ENGLAND, Corby, Northants (BNc) – Frank Worgan celebrated his 98th birthday on July 13, 2020.
Frank was born in Lancashire in North West England and has been preaching for 79 years. He delivered his first sermon when he was 14, and started preaching full-time in 1941 when he was 19.
The elders sent him to train with Walter Crosthwaite, an experienced evangelist who was about 60. The mornings were spent in Bible study and they did street preaching in the afternoons. Frank had to prepare and deliver sermons to brother Crosthwaite who made suggestions for improvement. The elders also arranged for Frank to study English grammar to improve his speaking ability.
During 1942 frank worked with the churches in Fife. In 1943 he was called up for military service but because he was a conscientious objector he was assigned to Fire Service at Kirkcaldy.
On the 5th of February 1944 Frank and Isobel Irene Slater were married by Walter Crosthwaite. [Isobel was born on January 24, 1925, in Portknockie near Buckie, Scotland and passed away on February 17, 2010 at Corby, England.] Frank had baptized Isobel in 1941 when he went to Portknockie to preach. Isobel’s family had been in the church for many decades. Through the years Frank and Isobel were blessed with three children: Peter, Susan and Stephen.
Frank did evangelistic work in the whole of Scotland for seven years. At first he was paid four pounds, ten schillings a week (about $18).
On February 21, 1951 Frank spoke at the Abilene Christian College lectureship on “The church in England.”
In 1952 Frank was receiving five pounds, ten schillings a week (about $17 at the time) to support his wife and two children. When certain brethren in the US learned that he was trying to save up money to buy a motor bicycle, they provided funds for the purchase of a second-hand automobile so he could travel more easily to preach at various places in the Lancashire area.
In 1954, the 6th & Jackson congregation in Odessa, Texas began supporting the Worgans when Frank and his family went to do mission work in Holland. At first they worked in Haarlem. Before he learned Dutch, Frank gave lessons in English since many Dutch people know English. Here is an ad that was placed in a Haarlem newspaper on March 31, 1956.
In 1958 they moved to Amstedam to build up a congregation there.
Frank became proficient in Dutch. On one occasion a salesman came to their door selling English lessons. Frank invited him in and allowed him to go through his sales pitch. Then he explained in Dutch, “Well, I don’t really need English lessons. I am an Englishman!”
In 1961 the Worgans returned to England to work with a congregation Frank had established before going to Holland.
On June 2 and 3, 1967 Frank conducted a debate with D. P. Kingdon on faith and baptism. The first night Frank affirmed: “The Scriptures teach that the penitent believer must be baptized in order to receive the remission of his sins.” The second night Frank denied Mr. Kingdon’s proposition: “The Scriptures teach that remission of sins is obtained by faith alone before and without baptism.” The debate was published in book form and has been made available on the Internet.
In 1967 the Worgans moved to Corby where there were five members. By 1974 the congregation had grown to 100 members.
On March 29, 1972 Frank was interviewed at Harding College by Don Shackelford for their Living History of Missions archive.
On February 19, 1974 Frank spoke at the Abilene Christian College lectureship on “The disciple and the word.”
In 1975-76, he served as visiting professor of missions at Harding College.
In 1978 Frank was the featured speaker at the lectureship of Western Christian College at Weyburn, Saskatchewan, Canada. Isobel accompanied him.
When Joe Nisbet established the British Bible School at Corby in 1979, Frank Worgan and Albert Winstanley served as full-time teachers.
Frank’s preaching has taken him to 20 countries and he has spoken to more than 200 congregations. He has conducted a radio broadcast in Britain. Through the years he has published countless articles in various papers. In 1942 he published his first article in the British publication, The Scripture Standard (established in 1936) and it has included articles from his pen until recently.
You can listen to audio sermons by Frank Worgan here.
When the Corona virus hit and services could not be held in the Corby building, Frank’s sermons were broadcast via the Internet.
Roy Davison devotes himself to the gospel in Belgium, as well as being a part-time translator. He is the creator of the Old Paths websites (http://oldpaths.com).