Revised June 29, 2016
1900 - 1906
Workers Venture Worldwide
1903: FIRST To Profess in the USA 1904
1904: SECOND Group of Workers Leave for America
1904-05: FIRST Workers to go to Canada, Australia, New Zealand & Africa
1904: FIRST Crocknacrieve Convention
1906 or 07: Church Buildings become abominations
1906: San Francisco Earthquake
1906: Beginning of Pentecostal Movement - Azusa Street
1906: Workers First Accused of White Slave Trafficing
Appendix E: Background of Wests
1903 - WORLD OUTREACH
Today, gospel meetings are tested for those who choose to profess and become a "saint." Back then, meetings were also tested for volunteers to become workers, as well as volunteers for the work in foreign countries. The role of the "saint" had yet to be fully developed and there were no meetings in their homes until 1902. Fannie Carroll said:
"At Christmas time Jack and I went to the City of Belfast to special meetings. Those meetings were tested to see how many would go in the work, and several said they would. We were amongst them. Tom Lyness was another. Sam Jones who wrote so many of our hymns was another....Then in 1905 many workers, over sixty of them, left for overseas."
"As usual, the call for volunteers for work in distant lands met with a response, a large number offering their services for America, South Africa, and Australia." (Impartial Reporter, July 23, 1908, "Convention of Tramps Held at Crocknacrieve" )
"At the convention held annually in Belfast, brothers and sisters volunteer for the work in the Colonies, which is very much the same as the work here." (Edie Easy in letter to her mother, (Lloyd's Weekly, February 3, 1907)
It was a revival in IRELAND that was spreading like wildfire, but not as much in Scotland, England and Wales. Whole families were converted, and many of their children entered the work. Countless passionate young workers were on fire to spread the good news. Too many to stay on small island of Ireland. So they exported workers to other countries. Syd Holt observed: "Ireland is the only country where workers weren't imported but rather exported! "
1903: FIRST PIONEER WORKERS: After the 1903 Rathmolyon Convention, the workers began to venture around the world to preach. They first pioneered the work in the English speaking countries of America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Because of the changes that had taken place earlier, and the foundational convention at Rathmolyon, they would separate their converts from other Christians, Churches and Pastors in these countries from their Christian brothers and baptize them and set up meetings in homes. Their recruits in the newly pioneered countries would not likely be aware that this had not always been their practice and procedure.
ELLIS ISLAND, NEW YORK: Ellis Island lies in the New York harbor, and was a US immigration station for more than 60 years. The American Family Immigration History Center is located at Ellis Island. From Ellis Island, twelve million immigrants approached America's "front doors to freedom" in the early twentieth century. During its peak years, 1892 through 1924, Ellis Island received thousands of immigrants a day. The passenger records for persons passing through Ellis Island between 1892 and 1954, when it closed its doors, are found on their website. Over 100 million Americans can trace their ancestry in the United States to a man, woman or child whose name passed form a steamship manifest sheet to an inspector's record book in the great Registry Room at Ellis Island. Records include, among other items: name, gender, marital status, year of arrival, ethnicity, age on arrival, date and port of departure, name of ship, and the name of the friend or relative they were to visit, and amount of money on them. The Main Building on Ellis Island was restored to its former grandeur in September, 1990, and today it houses the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, which is "dedicated to commemorating the immigrant's stories of trepidation and triumph, courage and rejection, and the lasting image of the American dream." Records of the American Family Immigration History Center at Ellis Island may be viewed free of charge at: http://www.ellisisland.org
1903, SEPTEMBER - PUT OUT OF KILSYTH CHURCH: Irvine was put out of the church he started in his hometown of Kilsyth, Scotland for not being willing to make it his headquarters.. Wm. Irvine wrote Dunbars
"In September 1903 I was put out of Church I had formed in my native town because I would not make it the head of the work I was doing...” In a brief summary of events, there is this line: "Put out of Kilsyth Church and started for USA in 1903." (Letter to Dunbars, October 13, 1920).
"Later I was put out by the church I had formed in Kilsyth, my own town, during my stay at home. This was when I went to U.S.A. first." (Letter to Kerrs, Dec. 4, 1921 )
1903, SEPTEMBER - UNITED STATES - FIRST GROUP OF (3) WORKERS LEAVE FOR AMERICA: Soon after the Rathmolyon Convention ended, William Irvine, George Walker and Irvine Weir departed for New York, which is confirmed by the Passenger Records of Ellis Island. They left from Glasgow, Scotland on September 5, 1903, on s.s. Columbia, and arrived in New York on September 14, 1903.
William Irvine, age 40 yrs, Scotch (Passenger No. 18)
George Walker, age 26 yrs, Irish (Passenger No. 19)
Irvine Weir, age 25 yrs, Irish (Passenger No. 20)
View Columbia Ship Manifest for Sept. 14, 1903
"In Sept, 1903, I sailed for U.S.A. with George Walker and Irvine
Weir, who quarreled the first night they went out without me, which was the
second day…and I returned on September 5, 1904, next year to a day. Spent
a year at home.” (Letter to Dunbars, October
View List of Irvine’s Trips Abroad
"Andrew Abernathy spoke of George (Walker) coming to Philadelphia 78 years ago this month, and having his FIRST MISSION near Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. Said the gospel he and his companion preached promised liberty and independence from the bondage of sin, false religion and wrong doctrine." (Account of Geo. Walker's last days, death and funeral)
In the USA, Teddy Roosevelt was president. The harvest field was wide open. The 1900 census counted a total U.S. population of 76 million people who were there before the workers ever arrived to save them. According to Encarta Encyclopedia, "In 1900, the United States was an overwhelmingly white (88%) and rural (60%) society in which few people had completed high school (14%) and most were under 35 years of age (70%). New York was the most populous state, with 7.3 million people, and New York City, with 3.4 million people, was the nation's largest city. American households averaged 4.8 people. About 13% of all women worked outside the home. Eight thousand automobiles cruised American roads."
The workers who were going to America were asked by their converts to contact family members who had relocated to North America. The workers were given the names and addresses of family, and many American and Canadian converts were gained through these introductions. This occurred repeatedly, and it is not uncommon today for the workers to use this same type of introduction to invite people to their recruiting meetings. This was the case with the McIntires, the first Americans to profess.
Wm. Irvine, George Walker and Irvine Weir sailed to America by the least expensive method, as Steerage Passengers. This was a dreadful way to travel. See links below.
"George [Walker] told of his coming to this country in the early years of this century. He was in Liverpool, England and three [Cherie’s note: the other 2 men were WiIliam Irvine and Irvine Weir. Why three men? Why not four so they could go 2x2?] planned to come together. There was First Class passage - the most expensive, then there was Second Class, which was cheaper, and then Steerage. The cost of a ticket from Liverpool to New York was $27.00 and they got three tickets.
"They left Liverpool on a Friday night and sailed across the Irish Sea to Belfast, where on Saturday they loaded cargo and passengers. About five of them left and sailed out around the north end of Ireland and into the North Atlantic Ocean. The sea was raging and rough. They tried to stay on deck but they were all sick and after awhile they went down into the lower part of the ship where they had been given bunks, and tried to rest. They were sick all day Sunday and Monday. George said, "On Tuesday I felt we have got to get up and walk around or we won't be able to walk off the ship when we get to New York.”
"Finally it was announced they would be arriving in New York on a Monday morning about 7 o'clock. All prepared to disembark. They let the First Class passengers off first and then the Second Class passengers. The Steerage Passengers were loaded into boats and taken to Ellis Island for inspection, so George and his companions went there. There were crowds of people there to meet their relatives. Finally, about 11 o'clock the customs officers had examined them, asking all their questions, and told them they could go." (Notes on Geo. Walker's Early Days in America-1979)
Below are some links to very interesting (horror!) accounts of what it was like to travel as a Steerage Passenger.
