The Life & Ministry of William Irvine
1917 - 1930
Revised November 3, 2011
1917-20 Princess Victoria Professes
1919-1921: Irish War of Independence
1921, June: Coolacrease Killings of 2 Pearson Sons
1923: Dave Christie & Emily Wilson marry
1922-23, 1925 and 1926-27 Workers List for North America
1929: “The Cooneyites Or Go-Preachers - Their Doctrine” (a published book)
Jack Carroll & George Walker Feud
1930, July: West Hanney Meeting & Statement
1931: Tom Lyness shot by irate husband in Bozeman, Montana
1917 - 1930
As a little background, Princess Victoria was born July 6, 1868 at Marlborough House, England, She was the fourth (second daughter) of six children born to Edward VII, King of England and Princess Alexandra of Denmark, married March 10, 1863. Her full name was Princess Victoria Alexandra Olga Mary. The six children were:
1. Duke Albert Victor Christian
2. George V Windsor, (King of England)
3. Louise Victoria Alexandra
4. Victoria Alexandra Olga Mary
5. Maude Charlotte Mary
6. John Alexander
She was the only daughter in the family to remain unmarried, and was very close to her brother, who became King George V, the grandfather of Queen Elizabeth II. With all her other children married and living abroad, the Princess’ mother wanted the Princess close at her side. Her mother died when the Princess was 57, and she was finally able to leave the Palace. She retired to a country estate, The Coppins in Iver, in Buckinghamshire, where she died on December 3, 1935, at the age of 67.
In 1917, when the Princess was 49, she came in contact with a 2x2 maid named Daisy Bassett, who worked in the royal palace. “Daisy was in attendance to Lady Keppell, Lady-in-Waiting to Princess Victoria, and Sir Derek Keppell was Master of the Household, i.e. taking oversight of all comings, goings and doings at the Palace, etc…Daisy passed on her testimony to Lady Keppell, and from then on Princess Victoria was constantly asking questions, and showing her interest. She valued listening to Daisy's testimony until the Lord gave her a testimony of opening up the Way of Life to her. It was during those free three years that Princess Victoria made her choice.” ( Princess Victoria’s Contact with the Workers 1917-1920)
London, England: Reportedly, Princess Victoria sometimes went to Hyde Park in London in a carriage with drawn drapes to hear the workers speak at Speaker's Corner. In July, 2004, the Author walked in Hyde Park and took photographs of Speaker's Corner. It is located at the northeast corner of Hyde Park, where two streets meet. There is a single light post in the center of a large bare area where there are no trees or grass, where people can easily congregate. There is no raised platform for the speaker. [Click Here for Photo of Speakers Corner in Hyde Park]
is a traditional site of public speeches and debate, especially on Sunday
mornings. Speaker's Corner was created after an 1872 law made it legal
for a speaker to assemble a crowd and speak freely on any subject. By
the 19th century, it had become a popular place for people to meet and exercise
their right to free speech. Any person may turn up unannounced and talk
on almost any subject they wish, although they may be heckled by people holding
opposing views. Noted people as Karl Marx, Lenin, George Orwell and
William Morris have spoken there. Nobodies also speak there!
Surrounded by some of the world's busiest streets, Hyde Park is London’s largest open space. At one and one-half miles long and nearly one-half mile wide, Hyde Park is 630 acres. It is one of the four Royal Parks of London connected to each other in the center of London. The park is divided in two by the Serpentine Lake. It lies between the Bayswater Road on the North and Knightsbridge on the South, Park Lane on the East, and West Carriage Drive on the West.
The land now known as Hyde Park was acquired by Henry VIII in 1536 from the monks of Westminster Abbey, and was used primarily for the King's hunting grounds. In 1637, Hyde Park opened as London's first public park. The Serpentine, a large artificial lake was constructed in 1730.
Just outside of Hyde Park, at the northeast corner at the end of Oxford Street, is Marble Arch. It was originally built in 1827 as a gateway to Buckingham Palace, but it was too narrow for the state coach and was moved to its present location in 1851. It was designed by John Nash in 1828, based on the triumphal arch of Constantine in Rome, and is built of white Carrara marble. The Wellington Arch is on the southeast corner of the park where exhibitions and galleries are open to visitors.
