The history of Wales dates back to the Neolithic and Bronze Ages. The Romans moved into the region during the first century A.D. until their withdrawal in the fifth century. The Welsh had many struggles against the English throughout their history until becoming part of Great Britain in 1707. Yet, they retained their language and culture and today are officially a bilingual country. The country has transformed from an agricultural society to an industrial nation to one relying on the service industry and tourism. Wales is regarded as one of the modern Celtic nations.
The formation of the Assemblies of God in Great Britain and Ireland was motivated by the need for fellowship and cooperation between emerging Pentecostal churches. The first meeting was held in February 1924 in Birmingham, England. The founders of the Fellowship combined the desire for interchurch support and cooperation together with clear recognition of the right of each church to govern its own affairs. Like the Assemblies of God in the United States, the Assemblies of God in the United Kingdom is self-governing and self-financing.
The first conference of the Assemblies of God was held in May 1924 in London. A board was elected, the work of sending missionaries was considered, the decision was made to publish a magazine, and a statement of fundamental truths was drawn up.
The Fellowship grew rapidly, helped notably by the remarkable campaigns conducted all over the country by men like Stephen Jeffreys. The leaders of the Fellowship were mature men whose names are still held in high esteem not only in Wales but worldwide, including Donald Gee, Howard and John Carter, and Harold Horton, whose books have become classics on Pentecostal doctrine.
In the 1960s a great charismatic revival spread across the country. Many were filled with the Holy Spirit and the fire of Pentecost was brought to several denominations for the first time.
The Movement Today
The Assemblies of God Great Britain strongly emphasizes world evangelism and partners with the U.S. Assemblies of God in many foreign ministries. The Assemblies of God Great Britain reports the following statistics: 38 churches and about 3800 members and adherents. More information is available from the website.
Additional Facts About Wales
Area: 8,022 square miles
Government: devolved government within parliamentary constitutional monarchy
Industry: coal, steel, livestock, and light industry