1903: FIRST SISTER WORKER to go in the work in America was MAGGIE ROWE : While the first three brother workers to arrive in America were traveling on the ship Columbia, they met a young woman named Maggie Rowe. (Click here to view: Ellis Island Passenger Record for Magie Rowe. She listened to their preaching and professed either while on the ship or shortly after arriving in the states. Maggie Rowe started in the work with Emma Gill when she arrived in America on December 8, 1904 aboard the Furnessia. (Click Here to veiw: Ellis Island Passenger Record for Emma Gill.) The pair went to North Dakota to Emma's sister and family: Fred and Mary Ann (Gill) Hughes and family. Maggie Rowe was the FIRST SISTER worker to go in the work in North America. Her time in the work was short and she isn't listed on the 1905 workers list. "She didn't continue in the work. She got married and her daughter lives out in British Columbia, out West somewhere, and when Garrett has been out there for conventions, he met this daughter and had a talk. This daughter knew that Maggie Rowe was one of the first workers in our home." (Hazel Hughes Account, 1971 )
1903: FIRST PEOPLE TO PROFESS IN THE U.S.A were Mr. & Mrs. George McIntire/McIntyre. One list shows George arrived in America in January, 1902. “He (George Walker) and a couple others [Authors Note: Wm. Irvine & Irvine Weir] arrived in New York harbor Sept. 14, 1903…To his knowledge there were no friends or workers in America previous to this…One of the friends in Ireland had a relative that lived in New York, a young lady, Mrs. McIntire. She and her husband received a letter from this lady in Ireland, asking that they would meet the boat. The McIntires said some time later that they were of the mind not to, but a voice seemed to urge Mrs. McIntire to go, so she and her husband stood calling out the name "George Walker" from behind a fence there at Ellis Island until George heard them. They took them home for the night and later the McIntires professed -- the FIRST of those in America that George knew of.” (Notes on Geo. Walker's Early Days in America-1979) .
"At first they felt, 'we won't do it' but then she felt 'what will my sister think? We can meet them.' So her husband took off from work, and they rented an apartment for two weeks for these three strangers. They told them, "We will take you to our home and you can have dinner, then we will take you to this apartment since we only have a 4-room apartment and no room to keep you overnight." The name of this couple was George and Edith McIntyre, and they were the first to profess in the workers' meetings. Not long afterward, his brother Dan and wife professed out on Staten Island." (Account of George Walker's Early Days-1898
The Ellis Island Ship Manifests have a column for this passenger information: "Whether going to join a relative or friend and if so, what relative or friend and his complete name and address." Many of the early workers who came to the USA used the McIntires as the "friend" they were going to visit. Usually (1) Dan/Don McIntire, 132 Vandyke Street, Brooklyn, New York or (2) George McIntire, 132 Coffey Street, Brooklyn, NY; or (3) C. B. Wilson, 6401 Leeds Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Irvine Weir would later be excommunicated by George Walker: Ed Cooney wrote: "Irvine Weir has written me that George Walker, Tom Tuft and the bishop in whose house Irvine meets, came to his home. George told Irvine that he would instruct the bishop to close his house to him (Irvine Weir) unless he promised not to speak in the meetings. Irvine (Weir) refused, so without any scriptural reason being given, he (Irvine Weir) has been cut off. Pray for him that he may stand firm and seek only to please God.” (Letter “To the Churches in Alabama and Kentucky” dated August 1, 1948 in The Life & Ministry of Eddie Cooney by Patricia Roberts, page 56)
George Walker said about Irvine Weir's excommunication: "Some while later I asked George about the two men which came with him in 1903. They were Irvine Weir and William Irvine. Sadly both men got off on the wrong track. George said that Irvine Weir had a weakness for divine healing and later on in life wrote his sister that nothing could hurt him because he served God. Before the letter arrived, he fell off a ladder, rose up and said, 'I'm all right,' then died. He had said that some of the friends, who got killed couldn't have been doing God's will. George said, 'I have been left alone in many things.'" (Notes on Geo. Walker's Early Days in America-1979) Irvine Weir was born December 7, 1878 and died October 18, 1957 in Massachusetts, and is buried in N. Weymouth, MA.
William Irvine was expelled from leadership of the workers in 1914. Further details will be given later in this book.
In 1904: 42 workers entered the work; 25 brothers and 17 sisters. Jack Carroll entered the work on February 16, 1904. Exact dates others entered the work is unknown at this time.
1904: SECOND GROUP OF (6) WORKERS LEAVE FOR AMERICA: According to the Ellis Island records, departing from Londonderry on May 6, 1904, on the Ship S. S. Furnessia, and arriving in New York on May 16, 1904 were:
Mary Carroll (age 24 yrs, Irish) (May) (Passenger No. 11)
Sarah Rogers (age yrs 30, Irish) (Passenger No. 12)
Also on the same ship were these four (4) brother workers:
John Carroll (age 25, Irish; brother to May Carroll; called Jack) (Passenger No. 1)
Hugh Mathews (age 26 yrs, Irish) (Passenger No. 2)
William Clelland (age 26 yrs, Scotch-Wm. Irvine's cousin) (Passenger No. 3)
Charles Glenn (age 27 yrs, Scotch). (Passenger No. 4)
(Sources: Secret Sect by Doug Parker, page 32; also Notes on Geo. Walker's Early Days in America-1979 and Ellis Island Furnessia Ship Manifest)
1904: THIRD GROUP OF (8) WORKERS LEAVE FOR AMERICA: According to the Ellis Island records, departing from Liverpool, England on November, 1904, on the Ship S. S. Oceanic, and arriving in New York on December 8, 1904 were:
John Jackson, age 24 yrs, Single, Irish; Residence: Waltham (Jack)
James Jardine, age 20 yrs, Single, Scotch, Residence: Waltham
Francis Scott, age 20 yrs, Single, Irish, Residence: Waltham (Frank)
William Weir, age 22 yrs, Single, Scotch; Residence: Chippenham
David Lynes, age 26 yrs, Single, Irish, Residence: Chippenham (Dave Lyness)
Bella Cooke, age 23 yrs, Single, Irish, Residence: Norfolk
Lizzie M. Coles, age 26 yrs, Single, Irish; Residence: Norfolk (aka Lily, Elizabeth and Mary)
Emma Gill, age 33 yrs, Single, Irish, Residence: Meath
(Source: Ellis Island Ship Oceanic Manifest)
"Again in December, 1904, a group including Jack Jackson, Willie Weir, Dave Linus (sic) and others came." (From Milltown Convention Story)
"It is a good while ago now that one morning towards the end of November, 1904, my companion and I were in the east of England and were preaching there...and a knock came on the door and a telegram came for me, "Be in Liverpool Tuesday and sail for New York Saturday. That was short notice....well we landed in New York on the 9th of December." (Jack Jackson at Freedom, NY Convention Notes November (or August?) 14, 1960*)
"I crossed in the autumn of 1904 with J. Jackson, Wm. Weir, Dave Lyness, Frank Scott and Emma Gill, Lizzie Coles and another sister whose name doesn't come to me just now." (James Jardine Letter to Dear Sister Mollie, February 16, 1966*)
Ellis Island records show additional groups of workers came to America in 1905 and 1908, and there are likely many others who arrived. On August 14, 1905: Willie Jamieson, John Paterson, Jim McLeod, Aggie Hutchison arrived on the ship Numidian. And on September 4, 1908, nine (9) more workers arrived on the ship Cedric.
