History of The United Pentecostal Church of Great Britain and Ireland
In the late spring of the year 30 A.D., Fifty days after the resurrection of our Lord, on the Day of Pentecost, while the disciples were in the upper room praying and worshipping God,” ....suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” The people, upon hearing of this phenomenon, assembled and were amazed. Peter in explaining said, “ ....this is that which was spoken by the Prophet Joel,” stating further that, ....the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” Approximately 36 years later, Jude noticed a falling away, and urged the people to “ ....earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” Through the centuries which followed there were only a few who received this wonderful experience of the infilling of the Holy Ghost. Truly it was a day that was neither clear nor dark. (Read Zech. 14:6).
At various intervals throughout the past centuries, the followers of the Apostolic faith and doctrine have become prominent through great revivals that have appeared in Great Britain, the United States and Canada.
In the days of Tertullian (A.D. 207) Chrysostom (fourth century), Christians of the thirteenth century, the early Quakers, Wesley, Whitefield and Irving, the gifts and manifestations of the Apostolic Church were much in evidence as the revival spirit swept over the country. During the last 21 days of the 19th century, a band of earnest, hungry-hearted ministers and Christian workers in Bethel Bible College, Topeka, Kansas, called a fast, praying earnestly for a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit, which, to their joyful surprise, came upon them in the early hours of the morning, on January 1, 1901. The people were heard speaking in other languages as the Holy Spirit gave them utterance, just as it had happened on the day of Pentecost in the year 30 A.D. A great revival immediately broke forth, which soon reached to the state of Texas, and thence west to Los Angeles, where in the year 1906 it centred in an old building on Azusa Street. Ministers and evangelists gathered in Los Angeles from every section of the United States and Canada, and missionaries returned from the foreign fields to learn more about this new experience.
Many who came were soon filled with the Holy Ghost. From here it spread throughout the whole earth, penetrating even into the heathen darkness of India, Africa, China and the isles of the sea, thus fulfilling the great commission of our Lord: “...go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.”
With the coming of the Holy Spirit, the word of the Lord became a new book. Truths which had been hidden for many years were made clear. In the year 1914, came the revelation on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. The pivotal doctrines of the absolute deity of Jesus Christ and the baptism in His name became tenets of faith. God marvellously confirmed our message as the Gospel was preached in its fullness. The power which was hidden in the name of Jesus began to be revealed. Literally thousands were re-baptised into the name of Jesus Christ, and multitudes received the baptism of the Holy Spirit while in the water. Great numbers were healed of incurable diseases; demons were cast out as in the days of the Apostles. In many cities where this message had gone, the report of the Samaritan revival was duplicated.
“But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the Kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptised, both man and women” (Acts 8:12).
The number of those who believed the full Pentecostal message grew rapidly, and soon it was realised that in order to properly reach the world with this great Gospel message, “how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; (1 Corinthians 15: 3-4)-and that God now commandeth all men everywhere to repent:” (Acts 17: 30) “ and be baptised …. in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 2: 38), it was necessary to have a proper basis of co-operation and fellowship.
During the early half of this century various groups were organised. Among them two of the major
bodies known as The Pentecostal Assemblies of Jesus Christ, inc., and The Pentecostal Church,
Inc., became so closely associated in doctrine and fellowship that in 1944 steps were taken to unite
the two bodies into one organisation known as the United Pentecostal Church. The purpose of this
united body was to preach the gospel of Christ Jesus; to publish and distribute religious literature;
to establish new churches; to send forth missionaries; to perform any other duties connected with
religious work, and to help in any way possible to meet the needs of local churches. To this end we
now pledge our prayers, our faith, our life and love, our earthly means of support, and our time in
the fear of God and for His glory alone.
In 1968 The District of Great Britain and Ireland was formally organised and later became totally
The year was 1969 when Neil Armstrong
landed on the moon heralding a new dawn for
mankind and technology.