To the West is Kensington, where Queen Victoria built a monument to her husband Albert. At the south end of Hyde Park is Rotten Row, the famous riding track. The road is almost four miles long and is now used as a horse riding, cycling, rollerblading and jogging route. Hyde Park hosts many large events. It is also a popular place for jogging, swimming, rowing, picnicking and even horse riding. The Park has been the site for some famous rock concerts. At around 10:30 am every day the Household Cavalry can be observed riding through the park from Hyde Park Barracks to Buckingham Palace. On royal anniversaries and other important occasions a 41-gun salute is fired in Hyde Park, opposite the Dorchester Hotel in Park Lane.
Just outside Hyde Park at the junction of Edgware Road and Bayswater Road is a triangular plaque set in the road which marks the site of Tyburn Gallows, where public executions took place until 1783. These were supposed to act as a deterrent, but instead became a public entertainment.
OPEN-AIR PREACHING was a method often used by the early workers. Most towns had a recognized speaking place, where people congregated to hear speeches, preaching and be entertained. Remember, they didn't have radio or television then. A search for the term "open air" on this website will show about 40 references to the early workers using "open-air" preaching. Probably the most well known open-air speaking location is Speakers' Corner in Hyde Park, London. A speaker would bring with him a stool, platform or soapbox and step up on it and begin to speak to the audience. The term "getting on your soapbox" may have originated from this practice. Like media programs today, some speakers spoke on particular evenings at a certain time. Willie Gill and Edward Cooney were speakers there.
Cooney once said in a meeting: "When John was in the spirit, he was in the place where he could hear the voice of the Lord and it was like a trumpet...I feel the need of a trumpet when I go into the street corners, we need to have something startling to say, when we go into the open-air and in dealing with men and women engulfed in sin. Where I have failed was in not having a voice like a trumpet that would arrest all that were capable of being arrested and causing them to become attentive."
The Princess had Daisy pass a letter to Ed Cooney, "the man of God." She also corresponded with sister workers, Maggie Patton, and Emily Ruddell for 3 years, (1917-1920) before the palace discovered it and tried to stop her. She used symbols rather than names in her letter to protect the people involved, and signed her letters "VW," which stood for Victoria, Princess of Wales. There are 17 of these letters on record. (See Princess Victoria's Contact with the Workers 1917-1920) The Princess never actually attended any meetings, and although she hoped to go to a convention in Ireland where she might not attract attention, this did not happen.
After Daisy was no longer able to sneak letters to her, and the workers could no longer communicate with her, the Princess reportedly wrote letters to the workers after she moved from the Palace to The Coppins. (Princess Victoria's Contact with the Workers 1917-1920) P.S. wrote: “When Victoria wrote the last of these letters, she was leaving the palace to live at The Coppins, Iver, Buckinghamshire, which seemed to be her personal property. She wrote letters from there, but they appear to be lost. Daisy left the palace at the same time. These letters were written to Maggie Patton, a girl from Ireland that had been in the work some 12 years or so. Two letters from Daisy are also written to her. Victoria's mother, Alexandra, who was known for her kindness, gave Victoria permission to go to meetings, and she was expected to a convention in Ireland in 1919, which Lord Stamfordham put a stop to.” ( Princess Victoria's Contact with the Workers 1917-1920)
It can be said with certainty that Ireland was ruled by England from early 1500 to 1921. During that period, generally speaking and with few exceptions, the vast majority of the Irish people were much oppressed. Their overall state was one of abject poverty. At various times during that period conditions were often extremely harsh. Most of the land in Ireland was seized by the British authorities and given to Irish sympathizers of the British Crown (i.e. King or Queen) or to "planters" people brought into Ireland from England. These people were oftentimes given hundreds of thousands of acres. This land belonged to native Irish people who were evicted from it, forced to rent it back from the new 'owner,' and apart from paying rent, they were oftentimes required to supply the new 'owner' with a share of whatever crop they harvested from the land.
From 1500 onwards until the early 1800, religious freedom did not exist in Ireland. In the early 1530s King Henry VIII of England ceased to recognize The Pope as the overall ruler of the Catholic Church, simply because he would not grant him a divorce from his then wife Catherine of Aragon. King Henry set himself up as head of the church in England. As England also ruled Ireland at this time, he sought to impose his wishes and beliefs on both countries. King Henry's successors over the next few centuries made it increasingly more and more difficult to practice Catholicism in Ireland. Catholics were forbidden to practice their religion, forced to accept changes to the Bible, and Catholic priests and bishops were outlawed and imprisoned or shot if found saying mass. Most of these conditions existed with various degrees of severity, depending on the British King or Queen at any given time, until 1829 when Catholic Emancipation was introduced, following a lengthy campaign by a Catholic barrister Daniel O'Connell.
