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Wednesday, August 23, 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 4, you can find it here. We continue with more excerpts from the story of Pastor Tom Whiting who passed away two weeks ago aged 90, and his adventures in Australia…

We experienced many interesting events during the time we were using the CWA Hall.
Many people were saved and/or healed in that place. One of the earliest members of the church was miraculously healed in one of our meetings. She was suffering from a progressive disease which had already affected her left arm, at that time in a plaster cast. I prayed for the healing of the disease. She was so convinced that she had been healed that she had the cast removed, contrary to the doctor's advice. When she was examined it proved that she had in fact had a complete healing, which has lasted more than 30 years.

During the 1960's
it was evident that we had outgrown the CWA Hall and we needed to find a bigger building, preferably nearby. I heard of the Masonic Hall, also in Nerang Street, part of which had become empty, and I investigated the possibility of that becoming our new venue. The place was quite shabby but I felt it would serve the purpose for a while at least. We rented it on a weekly basis and moved in.

Each week I had to go in early to sweep out and deodorize the rooms, which smelt strongly of beer and tobacco smoke. In spite of its shabbiness God moved powerfully in that building during the meetings. Many people have asked me over the years if I had any spiritual problems with establishing a church in a Masonic Hall, but my answer was that each time I went into the building I took over, and all evil spirits had to leave, as it was consecrated to God.

Not long after we moved in,
after the morning service, a lady stopped me to ask if she may talk with me. She told me that she had been a Christian for many years and had been a member of a church for 20 years in one of the cleanest, most fashionable church buildings. She continued, "Then I came into this dilapidated place, look at the state of the walls. But do you know, I have felt the presence of God here in this building, amongst all the beer bottles, for the first time in my life!"

During these times in the Masonic Hall,
a young man call John Dunmore came to me, he was a heroin addict and a drug pusher heavily involved in the criminal scene in Melbourne. He had been to both the morning and evening services in the Masonic Hall, but left the building in a hurry afterwards. He then came back to speak with me. He said that he wanted to become a Christian but something was stopping him. I asked him if he was prepared to accept that the Holy Bible was of God, that Jesus was God's Son, that He had died on the Cross for him and rose again.

I told him that I did not expect him to understand the Bible or how or why Jesus rose again. I asked him if he was prepared to accept these things? He replied that he was. He followed me out into the rear yard where the empty barrels and bottles were stored, and I led him in the sinners prayer. John Dunmore went on to become a preacher of the Word, and is still in the Ministry. An account of his deliverance was published in the Gold Coast Bulletin, on 22nd June 1977.

Another God moment
which is worth recording concerned the healing of a young girl whom I prayed for at the Church. A mother brought her forward for prayer, her little girl who was retarded and went to a special school for similarly afflicted children. I laid my hands on her head and prayed that, "the organ of her reasoning would be opened".

Four days later the Principal of the school rang the child's mother to say, "she and the staff could not understand and what had happened to the child. Last week she was considered mentally retarded whereas now she appeared to be perfectly normal". The mother replied that she knew what had happened, and explained to the Principal that the Pastor of her church had prayed for her healing. Hallelujah!

Another prominent man,
this time an underworld gambler, came to one evening service, gave his heart to the Lord Jesus and was immediately set free from gambling. The following week his gambling friends contacted him to tell him of a big card game that was being held somewhere, and he was invited to attend. The man told his friend that he was sorry that he could not come because he had given his life to Jesus. Even though they pleaded with him he refused.

The work was growing
- the church group was growing, and the camp was growing. An area was needed to build the church, so I went to the leading estate agents on the Gold Coast and enquired about an acre of ground. You'll never get your acre of ground around here". I told them, "Sir, my Father is in charge of business and I'll get my acre of ground. Good day". With my son Phillip's help we found an acre of ground which Glad Tidings Tabernacle Church purchased on our behalf. Phillip was asked to build the church. We had a number of donations and grants and the building was paid off in a very short time.

Having favour with reporters
in Christchurch I learnt the technique of reporting and so on, and so I followed that through here and had a lot of publicity on the Gold Coast. One staff member of the Gold Coast heard a reporter say that he couldn't understand what I said about people speaking in languages they had never learned. He was writing an article on the churches on the Gold Coast, and he said, "I can't believe that". The chairman and the editor and the sub-editor said if Pastor Whiting says it we publish it. I used to supply them with important items, events and with stories of human interest and one was "A Magpie Paying for its Meals."

I was asked to visit an alcoholic who was a professing Christian, her husband was a greyhound dog owner and racer, and he said to me one day, "You know Pastor Whiting, it is commonly recognised you are the only man that can solve certain problems on the Gold Coast". If there was anything dealing with the occult the newspaper would appoint a reporter who would contact me for my views on it, and so the publicity we had helped the church along, and the publicity would deal with healings, conversions and stories of human interest.

As we reach our conclusion tomorrow, there are more great adventures stories from Pastor Tom, and how he experienced the supernatural power of God on the Gold Coast, and his planting of a new church in his eighties. 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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