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
Chapter Links
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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O Bio Truth?

Appendix I

William Irvine

Revised February 6, 2018

Statement of Wm Irvine
Wm Irvine Family Tree
Last Will and Testament of Wm. Irvine
Obituary of Wm. Irvine
Wm. Irvine's Letter to Dunbars
, October 13, 1920 - Chronological Account of Irvine's life
William Irvine's Letter to Fay Sheeley, January 30, 1929 - Irvine states he was a Freemason

Statement of William Irvine
For the Trial of Burfit V. Hayward
July 1913

Was born in Kilsyth, 1863, brought up Presberterian (sic), converted through Presberterian (sic) Preacher in 1893. Instructed in the way of serving the Lord by the late John Colville, M.P. of Motherwell, N.B.

Studied in the Bible Training Institute, Glasgow for two years.

Preached for five years in the Faith Mission, (Scotland) and have just gone on preaching and practicing what I was taught, and what is generally called “Evangelical Christianity.”

We seek to follow the pattern given by Jesus and the apostles and keep close to the practices of the early Church, as there are so many different interpretations.

The Bible teaches, we preach and practice—that no drunkard shall inherit the kingdom of God, or unclean or fornicator, or adulterer. Chastity, Charity, Righteousness and Integrity are the basis for all true Christian life and character, as well as service to God and man.

We emphasise the need for living Christ before our fellow men as well as preaching Him as Saviour. The Blood of Jesus Christ is our only plea for the forgiveness of sin for all men.

We encourage preachers to go and preach the Gospel freely to all men, two by two. Two women or two men or a married couple may go together. But never otherwise, or in violation of the laws of chastity as taught by both God and man.

We encourage people who want to live for God and worship and serve Him in spirit and in truth, to use their homes as the place of worship.

To show Christian hospitality.

To maintain good works before their fellows.

We hold yearly conventions lasting from one or two weeks at convenient places, where preachers and saints, or Christians who live Christ at home, come and get help and encouragement to be true, chaste, and useful to God in their daily life.

The convention at Brewham 1912 lasted from June 14 to 24. About two hundred people attended the meetings.

I was shown a leaflet on the 21st by Howard Burfit such as was said to be posted in Bruton outside the barbers shop occupied by Mr. Maidstone. This caused me to understand some of the language I had overheard from some of those who came to look on, rather than hear what was said in meetings.

I heard two women say "Old Burfitt ought to be burned,” and other remarks that made me wonder at their hostility as we are not accustomed to those things in other places.

Conventions are held at some worthy respected Christian home where accommodation is made for all who come, having due regard Christian, Moral and Spiritual; as well as health and sanitary considerations.

Women and men observe strict separateness in meetings, at meals and quarters for sleeping; and any violation of these conditions would at once be disciplined by asking them to go home.

Half of the attendants at meetings are married people who have their families with them.

Out preaching there are many married people also. There are two, three, four and five out of one family preaching in many cases, Brothers and sisters.

Our meetings and lives and preaching is always open to the public and we do nothing that any person who wants to see may not come and examine.

Our endeavour is to honour God, follow Jesus and obey the Scriptures as taught in the free Churches of Great Britain today.

The charges Wilson has made are absolutely unfounded, both in the teaching and practice of those he seeks to libel with a view to hindering our work.

Yours very truly

Wm. Irvine

Irvine Family Tree

Great-Grandparents (paternal): James Irvine, born May 31, 1778, married to Jean (Napier) Irvine, born about 1778.