In the mid 1840's, the potato famine struck Ireland. The failure of the potato crop meant that the Irish poor were deprived of their staple diet. Because the tenant peasants could not earn a living from the land they rented, they were evicted by the wealthy landowners, and those who did not die from hunger immigrated mainly to America. Prior to the famine, the population of Ireland was 8 million. After the Famine the population was 4 million.
There were many failed uprisings that took place between 1500 and 1900 in efforts to gain Irish freedom from England. To add some balance, it is imperative to mention the make up of the British forces in Ireland at this time. The First World War had just about ended when the Irish War of Independence commenced. British troops were battle weary and lower in numbers than usual, and the Irish war on this occasion was particularly tough. It began in January 1919, and a truce was signed in July 1921. This led to the end of the British rule in all of Ireland, except for six northern counties which remained within the United Kingdom as Northern Ireland.
The British Government, to supplement their regiments in Ireland sent two groups: "The Auxiliaries" part-time soldiers and the 2nd group known in Ireland as "The Black and Tans". This name was given to them by the Irish as they wore khaki tunics and trousers and dark green (almost black) caps, and the Irish said they looked like a famous Tipperary hunting hound. Perhaps of all British troops ever sent to Ireland, the Back and Tans were the most despised by the Irish people. Regarded and described by many as "the scum of the earth" these troops were non regular soldiers of fortune, many of whom were allowed out of British prisons on condition that, for a minimal payment, they go to Ireland and ruthlessly suppress the rebellion. These troops executed their orders with apparent great relish. They indiscriminately burned, looted, murdered and pillaged all sections of the population. This triggered tit-for-tat killings and atrocities by the IRA. Anybody even remotely sympathetic to the British occupying forces, or where there was even a suspicion, was regarded as a legitimate target by the IRA.
During this period (1919 - 1921) all common reason was abandoned by both factions in the conflict. A wave of a hand, a courteous greeting or even a smile in the direction of one side or the other could quickly be interpreted as being sympathetic to either side. There was the abandonment of all reason, and nobody was interested in the circumstantial or factual content.
All Protestants and big landowners were suspect of giving information and loyalty to British rule. There were many burnings of Protestant homes and murders at the time, and those who escaped were fortunate. This was the nature of the political climate when the tragic Coolacrease murders took place. The ruin of Coolacrease house lies one mile north east of the hamlet of Cadamstown in the County of Offaly, formerly King's County.
"It was here at Coolacrease that on the 30th June 1921, a band of thirty, perhaps forty armed and masked men descended on the house torched it, then in the courtyard shot the two eldest sons of the household, aged nineteen and twenty four. The shooting took place in the presence of family members. These were the mother of the two boys, their three sisters and youngest brother. Also present were two female cousins. The sisters were aged sixteen, twenty one, and twenty three, the youngest brother fourteen. The older of the visiting cousins was twenty and the younger was a child of not more than 11 years of age." (Quote from Alan Stanley's book)
William Stanley a 21 year old friend was living with the Pearsons and working in the hay field with "…when it was surrounded by a rebel force of about forty men, He was light and fleet of foot and managed to make his escape in spite of being fired on. The two boys who were heavily built, were apprehended immediately."
Their father William Pearson Sr. and a younger brother Sidney, had gone to House for convention, located about 34 miles away. While their Father and brother were away at convention, the two older unmarried sons Richard Henry ("Dick") and Abraham Pratt ("Abe") Pearson were shot by a firing squad numerous times in their back yard and left to die. None of the shots were fatal, so the two sons suffered agony for six and fourteen hours respectively before their deaths. The women dragged a mattress away from the burning house into the field and somehow managed to get the two dying men to it.
The younger brother David rode about 13 miles on a bicycle to get help. A doctor bicycled to Coolacrease and dressed their wounds. Police arrived and removed the wounded men to Birr Military Barracks where they died. Many years later Dave wrote an account of the family tragedy he witnessed that day, which is included in Alan Stanley's book, Chapter 6, page 46. The two Pearson sons were interred in the burial grounds of Killermogh Angelican Church, close to the village of Ballacolla in Queen's County. (The Queen's County is now called County Laois.) The strange burial details are given in Alan Stanley's book.