1904: THE FIRST FOUR WORKERS TO GO TO CANADA - According to "Arrival of Early Workers in North America", four brother workers arrived in Montreal on August 13, 1904. They were Harry Oliver, Tom Craig, John Doak and George Buttimer. Their destination was Souris, Manitoba.
1904, JULY: THE FIRST TWO WORKERS TO GO TO AUSTRALIA: John Hardy/Hardie and Sandy Alexander arrived on July 24, 1904, in Melbourne, New South Wales on the ship Medic, according to an Account titled "John Hardie - Concerning His Arrival in Australia and New Zealand." According to The Secret Sect, "Similar hostility and opposition in other districts motivated preachers to travel overseas, one being John Hardie, whose wooden mission hall was burned down by Roman Catholics in Kilkenny. He was said to have used the money awarded by the court for damages to pay his passage to Australia, instead of putting it into the common purse. He pioneered the movement in New South Wales." (Secret Sect by Doug & Helen Parker, p. 31)
NEW SOUTH WALES: John Hardie and Sandy Alexander were the pioneering workers to NSW: "Around 1904-05, John Hardie and another worker* went to Australia. They lived in a tent where they used one half of the tent for their living quarters and the other half for meetings. One day a big storm came and totally ripped their tent to shreds. They then spread newspapers on the ground and slept on them. One day the elder worker (John Hardie) woke to find his companion gone with all their money. He never knew where his companion went." (From: The First Two Workers To Go To Australia Account)
*Sandy Alexander was the other worker, according to George Beattie (Secret
Sect p. 37, Note 28). Sandy is listed on the 1905 Workers List. John Hardie
became the Overseer of New South Wales, and later in the 1950's after Bill Carroll
died, of all Australasia. He died April 26, 1961.
According to Doug Parker, John Hardie's trip to Australia was financed by money acquired in a court settlement for arson in the burning of his wooden hall used for meetings. "Similar hostility and opposition in other districts motivated preachers to travel overseas, one being John Hardie, whose wooden mission hall was burned down by Roman Catholics in Kilkenny. He was said to have used the money awarded by the court for damages to pay his passage to Australia, instead of putting it into the common purse. He pioneered the movement in New South Wales." (Secret Sect by Doug & Helen Parker, p. 31)
William Irvine wrote: “In September 1905, I sailed for South Africa with seventeen brothers and sisters, half for Australia and New Zealand" (Letter to Dunbars, October 13, 1920.) Eight of the eighteen workers disembarked from the ship in South Africa--four brothers and four sisters. (Wm. Irvine was not one of them), and the rest continued on to various ports in Australia. The remaining female "missionaries" aboard were: Miss Falkiner age 33, F. Hodgins age 26, M. McDougal age 31, Annie Smith age 28, Miss F. Carroll age 24; the male "missionaries" aboard were Wm. Irvine (age 42), J. Fraser age 27, J. Hodgins age 29, J. Williamson age 32, and A. Hutchison (age 28)
WESTERN AUSTRALIA: "In 1906, on the 4th January, James McCreigh, Laura Faulkner, Thomas Turner and Aggie Hughes arrived in Western Australia on the ship Oroya...In 1907 he (Sam Jones) was moved to come to Australia and on 27th December, 1907, he and a younger companion, Bob Bashford, departed from London and sailed to Australia on the "Orontes". They arrived in Melbourne in February 1908, in time to attend in March the FIRST convention held on Australian soil at Northcote, a suburb of Melbourne (Victoria). On 8th April, 1908, Sam Jones and Bob Bashford, together with Tom Turner and Syd Maynard, sailed from Melbourne for Western Australia. It was pioneering days for the gospel there and a very difficult time for them all." (The Bethel Mission). Sid Maynard was the first person to profess in Western Australia. "Bob Bashford decided he could not continue in the work, and left, hoping to get back to Ireland. (John Hardie - Concerning his Arrival in Australia and New Zealand, Feb 20, 1982).
VICTORIA: "... Archie (Murray) who was one of
the first New Zealanders to go into the work in 1907 and who accompanied Adam
(Hutchison), Willie Hughes and Charlie Dubman from New Zealand to Victoria in
March that year where these four were the pioneers to that state.
John Hardie and Sandy Alexander tried it for a short time in 1904, but with no response." (Source: The
It would seem that Adam Hutchinson was responsible both there and in South Australia until the McClungs came. Wilson McClung was overseer in Victoria from 1909 to 1913, at which point he and Mrs. McClung went to New Zealand, where he was overseer until his death. In 1913, Bill Carroll and his wife, Maggie went to Victoria, Australia, possibly with some other workers, where Bill became the Overseer. (So Victoria had two married overseers in succession.) "The Northcote Convention took place in Victoria in 1908, being the FIRST EVER in Australia. Twenty six workers representing four Australian states and some from New Zealand attended." (Source: John Hardie - Concerning his Arrival in Australia and New Zealand - Revised 2/20/82)
SOUTH AUSTRALIA and TASMANIA: "Annie Smith and Fanny Carroll came from New Zealand and went with the FIRST workers over TO TASMANIA. Adam Hutchinson and Jim McCreigh went to South Australia, being pioneers in that state." (John Hardie - Concerning his Arrival in Australia and New Zealand - Revised 2/20/82)
QUEENSLAND: John Sullivan and Jack Little arrived in Brisbane from the UK on January 19, 1906. They had no converts that year. "Polly Hodgins and Lizzie Sargeant arrived in Brisbane on the 2nd January 1907 per ship ORTONA, having sailed from the Port of London on the 16th November 1906. They were responsible for Queensland's first converts who professed some time in 1907...It is recorded that John Hardie visited Queensland late in 1907 and baptised Queensland's first fruits in the Gospel in the creek at Enoggera, near Hornibrooks...John Sullivan returned to Queensland from (1908) Northcote Convention, bringing with him, Charlie Morgan from New Zealand as his companion. Lizzie Sargeant and Polly Hodgins also came back from Northcote, bringing with them Ethel Harrison and Flora Finch from Sydney." (John Hardie - Concerning his Arrival in Australia and New Zealand, Feb 20, 1982)
In 1905, 74 workers entered the work; 43 brothers and 31 sisters.
In 1905, sixty more workers left for countries abroad. Fannie
Carroll said at Santee Convention in California in 1964: "Then
in 1905 many workers, over sixty of them, left for overseas. I would like
to see over sixty leaving California and even going overseas for the Gospel’s
sake because of what it has meant in this country, in Canada, South Africa,
Australia, New Zealand and other places."
Eldon Tenniswood said at the 1977 Family Counseling Meeting held at Santee, California:
"In 1905, 52 young men and women saw the need of a perishing world and sailed from Great Britain to carry the gospel to South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the USA. God laid it upon their hearts to give their lives for the Kingdom and to carry this message into the world. In 1903, the first workers came to America. A few more came in 1904. They gave their lives. The brethren in England, Ireland and Scotland knew they had to have their needs met, and the fares to go to their respective fields. Some of those people had real nice homes; they sold their nice fancy furniture, some of their heirlooms which had been handed down and were valuable, and gave this to the Kingdom for the work of God to progress. With their whole heart, they made an investment - both the workers and the friends. Now when I look into different countries and see God's people and this great fellowship, how it has prospered, I realize it is because of self-denial and sacrifice, on the part of God's servants and on the part of God's people.