Grandparents (paternal): John A. Irvine, born Feb. 1, 1803, East Kilbride, Lanarkshire, Scotland; died Oct 18, 1875, aged 72, Kilsyth, Scotland; mMarried July, 1825, to Agnes Bell Scott born Feb. 15, 1806, Linlithgow, W. Lothian, Scotland; died Feb. 27, 1860, aged 54, buried in Kilsyth Old Churchyard, Scotland.
9 Children: James 1827; William 1829, Agnes 1831, John 1833, Janet 1835, Henry 1837, Walter 1843, Robert 1844, Catherine 1846

Great-Grandparents (maternal): Archibald and Mary (Bow) Grassam

Grandparents (maternal): William Grassam born 1812, Larbert, Scotland – died August 31, 1877 Larbert, Stirlingshire, Scotland; married to Margaret Ritchie born 1816; married Helen Easton born 1814.
Children: Archibald 1832, Elizabeth 1833 by Margaret Ritchie; Thomas 1851 by Helen Easton; possibly more

Father: John Irvine, born July 8, 1833, Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland; died August 12, 1913, aged 80, Bogside Kilsyth;
Married Dec. 9, 1858 at Larbert; both were 25 years old when married.
Mother: Elizabeth Grassam born Nov. 10, 1833, Larbert, Stirlingshire, Scotland; died November 25, 1897, aged 64, Queenzieburn, Kilsyth, Scotland.
11 Children: John, Margaret, William, James, Agnes, Henry #1, Henry #2, Elizabeth, Jane, Helen, Janet

1) John Irvine born March 14, 1859, Newtown, Kilsyth, Scotland – died May 6, 1918
Married Mary Stewart Nov. 14, 1879
7 Children: John, William, Elizabeth, Margaret, Robert, Henry, Mary

2) Margaret Irvine born February 24, 1861, Newtown, Kilsyth, Scotland – died July 18, 1886

3) William Irvine born January 7, 1863, Newtown, Kilsyth, Scotland – died March 9, 1947
One child: Archibald Grassam Irvine

4) James Irvine born October 5, 1864, Strone, Kirkintilloch, Scotland – died March 11, 1928
Married Kate Halkett (aka Catherine) Sept. 21, 1888 - died August 26, 1940
No children

5) Agnes Irvine born June 23, 1866, Strone, Kirkintilloch, Scotland – December 7, 1938
Married John Freebairn November 16, 1888 - died 1944-1946.
12 Children: Elizabeth, James, Jean, Agnes, Janet, Margaret, John, George, William, Archibald, Robert, Norman

6) Henry Irvine #1 born March 15, 1868, Kirkintilloch, Scotland – died June 23, 1869, aged 15 months

7) Henry Irvine #2 born January 26, 1870, Govan, Scotland – died September 20, 1872, aged 2 years 8 months

8) Elizabeth Irvine born December 12, 1871, Govan, Scotland – died June 15, 1887

9) Jane (Jeanie) Irvine born February 1, 1874, Newtown Kilsyth, Scotland – died April 28, 1937
Married to Peter Comrie April 28, 1893 - died 1957
7 Children: Elizabeth, Janet, Daniel, Margaret, John, William, Jeanie

10) Helen (Nellie) Irvine, born January 25, 1876, Kilsyth, Scotland – died November 23, 1952
Married David Clelland August 7, 1896 - died Dec. 18, 1961
7 Children: James, Elizabeth, Margaret, John, David, Agnes, William

11) Janet (Jennie) Irvine, born February 9, 1880 Cumbernauld, Scotland – died June, 1963 in Carlisle, Cumberland, Cumbria, England
Married Peter Clelland October 27, 1899 - died June, 1959
6 Children: James, John, Elizabeth, Margaret, Janet, Jeanie

The above was researched and confirmed by Genealogist: Dr. Betty J. Iggo Ph.D. A.S.G.R.A. (Association of Scottish Genealogists and Record Agents) 5 Relugas Rd, Edinburgh, EH9 2NE Scotland U.K. Supplemented by Irvine family members and

Last Will and Testament of William Irvine

I, WILLIAM IRVINE, born in Kilsyth, Scotland on the 7the day of January 1863, a resident of Jerusalem, Palestine, being of sound mind and knowledge hereby revoke all former Wills and testamentary dispositions made by me, and by this my last Will devise and bequeath all my movable and immovable property and my real and personal estate whatsoever and wheresoever situated, as follows:-

(1) The sum of LP.200.- (Two hundred Palestine Pounds) to NELLIE CLELAND, my sister, wife of David Cleland, residing in Kirkintilloch, Scotland, or to her heirs, or legal personal representatives.