William Stanley's son, Alan Stanley, published a book in 2005, titled: "I met Murder on the way – The Story of the Pearsons of Coolacrease." His book gave rise to the documentary "The Killings at Coolacrease," which was a segment of the Irish RTE One television series "Hidden History of Ireland" that was broadcast on October 23, 2007. According to Mr. Stanley's book, the most accurate account of the tragedy is contained in a newspaper (now defunct) called July 7, 1921 King's County Chronicle
See also: Wikipedia article "Killings at Coolacrease"
About ten years earlier, in 1911, William and Susan (Pratt) Pearson had purchased a 341 acre farm at Coolacrease, County Offaly, Ireland. Originally from Ballygeehan, County Laos, they reportedly purchased the property from a Protestant family and moved there with their family of seven children. In the 1901 and 1911 Irish censuses, the family is listed as Church of Ireland. It is not known when they became "Cooneyites," which some regarded as Protestants, but it was commonly known fact, and probably took place before they moved to Coolacrease. A number of the Pearson family relatives were deeply immersed in Cooneyism, and a cousin of William Pearson was the owner of Carrick convention.
They were considered large land owners. They were considered Protestants. Reportedly, the Pearsons had a visit from British troops. Add to that an incident where the Pearson sons tried to prevent the IRA from felling a tree on their property, and that was reason enough to place the Pearsons in the category of British 'sympathizers,' and therefore 'legitimate' targets. In the eyes of the IRA, all this combined could be considered sufficient 'evidence' that the Pearsons were British sympathizers, spies and informers.
The reason for the killings has never been determined for certain. One of the rebels told a sister who asked "Why?" that it was NOT because they were Protestant. The Irish Times stated: "There was never a shred of evidence to justify the Pearson murders and there still isn't." The perpetrators were never caught or tried. Dave Pearson said the family viewed the murders as a way to grab their land. At that time, the common mixture of reasons for committing atrocities of that kind were: Land, Religion and Nationality.
During this period some of the worst atrocities of any of the wars in Ireland were carried out. The killing of the Pearson boys was an outrage and appears even more so when taken in isolation and examined in detail so lengthy a time after the event. Nothing, either then or now, will ever excuse this savage act perpetrated on the Pearsons and others by the I.R.A. which were replicated in many parts of the country at that time.
After receiving compensation for their land, the Pearson family moved to Australia in stages, the last members arriving on January 17, 1930. One daughter Emily married and lived in England, while the rest of the family remained in Australia until their deaths. William Pearson Sr. was born in 1863 and died in 1934. His wife Susan was born 1870 and she died in 1947 in Victoria. Her death certificate states the Minister at her burial was J. F. Jones, Christian Assemblies of Australia. According to Stanley's book, Sidney continued to be a Cooneyite but Dave did not. The faith allegiance of the other Pearson family members is not known. Dave Pearson died April 25, 1991.
Carrick, Rathdowney, County Laois is the oldest convention still being held in Ireland (the Debenham, Co. Suffolk, England convention is older.) The Father, William Pearson, was a cousin of John Pearson, owner of Carrick House. John was born 1856, died in 1938 and was married to Rebecca Jane Bennett, who died in 1894. They had 9 children, one being sister worker Minnie Pearson. John Pearson then remarried Annabella Wallace, who died in 1938. Together they had 6 children, and one of them was Irvine Pearson (born 1908 – died 1997), who became the Overseer of Ireland for a time. It is not known who was the first to profess in the Pearson family or when they professed. One person stated that they had heard that a Sunday morning meeting has been held in the same front room of the Carrick House since 1905, or a year close to that.
Quotes from Book: I met Murder on the way - The Story of the Pearsons of Coolacrease
Bby Alan Stanley, Quinagh, Carlow, Co. Carlow, Ireland
Published in 2005 by The Leinster Leader Ltd, Naas, Co. Kildare, Ireland
1922-23 Workers List for North and South
America: By 1923, just 20 years after the first three
workers stepped onto American soil in New York City, there were 475 workers
preaching in North and South America. That's a grown rate of 23.6
workers per year. Only 15 states were not shown on the Workers list: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada,
New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee,
Utah, Vermont. Alaska and Hawaii were not states at this time.
1923: Jack Carroll announces the marriage of his cousin Dave Christie to sister worker Emily Wilson from the platform of Miltown WA convention: "The reason I speak so freely and plainly about this subject today is because two workers came to this convention married, and wish me to make the fact known. I refer to David Christie and Emily Wilson. And while we may seriously question the wisdom of this step, and recognize that it means greater difficulties in their lives, and less liberty in the Gospel, we cannot make dishonorable what God has made "honorable;" and for this reason we speak no word of condemnation and attach no penalty. If there is to be condemnation or penalty, we leave this in the Lord's hands." In the years between 1922 and 1926 workers list 6 additional married workers couples were added to the Workers List. There were 6 married couples in on the 1922 list; and 12 married couples on the 1926 list.
