1905 also saw the beginning of several years of intense spiritual activity and it seems there was a very definite period of revival and spiritual awakening in the fellowship (interestingly around the same time as the Welsh Revival not too far away). Take, for example, the April 1905 Banner which reported times of prayer and revival, including Teachers Sunday morning prayer meetings (to which scholars were admitted at their own request), prayer meetings after the evening service and a series of prayer and revival meetings, the first of which was attended by 80 people.
Red Hill Baptist Church – a short history of the first 100 years 1866 – 1966, written by Rob Giles, May 2007. If you would prefer to download the whole history it is also available as a PDF file by clicking here (or right click the link and choose “Save as” if you would like to save it to your computer). You can also view a short video of our history, and a three part video interview with one of our former members, who died in 2008, about her experiences at Red Hill since 1915, on our Youtube page by clicking here .
The name of Sam Rogers, one of the Sansome Walk deacons, has already been mentioned. Evidently he was quite a character – he rode a three wheeler bike and was also something of a wit. On 15 February 1909 he wrote a long poem entitled Uncle Sam’s Report of the Dicky Birds’ Concert in which he likens each mission to a bird in order to report on the work there. The rhyming may be a bit corny but it no doubt added to whatever occasion at which it was first aired.
In succeeding years the work continued, although in a rather more steady than spectacular way. Let’s pick out some points of interest. The first Chapel Anniversary after ‘home rule’ was held in January 1906 and the offerings given to the Renovation Fund. Then in 1913 Mr Roberts spoke at the SS Anniversary but apparently had his remarks cut short by the presiding chairman, Mr Mayglothling, because ‘he could not see his way clear to conform to what is now known as “Red Hill time” ‘ The mind boggles at the prospect of the congregation walking out at a certain time in the proceedings!
From that time up to the early 1960s recorded information about the activities and organisations of the church is patchy, to say the least. The Second World War and its after effects took their toll on the band of workers, many young men in particular not returning to the chapel after the horrors of war. In August 1943, for example, morning Sunday School was discontinued ‘owing to a lack of response’.
Things began to change in the early 1960s. In 1961 a Women’s Fellowship started under the leadership of Mrs Pike. Later this role was taken over by Mrs Phyllis Hill who led faithfully for many years. At that stage there were still no midweek activities for children or young people but in 1962 a Young People’s Christian Endeavour group started on a Friday evening with several of the older SS youngsters under the leadership of Rob Giles. (more…)
So, there we are – 100 years of faithful work and witness. A firm foundation laid down on which to build over the subsequent years. As we look back we have much to be thankful to God about, especially as we consider the lives of men and women who so faithfully gave of their time and talents to serve God in and through Red Hill. (more…)