This Week in AG History -- Nov. 11, 1973
P.S. Brewster may not be a well-known name in U.S. Pentecostal circles, but he was a powerful Pentecostal leader, evangelist, and church planter in Britain.Percy Stanley Brewster (1908-1980) was an influential British Pentecostal leader, an active leader in the Pentecostal World Fellowship, and a much sought-after conference speaker. Fifty years ago, he spoke at the 1973 General Council of the Assemblies of God U.S.A.
Born in London, Brewster was not raised in church. The first evangelist he ever heard was Stephen Jeffreys at a revival service held at the public hall in Barking in the East End of London in 1928. Brewster’s grandmother, parents, sisters, and other relatives all had been attending these services and were converted. Their involvement gained Brewster’s attention, so he attended and was moved by the preaching and the prayers for the sick. Later he went to a meeting at the Ilford Town Hall and made a public surrender to Jesus Christ.
Brewster had always been enthusiastic and optimistic, and these qualities followed him into his newfound faith. He soon became a youth leader, Sunday School teacher, and leader of hospital and other visitation groups connected with the Elim Pentecostal Church, which was founded by George Jeffreys (the brother of Stephen Jeffreys). The Elim Pentecostal Church was one of the largest Pentecostal church bodies in England and Wales.
Brewster’s enthusiasm for ministry seemed to know no bounds. He also became a youth leader in the East Ham suburb of London and was asked to assist in the follow-up after George Jeffreys’ successful crusade in Birmingham in 1930. He spent a short time at the Elim Bible College in London before being asked to help out as an assistant for a local congregation in Cardiff, Wales. About this same time, he met and married Doris Bracey who helped and encouraged him in ministry.
Brewster’s developing gifts found expression in evangelistic outreach. After having a vision in which he saw a hall packed with people, he led a large evangelistic crusade in Neath, Wales. The hall he booked was the same one he had seen in the vision. The meeting was a great success. This was the first of 40 evangelistic thrusts that helped to establish new churches.
In 1939, Brewster became minister of Cardiff City Temple in Wales, where he served until 1974. During this period, he left Cardiff twice a year to conduct crusades and helped establish churches all over Britain. He became Elim superintendent in Wales and continued to pioneer new churches.
A man of vision and boundless energy, Brewster was a gifted evangelist with a particular skill for gathering in converts. He preached with power and simplicity. He combined this with a caring pastoral ministry. He was elected to serve in various positions in national church leadership and in the Pentecostal World Conference (PWC), of which the Assemblies of God was a member. He also served as editor of the PWC publication, World Pentecost, from 1971 to 1978.
Known affectionately as “P.S.” by his friends, and “Mr. Brewster” by younger ministers, he was “Pastor Brewster” to his loving congregation. He also traveled extensively in the interests of the worldwide Pentecostal movement, visiting New Zealand, Europe, the U.S., and Korea.
Read Percy Brewster’s sermon, “God-opened Doors,” on page 4 of the Nov. 11, 1973, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.
Also featured in this issue:
• “Let’s Save the Foundation,” by Kenneth D. Barney
• “Prison Chaplains for NYC,” by Joe D. Wilmoth
And many more!
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Pentecostal Evangel archived editions courtesy of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center.