1925: Workers List for the Americas shows 568 workers total, up 93 from 1922-23 List.
1926-27: 1926-27 Workers List for North and South America: By 1927, 24 years after the first workers landed in America, there were 622 workers preaching in North and South America, up 54 from the 1925 list. The increase could be due to new workers entering the work, or by workers arriving from other countries. In the four years between the two lists, the workers were busy taking their gospel into eight (8) additional southern states (AL, AR, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN) and Arizona. Only seven (7) states remained off the Workers list including Delaware, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Utah, and some of these states were probably combined with other states. Alaska and Hawaii were not yet states.
Workers Lists for this period of time for other parts of the world are not available at this time.
1924: Warning Article Printed in Our Hope (a magazine edited by Dr. Gabelein at the time) about the Go-Preachers, in January, 1924, written by W. M. Rule, titled: THE COONEYITES OR GO-PREACHERS - A WARNING. This article portrayed the 2x2 group in an unfavorable light. [NOTE: Some sources give the year as 1929, rather than 1924]
1929: A Warning Pamphlet about the Go-Preachers is Published. The article carried in Our Hope magazine was republished in booklet form by the Central Bible Truth Depot, London. It was titled: THE COONEYITES OR GO-PREACHERS AND THEIR DOCTRINE, and went through many printings. The pamphlet was distributed in various countries where the group had spread. This pamphlet was later reprinted as a chapter in the book: *Timely Warnings," 1917, the first book known to be published about cults which was compiled by W. C. Irvine, Loizeaux Brothers, Neptune, New Jersey, USA. The book was renamed: Heresies Exposed, 1973 (29 printings; see Chapter: "The Cooneyites or Go-Preachers and Their Doctrines," Pp 73-78) ( Read Pamphlet). Some of the workers attempted to have it put out of circulation, but were unsuccessful. Doug Parker wrote:
“In the year 1929, the Central Bible Truth organisation published a pamphlet headed The Cooneyites or Go Preachers and Their Doctrine. This really exposed this movement, and was circulated in every country where the belief had been active. An endeavour was made by both John Hardie, in Australia, and Jack Carroll, in the U.S.A., to have it put out of circulation. Hardie, in the company of another since ex-communicated preacher, approached the Sydney publishers at 302 Pitt Street, in an effort to have it stopped, but without success. His amazing admissions while under cross-examination stress the point that Christ takes second place, as redemption can only result through John Hardie or the workers. He admitted that Matthew 10 was part of his commission and when questioned as to whether he thought that he and his fellow workers were the only ‘True Preachers,’ he answered. ‘He that gathereth not with us scattereth abroad.’ Contained in the report which gave striking proof of the correctness of the Cooneyite Pamphlet, is the following:--‘There is something very subtle about the way they speak of being saved by the blood. There is a 'master mind' behind all this. When questioned more closely on this point, Mr. Hardie became most evasive.'
"A very lengthy account of this conversation was forwarded on to Loixeaux Bros., New York, where Dr. A. G. Gabelein, whose name is mentioned in the preface of the Schofield Bible, had become most interested in the erroneous teaching of this NEW SECT. Dr. Gabelein, the then editor of ‘Our Hope,’ published the whole of the Cooneyite tract in his magazine. This provoked the hostilities of the “Cooneyite" leader in U.S.A., Jack Carroll, who on May 27th, 1929, wrote a very revealing letter to this man, and even resorted to lies in his efforts to have it put out of circulation.” (Spiritual Fraud by Doug Parker, pp 9-10).
Arthur McCoy, an Australian worker, was present when John Hardie tried to persuade the Sydney, Australia publishers, Christian Workers Depot, to stop printing and distributing the pamphlet: “Not long after my (Arthur McCoy) discharge from hospital John Hardie took me with him to the Christian Workers' Depot in Sydney for he tried to stop the printing of the booklet entitled 'The Cooneyites.' At once John told Mr Ardill the reason for the visit...John told him that there were fourteen lies in the booklet, and Mr Ardill assured him that they would certainly not publish anything that was not true. He picked up a pen, got one of the booklets and began to note in the margin anything John told him was not true. The main point objected to was that there was a 'central fund'." ( The Secret Sect by Doug & Helen Parker, p 42)
Read the pamphlet: The Cooneyites or Go-Preachers and Their Doctrine
JACK CARROLL & GEORGE WALKER FEUD:
The exact nature of the contention between these two leading American
not known to the writer. It started sometime before 1930,
however, their irreconcilable differences were not widely known, even among the workers.