(2) The sum of LP. 200.- (Two hundred Palestine Pounds) to JENNIE CLELAND, my other sister, wife of Peter Cleland, residing in Kilsyth, Scotland, or to her heirs, or legal personal representatives.

(3) The sum of LP. 500.- (Five hundred Palestine Pounds) to the Radium Institute of the Hadassah University Hospital for a bed to be endowed in the name of WILLIAM IRVINE, Kilsyth, Scotland.

(4) The sum of LP. 150.- (One hundred and Fifty Palestine Pounds) to St. John's Ophtalmic Hospital, Jerusalem.

(5) The sum of LP. 100.- (One hundred Palestine Pounds) to the Hospital Francais St. Louis (French Hospital), Jerusalem.

(6) The sum of LP. 100.- (One hundred Palestine pounds) to Dr. A. Ticho, proprietor of a private Ophtalmic Hospital, Jerusalem, for the treatment and comforts to the poor who attend his hospital.

( 7) The Sum of LP. 50.- (Fifty Palestine Pounds) to the Jewish Institute for the Blind, Jerusalem.

(8) The sum of LP. 50.- (Fifty Palestine Pounds) to The People's Dispensary for Sick Animals of the poor, at Birket-El-Sultan, Jerusalem.

(9) The sum of LP. 500.- (Five hundred Palestine Pounds), to my friend Mr. THOMAS COUSSIN, Greed Colony, Jerusalem.

(10) The sum of LP. 100.- (One hundred Palestine Pounds) to Dr. T. MINASSIAN, Jerusalem.

(11) The sum of LP. 100.- (One hundred Palestine Pounds) to the Staff (excluding the management) of the Almasie Hotel, Jerusalem.

(12) The sum of LP. 50.- (Fifty Palestine Pounds) in equal shares, to the two proprietors of the Almasie Hotel, Jerusalem.

(13) Clothes and all other chattles in my room to be collected and given away to the poor and needy as decided by my executor and Mr. Thomas Coussin.

(14) The residue of my estate to be distributed to institutions for the poor and needy in Jerusalem as decided by my executor and Mr. Thomas Coussin.

(15) All funeral arrangements and last sacred rites to be arranged by my beloved friend Mr. Thomas Coussin, who will see to all matters in this respect and charge the expenses incurred to the estate.

(16) I appoint Mr. THEODORE KRIKORIAN, of Upper Baqa, Jerusalem (now Senior Paymaster Police) to be the sole executor of this my last will, the said executor to sell, call in and convert all my movable and unmovable property real and personal estate whatsoever and wheresoever situated into money to be distributed according to the provisions and bequests hereinbefore contained. I fix hereby the sum of LP. 100.- (One hundred Palestine Pounds) to be paid to my said executor.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have hereunto set my hand this 27th day of January, One Thousand Nine Hundred & Forty- Seven.

(Sgd.) William Irvine.
On 100 mils Revenue Stamp.

Signed by the above testator as his last Will in the joint presence of himself and us, who at his request and in such joint presence have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses.

(Sgd.) B. Geichman Residing at B. Geichman, Jerusalem.
(Sgd.) J. Brandwein Residing at J. Brandwein, Jerusalem.
January 27, 1947

Obituary of Wm. Irvine

The Palestine Post
Monday, March 10, 1947, page 2
Mr. William Irvine

A correspondent writes:  A well known figure in Jerusalem passed away with the death yesterday after a long illness, of Mr. William Irvine of Kilsyth, Scotland.  Mr. Irvine died in his 84th year after having resided in Palestine since 1919, where he came in pursuit of his beliefs.  He will be remembered by many who knew him as the kindly old white-haired gentleman seen on his daily walk between the Post Office and the Old City walls.  He died with the full faith of better things to come.  The interment will take place at the Zion Cemetery at 2:30 p.m. today.