"When in Italy, I mentioned how much we owe to our brethren in the Old Country for sending servants to us and about the sacrifices of God's people that helped the servants come with the Gospel. After the meeting, a sister worker about my age told me her parents were some who sold their heirlooms and furniture and got by with cheaper things in the home so they could help in the Kingdom. When she finished school and obtained a nice job, she told her mother, 'I would like to get some nice furniture for our home.' You would know how the daughter felt. The mother said, 'We used to have very nice furniture, but we sold it to help in the Kingdom, and now we don't care for that anymore, as we would like to continue helping in the gospel work.' Then she told the girl about selling their valuables to help those going abroad. Do you see what the influence did to help that girl go in the work? It is good to have a nice home and nice furniture, but could those have invested their lives and their possessions in any better way than they did in those Early Days, when God's servants came to us."
SOUTH AFRICA: In 1905, the FIRST eight workers went to pioneer the work in South Africa. Passenger List for S.S. Geelong departing from London on August 25, 1905 for Cape Town, South Africa shows the following eight "missionaries": Joseph Kerr (age 24), Wilson Reid (age 24), J. Cavanagh (John) (age 27), A. Pierce (Alex) (age 29), Mary Moodie (age 38), Barbara Baxter (age 24), L. Reid (Lilly) (age 26), and M. Skerritt (Martha)(age 22).
CANADA: In 1905, seventeen workers arrived (eleven brother workers and six sister workers) in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, with destinations given as U.S.A., Toronto and Sidney, Manitoba. They were Ed. Armstrong, James Boyd, Ralph Bullick, Hugh Doak, William Jackson, Robert Johnston, Thomas Lyness, Tom Patterson, Tom Purves, Noble Stinson, R.D. (Dick) Watchorn; and Martha Cooper, Dora Holland, Annie Irwin, Martha (Mattie) McGivern, Mabel Reid and Annie Skerritt.
NEW ZEALAND: Barely two months after John Hardie and Sandy Alexander arrived in Australia, "John left Melbourne, and went to Wellington in New Zealand, to visit an old friend, Tom Hastings and wife, who had gone out to New Zealand from Ireland in 1901. John arrived in Wellington on the 25th September 1904, according to Charlie Hastings, the son of Tom... After some months John returned to Melbourne and Sandy with him. During John Hardie's first stay in New Zealand, it appears he held some meetings in Wellington, staying with Tom Hastings and family." Tom Hastings was from Rathmolyon, Ireland, and was the brother of Margaret (Hastings) Carroll married to William (Bill) Carroll. According to an article titled "In Memory of Our Dear Friends Who Lived in Hutt Valley 1901-2006":
"Mr. Tom & Mrs. Emily Hastings...immigrated from Ireland, via Sydney, to N.Z. in 1901, to have an open home for when the workers arrived. Tom, a builder by trade, built a home in High St Petone. There they waited three years, when in 1904 John Hardie who knew the Hastings in Ireland, arrived there after being three months in Melbourne. He had a few meetings in Alicetown, Lower Hutt, before he returned to Australia…The Hastings lived in Petone until 1910 when they moved north to Taihape, then in 1914 to the Te Awamutu district and in 1936, purchased a farm in Otorohanga. They had two daughters, Lillian (d. 1970) married Carl Nordstrom, North Auckland and Winnie (d. 2006-age 99 yrs) married Tom Giltrap (d. 1982) of Wellington and remained on the farm, and one son Charlie (d. 1993) of Hamilton, married Kathrine Gunson Sth Auck (d. 1987). Tom and Winnie, a very knowledgeable lady, retired to Te Awamutu in 1976, cared for by their two daughters, Viva and Gladys. Others of the family are, Hilda (Green), Harold (both Otorohanga), and Wilfred (Karapiro)."
1905, SEPTEMBER: EIGHTEEN WORKERS ARRIVE IN AUSTRALIA. William Irvine wrote: “In September 1905, I sailed for South Africa with seventeen brothers and sisters, half for Australia and New Zealand" (Letter to Dunbars, October 13, 1920.) The 18 workers departing from London on August 25, 1905, aboard the S.S. Geelong. Eight workers disembarked Cape Town, South Africa--four brothers and four sisters. (Wm. Irvine was not one of them), and the rest continued on to various ports in Australia. The remaining female "missionaries" aboard were: Miss Falkiner (Laura)(age 33), F. Hodgins (Frances)(age 26), M. McDougal (Maggie)(age 31), Annie Smith (age 28), Miss F. Carroll (Fannie)(age 24); the male "missionaries" aboard were Wm. Irvine (age 42), J. Fraser (John)(age 27), J. Hodgins (Jim)(age 29), J. Williamson (Joe)(age 32), and A. Hutchison (Adam)(age 28). All of these went on to New Zealand in October, except for Laura Falkiner and it not included in any account where Wm. Irvine went.
At Santee, California Convention in 1964, Fannie Carroll said,
“…when I left for New Zealand in 1905…we crossed to England in four and a half hours (from Ireland). Then I met the other workers who were going with me. We arrived in London the next morning and got on the ship, and we sailed that afternoon. When I saw that big old gangplank being taken down something happened. I had kept up while I was in my home for the sake of my mother and sisters, but when the gangplank came down I went around the other side of the ship to be by myself. There were eight workers going to South Africa at this time. One of the older ones, Mary Moody, came around to comfort me. I wanted to be alone, but I appreciated her kindness to me. It was three weeks’ journey from London to Cape Town, and eight workers got off there.”
"The first two workers, who came to New Zealand, were: John Hardie and Sandy Alexander; then John Hardie went to Australia, where he remained. In 1905, eight (8) workers came to N.Z. from the homeland, (Great Britain). In 1906, the missions were worked. John Frazer and Jimmy Hodgins went to the Auckland Province and worked a mission at Pukekohe, about 40 professed. Among them were Teenie Walker, Alice Begbie, Percy Hartland and many others. Maggie McDougal and Frances Hodgins had quite a few to profess in Wellington, among them was Jim McCleod. Adam Hutchinson and Joe Williamson went to the Canterbury province the same year-1906 and worked a big mission at Oxford, a few miles out of Christchurch. Then Annie Smith and Fanny Carroll worked in the Otago province, started a mission at Berwick, 30 miles from Dunedin." (First Workers in New Zealand)
Tom, Warren and Margaret Hastings were two brothers and a sister who grew up in Rathmolyon, Ireland, and ventured far apart. Tom was born in 1872; Warren in 1873 and Margaret in 1875, and all were baptized in the Church of Ireland. In 1901, Margaret Hastings married Bill Carroll in the Church of Ireland, [View Wedding Photo] and they pioneered the work in Victoria, Australia. Tom Hastings and his family emigrated to New Zealand in either 1901 or 1904, where they had the FIRST OPEN HOME. Warren, age 26, was one of the young men who went on the famous 1899 Bicycle Trip to Scotland. However, he didnt go in the work permanently and he married Elizabeth Winter around 1900, had four children, remained in Ireland until he died in 1917, aged 44. He is buried in the Church of Ireland graveyard in Rathmolyon. The Author personally viewed his grave in August, 2004.
"Charlie Hastings father, Tom Hastings, had been one of the very early members. Charlie told me that one of the workers had approached his father to enquire about the early days. Apparently his father's reply was 'Leave it alone; dozens became discouraged and left the meetings, and as many workers as friends chucked it in. You don't want to record that sort of thing, leave it alone.'" (Ian Carlton of Hamilton NZ Letter to Mr. & Mrs. Don Lewis, December 6, 1993)
The FIRST convention in New Zealand was held in Harper Street, Sydenham, Christchurch. Seventy people were there. Jack Craig went out to preach from the first convention ever held in New Zealand, at Christchurch, where 70 people attended. "The next preacher who came along was H. McNeary (Harry)."