In the Heavenly realm of our Apostolic Advancement
a small step was taken with the
United Pentecostal Church of Great Britain &
Ireland when it held its first General Conference
in 1969 after the district was officially
Throughout the 50’s & 60’s immigrants from
Indies came to Great Britain. With many came
Apostolic message of Pentecost which God
connect with the precious Apostolic Spirit
outpouring revivals in 1894 in Ireland and
1901 in Wales and throughout the British Isles
1961: One Sunday night after service, 5 Spirit
filled saints sat in a car at the corner of Honeybrook
Balham. Elder J M Brownie, Sis M Brownie,
Bro Roy Lindo, Bro Fred Gallimore and Bro S
Several had come from UPC-affiliated churches
Jamaica, but there were no UPC churches in
the UK at that time. They felt it needful to try
and establish a UPC church in England.
1962: UPC Members in UK visited by Bro & Sis
J W Mogg, retired Missionaries from Ceylon.
1965: Missionary Mervyn Miller, his wife Sis
Marilyn Miller and their two children arrived
in England and started working with the UPC
members in the UK.
1967: Bro Mervyn Miller meets Bro Fred Turley
who is now baptised in Jesus name. Bro
Mervyn Miller is asked by the brethren to
become the Pastor.
1960’s: The first British UPC church bus was
purchased for £320, with a special sacrificial offering
made by Bro Sappleton, Bro Lindo and
HOUSE GROUP MEETINGS: At Bro & Sis L
Edwards’ home in Leighton Gardens, Kensal
Green and Bro & Sis F Gallimore’s home in
Ritherden Road, Balham
Formal record of
adoption was agreed
by all 23 members
present and signed
by the Pastor, Bro
Mervyn Miller, the
Secretary, Sis C Peart
and Deacon F Gallimore.
(the place of worship)
was a hall rented from
the Church of England
on Sunnyhill Road, Streatham.
1968 (November) The British Isles District of the
UPC was organised.
After many years of hard work, in November
1968, in a special meeting held at Partington,
Manchester; the British Isles District of the UPC
was officially organised. The District Board
members at that time were:
Bro M D Miller - Superintendent
Bro F J Turley - Secretary/Treasurer Bro L G Edwards
- Missions Secretary
Bro J C H Dallas - Editor of the Pentecostal Truth
Bro B D Glaser, Secretary of the UPC European
District was present at this historic meeting.
Two Commer buses were purchased to transport
children to and from Sunday School; one was
driven by Bro Sappleton and one by Bro B Steele.
1969: In February 1969, Calvary Temple UPC was
purchased and dedicated to the glory of God on
the last Saturday of February 1969. This date has
always been a landmark for the brethren of Calvary
Temple. The Church Board Members at that
Bro M D Miller - Pastor
Bro J C H Dallas - Associate Minister
Bro L G Edwards - Associate Minister
Bro S G Sappleton - Elder
Bro E R Lindo - Elder
Bro F G Gallimore - Elder
Bro L Carnegie - Elder
Sis C Peart - Church Secretary
In August 1965 a young couple and their two
young children, Tammy Erin 6 years old and
Mervyn Todd 18 months arrived in London as the first Appointed Missionaries of the United
Pentecostal Church International.
In the home of Rev and Sis Lloyd Edwards,
a group of Jamaican brethren met with the
Millers and expressed their burden and desire
to see established a strong United Pentecostal
Church. From that day a relationship developed
which would last for two missionary
terms. During that time, Calvary Temple
church building was purchased.
The work grew and soon other works were
started in various parts of the UK under the
supervision of Rev Miller.
1972: Edinburgh, Scotland: The constitution
was changed, and the British Isles became
known as the UPC of Great Britain & Ireland.
From then onwards Ministers were sent out
to pioneer works in other parts of the country.
The writer (Bro Sappleton) was sent to Rugby,
Bro S Gardner from Rugby to Manchester and
Bro D Campbell to Elgin, Scotland.
1973: Formation of the National Youth Department
1985: The National Work is Multiplied into 6
1. London & South
2. Central England
3. North England
In 1985 it was upgraded from District to General status. (United Pentecostal Church)
Today while other organisations are dying, the UPC of GB & I is thriving, growing and producing
new Apostolic ministries that are affecting and influencing this generation.