March 16, 1947*
Impartial Reporter, Enniskillen, N. Ireland


WILLIAM IRVINE is dead.  His name means nothing to the younger generation, but those who can recall the great ‘Pilgrims’ or ‘Dipper’ conventions in Co. Fermanagh of about 30 years ago, will recall the tall, hatless figure of Wm. Irvine, who was at that time the ‘teacher’ and leader of the ‘Pilgrims.’  His rugged face, his dynamic personality, his strong and impressive address, swayed the thousands who gathered from all parts to hear him.  The women folk adored him as a saint, and listened to him with rapt attention as if they were hypnotised.  He was a lovable man and a real Christian.

A recent issue of the ‘Sunday Post’* contained an appreciation of Wm. Irvine which will be read with interest by those who remember him.  It was as follows:

I was a soldier in Jerusalem.  Maybe that makes you think of armed combats, of Arabs and Jews, and strange scenes and customs. But my most vivid memory is of a tall Scotsman with a great head of white hair. Every morning I saw him striding out of the Holy City towards the Garden of Gethsemane. He wore a deerstalker’s cap, heavy jacket, shorts, and suede sandals.  He greeted nearly everyone he met with a smile and a word of encouragement.  And they felt the better for meeting him.  You knew at once there was something remarkable about the man.

He was William Irvine. Sixty years ago, at 35 years of age, he was general manager of William Baird and Company’s Boswell Collieries in Lanarkshire.  He was only in his twenties then, and on the way to the top of his profession—a directorship. But he felt a higher call.  He gave up his job.  He founded in his native Kilsyth a movement, which is still active. He did not believe in churches of stone.  A tent, or the open air, was all he wanted.  He told his message with simple earnestness. Having founded his church in his native village, he felt he had to go with his message to foreign lands. He set out as a free-lance missionary. He went to Ireland, United States, Canada, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, the Colonies. He became known all over the world as ‘The Man with the Mission. He lived frugally. His needs were slight.  Money had no value for him. ‘I have nothing,’ he said.  ‘Yet—I lack nothing.’ He quoted from Luke, ‘Go your way. Behold, I send you forth, as lambs among wolves.  Carry neither purse nor scrip nor shoes, and salute no man by the way.’ Between the two great wars he settled in Palestine. He received letters from all corners of the earth where his message was still remembered. During the second World War he became a favourite of the British troops. They called him 'Jock.'

Then last Sunday I learned that in Jerusalem, William Irvine had come to the end of his pilgrimage. He died, a single man, aged 84.

NOTE:  Reportedly, the above article was written by a young English soldier named Irvine Noble.
*The Sunday (Palestine) Post, (now The Jerusalem Post)

Wm. Irvine's Letter To: Dunbars
October 13, 1920
Jerusalem, Palestine

My Dear Dunbars:

I have to thank you for writing so faithfully, and enjoy seeing you trying to see some.  "The night cometh when no man can work" will probably be true spiritually for those most active now, and physically as well.  For I guess when the days of Judgment and everlasting Gospel comes, there will be bitter business and little pleasure, and family cares will drive men to the Gospel for provision, protection as well as for salvation and healing.  These three things have been the excuse for neglecting the Gospel in the past.  They will work the opposite way and men won't have to trifle long either way for they will see the consequences on every side.  Every mail brings new things to see for me and the last one was about the best.  When I opened the London paper I saw the face of my old chief in mining days, now head of mining interest in Scotland and one of the owners sent to negotiate terms with the miner's delegates of the government of London.  How vividly it brought back what was taking place twenty-seven years ago when I was leaving on a wild goose chase, as he thought.  He knew I was made of the stuff he needed so badly then, and he did his very best for months to keep me from doing it.

On November 1st, I said Good-bye--sold all I have and stepped out on the waters to walk by faith on a very troubled sea, and me a green horn like grass.

1893, on January first, I thought on finishing my course, so much disgusted was I with what the world looked upon as a successful life. It seemed so hollow and disappointing, both in pleasure, place and power.

