In 1968 Eric Chambers pastor of Old Town Baptist Church Amersham heard that Don Basham had a spare evening in the UK, after arriving from the USA. It was too short notice to arrange for a proper church meeting so they invited him to speak to as many as could be mustered at the home of Ron and Pam Knight here in Grimsdells Lane,Amersham.
He spoke on the baptism in the Holy Spirit, then encouraged whoever wanted to stay to be prayed for to receive the baptism. That was the real beginning of the renewal in the Baptist Church.
Young people from several local churches began to be born again and receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Many of the boys went to Dr Challoner's Grammar School here in Amersham.After the event below on April 6th, 1972, for a few weeks we experienced a little bit of an "open heaven" at the school, in that it became easy to share and talk about the gospel. At its zenith I counted 80 boys one lunchtime, instead of playing football, they were seated on the grass, and were all studying the Bible.
We're talking a largely atheist school here...especially in those days...this was extraordinary.
I attended St John's Methodist Church in Amersham until a point in my 13th year when, after achieving an incredible school report almost entirely of A's, I was surprised how empty I felt and started searching deeply for more meaning in life. I became very very depressed and left church.
My schoolfriend Rod Nixon was more than persistant with me much to my annoyance. He encouraged me to attend a couple of monthly youth meetings in the newly established outreach building which was called the Christian centre on the site of today's PW White building,very near where Griff Rhys Jones and Mel Smith's Talkback is currently positioned opposite St John's.
The Christian Centre showed two Billy Graham films:Two A Penny,with Cliff Richard, and Jim Vaus Wire-tapper.
It was here that I became truly born again and then was told about St Leonard's Anglican Church Youth group
which met here in leafy Chesham Bois
They were studying the book of Romans. I'd never heard anything like it
up until that point in February and March 1972. It was the period of the power cuts caused by striking utility workers. The sight of young people turning out in a largely atheist and often drugged up Britain,to prayer and study meetings often powered by candlelight had a profound effect on me.
,During this period, some people announced that 2 completely different people had had a vision of a Holy Spirit teach in day and so it was set for April 6th 1972.
It took place here in Great Kingshill Bucks, and to this day nobody knows quite how the message carried so that the house was chock full of young people receiving teaching in the morning on evangelism and on the Holy Spirit in the afternoon. Those who wanted to were again asked to stay and be prayed for.I describe on some of our blogs how I was baptised in the Spirit that day along with 12-15 others.
Today the flame is being carried by people like the owner of the chain of The Entertainer. This was the first ever shop which he opened in Amersham. In recent years he has set up a trust and bought a mill in Latimer nearby, to help disadvantaged youngsters. Last year in the grounds he had an evangelistic campaign and many were born again or renewed their faith. He is creating an impact because he is such a leading businessman in Britain, often speaking on behalf of business on radio and on TV.