Labels

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The Life And Ministry Of Harold Emanuel Griffiths Part 12 - His Passing

If this is the first post you are reading about Harold Griffiths, or if you want to remind yourself about his life and ministry up to and through World War 2, then please take the time to read these older blogs. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10 and Part 11.
An earlier post also provides a music sheet for hymn music he re-wrote and published.
****

The first we read of Harold in 1967 occurs in July.

Harold Griffiths is the man in the middle of the picture at the very back.



The article(1) is about a new church opening in Prestatyn. Harold was one of the guest speakers they invited. The pertinent information about Harold is fairly simple:

"H. Griffiths retired pastor read Psalm 134."

Psalm 134 reads:

"Praise the Lord, all you servants of the Lord
who minister by night in the house of the Lord.


2 Lift up your hands in the sanctuary
and praise the Lord.

3 May the Lord bless you from Zion,
he who is the Maker of heaven and earth." (New International Version.) 

It's a fairly common Psalm to read at church dedications. Short and to the point, encouraging praise and Thanksgiving.

Before moving on, I will also point out that there was a telegram sent by D. Griffiths (Harold's son) from Umtali where he was working as a missionary.

Later in the year there's a simple thanks printed by Harold and his wife Anne.(2)


"Our elder brother, H.E. Griffiths, retired minister, wishes to thank all friends who have prayed for him and his dear wife through their time of illness. Both are now much stronger and praising God for His goodness."

It's the first sign that all was not fully well with the family. Despite them being better at the time of publishing their death is announced only a few months later. Before that announcement, there was one more found in the Redemption Tidings Magazines.(3)


It merely states he was one of the officiating ministers for the funeral of one Cecil Allen on October 6th 1967. This man died within the district that Harold was once Superintendent for. Doubtless, he knew him well. 

Little would he have known that only a month or so later he himself would pass away. (4)


"HAROLD GRIFFITHS WITH THE LORD

Verteran Minister Harold Griffiths died at his home in Stoke-on-Trent on December 7th, after a brief illness. He was 73 years of age. A well-known figure in Pentecostal circles in the Potteries, he was particularly prominent in the Edward Jeffreys revival in the early thirties as pianist and singer. He pioneered Milton Assembly and was its pastor for many years. Our sympathies are with Mrs. Griffiths and the family in their bereavement."

I have a couple of observations to make from this.

Firstly, as of the time of writing this blog I do not possess a death certificate for Harold Griffiths. It's on my list to apply for but right now this blog and the word of his daughter will have to do for attesting to the date of his passing.

Secondly, this has his age as 73, which would make his birth 1894. This confirms the 1911 census record and as far as I can figure out also confirms that the age is wrong on their marriage certificate, though I can't figure out why that would be the case. 

It's not until 1968 that we see tributes for Harold appearing in the Redemption Tidings magazine, but those are for part 12 of this series which will be a tribute to his life, and the final piece I write for now.

****
(1) Redemption Tidings Vol 43, July 1967
(2) Redemption Tidings Vol 43, Sept 1967
(3) Redemption Tidings Vol 43, Nov 1967
(4) Redemption Tidings Vol 43, Dec 1967


Tuesday, February 27, 2018

The Life And Ministry Of Harold Emanuel Griffiths Part 11

If this is the first post you are reading about Harold Griffiths, or if you want to remind yourself about his life and ministry up to and through World War 2, then please take the time to read these older blogs. Part 1Part 2Part 3, Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7Part 8Part 9 and Part 10
An earlier post also provides a music sheet for hymn music he re-wrote and published.

*****

There's a few years silence about Harold in the Redemption Tidings magazine. Then, suddenly, in 1965 he turns up as full minister at a church in Newcastle under Lyme.(1)



I have a few thoughts on why there is a five-year gap here. I believe Harold stepped down from being a District leader for the Assemblies of God, and it might be likely that he either planted a new church at Newcastle-under-Lyme or was simply requested as pastor. I am positive this is still my great grandfather as further articles confirm it.

In the same year, he prays at a funeral for fellow pastor Harry Weston. I've included the full article about the funeral for a few reasons I will explain next.(2)




So why contribute this full article? 

Firstly, because it mentions Harold's association with the Assemblies in this district since its early days. 

Secondly, because this man was, like Harold, also a pastor who worked full time in the secular world, and noticeably the mining community. 

"For the last 20 years he was the canteen manager at the local colliery. He was also the Vice Chairmen of the North West Midland District Council."

Harold was not unique among the pioneers of the A.O.G. Church and the Pentecostal movement. Church planters and ministers of small community churches did not have the overhead to cover a salary. They worked for the church out of a sense of faith and passion.

I also have a photograph of Harold, Annie and their grandson Glyn Davies which was taken in 1965.


I don't know where this was taken, but it's quite a clear picture and I cherish it for that.

The following year there is a brief summary of a funeral which Harold conducted as minister at Newcastle under Lyme. (3)


It reads simply, "Frank Baker of Newcastle Assemby, Staffs, died on January 27th. He was well known throughout the Potteries for his faithful and unceasing labours for the Lord Jesus Christ. The funeral service on January 31st was conducted by the Pastor, H. E. Griffiths, assisted by K. Robinson (pastor of Hanley) and S. Dyson (Biddulph). Our sympathies are with his wife and family."  

The second and final article of 1966 has a simple, yet sad, absoluteness about it.(4)


"Brother H.E. Griffiths, owing to advancing years, has resigned from the Newcastle-under-Lyme assembly. Correspondence for the Assembly should now be sent Mr. G. Foddy, 35 Astro Grove, Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs.

So 1966 was the year Harold officially resigned from being a full time minister of a church. I do not believe it an accident the he passed away the following year, but as my next blog post shall clearly state, there were still a few more things for him to do before he left this earth for a better place. 

*****
(1) Redemption Tidings Magazine Vol 41, August 1965
(2) Redemption Tidings Magazine Vol 41, December 1965(3) Redemption Tidings Magazine Vol 42, February 1966
(4) Redemption Tidings Magazine Vol 42, May 1966