Wilson and Anne McClung, a married worker pair from Ireland who went in the work in 1903, and then went to Australia at the end of 1908, where they preached for awhile. Later they moved to New Zealand where he became the Overseer and remained so until his death. He died in Auckland, New Zealand in 1944; was survived by Anne, who died in 1945.
1904: SEPTEMBER & OCTOBER - FIRST CROCKNACRIEVE CONVENTION was held in Ballinamallard, County Fermanagh, Ireland (about 4 miles Northeast of Enniskillen, N. Ire.) and lasted around a month. Baptisms were held in the Ballinamallard River. At this time there were 150 workers: 50 in England, 30 in Scotland, 50 in Ireland and 20 in America. (Freeman's Journal, October 14, 1904)
The Ballinamallard Historical Society has posted an informative self Walking Tour of the Village: https://sites.google.com/site/ballinamallarddevelopmentassoc//historic-tour. Also theVillage History of Ballinamallard at :https://sites.google.com/site/ballinamallarddevelopmentassoc/home/village-history
Crocknacrieve ("the hill of the branched tree") along with 250 acres, was purchased from Sir Edward Archdale for £2000 in 1901 by John James and Sara (Duff) West, the year they were married. All the twelve West children were born at Crocknacrieve House. John West owned a sawmill located in Ballinamallard.
John James West was born in 1872. In 1921, John and Sara West moved to Rossahilly, a larger place not far away. They bought Rossahilly from the same man who sold them Crocknacrieve, Sir Edward M. Archdale. And the Wests sold Crocknacrieve to Simon Christopher and Penelope "Penny" (Barton) Loane, parents of the late Warren Loane. Penny (Barton) Loane, was an early worker, and one of the first workers to go to Switzerland. The Impartial Reporter stated in their July 9, 1914, issue regarding the Crocknacrieve convention, that "Two preachers, one of whom is Miss Barton, Pettigo, have lately returned from North Italy and Switzerland.”
John West's brother, William Henry West (born in 1870) owned Mullaghmeen situated nearby, the homeplace where John and William grew up. "The West family had originally come from Scotland to County Antrim in 1604, and afterward settled at Pubble, near Tempo. Later they moved to Mullaghmeen where...William and...John were born and spent their childhood...Harry West [son of Wm. West] grew up on the family farm at Mullaghmeen, about two miles from the village, where his father William had an extensive holding of several hundred acres." (From: Ballinamallard--A Place of Importance, Ballinamallard Historical Society, 2004).
The earliest building erected at Crocknacrieve is the five bay portion on the east side of the front, dating from circa 1740. The extensive building plan included the main block (three bays of two stories over a basement) and a courtyard comprising stables, loft, coach house, harness room, and two small dwelling houses. Under the coach house block, and on a different level to the yard, there was a range of outhouses including piggeries with vaulted ceilings. In 1817 another building was erected at Crocknacrieve House, and in the 1860’s the Archdales (aka Archdall) added a new wing raising the roof above the kitchens. Click Here to view photos. Click Here to view all previous owners of Crocknacrieve.
John Long wrote:
"John West, Crocknacrieve, Ballinamallard, near Enniskillen, gave his premises for a Convention that year. William Irvine had newly returned from the United States; and was in good form. The weather was very fine during the whole month; which suited the camps set up for the saints and workers to sleep in.
"Many of the workers were troubled with a skin disease. Irvine got them separated and treated according to the need of the case and delt (sic) very mercifully with them. Cleanliness was one of the subjects delt (sic) with and emphasized. A great effort was made at every conference to put up both workers and friends free of charge; and all who had learned trades such as bakers, and butchers; their services were utilized on the occasion. Full sanitary arrangements were made beforehand; there were no appeals for money; and no public collections; the strength and fruits of the teaching produced the necessary money, which was given freely to defray the expenses, which amounted to nearly fifteen hundred pounds; including the passages of those who went foreign.
"Perhaps no movement of modern days gave so much preeminence to reading the Bible; and circulating them; and every worker was prone to spend much time in private prayer. Flirting or courting was not allowed; and the flesh or selfish life strongly condemned. Marriage was not forbidden; yet the unmarried life was commended as the freest for workers. The necessity of keeping prophet's chambers and entertaining strangers was strongly set forth. At the close of the conference, every worker threw his or her money into one common purse; then it was equally divided on departing to the varied districts and fields of labour.
At that convention Irvine warned the workers of speaking against men of God, such as J. G. Govan; it would have been much better and wiser for the testimony if that advice had been attended to, but Satan has ever used this tactic to drive men into extremes and by so doing spoil their testimony; and God can and does set aside one movement, and raises up another. No two Revivals are the same, but it’s the same Word of God, and the same Holy Spirit, and the same precious Blood, applied by faith to the soul that gives men and women the experience of peace and that produces the revivals of His word and work; this revival chapter may vary in details from the former.
"Edward Cooney, who was in great form, tested the meetings every night; when the unsaved came in; and a gospel effort was made to win them. Those efforts were very fruitful, for upwards of one hundred-some decided for Christ; and about the same number were baptized by immersion in a river nearby. In all the meetings where doctrines were discoursed, I took a prominent part; and Irvine often appealed to me for my opinion on various points. It was very remarkable that Irvine was very free from boasting or talking about his own works experiences or testimony; he took a humble attitude, and was not easy pleased or puffed up with success." (John Long's Journal, Sept. 1904)
Two tents were placed on the lawn of the farm--one used for dining, and the
other for meetings. Separate sleeping accommodations were provided for
men and women, as well as a cookhouse. Baptisms were frequently held in
ponds by total immersion. "The dress of the females being simple---their
hair being brushed straight up from their foreheads, whilst the back hair was
simply tied in a knot." Men and women were separated on different
sides of the tent. Apparently, communion wasn't served at this convention
(Impartial Reporter, October
27, 1904). The preachers spoke against paid clergymen, church buildings
and collection plates. Doug Parker stated: “Conventions
at Enniskillen were used both to recruit and to further indoctrinate converts
and from there between seventy and one hundred preachers were sent forth annually
after 1903.” (Secret Sect by Doug Parker, p 24)
At a Denver, Colorado Convention: "Hugh Breen gave his testimony - and it was truly an inspiration to all. He is from Ireland and a lot of Workers came out of Ireland. He said one reason was that they prayed themselves into the ministry. He remembers at a convention, you could walk out into the field and see people kneeling all over--hardly any place left--and one man walking down a path praying while he walked! Hugh was the oldest son in the family, and the father was dead, and the mother depended upon Hugh--but Hugh had decided to go into the ministry. The day he had to leave, his mother cried and said she would have to sell the farm if he left, and he went in and lay on his bed and wept. He is over 80 years old now! He heard Truth in 1902." (From “Some of the Thoughts from the Denver Convention”--no date)
From the Impartial Reporter: "One purpose of the convention was to
educate the 'young workers,' many of whom may be diamonds, but they are diamonds
in the rough state. They are full of zeal, they lead good lives, they exhort
others to be reconciled to God...They have many good points, but for all that
they are rough diamonds, and for the most part, uneducated, and of the servant
or small farmer or artizan class, who have to earn their bread by the sweat
of their brow. Therefore, daily toil is more in their line than education."
