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Some memories from our celebration weekend:-

50th

Mix of People

 

Sunday morning

We shall try to add pictures as we can! They're coming...

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Comments

From John and Celia Valentine in Africa

John’s Time at Devy Road

I was one of those who moved from Queens Road to No.14.  I had a full-time job then but all our free time and efforts were spent on work parties. My first job in the house was to help clear the basement.  It had been used as a rubbish tip and took about 2 months to clean out all the muck and filth. In the meantime, others worked on different rooms. I moved into the house and Mr North suggested that the meeting room was not big enough, so we decided to knock down a wall. At the time I was working for a timber firm and was the liaison rep with the City Engineering Department. In passing, I mentioned to the town engineer that we were knocking down a wall. He said we needed planning permission, and approval from the city engineer but he agreed to come round and advise us. A good thing he did! He told us the basement walls would not carry the weight of the necessary steel beam (an RSJ) and we needed to build an extra wall there. When the wall was knocked down and the RSJ put across, Dave Wetherley went upstairs only to find doors didn’t open as the floor was sinking. He hurriedly rushed down and stuffed slated on top of the beam to prevent more subsidence. We were ignorant but God was gracious….

 

In 1971, I was ordained an elder with Fred Tomlinson.  I shared a flat with Brett Wolfindale, Jim Hamilton, Dave Wetherley and over time many others. In those days we had many people coming for ministry including those with real spiritual problems. One Welsh family, I remember, came for ministry because they barked like dogs. They were prayed for in the meeting. That night they started barking again. Bret, who didn’t like his sleep disturbed, got up and shouted, “Stop that, you have been delivered! Get back to bed!” They meekly did so and as far as I know, never barked again. As you can imagine, meetings tended to be chaotic but lively; eventful and noisy. It was a congregation of extremes. At that time there was a move of the Spirit in Liverpool University and a great many members of the Christian Union were with us.

In 1974 God called me to Nigeria to re-establish a Bible College attached to Church of God Mission. Devonshire Road was my sending church and is still my “home base”. Their faithful prayers and support over the years have sustained us in Nigeria and now in Zimbabwe. I thank God for all that He has done through that Fellowship.

 

Celia’s Time at Devy Road

 

I first went to Devonshire Road in 1973. I had come to Liverpool to work and the only person I knew went there. I was a Christian and had known something of the Holy Spirit but Mr North’s ministry was something else! I was based in North Liverpool and midweek would go to meetings at Mr and Mrs Moffat’s house (Peter’s dad and mum). On Sundays it was a car load to Devonshire Road and then back at lunch time to collect another family. Eventually I decided to move nearer and shared a flat with Barbara Peck in Princes Park. I am so grateful for the teaching and grounding I received there and also for John, my husband who I met there. I am thankful for all that the Fellowship has been to us over our years in Africa.

 

Barbara from Asia

Being a bit of a slow one when it comes to technology, I've only just caught onto the fact that there is a Devy Road blog and that contributions were requested at the 50th anniversary celebrations earlier this year. So much of my life has related back to my experiences at Devy Road - the name figures often in conversations here today - so here goes.

'The House' was the church I committed to soon after God met me, as a rebellious university student, in 1971. It was a very different place and community to anything I had known before, and I count it a huge privilege to have been involved for about ten years while living in Liverpool, and for another getting-on-for- forty years from further afield. Much of what I know of the Lord has grown out of foundations laid there in my early years of faith, and being enabled to stand through some pretty tough experiences over the years abroad is due to the solid relationship with the Lord in all his power and might, majesty, faithfulness and immeasurable love for me and for others that I entered into in those formation years. Many of the men and women who have inspired me, set me an example, loved me, cared for me, provided for me - and disciplined me - are, or were, part of the fellowship at Devy Road.

But as I look back today, it is the funny stories and the practical lessons learned there that come to the front of my mind.  Here are a few snapshots:

  • Dad Moff's head falling further and further towards the floor as Sue and I sang a rather inappropriate Merv and Merla song one Sunday morning - (thank you Dave and Adrian)… 
  • Dave W welcoming my parents to Devy Road in his unique enthusiastic style, and my dad refusing to believe that such love could be genuine… 
  • Paul bringing in a group of visitors to join a roast chicken lunch just served onto plates, and giving his own meal to one of the guests when I protested a little too much…
  • Ali H's knitting wool threatening to fill the flat in number 16...
  • A troubled young man presenting me with a bunch of flowers on the front steps of no 14 and Paul picking off the petals one by one as he recited "he loves me, he loves me not"...
  • Dramatic episodes in and around the huts at Cliff College...
  • Learning to clean the house and make a little food go a very long way (of great practical benefit today!!)...
  • The treasure hunt party organised by Malcolm, ending on the top flat bay window with a treasure chest - and the paper pointing out that the first shall be last ... 
  • Being prayed out to India with Pam...
  • Mr North helping me to understand the folly of trying to tell God what to do regarding healings and miracles, and rebuking me for bringing unbelief into the fellowship - and then praying for me as I humbled myself and was restored... and little Susan Jones being healed...
  • Riotous episodes with Chris and Mandy...
  • Polishing the floor and polishing the floor and polishing the floor...
  • Singing with the music group, including mad-cap rushes to Trafalgar Square for carols, to the depths of Wales for the Eisteddfod, to Scotland for recording a tape - and the stress and hysterics of practice sessions with Carol, Brett and co...
  • University lecturer Jane learning to cook in the Devy Rd kitchens and having us all in stitches...
  • Counting whitebait to make sure everyone had an equal serving at a University reunion dinner in number 14...
  • One of the happiest days in my life - my wedding, with the elders praying, flowers by Sue, Marg and Julie, dress by Daphne, food by Marg and team, huge peacock tail decoration by Peter, ushering by a team of smartly dressed men, car by Ken - and so much more ...
  • Hospitality and prayer when we returned to Liverpool as a medical evacuation with very tiny sick twins...

