Hall of Faith

"We are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses" 

Bruce Llewelyn Edwards (1941-    )

My FATHER and mother left everything behind to become missionaries to Japan aboard the M. S. Tjiluwah and worked for the Japan Evangelistic Band (J.E.B.) from 1965-1977.

They both completed studies in Japanese at the Japanese Language Institute in Kobe in 1965 and 1966.

Prior to leaving Australia my parents were awarded Diplomas in Biblical Studies from the Queensland Bible Institute where they studied from 1962-1963.  

When they returned to Australia after spending twelve years with the J.E.B., they became early elders of what is now called Catalyst Church from 1978-1993, which was one of the first Charismatic church in the city of Ipswich, Queensland.  It began as a couple of home groups and today has become a church of some 700+ members.

During these years based in Ipswich my father visited Japan three more times and South Korea once.  During 1990 both my parents lived in Sapporo for nine months where my father was a lecturer at the Christ For the Nations Bible School

In 1994 they moved to the Gold Coast to become Pastors of the Gold Coast Japanese Church, a role they continued until the end of July 2017. 

Nowadays my parents continue to preach about once a month at the Gold Coast Japanese Church, and continue to carry out other pastoral roles in an unofficial capacity. 

Most of the time, and still, my father - like Paul - continues working whilst at the same time fulfilling his ministry, working as a builder, former teacher's aid (at Emmannuel College), tour guide, and marriage celebrant. 



Edward Llewelyn Edwards III (1905-1970)

My GRANDFATHER, Edward Llewelyn Edwards (left) was born in Wales during the Great Revival of 1904-1905.

When the family immigrated to Australia, my grandfather attended the Blackstone Welsh Church and the Silkstone Baptist Church in Ipswich, Queensland.  

Later he became one of the first Pentecostals in Ipswich, Queensland (Australia) when the Ipswich Assembly of God opened, where he played steel guitar.

He was also a founding member of Ipswich Region Assembly of God, which was built by his brother, Idris.     

He is pictured here in 1924 with the itinerant Evangelist Rev. John Hewitt (right), who was known as "the Welsh Revivalist", who later held healing meetings in Customs House in Brisbane, and then became co-founder of the Apostolic Church of Australia. 

This John Hewitt's mother was the cousin of David Cochrane, whose son Les married my grandfather's sister Lydia Edwards.  Whilst John was pastoring the Dinmore Baptist Church, the organist began speaking with other tongues whilst John was preaching.  The Baptist Union urged him to "preach against this error".  Of course, he did not do so - so he was given the right foot of fellowship by the Baptists, and began a traveling evangelistic healing ministry, and later founded the Apostolic Church of Australia.

(Many youth were saved during the 1904-1905 Welsh Revival who were later instrumental in founding the Apostolic Church - which claims to be the first organized Pentecostal denomination in the world, organized even before the Assemblies of God.  

The Apostolic Church was birthed in the aftermath of the Welsh revival and experienced the gifts of tongues and prophecy; and was ahead of its time in that it was distinguished by the revelation that the offices of apostle and prophet still exist in the church today). 

My grandfather was a lover of revival. 

 

 

Edward David Edwards II (1869-1939) 

My GREAT-GRANDFATHER emigrated from Wales to Ipswich, Queensland in 1913, having experienced the Welsh Revival of 1904-1905 .  

One story he told illustrates the fervour of the revival.  He used to deliver milk in the early morning, and although he couldn't see very far into the distance due to the fog, all around the city he could hear whole households up early in the morning singing hymns and praying. 

Estimates put it that in only a matter of months some 100,000 were converted and added to the churches.  Police walked the streets with nothing to do.  Pubs were closed.  Coal miners couldn't get their mules to work anymore because they'd been trained not to move unless they first heard an obsenity.  Even the football grand-final was cancelled that year due to revival. 

Early Welsh immigrants like my great-grandfather once gathered under a large tree at Blackstone in Ipswich and prayed that a revival, similar to the Welsh revivals they came out from, would one day start in Ipswich.

Queensland's only Welsh church, The Blackstone Welsh Church, was built on that spot.    

