How it all Started

The Assemblies of God in Great Britain – a history

In the late 1800s and early 1900s there was a revival characterized by manifestations of the Holy Spirit, and it was out of this that the Assemblies of God was formed.

In February 1924, Nelson Parr, the pastor of a congregation in Manchester, called a meeting of fourteen people in Aston, Birmingham, in which they decided to form the Assemblies of God in the UK with their 26 congregations. Others were invited, but train strikes meant that many people couldn't get there.

During the meeting they agreed on the Fundamental Truths, and to work together to protect sound doctrine and to work together to achieve what they couldn't do on their own.

A second meeting was held in May that year, in Highbury, London, when another 48 congregations joined. On the second day of meeting, Elim leaders were present, and a partnership was discussed, with Elim providing the evangelistic side – but it was decided to be postponed for the present.

In January 1926, the AGGBI leaders took complete leadership of the previous Pentecostal Missionary Union – which had a Bible School at Hampstead in London. This maintained its independence, but became the Bible school for the Assemblies of God.

The building was destroyed in 1940 – 41. Other buildings were used for a time before the college moved to Kenley in Surrey in 1950, and amalgamated with the Bristol Bible College in 1951. The college moved to its current home, Mattersey, near Doncaster in Yorkshire, in 1973.

The AOG offices were in Lewisham, London, transferred to Luton in 1953, then moved to Nottingham in 1971.

In 2012 Mattersey Hall was turned into the National Ministry Centre for the AOG, and the Nottingham offices moved there too.

The movement grew over the years. By 1927 there were 140 assemblies in the AOG, which increased to 200 in 1929, to 250 by 1933 and 350 in 1939. There were 403 assemblies in 1946, and 506 in 1957. In 2005 AOG churches in Northern Ireland joined together to form the Assemblies of God in Ireland. (AGI)

Today, there are almost 600 churches in the AOG in Great Britain.