1893, on January 8, I decided for the Lord and the battle began.  Five days after I gave public testimony to the men over whom I was taskmaster.  I was 30 years of age on 7th of January, so that I began my 31st year by deciding whom I would serve and whom I would not.  I very soon found out that neither church nor world fitted the New Testament service of the master I had chosen.  All the holy hypocrites around came to me to be friends and work for me.  I soon found out it was for profit every time and only to make more difficult what was already.

I was not satisfied with my knowledge of the Book, and wanted to get rid of much of my old infidelity and other things which I had learned.  I had been in the yoke since I was 8 years of age, and could afford to take a little look around, and in spite of all my friends and enemies, I did what the Lord was prompting me to do.  Thus acting, I was up against all sort of people who either held on to their good position or were seeking a job in the religious world or drawing a salary, and shinning up the slimy path to glory amongst men.  I had opportunities for joining something, if I was willing to shut my eyes and mouth and take the price in mammon of unrighteousness.

As I opened my mouth the Lord filled it, but with what most people did not like. I benefited in the Bible Institute by getting to know the Book according to the teachings of the best and most holy and evangelical missionary people in the world.  But these things only showed me that I would have to sell myself to someone of them if I wanted place.  I had known too much of place, power and men to be hoodwinked or blindfolded--and finally chose to join the Faith Mission, which showed the most spiritual and fire, and so after two years I started preaching with them in July, 1895--and it was good, for here I found out a little more of myself and a little of the iniquity and bondage of being associated with a holy set of hypocrites who had more devil in them than where I had been, who would make any man a sinner for a word or a trifle--though I did not see it was devilry then.

In Nov. 1896, I was sent to the West of Ireland to the hottest Roman Catholic spot in the world, and where this Irish trouble began at the beginning of this year. After 6 or 7 months there, I got to where the Carrolls were in Nenagh; and there BEGAN the work that has spread so far.

In October, 1896, I was working a mission quite near where the Sinn Feins are now getting more than they bargained for, in the burning of their town on October 3, 1920.  I had been wondering when we would hear of it, but I did not know it would be on the day I STARTED the mission there that stirred the whole of that country for years to come, as I did in Southwest Ireland and finally all over Ireland.

In September 1893, I sent in my resignation for the Colliery and got free 1st of November.  In September they refused to receive me as a student in the Bible Training Institute Glasgow, though I attended the classes from outside.

In September 1898, I was put out of the Faith Mission for not being willing to conform to all their piccadilly discipline, etc.

In Sept 1903, I was put out of the church I had formed in my native town because I would not make it the head of the work I was doing.

On September 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 there.  Then began pioneering, and setting George and other to work and I returned on September 5, 1904, next year to a day. Spent a year at home.

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.  Then took my way to Paso Robles, and then to Los Angeles, where I had 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.

1907, I got back home in August after having meetings in Canada, in two places.  Came back to the States that year and had conventions and went back to Ireland for July again, by New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa. 

1908--Then back to States (and so for every year, 'til 1913. ) on Sept., eleven years.

In 1914, I was rejected by The Testimony and crossed to U.S.A. on September 5th, the same day and from the same port I had left in 1903 on September 5th, eleven years. 

And now today I have been going over the 3 years, from when I professed till I left business in Nov. 1893. Second of Sept. when I settled to go to the S.W. of Ireland to the following Sept. when I had worked my first Mission in Nenagh; and now this past year in WATCHING. There are so many parallels that I can't get them all. But I can see enough of His gracious hand in it all, and feel more confident that I'm where and as He wants me to be.

These past six years have been fitting me, as John was fitted, to see and say, suffer and do, what we read in Revelation and the end of the war, officially notified by Italy as the 31st October, the day we have been watching for, for one and one half years now is mentioned in the same paper.