 

William Edward Edwards (1838-1923) 

My GREAT-GREAT-GRANDFATHER 

 

former Edwards family home in Wales

 


Edward Edwards I (1800-1868) 

My GREAT-GREAT-GREAT-GRANDFATHER is credited with the founding of the Congregational Church of Montgomeryshire, Wales. 

 

no picture

 

 

Arthur Idris Edwards (1909-1994)

My GREAT-UNCLE  handed-down to me the stories he heard of the Welsh revival from his father.

As a builder, he built two Assembly of God churches in Ipswich, Queensland.     

He and his brothers including my grandfather were born in Montgomeryshire, Wales and sailed to Australia on the steamer Shropshire, the year World War I broke out. 

I asked uncle Idris to tell me the stories of the Welsh revival over and over again. 



A. Paget Wilkes 

He was one of the founders, together with Barclay Buxton, of the Mission my parents worked for, the Japan Evangelistic Band.  

He was the author of many great books and he taught that a sinner can be converted instantly, a rather radical view in his day.   

This photo was displayed in the formal room at the Headquarters of the Mission where we lived in Suma, Kobe, Japan - so it just wouldn't feel like home without his picture.  

 

Barclay Buxton

Barclay Buxton co-founded the Japan Evangelistic Band together with A. Paget Wilkes.

One of Barclay's books is a beautiful devotional based on the Song of Solomon entitled, "On to Sacrificial Service", and it is one of my favourite books, now out of print.  

He was a proponent of the doctrine of Entire Sanctification and of the Baptism with the Holy Ghost as a second work of grace, distinct from conversion, in the believers' heart.   I'm grateful for that heritage, passed to me through my parents' association with the Mission he founded. 

I also remember a distinct atmosphere of excellence and stateliness about the Mission, which no doubt came through Barclay from his father, Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton, 1st Baronet; sole owner of Truman, Hanbury, Buxton & Co; an elected member of British Parliament for almost twenty years who helped found the Anti-Slavery Society and who was instrumental in the abolishment of slavery.  

(There is a monument to his father in Westminster Abbey, and a memorial to the emancipation of slaves and dedicated to Buxton in Victoria Tower Gardens commissioned by his son Charles Buxton MP.  The Buxton Memorial Fountain, designed by Samuel Sanders Teulon, was initially erected in Parliament Square, but was removed in 1940 and moved to its current location in 1957.   Fowell Close in Earlham, Norwich, is named after him. ) 

The Buxtons also had a famous Quaker connection.  Barclay's mother was Hannah Gurney, sister to the famous Quakers Joseph John Gurney and Elizabeth Fry who was depicted on the Bank of England Five Pound Note in 2002.  The Buxton family financially supported Elizabeth Fry's prison reform work and became members of her Association for the Improvement of the Female Prisoners. 

The Buxton Estate is now home to All Nations Christian College, now the largest Missionary Training College in Western Europe, which was co-founded by his son Godfrey Buxton. 

And Barclay Buxton's nephew, also named Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton 3rd Baronet, was Governor of South Australia and was described as "the most genial, sociable and common-sense governor, due to his gentle and unassuming friendliness. He visited gaols and hospitals, and showed genuine interest in Aboriginal culture..."

Other Buxtons had prominent roles in Australian or British government.



Godfrey Buxton

The names I remember in this photo are:  Mr Hirata, Marjorie Waller, Godfrey Buxton, John, Mr Eric Gosden, Bruce Edwards (Dad), Mrs Mary Gosden, Mr Ian Walker

I remember Godfrey Buxton to be such a godly, gentle, gracious, sanctified and pleasant person for a child to be around.   

He was the son of Barclay Buxton and grandson of Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton.  

Godfrey had been awarded a medal for bravery for jumping into a trench full of Germans and somehow capturing them all.  But he still had war wounds from the explosion which killed his brother.  Consequently he had a special walking stick with a handle that spread in two, making a seat for him to sit on, which he sat on whenever he preached.  My Dad would interpret for him into Japanese.  

As a young man he was told his war injuries made him unsuitable for missionary work.  So he wondered what else he could do for the cause of missions.   As a result he became a founding Council member of what is now known as All Nations Christian College which has become the largest centre in Western Europe for the training of missionaries.  It operates out of the former Buxton Estate.   

Godfrey was married to the daughter of Reader Harris who was a prominent English barrister, counselor to Queen Victoria, Methodist minister, founder of the Pentecostal League of Prayer, author of 34 books. and close friend of Oswald Chambers.