What does it all add up to? FAMILY. For me, Devy Road has been what a church should be, warts and all - spiritual grounding in the truth as found in the Bible, study, hard practical work, sacrifice, sharing, tears and laughter, growing, discipline and correction, encouragement, support through thick and thin, forgiving and being forgiven, significant times of prayer and fasting - and a real, proven sense and experience of belonging to each other.

May God bless all who gather at number 14 in these days,

Barbara.

 

Simon and Heloise, Estonia.

 

Our connection with Devy Road started in 1995 following a trip to Ameva farm in Zimbabwe where we met.  Simon arrived home in London to find a letter from Dave Wetherly inviting him to visit him in Liverpool.  Simon went there wondering if there might be a future for him in that part of the country. What he didn't anticipate was a job and accommodation already waiting for him at Devy Road where he stayed for two years as the church worker.  The Moffat children certainly received their fair share of pranks during that time and gave as good as they got in return!

Our wedding was made so memorable by the number of people from Devy Road who helped in every way possible both before and during our special day.  It was such a testimony to family and friends of the love of God's people.  One couple even moved out of their home so that the bride and her family had somewhere to stay!

We learnt so much during our Devy Road years prior to our move to Estonia.  Those years have shaped so much of who we are and what we do now.  It is a privilege to have been a small part of what God originally spoke to the church that the leaves would be for the healing of the nations. 

 

Dave Vine, the Longcroft.

Here are just a few comments and memories re 50th year celebrations.

I first went to “The House” as it was known by, on a Sunday afternoon in September 1969 when I arrived at Liverpool University.

I had been baptised in the Spirit nine months before I went to Uni so I came to the city looking for a church to be part of that believed in the person, work and gifts of the Holy Spirit. Adrian Murray who was in the year above me took me for the first time. John Kwan, Lynda Cheung, and Barbara Williamson had already begun to attend.

I remember the singing, especially the Weslyan hymns, what was called “body ministry”, the majority of the congregation were young, the intensity of people’s prayer and worship and the challenging expositional ministry.

For the first year I only was able to attend on a Sunday afternoon as I went to Ramilies Road Brethren Assembly in the mornings during that year to honour my parents. I remember returning to Rathbone Hall after the morning meeting in Ramilies, to sit down for formal dinner with my black gown with the resident professors on the top table, and then running through Greenbank Park and another to get to the house in time for the afternoon meeting. What a sense of expectation we had then! I can also remember sitting on the top floor of the bus going back with others singing hymns from the blue book as we went!

After that first year many people from the Uni came to the House including Mike and Sue Cadman, Sue Harding, Hilary Murray, Jan Richardson, Jan Makerson, Heather Jones, Maretta Wolfendale, Ted Steiner, Barbara Peck, Rick Carver, Ray, and many others.

During that second year of my attendance Fred and Shelia took up residence in the house. Fred’s ministry proved to be foundational in my life at that time. Norman’s ministry also had a similar impact but that was mainly in the context of the University CU where he regularly spoke.

Of course it was during this years when I often visited Fred to talk and learn that I became aware of Ann Chisnell, who was working for Fred and Sheila at the time. 

We left Devy Road, as it later became known, and started attending the Longcroft in January 1974 and we married on 22nd March 1975.

 

Greg Hanley (via the Ameva Weeekly facebook page)

“When l think of Devonshire Road, l remember Dave Weatherly, Norman Meeten, George North & holiness teaching.”

People really do love that place – not that the building is anything but WHAT GOD DID THERE!


Comments

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The Nomads

2017-05-26

Lovely to see a few pictures of the 50 year celebrations. God is ever faithful. Please add some more pictures. With much love Gill and Mark

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The Nomads

2017-05-31

Thank you Pete for adding further pictures. It is so good to see familiar faces and to praise God for His amazing goodness.

Lots of sweet memories but one that sticks firmly in our minds of dear Dave W hugging Mark intensely and shouting, "Glad to know that you are serving the Lord in Bulgaria."

I wonder if we've been in the wrong country all these years?

Sweet man of God.

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Graham Whitehouse

2017-09-10

What a great weekend it was! So good to see so many brothers and sisters again after years and even decades.
I came to Devy Road in October '86 as a student at Liverpool University. Because of this wonderful church I worked for some years with All For Jesus Missions who were based there at the time and met the best wife possible, Cath, with whom I did kids outreach work and became a missionary. I am very thankful to the Lord Jesus for this church and for His blessing there, and for all the love and care shown to us by the Devy Road folk. I wish there was another fellowship like this near where we live now!
I learnt how to clean the loos, polish the wooden floor, make the teas, tape the meetings, do the overheads, man the door, paint and decorate, fix washing machines and so on, but most importantly I saw the example of men and women who really walked with the Lord and loved Him.
'Till we meet again,
Graham

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