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History:Origins


The Work in Bradford, West Yorkshire

In the year 1916 a small company of people had met in the home of Pastor A. B. Chanter, and while together the Lord revealed to them the vision of the Apostolic Church . At that time the group had been attending a Pentecostal Church for eight years, but their acceptance of Apostles and Prophets meant they had to leave. The title this group gave themselves was "Apostolic Church of God"

In this group there were 12 in all. Many later became involved in the full-time work of the Apostolic Church, e.g. Pastor H. V. chanter A. B. Chanter, H. Cousen, G. Perfect and A. Rhodes, After this small group was formed, they met regularly and the Lord blessed them, adding to their numbers, An overseer was called - A. Rhodes : three elders called - A. W. Rhodes, H. V. Chanter and A. B. Chanter (father of H.V.C.) Mrs. Chanterwas called as a deaconess.

In January 1917 the Lord gave to this group a hail in Framley Street , Otley Road , Bradford. this was opened on the Sunday morning, 14th with attendance of 17, and 25 in the evening. This building soon became too small and by the end of that same year a new building was needed. This was bought and they moved into the Albert Street hail in Bradford . At this time Mr. H. Cousen and Mr. George Perfect joined the assembly and were called as deacons.

Twelve months later, in the autumn of 1918, the assembly held their first Convention and two visitors to this convention were Pastor W. J. and D. P Williams. The Bradford assembly linked in 1919 to "The Apostolic Church" in Penygroes, South Wales . During this time, 1917-1919, other churches were formed in neighbouring towns Castleford, Horden, Stockton and Middlesbrough.

It wasn't until 1922, in the Easter Convention at Bradford , that representatives of the different centres, Penygroes, Hereford, Glasgow and Bradford, met to discuss the doctrines of the church. Those who met were Pastor D. P Williams, W. J. Williams, F Hodges, W. A. C. Rowe, H. V. Chanter, A. Rhodes, A. Turnbull and T N. Turnbull. After examining doctrines it was decided that all four centres would link and work together in unity forming one "Apostolic church". This was a fulfilment of a prophetic word given earlier that year in the Welsh Church that it would be a year of nations. After a few years this work that had commenced in Bradford spread through Yorkshire, the North of England and to London .

During this same Convention in 1922, a Council was formed to deal with the Missionary work which had begun in 1919 at the International Convention in Penygroes. The Council consisted of 28 members and was called the Missionary Council. The movement named it "The Apostolic Church Missionary Council". Its offices were to be in this town being discussed, Bradford . From these offices (also in 1922) came the birth of the church magazine, "The Apostolic Herald", dealing with reports from the different areas and mission fields.

It was also in the Bradford assembly that a group of carefully selected men met to draft a Church Constitution and Guiding Principles. This was because God had been calling the four countries of the British Isles to have a greater unity. Those involved in this task of compiling a constitution were pastors H. Dawson, A. Gardiner, T V. Lewis, j.O .Jones and WA. C. Rowe, Pastors W. H. Lewis ,T. Rees, J. D. Browniie, V. Weilings and J.J. Williams compiled the Guiding Principles and Pastors G. Perfect. J. Turnbull and G. Evans were appointed to draft an Overseas Constitution. After these were compiled they were submitted to two Council Meetings in 1934 and after minor alterations and additions, a final draft was ratified, to be printed and published in book form in February, 1937. Pastor D. P Williams was authorized to execute a deed poll ordering the Constitution and Guiding Principles to be enrolled in the Central Office of the Supreme Court of Judicature. Afterwards a historic meeting took place on Thursday, 11th February, 1937, at the church in Great Horton Road , Bradford . In the presence of a solicitor, 60 members of the General Council and a congregation of 500 people, the Constitution was finally ratified and endorsed by the President, Pastor D. P Williams before being lodged in the Supreme Court of Judicature in London . This now meant that the church was given legal status in the United Kingdom .

The work grew rapidly in the Bradford area. Within a few years there were up to 30 churches attached to them, Pastor W. J. Williams moved to Bradford to be their Pastor and Prophet. A hard blow came to them in January, 1925, when one of the founder members, Pastor A. Rhodes, the first Missionary Secretary, died. One of the main Conventions of the Apostolic Church takes place in Bradford every year at Easter.