My Calling in 1893 on January eight. (January 8, 1893)
Left business 1893 on November first. (November 1, 1893)
Started preaching and got the Seal of God in September 1895 in Nenagh.
Was put out of Faith mission and had first convention in Ireland 1899.
Put out of Kilsyth Church and started for U.S.A. in 1903.
Had my first trip down California Coast after the Earthquake, April 1906.
My last trip up coast in April 1919.
Left Los Angeles on June 4 or so, 1919.
Was rejected by Testimony in September 1914.

And am waiting for peace and safety today till I have my last seal and rejection in three and one-half years--and I don't care what happens then.  I have had enough to satisfy the biggest and worst fool, or knave, or honest man.

These six years have been the best and the worst of all the 27. But they only had in them what has been in all the other years, only intensified.  The rejection only drove me deeper into the truth as it is in Jesus, and further put off the traditions and hypocrisies of the religious world, and such had been my experience.  I had always had a few friends who stuck to me like glue in spite of all the enemies who tried to wipe me out and make every effort fruitless.

If you read the promises to the seven churches (elect) seed, who overcome by keeping their heart in the love of God, you will see the promises that are for the Everlasting Gospel and Philadelphia the Brotherly love.  Revelation 2 and 7:13, covers all the possibilities that are ahead for us, open door no man can shut, and those who have been the synagogue of Satan coming to worship at our feet, etc.  The overcomers are the Elect Lady, the Chosen Bride.  The others are the church of the tares left high and dry in their wickedness.  But we will see some delivered.

Remember me kindly to all there, and cheer up your own flesh and blood; though harder to reach than others, will have a bigger chance now than they ever had, for they will see with their eyes the difference.  It would be very blind eyes that could not see when our shepherd of Psalms 23 does what He says to His Sheep and leaves the other to look on.

Yours very truly in Him,

Wm. Irvine

William Irvine's Letter to Fay Sheeley
January 30, 1929

No address

My dear Fay Sheeley:

Thanks for yours. It's good you are not in N. China these days where they are heaping up the dead in mounds outside the cities where 1000s are dropping dead in the streets. While flu in the West has been doing its work, leaving many to die from pneumonia & etc. So we see pestilence and famine at work and all between seem to have more than they want of wrath being poured out in every shape and form. And it's Woe - Woe - Woe - they should be saying in place of Peace on Earth, Good Will to Men. These days are past and all pre war things are under judgment and no hope but in the new thing which He is doing by the Least and Little Ones who will become the New Jerusalem as sure as the old will pass away by judgment as if it never had been.

It was good to have your brother and friend and the one you are fond of come to see you. And it gave you a chance to prove yourself and also a chance to them to hear the simple fact that wrath has come on all pre 1914 affairs and men on the earth; and not one single exception. For all have had a taste, are tasting and will till it has destroyed them from off the earth, and no hope in any pre war thing.

God and Jesus has provided a way of escape in His Witness - Leader - and Commander. So they can find cessation of wrath as they hear your Come and turn to live by my witness - leading - and control which is not hard for any honest - sincere person. These are the simple facts which cover all that's going on - on the face of the whole earth.

You may tell your brother that I also am a Free and accepted master mason. My Mother Lodge being 547 - Stewart Scotch for past 45 years. So I know all that it means. But if I were the Grand Master or the Pres. of U.S.A. it could not avail me any thing when wrath is being poured out on all that is prewar. And when only one way of escape from wrath is offered from God to all men. People whose confidence is in anything which existed on the earth before 1914 will be bitterly disappointed; just as they will be joyfully surprised in the new Way of escape which was given from the Throne along with Wrath.

I don't wonder you will find much to cheer and fill your heart and life and it will increase in quality and quantity as you drink - more fully and eat of the Tree of Life or hear and witness more every day. The great trouble is that people fail very often in not emptying out all the old pre 1914 thoughts and ways and enter in heartily to the New Thing which came as His only way of escape for all who are under wrath. The more you expect from the New Thing, the more you will get and be able to give witness to others. Just as those who do not believe that wrath is poured out on all flesh will be very much surprised to find it increase till they perish from off the earth. So keep your ears - eyes and mouth open. So shall you have full reward.

Best love in Him.

Wm. Irvine.

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