SermonIndex Audio Sermons
Image Map
Discussion Forum : Revivals And Church History : Forgotten past of my town feat. Matthew Henry

Print Thread (PDF)

PosterThread









 Forgotten past of my town feat. Matthew Henry

Thank you for taking an interest in what i have discovered about the town i live in. I believe it to be an encouragement to us all. I'm sorry if i ramble on but i feel it is important to start with a brief overview of the vision we have for this place. A couple of years into my walk with the Lord i developed a keen interest in church history and the works of the puritans. The story of how i came to live where i do is a long one which i wont go into but it was definatly God that brought me here thats for sure. I know with all my heart that God has a wonderful plan for his church here yet in the natural you wouldn't believe there was any hope. The church i attend feels like it's dying, this town has one of the worst crime rates in the country, and the poorest councils. It's that bad. A year into my marriage, my christian life and as a new mum i began to attend a newly set up prayer meeting for the area on our estate. On the first night, Friday April 6th 2001, as i was praying i saw a vision of the most beautiful rose you ever saw. It was fully open, fat and pink! I ignored it as just a strange thought passing through as i was praying. The next day as i was washing up the same picture in my head just would not budge, so i prayed and turned to the Lord and read his word and came across Isaiah 35. That night i shared this with a good christian friend ( my mentor! ) and in shock she revealed she had been disobedient to the Lord in the prayer meeting and should have read that piece of scripture to everyone. Since that night my friend and i hold that word close to our hearts as a hope for the future God has planned for this unsuspecting town. Other members of our church don't share in the vision yet the same word has been spoken over this town by others since. In respose my friend and i have held prayer walks around the estate and times of prayer round each others home. My friend has named this mission 'Desert rose'. Since the beggining of desert rose we sold our church building due to constant persecution ( a move that was seriously questioned ) and are now renting the community center on our estate. An answer to prayer as my friend and i did pray it would be once again restored into a church as it once was. But since the move most people have left for many varied reasons.
But i still have hope for us as a church and the town.
One day in 2003 i felt it impressed on my heart to do another study on the history of the town i live in.A previous study i had done laid a foundation for what was to come next. A couple my husband and i know attend a unitarian church called 'Chowbent chapel' not far from here and knowing of my interest in local and church history they told me about the chapel building where they go which is badly in need of restoration. They kindly gave me a tour as they hold keys to the building and gave me a book on it's amazing history. The building was literaly built by the cogregation in 1723 when they were ejected from their old building. They built each brick with their own hands, both the men and women. As i read about the remarkable history of this cogregation i came across a name that had links to my own town so i looked into it....
Behind the houses on one of the estates, the first one i lived on, there is a field and as you walk across these fields there is a small graveyard but no building. No one i asked knew where it had come from or why it was there. Then as i looked up this familiar name, jackpot! By the graveyard there is a lane and up from the graveyard down this lane was a house. The owner was a Robert Mort and the house was called Wharton hall. Roberts friend James Wood was the minister of the old Chowbent chapel before the new one was built. Together they held the societies of both then villages during the troubled religious times of the period1660-1690. James Wood was amoung the 2,000 "silenced" in 1662. But he couldn't be kept from holding meetings & services in the homes of sympathisers, which was illegal! His good friends the Morts of Wharton hall threw open there home for religious services to the neighbouring villagers in spite of fines and threats! Eventually James Wood was caught and sent to prison.
At this point i was getting very excited.I had to stop for a moment in the research to contemplate on this. This all happened in the very place they burn out cars, race cross bikes, deal drugs the place i live and yes i do love. People are caught by police here in very different circumstances! It seemed to me to be two totally differrent worlds! Did all this really take place here? Wow.
It was this point in the research that i made an even more amazing discovery. While reading into the life of Matthew Henry i discovered he just so happened to be friends with Robert Mort and James Wood! If you read the life of Matthew Henry in the beggining of his commentry you will find that none of the names listed as his friends in one chapter is more expounded on than that of Robert Morts. It says he was "one that feared God above many, he was an illustrious example of humility, charity, and primitive christianity, and was universally loved and hounred; even the most profane of his neighbours were scarcely known to speak ill of him. He greatly honoured God and his posterity were blessed"
Wow! what a foundation had been laid. What happened? Matthew Henry preached here, and help set up the church here. they built the church up the lane from the hall and appropriatly called it Wharton. Thats were the graveyard came from!!! Wharton church was re built twice before it was relocated across the road due to mining subsidence and the hall has also been demolished. A school was also birthed from this wonderfull ministry and is now sited next to the new church. I am pleased to say my first child started there a few weeks ago!
It's sad to see how things have progressed but it has given me a fresh desire to pick up where they left off. How could such a thing be forgotten about. I have picked up the pieces and will try to put them together as this is'nt half the tale.
A seed has been planted; foundations have been laid in Little hulton and around 300 years on "the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose".

