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Date Posted:30/03/2010 2:20 PMCopy HTML

Lloyd Longfield Joins the NRC

by Troy Waller


The central figure of the whole Revival Centres movement is a man by the name of Lloyd Richard Longfield. Born in 1919, he was raised as a Methodist where he attended Sunday School. Of his religious upbringing and interests, Lloyd said,

I was in the Methodist church when I was a kid. There wasn't anything and we weren't told there was anything, like in other churches like that. Later on we sort of left as a family and started having high tea on Sundays. Instead of going to church on Sundays we had a relatives' high tea.

Just before World War two, I was told by an elderly gentleman that there was some prophecies in the Bible that looked interesting...I was about twenty. [1]

Lloyd has had a variety of occupations including a travelling salesman and delicatessen owner. During the second world war, he and his brother Brian enlisted in the army. Lloyd served as a dispatch rider in 6th division signals. [2]

Prior to his direct involvement with the NRC, Lloyd had already taken an interest in Biblical prophecy and the BI message. In 1942, his brother Brian attended a presentation on Bible prophecy and in particular, the Great Pyramid. In 1947, Lloyd's father Walter and his sister Betty attended an NRC meeting at the Grosvenor Theatre in Melbourne where they were presented with both the BI message and Great Pyramid theory. [3] Thus over this period, the whole Longfield family were confronted with an NRC style message of Biblical prophecy. According to the Longfields, this helped solidify their faith in the Bible as the inspired word of God. [4]

Lloyd served in the army for about 6 years and when he left the services he decided to follow up on his interest in Biblical prophecy,

...And when I came out of the army, I went to have a look at these prophecies because it seemed to be about Russia and you know, the lion and unicorn people are mentioned in the Bible in Numbers and so on. I became interested so I had a look at some of those things until some twelve months or more later it became apparent that people talked about receiving the Holy Spirit. [5]

By this time the Melbourne NRC was averaging 500 people in attendance each Sunday and there was a strong emphasis on personal salvation, healing and Biblical prophecy. Like Longfield, the war had left many with an interest in the NRC's predictions on what would come of world events. In 1948, Lloyd attended some of these meetings and by 1949, Foster had baptised Longfield at the Swanston Street Church of Christ.

He [Longfield] requested that his family should not be present at his baptism, but somehow they got to know, and they all turned up. Lloyd got such a shock that he forgot to take off his shoes and wristwatch, so they went under the water too. [6]

One to two weeks later, at a testimonial meeting held at the Friend's Hall in Russell Street, [7] Lloyd was baptised in the Holy Spirit. Foster claimed that Longfield dropped to his knees, lifted his hands and spoke out in tongues. [8] Longfield confirms this at least in part by saying,

...I went along one night to a little hall in Melbourne and out of the blue received the Holy Spirit. [9]

The official NRC magazine, The National Revivalist, records,

Brother Longfield received the Gifts of healing, and the same night laid hands on Mrs Foster, who had been suffering from an ailment for fifteen years, and almost everyone had prayed for her without avail. Sister Foster was delivered that very night. [10]

It did not take Foster long to recognise Lloyd's potential,

My memories of Lloyd Longfield as a new convert and as a preacher brought much joy. He was a great convert and a natural preacher. He based his preaching on David Kennedy's and mine and he was an outstanding man with great ability. [11]

By the end of 1949, Longfield was preaching at the Grosvenor Theatre and conducting open air meetings. [12]The National Revivalist recognised Lloyd as 'Evangelist Lloyd Longfield' in October, 1950 and then as 'Pastor Lloyd Longfield' in May, 1951. He had only been 'saved' for 3 years before taking an official leadership role in the NRC.


Footnotes

[1] Recorded interview with Lloyd Longfield. Hawthorn, Victoria. 1/9/1994.

[2] Transcript of the presentation, History of the Revival Centres 1949-1989. Performed at the Melbourne Revival Centre, 1989.

[3] ibid

[4] ibid

[5] Recorded interview with Lloyd Longfield. Hawthorn, Victoria. 1/9/1994.

[6] Coooper, D. Flames of Revival p 63

[7] Transcript of the presentation, History of the Revival Centres 1949-1989. Performed at the Melbourne Revival Centre, 1989.

[8] Telephone interview with Thomas Foster, 1994.

[9] Recorded interview with Lloyd Longfield. Hawthorn, Victoria. 1/9/1994.

[10] The National Revivalist #82. March, 1949. p 13.

[11] Foster, T., The Life and Times of Thomas Foster. 1993. p 27

[12] The National Revivalist #91. December, 1949. p 14.

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