(October 13, 1904 Impartial
Appendix E: Background of Wests and Crocknacrieve Trail of Ownership
1904 – NOVEMBER - John Long wrote "…next day I walked six miles looking for work. I found none but a woman gave me one shilling which did one another day and night. On hearing that some Go Preachers were leaving Liverpool to go to America, I walked into the city and saw them off; one of them gave me ten shillings, and the present of a bicycle; another gave me half a crown; and looking thin in appearance, a sister gave me a bottle of Bovil(//). (John Long's Journal, Nov. 1904)
1904: IRVINE WEIR went alone to California from New York in 1904. He had no companion and stayed with a newly married couple, Clyde and Grace Brownlee, who were thinking of becoming missionaries in China. Clyde was the father of Harry Brownlee who later went in the work in 1934. For awhile, Clyde helped him in preaching. "Irvine Weir was the first worker to come to California in 1904. He met Mr. and Mrs. Brownlee in December, 1904 in Long Beach. Mr. Brownlee tried to help Irvine with the gospel work for awhile, but as the family increased, he was advised to establish a home and support his family." (The Early Days in California, 1904 by Mrs. Alex McPhail)
In Ireland and Scotland, the workers were often given names and addresses of family members to contact of converts who had moved to America. It is interesting that a C. Brownlee of 71 Baranton St., Stirling, wrote the Editor of the Impartial Reporter, defending Wm. Irvine and Edward Cooney and their work. This letter was reprinted in their November 3, 1904 issue on page 8. The Brownlees in California who Irvine Weir visited in December, 1904 may have been relatives of C. Brownlee.
Irvine Weir then persuaded a man named Walter Slater, who had listened to his preaching, into accompanying him on some missions. Willie Jamieson joined them in 1905. "There was a tent put up in Paso Robles in the fall of 1905. Willie landed in California, August 22, 1905, and Irvine Weir, being impatient to get started with a tent he had gotten, invited Walter Slater to join him...so when Walter was asked, rather suddenly by Irvine Weir to join him in this tent ministry, he was too impressed with all this to refuse. So he was with Irvine and a Mr. Matthew, a false prophet, having tent meetings in the San Luis Obispo, and the Morro Bay area. Willie tracked him down." (When the Gospel Came to the Weibe Family By Elma Wiebe Milton)
1905: FIRST BROTHER WORKER to go in the work in America: Walter Slater entered the work in California in 1905 and he may have been the first brother worker to go in the work in America. He was definitely the first American to enter the work on the west coast, but some may have started in the work in the East before that. "Walter always said he got saved after he went in the work." (When the Gospel Came to the Weibe Family By Elma Wiebe Milton)
1905: WILLIE, ELIZABETH and VIOLET JAMIESON PROFESS & GO IN THE WORK. William Rankin Jamieson was born in Scotland and made his choice January 2, 1905, in his first meeting. He was 24 years old. Later that month, he entered the ministry. Sydney Holt wrote:
"On Saturday Robert took me about 15 minutes ride to just outside the town of Duns where we saw the home where Uncle Willie Jamieson was raised and the hills where his dad shepherded sheep. Drove down the road Uncle Willie walked down after he said good-by to his parents who weren't in agreement with his going forth to preach. Also saw the spot where he sat down and looked back wondering if he were making the right choice! Then the train depot (not in use now) in Duns where he caught the train...We then drove to Chirnside where Uncle Willie worked for a butcher in his shop. Saw the very hall in Reston where Uncle Willie first heard the truth at a, special meeting! In Chirnside we saw the farm where the first convention was held (1911) in this part of Scotland. Across the road is a very old church (still in use) with a large cemetery with grave markers dated in the 1600 and 1700's. Five workers are buried here (saw John Martin, Jean Gibson and Sarah Skerrit's graves)." ( Sydney Holt's May 1, 1985 Letter to Fellowlaborers and Friends)
Elizabeth Jamieson, sister of Willie said: "After Willie heard and accepted the Gospel (in his first meeting), he asked the worker who held that meeting, if there would ever be an opportunity for him to go into this ministry? This worker asked him, 'How soon could you be ready?' 'In two weeks,' replied Willie. It was a little longer than this before he went, but during this time of waiting, he came to Edinburgh, where my older sister, Violet, and I (Elizabeth) were working. He told us about the Truth he had found every day for a whole week. One morning, by my bedside, I yielded my heart to God, and at the same time, offered my life for God's great Harvest Field. My sister, Violet, went out then in the Work in July or August, 1905, and I followed on the 27th of October. I was nineteen, my sister older...It hurt Father and Mother to have Willie go, and then Violet, but it nearly broke their hearts when I left. Tears were streaming down their faces, and mine. They were Presbyterians. Father an Elder for as long as I could remember...I got a letter just then from Willie, offering me a place in the Work in California...So I came then, to California, at the age of twenty. I had been in the Work less than a year. Florence Langworthy (age twenty-two) became my companion." (From: Auntie Elizabeth's Reminiscences - 1969 - Hayward, CA).
The Ellis Island records shows that a William Jamieson, Male, Scotch, Single, 25 years old, Residence Chirnside, arrived in New York on August 14, 1905 aboard the Ship Numidian. Click Here to View: Ellis Island Passenger Record for Willie Jamieson. In the fall of 1905, Willie went straight to California from New York. Willie Jamieson arrived in California, August 22, 1905. He joined Irvine Weir, who had arrived there in 1904. Their first mission was in San Luis Obispo. "Willie Jamieson went straight to California from New York. Irvin Weir was in California and Walter Slater was with him. The Waites professed in the third meeting they were in at that time...Their home was the FIRST in California that was opened and which continued so. Through the efforts of the Waites, the Workers went to Paso Robles and set up a tent in November where Willie J. joined them." (Early Days in California, 1904-1910 by Mrs. Alex McPhail)
Willie, along with some other brother workers (Herman Beaber, Ernest Stanley, Cecil Barrett and Leo Stancliff) were all imprisoned at Santo Tomas, Philippines by the Japanese on January 6, 1942. Willie wrote an account of this time. They were finally liberated on February 23, 1945. Willie passed away October 11, 1974 and he is buried in Pacific Crest Cemetery, Redondo Beach, California.
1906, SEPTEMBER: Elizabeth Jamieson went into the work October 27, 1905 and at the invitation of her brother, Willie Jamieson, came to California in September 1906. He had a companion waiting for her, Florence Langworthy, one of Irvine Weir's converts.
"Later, after some experience in this work in Scotland, I became ill. I had then, two offers: one from my favorite brother, to come and housekeep for him. Ordinarily, I would have liked nothing better, but I got a letter just then from Willie, offering me a place in the Work in California. He and Walter Slater were at Pismo Beach, 'a grand training ground for preachers,' he wrote. Later in the letter, he said, 'we're living on bread and water.' I had to answer my brother's offer, then, and turn it down. He is now in Sydney, Australia. He has never professed... So I came then, to California, at the age of twenty. I had been in the Work less than a year. Florence Langworthy (age twenty-two) became my companion. We came to Paso Robles, and worked in that area." (From: Auntie Elizabeth's Reminiscences...Elizabeth Jamieson, 1969, Hayward, California)
1906-07: ALL PUBLIC WORSHIP IS AN ABOMINATION TO GOD. "The late Percy Smiley invited me to a meeting in the home of some people by the name of Sweet if my memory is reliable at Gesto, Ontario in the year 1906 or 07. And there I saw the church or meeting house put up by a grateful community after a spiritual ‘moving of the waters’ under the ministry of James Jardine and Willie Edwards, depending again on my memory. When Wm. Irvine heard about it he made that strange pronouncement: ‘All public worship is an abomination to God.’ No more churches were built. Then he began to see parallels between the Old Testament Passover, and what is called ‘The sacrament of the Lord’s Supper’." (Alfred Magowan's Letter to John Carroll April 6, 1954*)
1906: APRIL - SAN FRANCISCO EARTHQUAKE: William Irvine arrived in North America by way of Australia and New Zealand, his first trip to the Pacific Coast, having been away from home since September, 1905: "In September 1905, I sailed for South Africa with 17 brothers and sisters, half for Australia and New Zealand; landing in Frisco on April 4, 1906 in time for the Frisco earthquake." (Letter to Dunbars, October 13, 1920).