I enjoyed Godfrey Buxton's company so much as a child that I cried when he left Japan to return to England.



J.E.B. Missionaries  

LEFT TO RIGHT: Judy Greenbrook, Bobbie & Tillie Toner, John, Bruce & Lynette Edwards (Dad & Mum), Ron Heywood, Alice Elsa Smith, Pat Heywood, Margaret Marcks, Eileen Warner, Maureen Smith, Marjorie Waller, Amy Luke

SEATED:  Eunice Clarke, Violet McGrath, Eric & Mary Gosden, Percy Luke

I remember asking my Dad if I could be in this photo.  I just loved the company of these seasoned, godly men and women of God.  To my surprise, Dad got a chair for me to stand on, allowing me to participate in the photo shoot.  Occassions such as this, when all the missionaries converged at the Headquarters in Suma from their outposts all over Japan, didn't happen every week - so this was meant to be a serious photo.  I often wonder what the other missionaries thought of a child being included in the photo!

 

Stanley Banks

Stanley Banks became son-in-law to J. D. Drysdale who felt that his role in the cause of missions was to remain State-side and train the missionaries.  Drysdale founded Emmanuel College, Birkenhead where Stanley Banks was a member of Staff and member of the Home Mission Board, which in 1997 became The Emmanuel Centre for Mission Studies, a subsidiary unit of the Nazarene Theological College.

My brother and I had a fun time with Stanley when he visited the Mission in Kobe, Japan.  Stanley Banks  engaged my young heart so much during his stay with us in Suma that when I saw his plane fly away back to England, I cried.

As a child, my spirit felt more satisfied and I enjoyed the company of preachers and missionaries like him more than I enjoyed spending time with children my own age. 


Eric Gosden

Missionary, author, musician - with a sense of humour to match!  I saw a lot of him in each other's houses when I was a child in Japan.

 

Shotaro Kogo

Called the "Billy Graham of Japan".  I have childhood memories of him preaching at the Kansai Bible College.  I remember the ink calligraphy he used to do, and I remember visiting he and his wife in their home in Kobe.  Even at that young age I could sense the admiration in which this Evangelist was held by the Body of Christ in Japan. 



Gordon Gibbs

Certainly one of my favourite Australians.  I could talk about miracles that I saw Jesus Christ do through him - such as the time I saw him cast out a demon from a partially crippled man, after which I saw the man totally healed and leaping for joy on the stage; or I could speak of a friend and a relative who was baptized with the Holy Ghost under his ministry; or I could speak of his timely prophetic word over my life; or about his many achievements such as the founding of the Penrith Christian Life Centre - but all of these pale in comparison to his reputation for love, humility and gentleness.  I can't speek appreciatively enough about his life.   



Derek Prince

I'll never forget the manifestation of the presence of God that occurred in his meetings in our church in Ipswich.  My father and my brother had the job of driving him in my brother's Ford Fairlane to the meetings.   

 


David Cartledge

I once asked David how many churches he has started.  He had to stop and try to work it out - there had been so many!  I also remember a meeting in Sydney where he urged a return to Pentecostal ideals.  By his faith he achieved many financial miracles enabling buildings to be purchased or constructed for the Kingdom of God.  He was the first full-time Pastor of my home church, Surfcity Christian Church.

 

Francis Bundock 

We are truly going to miss Pastor Francis.   As a young man he resigned mid-season from a promising football career with the Muli Muli all blacks, accepting the call of God to succeed his father and grandfather before him as Pastor of Muli Muli Full Gospel Church.  He led the Muli Muli Christmas rally into its 100th successive year, possibly making it Australia's oldest and longest-running Pentecostal gathering.  He also maintained a busy itinerant ministry in which many all over Australia found hope, salvation, healing and the baptism with the Holy Ghost.  He faithfully held forth the Word of Life, ever loyal to the old-fashioned Pentecostal Gospel message.  He was an anointed Gospel musician with a golden voice.  He was awarded the Good Citizens Award for Aboriginal leadership by New South Wales Parliament in 2001.  The Principal of Woodenbong State School announced the creation of the Francis Bundock Scholarship in 2007.  He was known most of all for his love.   He was both Pastor and friend.