Ron Campbell gave a clue in a comment about Jack Carroll he made in a letter to George Walker dated Oct. 20, 1952: "I believe you will understand this, being once a victim of his."
They were obviously men with very different personalities and styles of administration. Whether there was one certain incident or several incidents or simply the great difference in styles that brought the division is not known. One explanation given is that North America divided into two "administrations" over a difference of opinion regarding plans for dates and visitors for convention, and Jack along with others in the West decided they would make their own plans, instead of trying to coordinate everything continent-wide. Regardless of the reason, the workers are still dealing with the fallout from that division nearly a century later.
By the 1930's, the 2x2 group gradually became more and more list oriented. Many different lists came into use: workers lists, convention lists, visitors lists, study lists, special meeting lists, etc. Maintaining and putting out these lists became the duty of the overseer. Apparently there was a conflict between George Walker and Jack Carroll over a convention visitors list, and the West decided to henceforth make their own "wee lists," as Willie Smiley referred to them. Willie left the impression that it was the convention planning that was one of the first rebel tendencies in the west. This is viewed by some as the time "when the west broke away from the east," although it is doubtful if this was interpreted as a 'split' at that time. This division had an effect on visiting workers at conventions, as well as worker exchanges in fields. Hind-sight might describe it as the beginning of a split that became more and more visible as different issues evolved.
In the era of World War II, George Walker made up letterhead for the East coast using the name "Christian Conventions Representing Assemblies of Christians Assuming This Name Only," and used it for correspondence with the US Government in securing the professing servicemen and workers non-combatant status. The West coast soon followed suit, and copied the format of Walker's letterhead, inserting the names of their annual convention locations. There is also a Christian Convention letterhead for the Central States. As far as what the name means, the conventions represent local groups (assemblies) of Christians who take no other name except Christian.
The Conscientious Objector debate of the second world war created significant polarization. Jack Carroll left it up to the individual whether or not they chose to be a Conscientious Objector; while the men in George Walker's territory were instructed to fill out papers for non-combatant status. Both sides had a letter written on Christian Convention letterhead that could be signed by a worker overseer and used to aid the men in obtaining C.O. military status; however, not all the men were aware of this. The author's father wasn't aware of it. See letters in TTT Photo Gallery.
One cause given for the feud that split the East and West USA is the radio. Reportedly, it was the Pacific War theater, and in particular the workers who were prisoners in the Philippines, that resulted in the radio being freely used among the friends and workers on the West coast. It has been reported that Jack Carroll also attempted to use the radio for advertising meetings and even to preach to the public. Some workers felt that it was not proper to use the radio because no one could see the 2 by 2 method of preaching, which meant there was "talk without proof of the walk." Their theology concluded that the blessing was on the feet of those who publish the glad tidings of peace and not in their mouth or words. Some believed that for awhile Jack Carroll fell into the hands of rich men and was carried away with their influence and ideas, to the point that George Walker considered cutting off the West coast from fellowship over the matter. A compromise of sorts was reached, and the outcome was that the radio was not used for sermons and advertising meetings, but was allowed to remain in the homes of the West coast friends. However, George Walker did not allow radios in the homes of the East coast friends. This taboo is observed even today in places in the Eastern USA, depending on the ruling worker and their ministerial indoctrination source.
