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British Union Conference Ministerial Institute, 1938.

From Stanborough Press Archive, accessed from adventisthistory.org.uk.

Armstrong, Albert Kingsley (1884–1865)

By Dan Shultz

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Dan Shultz, emeritus professor of music, Walla Walla University, has researched and written extensively about Seventh-day Adventist music history and musicians. His publications include A Great Tradition–a history of music at Walla Walla University, and the Adventist Musicians Biographical Resource–an encyclopedia with biographies of over 1100 Adventist musicians. He founded the International Adventist Musicians Association, serving as its president for ten years and editing its publications and website for over thirty years. Shultz and his wife, Carolyn (nee Stevens), live in College Place, Washington.   

Albert Armstrong, a pioneering evangelist and pastor in Great Britain, where he served for 56 years, was born on February 19, 1884, in Ulceby, North Lincolnshire, England. One of five sons of Edward Edmund and Frances Hunter Armstrong, the earliest converts to the Seventh-day Adventist Church in England, Albert is thought to be the first child born to an Adventist family in Britain.1

Baptized at age 17, he attended Duncombe Hall College, London, which had moved and was renamed Stanborough Park Missionary College by the time he graduated in 1908.

Armstrong married Eunice Annie Lane in 1908 and then traveled to Ireland, where they began their ministry. Five years later, leadership assigned him to the North England Conference. There he served as pastor and evangelist in the Birmingham, Northampton, Derby, and other churches and conducted evangelistic series for 16 years.2

In 1914 Albert was a delegate to the session of the short-lived “East Central Conference.”3 During the second quarter of 1921 he worked with Pastor F.C. Bailey and Bible instructor Mrs. Casey in evangelistic outreach advertised as “Back to the Bible Crusade” at Worcester. It resulted in 16 baptisms and a further six persons joined the church by profession of faith.4 That same year he was a delegate to the BUC Session along with his brother H. W. Armstrong.5

In March 1922 he went to Coventry and conducted meetings three nights a week.6 With support from Bible instructor M. Living, it led to a baptism of 12 on September 23.7

Early in 1924 the NEC executive committee assigned Albert and F. C. Bailey the task of conducting evangelism in Birmingham, a city with a population of nearly one million. Bible instructors Mrs. Casey and D. Brown assisted them.8 Meetings initially convened in the New Palladium Picture House, and after nine weeks moved to council schools. The evangelists followed up more than 200 interests with an average attendance of 150.9 The NEC session held in Sheffield in April that year asked Alfred to serve on the NEC executive committee.10 At a baptism held on December 13, 1924, in the Handsworth Church, nine people joined the church.11 Alfred would continue his outreach in Birmingham until mid-1927 when he moved to Northampton.

At the beginning of 1928 Alfred commenced evangelism in Northampton, this time assisted by Miss J. E. Bastow as the Bible instructor.12 The Northampton congregation had just 11 members at the time. Assisted by members from Kettering, Wellingborough, and Rushden, Albert hired the largest theater in Northampton for the advertised “Revival Campaign.” On the opening night 2,000 people attended, with others having to be turned away. Each Sunday that followed 1,400 people registered. Noting the interest, the Northampton Independent included a report and photograph that served as further advertising for the series.13 In 1929 Alfred was asked to conduct evangelistic outreach in Kettering, again with the assistance of Bible instructor Bastow.14

Albert was not only a pastor and evangelist; but also a musician. When a revision to the Advent Hymnal was published in 1928, it included his composition “Chosen Hill” with the words “One There came from Heaven.”15 This hymn along with another, “Tender Shepherd,” would later appear in the New Advent Hymnal printed by the Stanborough Press in 1952.16 His musical talent appears to have run in the family as, along with three of his brothers--Arthur Douglas, Harry E., and Herbert Walter--Albert sang in a quartet that was in great demand for special church gatherings. The three brothers were also ordained pastors.17

At the beginning of 1930 Alfred transferred to the South England Conference, where he commenced pastoral work in London, initially in North London, with evangelistic meetings in the Walthamstow church.18 In 1931 he began tent meetings in South London that eventually transferred to Lenham Hall, Dartmouth Road, Forest Hill.19 On April 30, 1932, a baptism of 11 people occurred in the Brownhill Baptist Church and the following Sabbath the Forest Hill church voted 10 of them, along with three others previously baptized, into membership. The other person baptized was voted into membership of the Clapham church.20

In 1934 the conference moved Alfred to Brighton and Hastings, where in February a “Home Missionary Convention” convened.21 Funded by local members, Albert conducted outreach meetings in the Portslade area.22

By the next year Alfred was back in London, this time in the area of Islington. Assisted by Newbold graduate A. J. Mustard and Bible instructor O. C. Davis, he was to conduct evangelistic outreach.23 By the end of the year Albert became the pastor of the Holloway church.24