“On 20th April, 1906, I was in San Francisco when earthquake and fire destroyed the city - 10 square miles of it in 2 days. God’s mercy was shown in it happening at 5:10 A.M. when few were on the streets.” Irvine told about his earthquake experience at the 1907 Crocknacrieve convention:
"One evening, when speaking of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Mr. Irwin referred to the terrible earthquake which wrecked San Francisco. He had arrived, he said, in San Francisco one beautiful night at 10 o'clock, and having finished certain correspondence, retired to rest, when about 3 a.m. next morning he was suddenly awakened and found himself thrown out of bed. He hastily dressed and went out, and saw more than perhaps any one else there did. Why he saw more than any one else was because he had no person to be uneasy about--no property, no money and no interest to lose. It was a sight he could never forget. More real and vivid still had God portrayed to him the terrible doom of Sodom and Gomorrah." (Impartial Reporter, August 1, 1907)
1906 - FIRST CONVENTION IN AMERICA: After the earthquake, William Irvine began his “first trip down California Coast…Then took my way to Paso Robles," where he was a visitor at the FIRST Convention ever held in the United States located at Paso Robles California in April, 1906 on the ranch of James and Ina Hill (Letter to Dunbars, October 13, 1920).
Three weeks after the Frisco earthquake, Irvine was in Los Angeles “where some Irish workers were and had some meetings.” (Letter to Skerritts, Dec. 5, 1944). It's highly possibly that the "Irish workers" were some of Irvine's workers. Irvine Weir and Willie Jamieson and possibly Jack Carroll and Elisabeth Jamieson were already in California at that time.
1906 - FIRST CONVENTION in CANADA held in Toronto. Workers List shows 63 workers; 38 men and 25 women, including one married couple, Matt and Letitia Wilson.
1907 - Pittsburgh and Chicago USA Conventions were held. Workers List shows a total of 80 workers; 49 men and 31 women, including one married couple, Matt & Letitia Wilson.
1907 CROCKNACRIEVE CONVENTION: "The proportion of preachers to 'laymen' was about 10 to 1....whatever else may be said about it, our religion was a religion of preachers--an heroic religion making such an appeal to youth that hundreds of young men were prepared to do violence to desire and ambition that they might be counted among those who were send on holy missions before them." (Alfred Magowan Letter to George Beattie, Sept 28, 1594)
1907 SEPTEMBER 14: Ten (10) Workers departed from Liverpool, England and arrived in New York on the Ship Lusitania. They were Andrew Ramsey, age 20; Thomas George, age 26; John Mangham, age 21, English; James Alexander Rennie, age 22, Irish; Samuel Boyd, age 34, Scotch; C. G. Wilson, age 39; Minnie Pearson, age 22, Irish; Robina Smith, age 23, Scotch; Emma Wilson, age 24, Irish; and Sara Rogers returning to America, age 35, Irish. This is the Lusitania's maiden voyage: Liverpool-New York, September 7, 1907. Note: Recaptured the trans-Atlantic speed record for the British. She and her sister ship Mauretania retained the "Blue Ribbon" for a number of years. Torpedoed and sunk by German submarine near Old Head of Kinsale, May 7, 1915, with the loss of 1,198 lives, as she went down in 18 minutes after being hit, while on voyage from New York to England.
1906 BEGINNING of the PENTECOSTAL MOVEMENT: “When I got to Los Angeles, the Holy and righteous people were mad with excitement, all saying the Spirit had shown them God was going to destroy Frisco because they were sinners. This was the beginning of the Pentecostal Movement when people could say anything in name of the Spirit.” (Letter to Lauchlins, April 24, 1945)
There…I met the leader of a tent full of people of all sorts, in a large tent listening to all sorts of noise in the name of speaking and acting in the Spirit…” After hearing what I had to say, he asked me to come and give them the Truth as in Jesus, to guide them in their great and varied noise.” ( Letter to Skerritts, Dec. 5, 1944)
Irvine preached for two weeks meetings in a tent “where they were strong on all the healing and Pentecostal holiness of that time, out of which the Pentecostal Movement began just as I left.” (October 13, 1920 Letter to Dunbars). I tried for 2 weeks to show them Jesus and Apostles were the guides to what the Spirit would say or do...with Aimee McPherson becoming the Jezebel or Queen of the Movement. (Letter to Laughlins, April 24, 1945) . "My witness in L.A. in 1906 produced the Pentecostal movement, which was revellion against Jesus as the pattern and guide for all the Spirit would work in man." (July 21, 1954 Letter to B. M. Young, Salida, CO*)
… I gave them all the help I could, but only to find rebellion for two weeks, till the majority went down to the colored people in Azusa Street, where they were all claiming to have known that Frisco would be destroyed. They all got more foolish and extravagant, owing to the whites coming to them…and out of that came the Pentecostal Movement, which has been wide spread…” (Letter to Edwards, Sept. 3, 1930) and (Letters to Bob Skerritt, June 18, 1945 and Dec. 5, 1944).
Wm. Irvine took credit for “producing” the Pentecostal Movement, and his Omega followers today proudly point out the part Irvine had in this movement. “It was the rejecting of my witness to Jesus in Los Angeles in 1906, that produced the Pentecostal Testimony; a wide door and a broad way for all who disregard Jesus as the Way, Truth, and Life, by which men can know the Father and become sons and heirs…Then in Kilsyth, my home town Pentecost took root in 1908, in the Church of God; which was formed out of the work I did when at home for 2 years. Then, it spread to Ireland through some of these friends who knew Testimony people in Ireland.” (Letter to Grims, October 10, 1934)
John Long wrote September, 1919: Having heard that my former friend William Irvine; who caused some to leave the Go Preacher fellowship, had to leave himself about 1915: and going to America he remained in the United States till the war was over; and during that time while among the Pentecostal people in Los Angeles, had got their experience of the gift of tongues and interpretation of tongues: I purposed to cross to Scotland and see him on his return to his own folk in Kilsyth. Although we did differ in valid points in July 1905; and still differ on some minor points, yet I was pleased to see him: and he was kindly disposed to me, he holds much truth that’s Scriptural and true and profitable yet there was a measure I could not accept.
In other words, John Long went to visit Irvine because John had heard Irvine was speaking and interpreting tongues, which gift John Long also had acquired since they parted ways in 1907. However, John Long doesn't confirm that what he heard was actually the case with Wm. Irvine.
History shows that a prominent Pentecostal Movement began in 1906 at 312 Azusa Street in Los Angeles, California, known as the Apostolic Faith Mission. Daily meetings were held there for three years, beginning in mid-April, 1906. The Azusa Street mission published a newspaper, The Apostolic Faith, which helped spread the Pentecostal revival. An internet keyword search for the word “ Azusa” will confirm the facts in Irvine’s letters, regarding to the beginning of the Pentecostal Movement.
The April 18, 1906 Los Angeles Daily Times carried an article titled: "WEIRD BABEL OF TONGUES." Following is a quote from an article on the internet, titled: William J. Seymour and the Azusa Street Revival by Gary B. McGee Ph.D:
“To read the newspapers in 1906, one might have wondered about all the excitement in an old building on Azusa Street in the industrial part of the city. According to the Los Angeles Times, a bizarre new religious sect had started with people 'breathing strange utterances and mouthing a creed which it would seem no sane mortal could understand.' Furthermore, 'Devotees of the weird doctrine practice the most fanatical rites, preach the wildest theories, and work themselves into a state of mad excitement.'