 2004/10/1 11:13
disciplejosh
Member



Joined: 2003/6/13
Posts: 210
Southern California

 Re: Forgotten past of my town feat. Matthew Henry

geraldine,

Praise the Lord for your post. It is so encouraging to hear where God has you and how He is so faithful to go before us. Your 'story' reminds me of the book 'Eternity in their hearts' by Don Richardson. In it he tells how God has prepared so many different cultures for the gospel, and they weren't aware or had forgotten in their ignorance the God of their forefathers. I was also thinking of starting a thread on this very thing...the spiritual heritage in our respective areas where God has us today.

Praise the Lord. I keep remebering Isaiah 43:18-19...God is so faithful.

Until the desert blossoms...


_________________
Josh

 2004/10/2 1:10Profile









 Re:

Quote:
I was also thinking of starting a thread on this very thing....the spirtual heritage in our respective areas where God has us today.


Excellent idea! That would be an encouragement for us all to see God moving.
I would also like to add that my prayer seems like it might be answered in regards to building on this amazing foundation; our church may be joining with Wharton! I spoke to someone who attended Wharton (who is now at home with the Lord)and word got round and they rang my pastor (who is also my father-in-law!) and he and my mother-in-law have been preaching there as they don't have a pastor. They are relying on any passing lay preachers. In a recent prayer meeting they said we may be joining Wharton. So through having an interest in our 'spiritual heritage' and listening and acting on what God say's to us who knows where he will lead you and others!
Praise God, Lord i really do thank you for this amazing journey you are taking me on!

 2004/10/2 4:15
crsschk
Member



Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: Forgotten past of my town feat. Matthew Henry

This is fascinating!

What an incredible history you have there and what a blessing that you have come to share this with us. Looking forward to hearing more as this develops, just love this stuff!

Have you been through the graveyard?


_________________
Mike Balog

 2004/10/2 10:46Profile









 Re:

Quote:
have you been through the graveyard?


Yeah quite a few times now mainly on my own to have some time to meditate on gods word or to pray. More recently i went to visit a grave of a member of Wharton who recently passed away so i could pray. He had literally commited his life to the Lord. He never got married but he would have liked to instead he gave his all to God.
I also try to work out where the old hall stood and imagine these great men of God preaching there. I then pray over the site and ask for a revival. So it's not all day dreaming it just helps me to pray being there. Although it's not the safest place to be on your own!
One more point is that the graveyard interestingly enough has some of the oldest known headstones in the area.
Thanks for taking an interest, i know church history isn't everyones cup of tea!
God bless, in his love, Geraldine.

 2004/10/4 7:41
crsschk
Member



Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re:

Quote:
One more point is that the graveyard interestingly enough has some of the oldest known headstones in the area.



Thanks Geraldine that was the direction I was heading in, as to the researching aspect and if this was helpful in your search.

Quote:
Thanks for taking an interest, i know church history isn't everyones cup of tea!


Kind of ironic considering the scriptures are in essence just that! But there are a few of us around here that will join you for tea anytime. :-)


_________________
Mike Balog

 2004/10/4 8:00Profile





©2002-2020 SermonIndex.net
Promoting Genuine Biblical Revival.
Privacy Policy