlier, got a new era going with a tent in Wigan in July 1945. During seven weeks of meetings at the site of an old coal shaft, over 600 people came to faith.

Elim
1961

1961 Commission on Evangelism
1961

Coming out of the austerity of the 1950's, Britain is being rebuilt and Elim's leaders look to the new towns and conurbations to open new churches.

Elim
1965

1965 Elim Bible College Relocates
1965

After 40 years in Clapham, the Elim Bible College moved to a former mansion in Capel, Surrey in 1965. These new faciltities gave tremendous opportunity for Elim to train more leaders, developing and extending its courses.

Elim
1968

1968 Elim Bible College Relocates
1968

In 1968, Elim's administration offices relocate to Cheltenham, alongside the newly built Cheltenham Elim Church.

Elim
1978

23 June 1978 Vumba Massacre
1978

Friday 23 June 1978 is the darkest day in Elim's history. Twelve Elim missionaries (including 5 children) were slaughtered at the Elim Mission Station and Secondary School in the Vumba Mountains in Northern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). Another would die a week later from her injuries. The sheer brutality of the massacre shocked the world. TV Cameras were present at Cheltenham Elim that Sunday as worshippers prayed. Remarkably, one of the men who committed the massacre would go on to accept Christ as Saviour.

Elim
1980

1980 Wynne Lewis becomes Pastor of Kensington Temple
1980

Over the next decade KT would grow from 500 to 5,000 people and would begin to plant many churches all over London. KT's experience of breaking many growth and cultural barriers would release many other churches to follow both in the capital and beyond.

Elim
1987

1987 Bible College Moves To Nantwich
1987

Elim's Bible College moves to Nantwich in 1987, where it was renamed Regent's Theological College.

Elim
1989

1989 Direction magazine launched
1989

Direction Magazine was launched as a high quality monthly magazine providing inspiration, vision and teaching for everyone in Elim and beyond. In 2000, it was rebranded and is now produced by New Life Publishing on behalf of Elim. Available for purchase in local Elim churches, delivery direct to homes by subscription and also now in digital format for PCs, tablets and large format smartphones.

Elim
2000

2000 John Glass becomes Elim's General Superintendent
2000

John Glass took on the responsibility of leading Elim into the new century, with a strong mandate to lead Elim forward, identifying and releasing the ministries and methods which would lead to even greater fruitfulness. From the very beginning, John began to emphasize the need for Elim to not simply look for numerical growth, but to build and develop a culture with Elim churches of 'Building Bigger People'.

Elim
2003

2003 Serious4God launches
2003

Mark Pugh brought a vision to the National Leadership Team, along with a burdern for re-establishing an Elim Youth Department. This resulted in the launch of Serious4God, a new national youth ministry with Mark as the Director empowered to envision and inspire churches to reach young people and to raise up dynamic youth ministry across the nation. In January 2014, Tim Alford took on the leadership of S4G.

Elim
2004

2004 Elim Training
2004

Nigel Tween is appointed Elim's first National Training Director. The new training department incorporated the bible college (Regent's Theological College), as well as a broader remit to develop a comprehensive training programme and culture across the Elim movement. In January 2015, Dave Newton took over this important role.

Elim
2007

2004 REACH launches
2007

In Spring 2007, Elim's evangelism department was rebranded as 'REACH'. It's remit is to facilitate local church evangelism and church planting throughout the Elim movement.

Elim
2007

2004 Aspire launches
2007

Aspire is Elim's National Women's Ministry and was birthed in 2007. It is the first national women's ministry in the 100 year history of Elim. It cares for and connects with women to encourage them to be all that God has called them to be and to equip them to fulfil His purposes.

Elim
2009

2009 Core Ministries Relocated To Single Location
2009

During 2009, Elim International Offices and Regent's Theological College relocated to the new Elim International Centre, West Malvern. Set in 32 acres of land, this site provides Elim with an incredible facility to spearhead ministry and training for years to come.

Elim
MAR 2009

March 2009 Gathering Max
2009

6,700 young people gathered from around the nation for Serious4God's Gathering Max at the NEC Arena in Birmingham. The event featured The Gathering Band, Delirious?, 29th Chapter, Luv Esther, and Mark Ritchie, and was broadcast live. On the day, 1,137 young people come to Christ in an unforgettable moment of response.

Elim
APR 2009

20 April 2009 Elim Sound Formed
2009

In a church scene richly blessed by a number of worship organisations, four men from the Elim Movement recognised the need for a collective praise identity within the Elim movement. Birthed in 2009 by worship leaders Sam Blake, Stephen Gibson, Joel Pridmore and Ian Yates, Elim Sound came about as a result of this need and, with the launch of their Kingsway-released debut album 'Fresh Mercy' in 2011 and the follow up album 'Sound of Hope' in 2012.