It is interesting that the feud or differences didn’t die with the demise of Jack and George. Their prejudices live on among the workers preaching in each of these men’s respective territories. This east/west conflict also leaves its trail in the foreign countries sponsored by the respective sides. In other words, the division lives on, and extends beyond American boundaries, long after the two original feuding workers are gone. One worker saddened by this described the current situation in the following terms:
“However, there was - and still is - a persistent aching. In my heart because of the rift that exists between the East and the West. If this truth we are a part of were a denomination, it would have been split in many ways long ago. But it isn't a denomination, and it is not divided. that way. The same seeds of the gospel are being sown, and the same fruit is being harvested in all areas of the world. I ask myself, 'Why should the Great Divide of the Rockies come between God's people?' And why should Satan be allowed this advantage? This 'thorn' may be more painful to some of us who have labored on both sides of those mountains, and have come to know and respect and love God's servants and His saints in all places. I am certain that God did not cause this rift, nor want it. And I am just as sure that He wants to heal it. Jesus' fervent prayer to God in John 17 has come to mind many times - especially vs. 21, 'That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee...' also Paul's exhortation in Eph. 4:3 'Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.' And numerous places that speak of one Spirit, one mind, one accord, I so long to see that among us.” ( January 31, 1987 Letter by Lecil Sullivan)
Ralph Derkland wrote: “We have known for years that Jack Carroll and George Walker have been at ‘bitter ends’ with each other and for us to go to convention and hear Jack tell about the Catholic and the Orangeman that knew they were saved because at one time they hated each other but now they loved each other and some of us would wonder how come he preaches ‘love’ to us but he manifests ‘hate’ to George and vice-versa. Lest some of you doubt the truth of this, can you give any other answer as to why George has not been in Jack’s territory for over 28 years, as he has never been here since I decided. Friends, is this consistent with what Jesus taught?” ( 1957 Letter by Ralph Derkland)
"Now you may wonder if I STILL believe this is God’s true way corrupted — Yes, I see it clearly in the heart of God when He sent His Son to earth but the corruption sat in long before I had anticipated that it had, as in the beginning there were no leaders they all went out, came back together, prayed half the night getting the mind of God as to where to go next. THIS WAS THE WAY--UNCORRUPTED but long ago. Since, during these past months I see clearly WHY it got corrupted. The scriptures themselves tell the story. The fault lies right at the feet of the Christians, the same as it has always done. In the Old Testament the children of Israel wanted a king so they could be like the other nations round about them. This did not please God but they ‘prayed’ for a king so God answered their prayer and gave them what they prayed for. Why did this displease God? Because He solely wanted to be their Leader, but they couldn’t SEE God and they wanted a leader they could see. Jack and George could see this human weakness fifty years ago and saw their chance to take over the leadership in Israel and at present it looks as if they may wind up the same as Saul did but we sincerely hope and pray they will see their mistake and turn from it. One worker told us there HAD to be some sort of rule amongst us to keep things in order. I asked, 'And what is wrong with our heavenly Father, is He not STILL on the throne?' Another said, 'If there was no one to tell us where to go, we might all want to go to the same place.' How silly. If they are controlled by God, would they all go to the same place? And if they are not controlled by God, they have no business in the work in the first place.” ( 1957 Letter by Ralph Derkland ).
1930, July 19-20: CONFERENCE AT WEST HANNEY, ENGLAND:
to Doug Parker, the W. Hanney conference was held: “Because of
difficulty (Distribution of the Cooneyite or Go-Preachers Pamphlet)
and another involving a division between both George Walker and Jack
the two overseers in the U.S.A. as to who would be 'Next Greatest
Them,' it was decided that a world conference would be held in
This was held at W. Haneys (England) on July 19, 20, 21, 1930.”
(Spiritual Fraud by Doug Parker)
A copy of a statement regarding the meeting agenda was circulated
and is quoted below.
Statements about this meeting differ as to the location where the
meeting was held. Some state that it was at West Hanney; and others state (including The Secret Sect) incorrectly state that it was in the home of W. Haney. In
any event, the following statement obtained from another source is the
same as that printed in The Secret Sect, and the list of those present
The convention shown as "Oxford" on the England convention list is held in the Village of West Hanney, which is located in the County of Oxfordshire. Other casual names for this convention are Berks, Berkshire West Hanney and Oxon. Due to boundary changes, West Hanney is now located in the County of Oxfordshire, formerly known as Berks (short for Berkshire, the county or region). The Village of Hanney split into East and West Hanney in the 1950's. Wantage is the nearest town and Oxford is the nearest city to the West Hanney convention. Regardless of how it is spelled, the statement circulated about the W. Hanney Conference quotes the same information as that printed in the Secret Sect, and the list of individuals present is identical in both statements.
It is fairly common knowledge that the relationship between Jack Carroll and George Walker was strained, and they are most likely the individuals to which Doug Parker referred when he stated:
"The need for a determined and united policy was discussed at a conference held at W. Haney's home in England, 19-21 July, 1930. An attempt also was made to settle the strained relations between Walker and Carroll, but as no preacher emerged as outright leader, it became apparent that overseers retained and strengthened their right to exercise authority within their territories. Repetition of former policy was reflected in the statement issued by the seven senior workers after the meeting: July 20, 1930." ( The Secret Sect by Doug & Helen Parker, pp 82-83)
"In the American territories there was continuing antagonism between George Walker and Jack Carroll, as Irvine Weir discovered in 1935. A pioneer of the sect's mission in California, Weir asked George Walker to approve his plan to return to California but, to his amazement, the overseer turned to him and said, 'I would not like you to go to California now. I am sorry but I may have to cut the West off.' When he later travelled through the state of Colorado, Weir found that sect members in Denver had declared their support either for Jack Carroll or George Walker; the overseers each forbade visits or contacts with preachers who were loyal to his opponent. Although preachers had hoped for improved relations, after the 1930 conference, difficulties arose during the next two decades in different places and many became perplexed who once believed that harmony existed within the fellowship." ( The Secret Sect by Doug & Helen Parker, p 85)
Statement Re: Meeting at West Hanney (England)
July 20, 1930
"For a number of years past, difficulties have existed in the U.S.A. between some of the elder workers, which in recent years became more acute, because of these difficulties it was decided that a number of the elder workers from various countries should come together in England and enquire into the reasons for the trouble and seek to find some basis for a better understanding.
