Workers, Friends, Home Church, The Truth, The Way, Meetings, Gospel, Cooneyites, Christian Conventions, Hymns Old & New
Preserving the Truth
The Church without a Name and its Founder, William Irvine

Introduction Index of Chapters
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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O Bio Truth?

Chapter 19
Revised February 22, 2018

1904 – 1906

1904: FIRST Crocknacrieve Convention
1905-06 The Jamiesons Enter the Work
1906 or 07: First Church or Meeting House at Gesto, Ontario
1906: San Francisco Earthquake
1906: Beginning of Pentecostal Movement - Azusa Street

Appendix B: Background of Wests and Crocknacrieve

1904: SEPTEMBER & OCTOBER – FIRST CROCKNACRIEVE CONVENTION was held in Ballinamallard, Co. Fermanagh, Ireland (about four miles Northeast of Enniskillen, N. Ireland) on the property of John J. and Sara West.  The Convention lasted about a month.  Baptisms were held in the nearby Ballinamallard River. At that time, there were 150 workers: 50 in England, 30 in Scotland, 50 in Ireland and 20 in America (Freeman's Journal, Oct. 14, 1904). Sara West wrote:

"William Irvine and Edward Cooney asked my husband [John West] and I if we would be willing to have convention in our home. We were willing and conventions were held there (Crocknacrieve) until 1920 when we sold it and came to live at Rossahilly, Ballinamallard.  After that conventions were held at Mullaghmeen" (Statement by Mrs. Sara West, married to John West, owners of Crocknacrieve Convention Grounds, Aug. 31, 1954).

Crocknacrieve ("the hill of the branched tree") along with 250 acres, was purchased from Sir Edward Archdale for 2000 pounds in 1901 by John James and Sara (Duff) West, the year they were married. All twelve West children were born at Crocknacrieve House. John West owned a sawmill located in Ballinamallard. The Ballinamallard Historical Society has posted on their website an informative self Walking Tour of the Village; also the Village History of Ballinamallard. John Long wrote: 

"John West, Crocknacrieve, Ballinamallard, near Enniskillen, gave his premises for a Convention that year. Wm 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...

"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" (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 (IR, Oct. 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 Parker, p. 24).

In 1921, John and Sara West moved from Crocknacrieve to Rossahilly, a larger place not far away. They bought Rossahilly from Sir Edward M. Archdale, the same man who sold them Crocknacrieve. The Wests sold Crocknacrieve to Simon Christopher and Penelope "Penny" (Barton) Loane, parents of the late Warren Loane who inherited the property. Penny was an Early Worker, along with her sister, Susan Barton, and was one of the first Workers to go to Switzerland. Regarding the Crocknacrieve Convention, the Impartial Reporter stated: "Two preachers, one of whom is Miss Barton, Pettigo, have lately returned from North Italy and Switzerland" (IR, July 9, 1914).

The Convention was moved to Mullaghmeen after John West sold Crocknacrieve in 1921. John West's brother, William Henry West, born in 1870, owned Mullaghmeen situated nearby, which was their home place. "The West family had originally come from Scotland to Co. 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 Wm had an extensive holding of several hundred acres" (Ballinamallard–-A Place of Importance, Ballinamallard Historical Society, 2004).   See Appendix B: Background of Wests and Crocknacrieve Trail of Ownership

Three years later in 1907, Alfred Magowan said about the Crocknacrieve Convention that year:  "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, 1954*)

1904, NOVEMBER. John Long wrote "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 Bovril" (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 the late Harry Brownlee, who went in the work in 1934. Clyde helped in missions for a time. "Irvine Weir was the first worker to come to California in 1904. He met Mr. and Mrs. Brownlee in Dec. 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).

It is interesting that a C. Brownlee from Stirling, wrote the Editor of the Impartial Reporter in Ireland, defending Wm. Irvine and Edward Cooney and their work (IR, Nov. 3, 1904, p. 8). The writer of the letter, C. Brownlee, may have been a relative to the Brownlees in California who Irvine Weir visited in Dec. 1904.

1905: FIRST BROTHER to go in the work in the U.S. In 1905, Irvine Weir persuaded Walter Slater, who had listened to him preach, to accompany him on some missions. In so doing, Walter became the first native American brother Worker on the west coast and was possibly the first native Brother Worker in all of America.

"There was a tent put up in Paso Robles in the fall of 1905...and Irvine Weir, being impatient to get started with a tent he had gotten, invited Walter Slater to join 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...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, ELISABETH and VIOLET JAMIESON PROFESS & ENTER THE WORK. William Rankin Jamieson was born in Scotland and made his choice in his first meeting on Jan. 2, 1905, when 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)" (letter to Fellow laborers and Friends, May 1, 1985).

Elisabeth 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 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..." (Elisabeth Jamieson's Reminiscences, Hayward, CA, 1969). 

Ellis Island records show that William Jamieson, male, Scotch, single, 25 years old, residence Chirnside, arrived in New York on August 14, 1905, aboard the SS Numidian. Willie went straight to California from New York, arrived there on Aug. 22, 1905, and joined Irvine Weir who had arrived there the year before. 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).

"Arthur Waite and wife went to meeting. Bert and Reta Waite were visiting and heard them and wanted them to come on up to Paso Robles and have some meetings. They put up a tent in what is the middle of town now--and a sign, "Gospel Meetings." They had a lot of opposition--the baser sort were put up to throwing things at them and making holes in the tent. There they found the families of Waites, Weibe, McPhail, Hill, Esther Hanson, Hilma Johnson (a blind woman), Maude Hilton and some others. Most were baptized in Lake Isabel near Creston" (Early Memories of Iona R. (Hill) Wood, California).