In 1936 while senior pastor at Holloway, he, with assistance from A. J. Mustard, was appointed to “foster the work in Wood Green”.25 Later that year, assisted by Bible instructor Miss M Clements, Albert conducted evangelism in Southampton with 750 people attending the first meeting. 26 A year later, on July 18, Albert conducted a baptism of nine persons and another person joined the church by profession of faith.27

Sometime during the war years Albert moved to Plymouth. A report from the union president H. W. Lowe mentions that the Plymouth Church building suffered minor damage from an air raid while one member and her husband (Mr. and Mrs. Goss) died in an air raid. 28

After the war Albert pastored the Stanborough Park Church. At the 1949 SEC session held in the Stanborough Park church, Albert commenced the Sabbath services with an 8:30 a.m. prayer meeting. 29

In 1957 Stanborough Park celebrated a “Golden Jubilee,” and as part of the British Advent Messenger report of the August 5 events, Armstrong wrote a short history of the Stanborough Park Church. 30

Armstrong's final service in that conference was at the Stanborough Park SDA Church, headquarters for the denomination in Great Britain, where he remained as pastor for 10 years and then for nine years as chaplain at the Stanborough schools. He was living there when he died on January 23, 1965, at age 80. His wife died on December 22, 1971, at age 86.31

Sources

“Arthur Douglas Armstrong obituary.” British Advent Messenger, March 24, 1978.

“The new ‘Advent Hymnal’ (Revised)–Now Ready!” The Missionary Worker, May 18, 1928.

Armstrong, A. K. “Baptism at Coventry.” The Missionary Worker, October 4, 1922.

Armstrong, A. K. “Baptism in Birmingham.” The Missionary Worker, December 26, 1924.

Armstrong, A. K. “Brighton’s Home Missionary Convention.” The Missionary Worker, March 23, 1934.

Armstrong, A. K. “Northampton Effort.” The Missionary Worker, March 23, 1928.

Armstrong, A. K. “The Story of The Stanborough Park Church.” British Advent Messenger, September 6, 1951.

Armstrong, A. K. and M. Living. “Good Interest at Coventry.” The Missionary Worker, July 26, 1922.

Bacon, Alfred E. “NEC – Presidential Notes.” The Missionary Worker, January 13, 1928.

Bacon, Alfred E. “Plans for 1924.” The Missionary Worker, February 8, 1924.

Bacon, Alfred E. “Session of the North England Conference.” The Missionary Worker, May 2, 1924.

Bailey, F. C. “Birmingham Effort.” The Missionary Worker, May 30, 1924.

Brewer, E. F. “Baptism in South London.” The Missionary Worker, July 1, 1932.

Clements, M. “Baptism at Southampton.” British Advent Messenger, September 3, 1937.

Dobbs, Phyllis, M. “Eunice Annie Armstrong obituary.” British Advent Messenger, February 12, 1972.

Dorland, O. M. “SEC--Notes from the President.” The Missionary Worker, October 30, 1931.

Dorland, O. M. “South England Conference.” The Missionary Worker, March 11, 1932.

Dorland, O. M. “SEC--Notes from the President.” The Missionary Worker, December 27, 1929.

Dorland, O. M. “SEC--Notes from the President.” The Missionary Worker, February 7, 1930.

Dorland, O. M. “SEC--Notes from the President.” The Missionary Worker, September 4, 1931.

Hyde, Janet. “Young People’s Convention.” The Missionary Worker, November 15, 1935.

Joyce, R. S. “Paragraphs for Those Who ‘Look on the Fields.’” British Advent Messenger, November 27, 1936.

Joyce, R. S. “SEC--Notes from the President–Location of Workers.” British Advent Messenger, March 6, 1936.

Joyce, R. S. “SEC--Notes from the President.” The Missionary Worker, October 18, 1935.

Lowe, H. W. “Notes from the Union President–Air Raid Areas.” British Advent Messenger, April 11, 1941.

Lowe, H. W. “SEC--Notes from the President.” The Missionary Worker, June 1, 1934.

Murdoch, L. “Discovering North England, No. 2, Early Days.” British Advent Messenger, May 8, 1942.

Parkin, J. H. “Delegates to the B.U.C. Session.” The Missionary Worker, July 6, 1921.

Spearing, F. A. “NEC–President’s Notes.” The Missionary Worker, June 14, 1929.

Spearing, F. A. “NEC–President’s Notes.” The Missionary Worker, January 11, 1929.

Stearman, P. H. “Albert K. Armstrong obituary.” British Advent Messenger, February 26, 1965.

Stokes, F. L. “The South England Conference.” British Advent Messenger, August 12, 1949.

The New Advent Hymnal. (Stanborough Press, 1952), available at the Heritage Room, James White Library, Andrews University.

Vernon, M. C. “First Fruits at Worcester.” The Missionary Worker, September 28, 1921.