"During the days we (the undersigned) were gathered together, full opportunity was given to all to express their minds and to offer any suggestions that would be helpful. After considering the matter from every viewpoint, we are happy to say that those who were most concerned in this trouble expressed their deep regret for any offence at which they had been guilty and apologised to each other, and undertook to do all in their power to dispel the existing difficulties and promote the spirit of unity and fellowship amongst the Lord's people, particularly in the fields which were most affected by the trouble.
"It was unanimously agreed by all present that the past should be buried, and that in the future, all would use their influence to discourage anything that would disturb the peace in God's family, adhering to the teaching and example of Jesus. It was further agreed that should any violation or supposed violation occur, that no decision should be arrived at or circulated until the matter had been placed before a number of brethren from various countries."
Signed by the following:
W. J. Gill (Willie) 1900
G. Walker (George) 1899
J. T. Carroll (Jack) 1904
J. Hardie (John) 1900
A. Dougal (Alex)
H. R. Mathews (Hugh)1904
J. Doak (John) 1903
W. Jamieson (Willie) 1905
A. Scott (S.)
J. Jardine (James)1904
J. S. Jackson (Jack) 1901
A. Pearce/Pierce 1904
W. Weir (Willie) 1903
W. Reid (Wilson) 1904
J. Forbes (Jack)
The most famous line of the West Hanney Statement is:
"It was unanimously agreed by all present that the past should be buried..."
This line is often taken (out of context?) to mean that the workers agreed to bury William Irvine's role in founding the 2x2 movement. To be fair, please read this statement again, very carefully. Notice the purpose for which the worldwide workers meeting was called at W. Hanney. It was because "difficulties have existed in the U.S.A. between some of the elder workers..." The "difficulty" was the strained relationship between the two U.S.A. overseer workers, Jack Carroll and George Walker. "The past" was not about hiding or burying the history of the 2x2 group. "The past" was the offenses or feud that existed between these two men. When two people "make up," they often agree to "let by-gones be by-gones," and to let go of past offenses. The West Hanney statement said that as far as these two men, "the past should be buried."
"Tom Lyness, 40 an evangelist with missions at Belgrade and Manhattan, was shot and seriously wounded Thursday by William Sumner, 55, a barber of Pony. The affair occurred in the reading room of the Baltimore hotel, where the men had met by appointment. Sumner gave himself up after firing three shots at Lyness. As Sumner walked out through the lobby, he said: "I had to shoot him." The exact cause of the quarrel is not definitely known. Sumner formerly lived here and his friends told officers they believed he held the preacher responsible for failure of Mrs. Sumner to go with her husband to Pony. She lives here with a grown daughter and they have another daughter. Lyness, so far as known here, is unmarried. He has been in this vicinity for several months and previously held meetings at Lolo, Radersburg and communities near Missoula. He was not connected with any denomination. Lyness, with bullet wounds in his head, neck and abdomen, is not expected to live." ( Dec. 11, 1931)
"Thomas Lyness, 40, evangelist critically wounded by Elwood T. 'Bill' Sumner Thursday, was still alive Friday, though there seemed little possibility of his recovery. No charges have yet been filed against Sumner, who surrendered after the shooting. Sumner blamed the preacher’s influence for his failure to induce his wife to move with him to Pony, where he has a barber shop. The proposed baptism of his oldest daughter brought matters to a crisis, he said." ( Dec. 12, 1931)
1932: "Shortly after denying a motion for a new trial for Elwood T. 'Bill' Sumner, 64, barber of Pony, District Judge B.B. Law today sentenced him to serve 12 years in the state prison for shooting Thomas Lyness, 40, evangelist." (March 30, 1932)
In "Early Workers in Viola, Idaho and Surrounding Area", Ruth Berry remembered in the early 1940's: "One time at a union meeting at Lisa Anderson's, Tom Lyness was there and you could see where he had been shot—where the bullet entered on one side and out the other side of his head."
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