In World War II, on January 6, 1942, Willie, along with some other Brother Workers (Herman Beaber, Ernest Stanley, Cecil Barrett and Leo Stancliff) were imprisoned by the Japanese in Santo Tomas, Philippines. Willie wrote an account of this time, as did some of the other workers. These are posted on the website Deliverance–It Has Come! owned by John Beaber, son of Herman Beaber, POW, who is also the Author's uncle. They were liberated on February 23, 1945. Willie passed away October 11, 1974, and is buried in Pacific Crest Cemetery, Redondo Beach, California. 

1906, SEPTEMBER. Elisabeth Jamieson went in the work on Oct. 27, 1905, and went to California in Sept. 1906.  Her brother, Willie, had a companion waiting for her, Florence Langworthy, one of Irvine Weir's converts.

"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'....So I came then, to California, at the age of twenty. I had been in the Work less than a year. Florence Langworthy (age 22) became my companion. We came to Paso Robles and worked in that area." (Elisabeth Jamieson's Reminiscences, 1969).

1906–07:  FIRST CHURCH OR MEETING HOUSE-GESTO, ONTARIO.  Alfred Magowan wrote:

"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' " (letter to Jack Carroll, April 6, 1954*).

1906: SAN FRANCISCO EARTHQUAKE. Irvine was in San Francisco and experienced the great April 1906, earthquake of an estimated magnitude of 7.8. Devastating fires lasted for several days. About 3,000 people died and over 80% of the city was destroyed. The events are remembered as one of the worst and deadliest natural disasters in the history of the U.S. (Wikipedia).

"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, Oct. 13, 1920). "On 20th April, 1906, I was in San Francisco when earthquake and fire destroyed the city–10 square miles of it in two days.  God’s mercy was shown in it happening at 5:10 A.M. when few were on the streets."

1906 – FIRST CONVENTION in CANADA was held in Toronto. The Workers List shows 63 workers; 38 men and 25 women, including one married couple, Matt and Letitia Wilson.

1907 – PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA & CHICAGO, ILLINOIS CONVENTIONS were held. The Workers List shows a total of 80 workers; 49 men and 31 women, including one married couple, Matt and Letitia Wilson.

1907 SEPTEMBER 14: Ten (10) Workers departed from Liverpool, Eng. and arrived in New York on the RMS 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 who was returning to America, age 35, Irish. This was RMS Lusitania's maiden voyage: from Liverpool to New York, Sept. 7, 1907. 

1906 BEGINNING of the PENTECOSTAL MOVEMENT: Three weeks after the San Francisco earthquake, Irvine was in Los Angeles "where some Irish workers were and had some meetings" (letter to Skerritts, Dec. 5, 1944). The "Irish workers" may have been Irvine Weir, Willie Jamieson, Jack Carroll and/or Elisabeth Jamieson. Wm. Irvine wrote: "When I got to Los Angeles, the Holy and righteous people were mad with excitement…This was the beginning of the Pentecostal [Movement]" (letter to Lauchlins, April 24, 1945). Irvine was invited to preach for two weeks in tent meetings "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" (letter to Dunbars, Oct. 13, 1920).

History shows a prominent new religious sect, the Pentecostal Movement began in mid-April 1906 at 312 Azusa Street in Los Angeles, California, known as the Apostolic Faith Mission. "…a bizarre new religious sect had started….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...for world evangelization in the 20th century" (Los Daily Angeles Times, April 18, 1906*).

Wm. Irvine took credit for producing the Pentecostal Movement, and some of his Omega followers proudly brought this to the attention of the Author. "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" (letter to Grims, Oct. 10, 1934). "My witness in L. A. in 1906 produced the Pentecostal movement" (July 21, 1954 letter to B. M. Young, Salida, CO*)

AIMEE SEMPLE MCPHERSON: The early 20th century evangelist, Aimee Semple McPherson (Sister Aimee) was born in October 9, 1890, in South-West Oxford, Canada and experienced a profound religious conversion in 1906-07 at age 17. In 1915, at age 25, she was a pioneer of women in religion. She took on an itinerant life of evangelizing and holding tent revival meetings all over the USA and later, the world. She was incredibly successful and was noted for her healing sessions. With Sister Aimee, all were welcomed. Like God, Sister Aimee was no respecter of persons. There was no color, ethnic, or status separation line with her.

In 1918, she established a base in Los Angeles, California, and built the Angelus Temple in 1923, which became the center of her ministries. The church held 5,300 people. She summarized her message into four major points known as "The Foursquare Gospel," and founded a denomination called "The Foursquare Church." In April 1922, she purchased a radio station and was the first woman to preach a sermon over the radio. Aimee's voice was highly recognized around the world.

In several of Wm. Irvine’s letters, he expressed hostile, resentful feelings regarding Sister Aimee, referring to her as "Queen Jezebel" and "Queen of the Pentecostal Movement." There's little wonder 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. In the 1920s and 30s, she may have been the most well known woman in America. On the other hand, worldwide, there are currently estimated to be less than 100 followers of Wm. Irvine’s Omega Message.

Wm. Irvine wrote: "Aimee Semple McPherson began their big show when I left California to come here [1919 to 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 Aimee became the Queen Jezebel…in her Four Square Gospel….She was Queen of all of them" (letter to Skerritt, Dec. 5, 1944).

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 remarked about her death: "The death in California of the Queen of Women preachers as in Rev. 2, Jezebel–Aimee Semple McPherson" (letter to Pages, Dec. 22, 1944).

Telling the Truth has a hard copy of the documents, books, newspaper articles, references, etc. used in this book. Any exceptions are noted with an asterisk (*).

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