“If that didn’t grab the reader’s attention, the article continued by saying that, 'Colored people and a sprinkling of whites compose the congregation, and night is made hideous in the neighborhood by the howlings of the worshippers who spend hours swaying forth and back in a nerve-racking attitude of prayer and supplication.' To top it all off, they claimed to have received the 'gift of tongues,' and what’s more, 'comprehend the babel.'
“Little could the subscribers of the Times have guessed that in years to come, historians would say that the Azusa Street revival played a major role in the development of modern Pentecostalism—a Movement that changed the religious landscape and became the most vibrant force for world evangelization in the 20th century. Azusa Street became the most significant revival of the century in terms of global perspective.”
Read the rest of this article titled: William J. Seymour and the Azusa Street Revival By Gary B. McGee Ph.D., is professor of church history at the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, Springfield, Missouri at:
Read additional articles by the Los Angeles Times
AIMEE SEMPLE MCPHERSON: In several of William Irvine’s letters, he expresses hostile, resentful feelings about a woman called Aimee Semple McPherson, known as “Sister Aimee.” He sometimes referred to her as “Queen Jezebel.” Little wonder that her actions irritated him immensely. While Irvine was having difficulty getting people to accept his new Omega Gospel “revelation,” Sister Aimee was enjoying phenomenal success in her revival meetings held at the same time. In the 1920s and 30s, she was probably the most famous woman in America.
“The early 20th century evangelist, Aimee Semple McPherson, was a pioneer of women in religion. Having experienced a profound religious conversion at age 17, Aimee began preaching across the United States and later, the world. In 1918, she established her base in Los Angeles, California, where in 1923, the 5,300 seat Angelus Temple was dedicated and became the center of her revival, healing and benevolent ministries. She was the first woman to own and operate a Christian radio station. Her sermons were the first to incorporate the contemporary communications of that day into her preaching of the Gospel. From Angelus Temple she performed an extensive social ministry, providing hot meals for more than 1.5 million people during the Great Depression. She summarized her message into four major points known as "The Foursquare Gospel," and founded a denomination called The Foursquare Church.”
In 1915, at age 25, Sister Aimee took on an itinerant life of preaching and holding revival meetings. She became incredibly successful and was noted for her healing sessions. She was the first woman in history to preach a sermon over the radio. She was no stranger to innovation. She and her mother are thought to be the first two women to successfully travel alone across the continental United States in their automobile. Sister Aimee introduced jazz music into the church. She popularized the use of sermons illustrated and dramatized through stage plays. And she turned the religious establishment of her day upside down. The Foursquare Church article on the internet titled “Our Founder” openly broadcasts details about their beginnings with Aimee Semple McPherson:
She began evangelizing and holding tent revivals, first by traveling up and down the eastern part of the United States, then expanding to other parts of the country. She eventually held meetings in all parts of the world. People began coming in ever-increasing numbers to hear this remarkable lady evangelist. When not in a tent, she would need to find the largest auditorium in town in order to hold the record number of people that would come to her meetings. Often times she would have to share the time with whatever "event" was happening in the town. Like, on one occasion she met in a boxing ring, but had to hold her meetings before and after the boxing match. Once in San Diego, the National Guard had to be brought in to control the crowd of over 30,000 people. People would often stand in line and wait many hours for the next service to begin in order to be assured a seat.
With Aimee, all were called and all were welcomed. God was no respecter of persons and neither was Aimee. She evangelized when segregation was rampant in the South. Although she invited all to come to her meetings, often times she would go to the "black" parts of town and hold meetings after the main meeting was over. She broke down racial barriers such that one time at Angelus Temple, some Klu Klux Klan members were in attendance, but after the service, many of their hoods and robes were found thrown on the ground in nearby Echo Park. She is also credited with helping many of the Hispanic ministries in Los Angeles get started, and there was even a great Gypsy following, after the wife of a Gypsy chief and the chief himself had been healed in a Denver revival meeting. With Aimee Semple McPherson there was no color, ethnic, or status separation line.
While holding a revival meeting in San Francisco in April 1922, Aimee became the first woman to preach a sermon over the radio. Being intrigued with the possibilities of this medium, Aimee purchased a radio station herself, thus making her the first woman to possess a radio license and operate a station. Through the wonder of radio, Aimee's voice became the most recognizable voice around the world. Since there were not many stations in Los Angeles at its inception, one could walk down the street, especially on a Sunday morning, hear the entire message from one open window to another, get to the destination, and not miss a single word of the sermon.
Weary of constant traveling and having no place to raise a family, Aimee rejoiced when in 1918, God called her to Los Angeles. This was to be her base of operation. God told her He would build her a house in Los Angeles and He did--one for her family and one for His people. For several years she continued to travel and raise money for the building of Angelus Temple and on January 1, 1923, Angelus Temple was dedicated. The church held 5,300 people and was filled to capacity three times each day, seven days a week. In the beginning, Aimee preached every service. It became the spiritual home for thousands of her followers and a base for her evangelistic ministry. What grew out of a desire to have a base of operation to preach the Gospel, quickly evolved into a church organization--supporting and sending out missionaries, providing commissary and community services that were more reliable than the city's own relief programs, as well as a full program of church ministries.http://www.foursquare.org/landing_pages/8,3.html
Wm. Irvine wrote: Aimee Semple McPherson began their big show when I left California to come here (Palestine) to read Revelation, and she was but the Queen of Delusionists, whom God was revealing in fooling the world (Letter to Gordons, June 21, 1945). This was the very foundation of what is now known as the Pentecostal people, who have spread over the world…of which Aimeebecame the Queen-Jezebel…Aimee…in her Four Square Gospel… She was Queen of all of them… (Letter to Skerritt, Dec. 5, 1944)
Wm. Irvine was annoyed when Sister Aimee visited Jerusalem in 1930, where he was living. He wrote: Aimee McPherson came to Jerusalem in April fooling around…They rejected and rebelled against Jesus in His simplicity and so formed the Pentecostal Movement and spread it over the earth. And since my coming here, Aimee has organized it as The Four-Square Gospel and The Temple as headquarters. (Letter to Edwards, September 3, 1930)
Aimee Semple McPherson died September 26, 1944, age 53 years, in Oakland, California, evidently from an accidental overdose of sleeping pills. Leadership of her church passed to her son, Rolf McPherson. Irvine wrote of her sudden death: The death in California of the Queen of Women preachers as in Rev. 2, Jezebel -- Aimee Semple McPherson…" (Letter to Pages, December 22, 1944)
From its beginning at Angelus Temple, The Foursquare Church has now grown to include more than 50,000 churches worldwide (2008). There are currently more than 5 million members in 147 countries around the globe. It presently ranks as one of the three or four most distinguished branches of Pentecostalism. http://www.foursquare.org/landing_pages/8,3.html
On the other hand, worldwide, there are estimated to be less than 100 followers of Wm. Irvine’s Omega Message.
1906-07: WILSON ACCUSES WORKERS OF WHITE SLAVE TRAFFICING: In 1906, a very angry enemy began an attack against the "Tramp Preachers." His name was William Dennis Wilson of the Rookery Farm in Cretingham, Framlingham, East Suffolk, England. Mr. Wilson was a prosperous farmer in very good standing in England. He was extremely upset that three of his seven children had "disappeared" (went in the work.) This will be discussed in a later chapter.
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