Vine, R. D. “Delegates to the East Central Conference Session, 1914.” British Advent Messenger, April 29, 1977.

Notes

  1. P.H. Stearman, “At Rest, Albert K. Armstrong,” obituary, British Advent Messenger, February 26, 1965, 16; printed also in the April 1965 Northern Light, 7.

  2. L. Murdoch, “Discovering North England, No. 2, Early Days,” British Advent Messenger, May 8, 1942, 3, 4.

  3. R. D. Vine, “Delegates to the East Central Conference Session, 1914,” British Advent Messenger, April 29, 1977, 5.

  4. M. C. Vernon, “First Fruits at Worcester,” The Missionary Worker, September 28, 1921, 4, 5.

  5. J. H. Parkin, “Delegates to the B.U.C. Session,” The Missionary Worker, July 6, 1921, 3.

  6. A.K. Armstrong and M. Living, “Good Interest at Coventry,” The Missionary Worker, July 26, 1922, 6.

  7. A.K. Armstrong, “Baptism at Coventry,” The Missionary Worker, October 4, 1922, 4.

  8. Alfred E Bacon, “Plans for 1924,” The Missionary Worker, February 8, 1924, 5.

  9. F.C. Bailey, “Birmingham Effort,” The Missionary Worker, May 30, 1924, 5.

  10. Alfred E Bacon, “Session of the North England Conference,” The Missionary Worker, May 2, 1924, 3.

  11. A. K. Armstrong, “Baptism in Birmingham,” The Missionary Worker, December 26, 1924, 4.

  12. Alfred E Bacon, “NEC–Presidential Notes,” The Missionary Worker, January 13, 1928, 5.

  13. A. K. Armstrong, “Northampton Effort,” The Missionary Worker, March 23, 1928, 4.

  14. F.A. Spearing, “NEC–President’s Notes,” The Missionary Worker, June 14, 1929, 7; F. A. Spearing, “NEC–President’s Notes,” The Missionary Worker, January 11, 1929, 7.

  15. “The new “Advent Hymnal” (Revised)–Now Ready!” The Missionary Worker, May 18, 1928, 4, 5.

  16. The New Advent Hymnal (Stanborough Press, 1952), available at the Heritage Room, James White Library, Andrews University.

  17. “Obituary of Arthur Douglas Armstrong,” British Advent Messenger, March 24, 1978, 9.

  18. O. M. Dorland, “SEC-Notes from the President,” The Missionary Worker, December 27, 1929, 4; O. M. Dorland “SEC-Notes from the President,” The Missionary Worker, February 7, 1930, 4

  19. O. M. Dorland, “SEC - Notes from the President,” The Missionary Worker, September 4, 1931, 4; O. M. Dorland, “SEC-Notes from the President,” The Missionary Worker, October 30, 1931, 5; O. M. Dorland, “South England Conference,” The Missionary Worker, March 11, 1932, 22.

  20. E. F. Brewer, “Baptism in South London,” The Missionary Worker, July 1, 1932, 4.

  21. A. K. Armstrong, “Brighton’s Home Missionary Convention,” The Missionary Worker, March 23, 1934, 5.

  22. H. W. Lowe, “SEC--Notes from the President,” The Missionary Worker, June 1, 1934, 5.

  23. R. S. Joyce, “SEC--Notes from the President,” The Missionary Worker, October 18, 1935, 6.

  24. Janet Hyde, “Young People’s Convention,” The Missionary Worker, November 15, 1935, 4.

  25. R. S. Joyce, “SEC--Notes from the President–Location of Workers,” British Advent Messenger, March 6, 1936, 3.

  26. R. S. Joyce, “Paragraphs for Those Who ‘Look on the Fields,’” British Advent Messenger, November 27, 1936, 5.

  27. M. Clements, “Baptism at Southampton,” British Advent Messenger, September 3, 1937, 9, 10.

  28. H. W. Lowe, “Notes from the Union President–Air Raid Areas,” British Advent Messenger, April 11, 1941, 2, 8.

  29. F. L. Stokes, “The South England Conference,” British Advent Messenger, August 12, 1949, 1.

  30. A. K. Armstrong, “The Story of The Stanborough Park Church,” British Advent Messenger, September 6, 1951, 10, 11.

  31. Phyllis M. Dobbs, “Eunice Annie Armstrong obituary,” British Advent Messenger, February 12, 1972, 6.

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Shultz, Dan. "Armstrong, Albert Kingsley (1884–1865)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 09, 2021. Accessed January 15, 2021. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=CCV9.

Shultz, Dan. "Armstrong, Albert Kingsley (1884–1865)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 09, 2021. Date of access January 15, 2021, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=CCV9.

Shultz, Dan (2021, January 09). Armstrong, Albert Kingsley (1884–1865). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved January 15, 2021, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=CCV9.