Hundreds meet Christ through Norwich FGB
Hundreds of men and women have come to Christ through FGB dinners in Norwich, writes branch president Dr Barrie Lawrence, who is also Chairman of the National Council, FGB UK & Ireland.
“Hey mate - the pain’s gone!” said a guest of mine after prayer at a recent Full Gospel dinner in Norwich. Earlier that week he had been working on my home. 10 minutes after being healed, he was praying the ‘sinner’s prayer’.
“Why’s that guy flaked out?” asked one of my staff, as a man going forward for prayer hit the deck and lay motionless. That was when I was still practising as a dentist, and I would regularly take all my staff to Full Gospel dinners. Flaked out? - the power of the Holy Spirit had come upon ‘that guy’ and the Lord was resolving something that doctors had been unable to. Flaked out? - yes, like Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus.
Our God is unchanging, and He does today what He’s always done. He changes lives, saving people from what they were, and through new birth, bringing them into a wonderful new life. I know, because it’s happened to me. He still heals the sick, like in the life of Jesus, or the Church in the book of Acts in the Bible, or through people like Elisha. I know, because He’s healed me. And He calls people to radical repentance, without compromise.
The Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship is the world’s largest fellowship of laymen. It thrives in around 180 nations. In Nigeria alone, there are over 3,000 chapters (local fellowships) and over 300,000 members. What are the origins of this amazing Fellowship? A Californian dairy farmer called Demos Shakarian was distressed that the churches in his area were largely devoid of men. He prayed for an answer, and the Lord led him to have breakfasts at which an ordinary businessman would tell his story to other businessmen.
His story was of his past life, how he met Jesus, and of his new life. The founding and growth of the Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship (we call it FGB) is quite a story itself, and can be read in the book, The Happiest People on Earth. The first few meetings were poorly attended, and then, suddenly, the Spirit came down and the Fellowship took off. That was in the 1950s, and it quickly spread to other nations, including the U.K. in the 1970s.
Norwich FGB was the 13th chapter (fellowship) formed in the UK in 1977, with John Wright as president, and Sedley Pimlott and family, and Mount Zion church, strongly supporting. Since then, hundreds, probably thousands, of men and women have come to Christ through FGB dinners, breakfasts and lunches in Norfolk. There have been innumerable healings and miracles. People coming to faith in Jesus have been encouraged into local churches, though we love them to join and help with FGB as well. One memorable meeting was held at the Norwood Rooms (now Mecca Bingo) with Rev Trevor Dearing speaking and over 400 guests. The power of the Spirit moved through the room, and scores of people were healed and born again.
Today, we have around 50 chapters in FGB UK & Ireland. We are interdenominational, and every denomination you can think of is represented. We come from all professions and businesses - builders, farmers, retailers, teachers, doctors, carpenters, postmen, scientists, bankers.... even dentists! In Norwich, we generally meet for dinner at the Mercure Hotel once a month. Our speakers are amazing. One guest last year said, “Wow - the power of God is so present here”. That man joined and hasn’t missed a meeting since. Up to 120 (occasionally more, though usually less) people are present. Men can join. Ladies are welcome. Miracles are expected.
For further information, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone me on 07786 381344. And if you would like to help with our exciting work, let’s have a coffee together and chat.
Click here or at top of the page to see Barrie Lawrence speaking to a December 2019 meeting of Norwich FGB.