Elim
2011

2011 The Big Centenary Ask
2011

GS John Glass issues a strategic challenge to every Elim leader and every Elim church to plant numerous new Christian communities, churches and ministries in the lead up to Elim's Centenary in 2015 and beyond. This includes exploring ways that they can plant a new church, a campus, or a fresh missional expression of church in their community.

Elim
2013

7 January 2013 LIFTUP Day of Prayer
2011

99 years since the birth of Elim, churches join together for a day of prayer and fasting on 7 January 2013, prior to the Elim LIFTUP year of prayer throughout 2014. In 2015, LIFTUP held two months of dedicated prayer in January and September.

Elim
APR 2014

24 April 2014 Elim Centenary Plans Announced For 2015
2014

The initial Centenary plans for 2015 were announced at Elim Bible Week that include events over 3 parts of the year, a documentary, and a book capturing pictures from the past century.

Elim
OCT 2014

October 2014 MPOWER becomes Elim's first national men's ministry.
2014

MPOWER is the process whereby one generation empowers the rising generations of sons, brothers and fathers in Elim to be authentic men in Christ, in life and in church. Engaging men of all ages, by exploring the potential to mentor a generation of radical disciples. The result? Men resourced and equipped to impact the future. Addressing the unique challenges of manhood and masculinity, helping forge a plan and a purpose for future generations. MPOWER encourages the masculine journey into true wholeness for the future. Find out more at http://www.mpower.zone

Elim
JAN 2015

7 January 2015 Ministers Day of Consecration and Commissioning
2015

On the anniversary of the formation of the Elim Evangelistic Band, Elim ministers met together to begin the Centenary Year with a day of Consecration and Commissioning. This was a "holy convocation" praying together for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit on each minister, leader, church, and community.

Elim
JAN 2015

12 January 2015 Defining Moments Centenary book launched
2015

Capturing the first 100 years of Elim, Defining Moments is a 176 page photographic book that charts the history of Elim from its beginnings in 1915 with Welsh evangelist George Jeffreys and a committed band of young men and women determined to reach Ireland with the gospel, to the formation of a Pentecostal movement of churches and ministries which swept the towns and cities of the British Isles. If you have enjoyed reading some of Elim's history in this timeline, you can read a more detailed version in this exicting new book. http://www.elim100.org/book

Elim
MAY 2015

12 May 2015 Centenary Conference and Leaders Summit held in Harrogate
2015

The Leaders Summit brought together Elim Church leadership teams from across the nation, and provided opportunities for encounters with God that ignited prophetic thinking, inspired compelling vision and propelled fired-up disciples into mission. As we shared together, we received challenging ministry, teaching and provoking leadership talks. We are trusting God that this defining leaders summit will refresh and reinvigorate each leader with a new level of courage to embrace all that's in store for the coming years.

Elim
SEP 2015

September 2015 National centenary tour celebrates ELIM 100 in 6 locations
2015

Elim's early years were marked by outstanding gatherings in the largest and most iconic halls in the nation. Thousands of people from all our Elim Churches united together at one of six national celebrations (September to November 2015) to discover what God requires of us for the next century. More details at http://www.elim100.org/celebrations.

Elim
OCT 2015

October 2015 Watch the Archbishop of Canterbury's message to Elim

Elim
FEB 2016

February 2016 New General Superintendent elected
2016

Following nomination by Elim's National Leadership Team and a subsequent postal ballot by the Elim Conference, Chris Cartwright was elected to lead the Movement as General Superintendent. He assumed his role at the Elim Leaders Summit in May 2016.

Chris began his ministry in the late 1980's at Kensington Temple where he was respectively Worship Pastor, Director of the IBIOL and Associate Minister. He was was ordained in 1993.

In 1997, Chris became the senior pastor of the City Temple in Cardiff, and in 2010 he became the Regional Leader for Wales and the Southern Region. He is married to Annie and they have three children.

Incumbent General Superintendent, John Glass, commenting on the election said, "Chris is a high integrity spiritual leader, and he and Annie can be assured of my continual prayers, warmest wishes and fullest support as they seek to take Elim into everything that God has for our Movement in the years that lie ahead."

Elim
MAY 2016

May 2016 Elim Leaders Summit - Harrogate

Elim
MAY 2016

May 2016 Elim Leaders Summit - Harrogate

More history is created every day! We have much more to add here...