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Monday, August 21, 2006


Pastor Tom Whiting 31st January 1916 - 10th August 2006.

"His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!' - Mat 25:21.

If you haven’t read Part 1 & Part 2, you can find them here, and here. We continue with more excerpts from the story of Pastor Tom Whiting who passed away last week aged 90, and his adventures in Australia…

I felt a burden to leave New Zealand while I was still the Pastor of the Christchurch A.O.G.
At that time, I was also the National Superintendent, the Foreign Missions Promoter and Home Missions Promoter. After much prayer I gave three months notice to resign my Pastorate of the church, but continued with all the other work. My resignation from the church at Christchurch also meant that we would have to move out of the manse, therefore all our personal effects were packed to be forwarded to Auckland where we expected we should live.

In the meantime,
I had been invited by the late James Wallace to be the guest speaker together with Pastor Gerald Rowlands at the Christmas Camp held at the Burleigh Convention Centre on the Gold Coast in Australia. Violet and I flew over to Brisbane and arrived later at the Convention Centre. After one of the services, being troubled in my spirit, I went into my chalet to pray. While I was there, I felt that the Lord said to me, "The land is before you". As I began to consider these words I felt that someone would be seeking me out with some kind of invitation to stay in Australia.

After waiting two or three days, a minister came up to me and said that he had been appointed by the Assembly of God in Toowoomba in Queensland to invite me to become its Pastor. I took note of various events as a signal from God that my time in New Zealand was over. Our boxes of personal effects were by this time in Auckland; therefore all that had to be done was to change the labels to direct them to Toowoomba. It was then necessary to find a successor to me at my old church. At my request the name Pastor Ralph Reed from Australia was presented and he was subsequently appointed and installed as Pastor of Christchurch A.O.G.

That move
opened the way for a regular interchange of Australian pastors into New Zealand and vice versa, which led to many well-known names including Lloyd Averill, Frank Houston, Trevor Chandler, Bob Midgley and others to make the trans-Tasman journey.

As well as James Wallace,
other British preachers have contributed to the Australian AOG. Tom Wilson, Vernon Kinkad, Gerald Rowlands, Bryn Barratt, Aaeron Morgan, etc.

As I was considering the move
from one country I was reminded of something I mentioned to Violet one day soon after our marriage in 1941, as we were having a meal together. Turning to her at the table I said, "There is something in my spirit conflicting with something in my mind. I feel the pull towards Australia". It was eighteen years later that I remembered that incident.

The church in Toowoomba
ventured into radio and we were running two programs each Sunday. In the morning we had a children's program on which my daughter-in-law, Jeanette spoke to the young people. Then in the evening I would speak on a current topic relating it to the Bible.

We have incredible camp meetings
at our camp site at the foot of the Toowoomba Range. Hundreds of children, youth and adults were blessed in these Holy Spirit conventions.

While I was in Toowoomba,
I had a feeling in my spirit to pioneer a new area, completely without any Pentecostal churches or witnesses. On Wednesday night at 10.00 pm while I was in bed I said to Violet, "I wonder if the Gold Coast Burleigh Convention Centre is available as a base for home missions". On Saturday afternoon of that same week I was ministering to the Pastors and Leaders of the Glad Tidings Tabernacle Church in Brisbane.

Glad Tidings owned the Burleigh Convention Centre, and after the service, the Pastor of the Church, Lloyd Averill, came to me to .tell me of a decision made by the committee which ran the Burleigh Centre. He said, "They have made a revolutionary decision which has amazed us, they have agreed to open the camp as a base for home missions, and that they were looking for someone to run it". He invited me to think about it, which I agreed to do, eventually deciding to investigate the offer further.

I met with the Camp Committee to find out the details of what was involved. The grounds had to be cared for, I would have to provide the meals for the people, run the whole campus, attend to the maintenance of the buildings and equipment, in fact anything that was required to be done. For this I would be paid a weekly salary of £12 pounds.

In Part 4 tomorrow, there is more adventures stories from Pastor Tom, and how he eventually ended up on the Gold Coast and much more, don’t miss it!

Loving Father, help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to be a Godly influence to those around me, and to those I meet in my day to day life, just as Pastor Tom was. I ask this, in the wonderful name of Jesus and for His glory! Amen!

Be encouraged!

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