|Testimony about Apostle Alex Gardiner [message #10497]
||Wed, 04 December 2013 00:46
| Marilyn Crow
Registered: September 2013
Jman & others,|
You may find this interesting & may help in understanding from where I am coming from....
APOSTLE ALEXANDER GARDINER
Badly wounded in France during the German offensive in World war 1 & left for dead on the battlefield, the Scottish soldier prayer, `God! Save me from this hopeless situation & I will commit my life fully to you.` This was a key moment in the life of a man who became a pioneer & vital administrative leader in the Apostolic Church in the UK & Australasia.
Alexander Gardiner was born in 1891 at Lockerbie in the south of Scotland, the eldest of eight children. Opportunities for advancement were limited in his home town, so he moved to Dunblane in the North & commenced a business in the Main Street. A friend, James Henderson, introduced Alex to his family, & particularly his sister Mary who became his bride in 1915.
Alex was a member of the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland. However, through the witness & counselling of his future mother-in-law he accepted Christ as Saviour in 1913. Pastor Andrew Turnbull of the Glasgow `Burning Bush` assembly occasionally conducted meetings in Mrs Henderson`s home, unfolding scriptural truths that God was revealing to him, but Alex strongly opposed `Pentecostal type` meetings.
After hospitalisation following his war injuries he recommenced his business in Dunblane. Glasgow, Scotland`s largest city offered more scope for expansion for his business so he moved there. Mary & her mother, by this time living in Glasgow, attended Andrew Turnbull`s meetings. The `Burning Bush` assembly had been renamed the `Apostolic Church.` Alex flatly refused to attend these meetings but God was dealing with him & in 1924 he joined the Glasgow Apostolic Church & soon received the Holy Spirit Baptism.
What a transformation! A few months later Alex was appointed as an assembly `Overseer` & later called to be a Pastor of the Parkhead Assembly. In January 1928 he was transferred to the Glasgow Church as an associate Pastor with the Apostle Andrew Turnbull who was also a powerful evangelist used in signs & wonders.
During the 1929 New Year Convention at Bridgeton, Glasgow, Alex Gardiner was called to function in his Apostolic gifting. In October that year he travelled to Bradford, England to attend the first Council of Apostles & Prophets of the Apostolic Church in Great Britain & was appointed to the Executive.
Alex, as an astute entrepreneur, had prospered in business but left that behind when he was called to `full-time` ministry. The `Apostolic Herald ` (Vol 1 No.12) recorded: `Willingly surrendering business prospects at the call of Jesus Christ the master, Pastor Gardiner entered full-time ministry. His zeal & vitality was quickly demanded beyond the borders of Scotland, the Church using him in both spiritual & executive capacity in all parts of the British Isles, France & Denmark.
Andrew Turnbull transferred to England in 1931 & Alex Gardiner took charge of the 700 strong Glasgow Church. By 1933 numbers attending the Scottish Convention had increased so much that all previous venues were inadequate. Alex took a faith-step hiring `St. Andrews hall,` the largest auditorium in Scotland. It proved a faith-step of success & blessing with 2,500 attending & 100 baptised in water.
In January 1934 the Council formed a select committee of Apostles including Alex Gardiner to `formulate a basis of visible unity internationally.` During a subsequent Council meeting that same year the Lord spoke through a prophet stating, `A word to my servant Gardiner to loosen his tent pegs.`
The event that was to entirely `loosen his tent pegs` was described in the Australian magazine `Revival Echoes` (Vol.2 No.8 ) `Just after the start of the Apostolic Church in Melbourne it was felt that a good, capable man was needed to hold the position at Commonwealth HQ & to organise the work of the Apostolic Church in Australia. We asked for a capable leader & Pastor Alex Gardiner of Glasgow was promised. We appreciate the generous sacrifice of the staff at `home` giving us one of their best workers.`
Alex Gardiner responded to the call & with his wife, Mary & family arrived in Melbourne 5th Nov. 1934 in time for the Centenary Convention. He assumed responsibility for the Commonwealth HQ & Executive Control.
It is of interest to note that today (2003) 69 years since they arrived in Melbourne, the three children, Marion Waterhouse, (my mother) Alistair Gardiner (my Uncle) & Jesse Thirkell (NZ) continue faithful in the Apostolic Church.
Alex pastured the Melbourne Assembly providing apostolic oversight for a dozen Victorian churches. He was appointed President of the Apostolic Church Australia in March 1937 continuing until the end of 1941. William Cathcart again took the reins at the commencement of 1942 & Alex Gardiner was transferred to New Zealand where he later became President of the Apostolic work in that nation.
The drive & vision of Alex Gardiner was the motivating force in building the HQ Church & Offices in Richmond, Melbourne known affectionately as `The Big Church,` It is to his credit that the building was opened `debt-free,` in 1939. As well as his heart for the Apostolic Church Australia he had a typical Apostolic pioneering spirit. He supported Overseas Missions stimulating interest that resulted in twelve missionaries being sent out in 1937.
(This was compiled from notes by Alistair Gardiner the son of Alex Gardiner & himself a former President Of the Apostolic Church Australia. Alexander Gardiner was my Grandfather & Alistair Gardiner is my uncle who is now in his `90`s. )
[Updated on: Wed, 04 December 2013 00:50]