I also remember a time with Nigel Prentice when he started to talk with me about things that were going on in his heart. He and Nick were both significantly older than me. I was around fifteen, Nigel would have been eighteen or nineteen, and Nick twenty-one or so. Nigel had told me of a meeting that was happening in Chard in Somerset where he had been with another friend and he had come back transformed. He was naturally a very shy quiet man, but now he was talking all the time about things God was showing him in Scripture etc. He testified to having been baptised with the Holy Spirit.
Another man – Neil – who was a friend of Nigel’s was a school teacher in town whose life had been turned upside down following a visit to Chard.
A further piece of the jigsaw for me was when I was invited to go to a conference at Capel Bible College, near Dorking in Surrey, the headquarters of the Elim Pentecostal Church, representing Eastbourne Youth for Christ. I think I was fifteen at the time. There I heard ministry from Denis Clark from South Africa and Campbell McAlpine from Scotland speaking about being baptised with the Holy Spirit.
Amazing as Edgmond Hall had been for me as a child growing up, I had never heard, as far as I can remember, the person of the Holy Spirit ever being mentioned. We had had ministry covering a wide variety of subjects but nothing on the person or work of the Holy Spirit. Looking back on it, it really seems quite unusual, and also concerning.
I think it was Watchman Nee, who on visiting the Brethren in the UK, remarked that “they had lots of light but little life.” This might have been a generalisation but it undoubtedly was true for many.