Some Early Pentecostal Communion Choruses

Scattered throughout the pages of the Riches of Grace can be found examples of the choruses (and hymns) that were sung in the early years of Pentecostalism in Britain, and of the Apostolic Church in particular. So I've gathered together some of the choruses that were sung at Breaking of Bread services here. Some are specifically for the sacrament; some take up broader themes like the blood of Jesus or communion with Christ.

Come and gather round the Table spread,
Come and drink the wine and break the bread.
Here we shall meet our risen Lord,
Here we shall feast upon the Word.
   (George Perfect)

Keep me under the Blood, dear Lord,
Calvary's crimson flood.
Not mine own, but Thine alone,
Keep me under the Blood.

Jesus is Victor! The battle is won.
We can do nothing, for all has been done;
Jesus is Victor! The foe from the dust
Never can rise again, if we but trust.

Wonderful Jesus, wonderful Jesus!
Filling my soul with heavenly power;
Wonderful Jesus, wonderful Jesus!
Cleansing and healing this very hour.

One in heart, in true devotion,
'Round Thy Table gathered near,
We can bathe in love's full ocean,
'Till Thy coming doth appear.
   (W.G. Sercombe)

In faith we eat, for God has given
To mortal men the Bread of Heaven.
We drink the wine and know again
His blood doth cleanse from every stain.
   (George Perfect)

Lest I forget Gethsemane,
Lest I forget Thine Agony,
Lest I forget Thy Love to me,
Lead me to Calvary.

Jesus, Jesus, wonderful Name,
I whisper it now, and my heart is aflame;
With love for the Saviour, Who bore all my shame,
Jesus, O wonderful Jesus.
   (A.L. Greenway)

Deeper in Thee, yes deeper in Thee,
Saviour Divine, attend to my plea;
Still on the shore, Lord, I seem to be,
Grant me a life that is deeper in Thee.
   (A.L. Greenway)

Come and dine! Come and dine!
You may feast at Jesu's Table all the time;
He who fed the multitude,
Turned the water into wine,
The Hungry now He calleth:
Come and dine!

(P.S. Although most of these songs are anonymous, there are three writers named, so let me just briefly tell you about them.

Pastor George Perfect was ordained as a Teacher and later as an Apostle in the Apostolic Church. He came from Bradford, served on the Apostolic Church's first Missionary Council, edited the Apostolic Missionary Herald, and would later be sent as a missionary to Nigeria.

Pastor Alfred Greenway was an early principal of the Apostolic Church Bible College in Penygroes. However, he found it difficult to work under a system where graduates of the Bible College could be by-passed when it came to ministerial appointments, and so ended up returning to New Zealand where he had a pioneering ministry and also set up the Apostolic Church's Bible Training Centre in Hamilton. He was the first Apostolic missionary to the Maori in New Zealand in 1934 and would also serve for a time as a missionary in Japan. Dr Greenway was also a pioneer in encouraging pastors to undergo formal, higher theological study, although Council came out against such study at the time: 'This Council deplores its ministers seeking degrees and feels that general Bible study mixed with prayer and devotion and crowned with the power of the Spirit of God is absolutely indispensable for the ministry.'! That was 1951, and it would be another 18 years until Council changed its position – in response to prophecy – and decided that 'theological degrees can be of advantage with the anointing of the Holy Spirit.' Although even then, there were still several restrictions surrounding pastors taking degrees. Those of us who know the advantage of a theological education today should be grateful for pioneers like Alfred Greenway.

As for W.G. Sercombe, all I can tell you is that the Sercombes were an Apostolic family, one of whose members was at one time the Missionary Secretary.)