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Tuesday, August 22, 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 3, you can find it here. We continue with more excerpts from of the story of Pastor Tom Whiting who passed away last week aged 90, and his adventures in Australia…

In June 1965, we arrived from the Toowoomba Assembly of God
to follow the leading of the Lord to bring the Pentecostal Message to the Gold Coast. It was a bold step of faith, leaving a large established church, with a salary and manse to come to a new area as a Pioneer-Evangelist.

When we came to the Gold Coast to pioneer,
God promised "that a widow woman would sustain us". Within days of coming to the coast Sister Dorothy O'Dowd and I made contact with each other. This sister in whose home was held the first cottage meeting literally fulfilled that promise to us.

In August 1965,
I hired the CWA Hall in Nerang Street where five souls gathered for the first official meeting of the Southport A.O.G. and five children attended the first Sunday School of the church.

I formed a Boy's Club at Burleigh,
a Youth Club at Gilston, a club for girls at Burleigh, all of which were serviced and run from the Convention Centre. My son, Stephen, formed a group of musicians who performed on the beach at Burleigh Heads which proved a very popular and effective outreach. I was also able to obtain the free use of a bar in the Chevron Hotel in Surfers Paradise in which we held Christian outreach meetings during the Christmas holidays. On other occasions we held meetings in the Southport Cinema in Nerang Street where Gerald Rowlands and I preached evangelistic messages resulting in several people becoming saved.

Another method which I used to try to reach the people with the message of salvation was by teaming up with a young Dutchman, John Pasterkamp, who had a portable generator and a film projector with which we showed Christian films in the streets of Southport and Coolangatta.

I branched out into Mudgeeraba, by using a "door knock" with the youth to invite people to come to meetings. We extended over the border into New South Wales, beyond Byron Bay, preaching the Gospel each Wednesday night until eventually we were able to form a church of 30 members which I later handed over to another pastor. All these areas had hitherto been untouched by the A.O.G. church, and most of the population had never had any experience of the Pentecostal style of service.

At that time not only was the Convention Centre becoming very busy,
but my work in the local area with outreaches was growing considerably. In addition to that I held the offices of Superintendent of Queensland A.O.G., Vice-Chairman of the A.O.G. in Australia, a lecturer at the Commonwealth Bible College, Chairman of the College Directorate, Secretary for Home Missions and on the Overseas Missions Board, all of which resulted in a very heavy work load.

I was going to be invited to stand as the next Superintendent of the AOG in Australia, and I sought God to know what I should do about this and the correct direction for my work. He spoke very clearly to me and told me that it was not His will that I should be the Superintendent of the A.O.G. I thanked Him and took steps immediately to resign from that office.

One day while working with a pick and shovel
repairing one of the roads within the camp I stopped, straightened up to ease my back, when I thought I sensed the presence of Jesus near a big tree close by. I looked over, but did not see anyone, although I was confident He was there. I felt a little disappointed, but four or five minutes later I heard a voice. It said very clearly, "There was a time that you did something for Me, now I am going to do something for you".

Immediately, I thought back to London to the time when God told me to go to New Zealand twenty-one years earlier, how we sold our furniture and trusted Him totally all the way. We had no money, all I could do was look, and find out what house prices were at that time.

One day as Violet was doing the laundry I told her not to do any more washing as we were going out to look for a house. Within four hours of the Lord telling me to go and look for a house we had signed the contract to purchase it. A brother had offered $1,000 for a deposit. We had no money for solicitors fees, but we received gifts from various individuals which covered all the legal expenses thereby incurred. The purchase of that house enabled us to move out of the camp, where we had lived for five years or so, into the centre of Southport, which seemed to be the new focal point of our ministry.

During the period we lived at the Burleigh Convention Centre
I was running the church at the C.W.A. Hall in Nerang Street in Southport, I also had other halls hired on a weekly basis for very low rentals. At one stage I have five halls in various places, so that if we needed a venue for any particular reason we always had somewhere to go, for at that time it was often difficult to hire suitable accommodation at short notice. In December 1965 my son Stephen and his wife Jeanette joined us at the church.

In Part 5 tomorrow, there is more adventures stories from Pastor Tom, and how he experiences the power of God 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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