Deal Pentecostal Church

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Yesterday’s Church – Today’s Faith

On June 1895 I was born in the Sussex village of Crowborough. My parents brought me to Forest Fold Baptist Chapel in my infancy where I have attended all my life. There was always a good congregation of all ages from babies to elderly people. Each family had their own seat with their name on the end of the book rest and every year they paid a small seat rent. A few people came to the Chapel by horse and trap but most had to walk, some from long distances. Because the Sunday School was held between the morning and afternoon Services, many brought their dinner with them. Tea was provided from kettles boiled on an open fireplace and also water boiled in a copper at the back of the Chapel in the Coach House. The water was taken from a tank outside which caught the rain water. Inside the tank was a layer of charcoal which purified the water as it was drawn off by a tap at the bottom. As you may guess the tea had a taste all of its own!

When I was 10½ years old my father was taken very ill suddenly. I can remember walking along the lanes up to the Chapel to let the Pastor know about it and I am sure that I prayed in my small way.

During the Service next Sunday I was feeling very anxious and wondering whatever we would do if my father died. We had a small general shop at the time and I was the eldest of 5 children, the youngest being just 2 weeks old. A line of one the hymns we were singing went like this: "I will not leave you comfortless". It was just as if God had spoken that to me. I felt comforted and knew that whatever happened God would be with us and help us. This promise has been fulfilled all my life-time (my father recovered and lived another 45 years!)

In 1910, 10 people were baptised one month and another 3 the next. I wished that I was one of them but I felt that I had no testimony to share with the Church. I knew I was a sinner and needed a Saviour; I longed to know my sins were forgiven.

In 1914 World War I started and gradually all the young men from the Chapel were called up for Service. Three of them lost their lives including my brother John. He was 19 and in his last letter to us (which we received after the news of his death) he wrote: "I had to stand a long time by a dead man, before they came for him and the tears rolled down my cheeks as I prayed to God to forgive me all my sins... I often long to be sitting in the dear old Chapel on Sundays instead of sitting amid the roar of the guns".

In 1925 I was taken ill with pneumonia suddenly. My parents who lived next door took my 2 girls and I had a night nurse. I knew that I was very ill and although I had a good hope that I was born again and that Jesus had died for me, I did beg the Lord to give me an assurance of this.

He answered my prayers and I seemed to have a sight of Jesus suffering for my sins. Words cannot express the love, joy and peace which came into my soul. I felt I could leave everything in God's hands. I recovered from the illness and soon afterwards my husband had the assurance of his sins forgiven. We were baptised together in June 1925.

Mary Fermor

Mary died in August 1993 leaving 3 children, 16 Grandchildren and 38 Great-grandchildren

Yesterday's Church - Today's Faith (pdf) An inner peace. Its not too late. My Doctor. Heaven's Huntsman. Closer to God. Jesus cares. Miracles!. My Heavenly Father. God loves us. I'm going to heaven. I am so blessed.  Relevant. Alive. Why a Christian?. My times in His Hands. Yesterday's Church. What a Friend. Jesus my Saviour. Simple Words.