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Primary Evidence
Showing that William Irvine is the Founder of the 2x2 Church
Revised March 18, 2016

What is Primary Evidence?

Evidence is anything which is put forward as a means of determining a fact.

From Black's Law Dictionary:  Primary Evidence means original or first-hand evidence.
Primary Sources are reports of people who were present at the event.
A Secondary Source is a report about something where the reporter was not present.

Primary Evidence also called Primary Sources are facts and details that have been drawn from documents, rather than from other, more recent, explanatory articles or books.

Primary Materials are the documents or other non-text evidence, including newspapers, radio or TV programs, interviews, coins, etc., that are produced at the time (rather than information produced by some other author's collection and explanation of them.)

Hearsay: A report by someone who did not personally see the event. “Evidence based on the reports of others rather than the personal knowledge of a witness, and therefore, generally not admissible as testimony.” [The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language]

False Evidence:  Basing an argument on something that is NOT true.  Early on someone makes a shrewd guess at past conditions, at probable causes, or develops a theory that he says is possible. Later he refers to his guesses as facts; to the possible theory as an established fact.  The evidence is not accurate; or is false or unsubstantiated; or misleading statements have been claimed as fact/truth.

Suppressed or Partial Evidence:  When the evidence is not thorough. The range of important data that is taken into account is limited.  Disputant leaves out relevant ideas or facts.  Contradictory evidence is overlooked or ignored which would undermine the premises of the position and cause it to be unsound. Its occurrence affects the truth of the premises.   Suppressing or ignoring factual evidence that opposes your teachings is passing off a half truth as the whole truth.  This is especially common among arguers who have a vested interest in the situation. 


What Primary Evidence is there that William Irvine was the FOUNDER?

Early workers said that he was…(1905 List)
Early friends said that he was…
Faith Mission said he was...
Later Workers that said he was…
Newspapers stated that he was…
Wm. Irvine said that he was…

Click Here:  To read what they said and wrote. 

This collection of Primary Evidence quotes is provided to make it easier for the reader to analyze or study the actual words on record. 

William Irvine was called the founder and supreme authority, leader, one of the founders, co-founder, originator; leader, co-leader, recognized leader; chief pioneer and many other titles as well. 


Newspaper Quotes regarding Wm. Irvine's role in the 2x2 sect.

All Available Statements made by Wm. Irvine

Excerpts from Letters by Wm. Irvine - Claiming He was the Founder of “The Testimony”

John Long's Journal

Goodhand Pattison's Account

1942 George Walker's Statement to U.S. Selective Service 

Fanny Carroll's Sermon

Rose Edward's Letter to Macmillers, Denver, CO, November 23, 1935

Wilson McClung's Statement

Wm. Irvine's Letters

Faith Mission Letter

First Workers List - 1905

Court Cases


Alfred Magowan's Letter:  In 1938, Alfred visited Wm. Irvine in Israel for three weeks, along with Ed Cooney and R. Irwin.  (See Wm. Irvine's Letters to Edwards dated 5/18/38 and 6/2/38).  It was during this visit in 1938 that Wm. Irvine made his famous, often quoted statement to Alfred Magowan,

"It was A GREAT EXPERIMENT"

to which Alfred replied,

"It was A GREAT EXPERIENCE."

(Source: Testimony of a Witness for the Defence by Alfred Magowan 1/13/56, p 5)


Court Cases 

The Impartial Reporter, July 17, 1913, records a libel suit at a court session held in Bristol, England, Ed Cooney and Burfitt v. Rev. D. L. Hayward who had distributed a leaflet implying the Go-Preachers were engaging in white slave traffic, and procuring women for prostitution under the cloak of religion. The workers were successful in obtaining damage awards. (Bristol is due West of London; "assize" is a court session) The article stated: "William Irvine, one of the founders of the Go-Preachers Society, said it was Protestant evangelical" and also stated that Wm. Irvine said, "I have never known of a new sect being founded without opposition".

The Impartial Reporter of  December 18, 1913, reported about a libel lawsuit brought by Edward Cooney and Ernest W. List v. The People Ltd, a London newspaper.  Cooney and List won.  While under oath, Cooney was asked by Justice Darling, "Were you the founder of this sect?" Cooney replied, "No, William Irvine was the first, about sixteen years ago."  This works out to 1897.  In the early days and years, there was no reluctance in pointing to Irvine as the founder of their fellowship, which is recorded by numerous Impartial Reporter articles.


Quote of Wilson McClung who  entered the work in 1903, along with his wife, and are shown on the 1905 Workers List
"We have no name,’ he replied, ‘but the ribald multitude give us many. Some call us Cooneyites, some call us Tramps, Faith Missionaries, No Secters, Women-Thieves, and so on. Well, we are Cooneyites. We are also McClungites, for Cooney is no greater than I. We have no established leader in this world. ‘Our mission was started by William Irwin, a Scotchman, seven or eight years ago. Others followed him. I myself was a Civil Servant in Dublin. I resigned my post, sold all that I had and gave to the poor, and went out to preach. The mission has grown gradually.  Fifty men and women are now carrying the Word to the unenlightened in eight counties in England—rural England.  There are as many in Scotland, more in Ireland." (Impartial Reporter, June 21, 1906, p. 3)


1895 - 1901 was when Wm. Irvine was associated with the Faith Mission.  The Faith Mission has an unofficial List of Workers who entered and left their service, and in July, 2004, Mr. Percival, the current president of Faith Mission, gave us a copy of the years 1895 through 1902. Mr. Percival gave his permission to me to print the list with the following being made clear:  "This list was compiled by Mr. John Eberstein, former president of Faith Mission, who through research has produced a list of the early workers in the Faith Mission; giving details of when they joined the Mission, the date they left, and giving notes as to what happened to them after that."  In other words, the list was not an on-going record or journal that was posted as each person joined and/or left the mission, but was reconstructed afterwards.

This list shows that William Irvine entered their service on June 14, 1895 and left in 1901 with the notation:  "founded Cooneyites in S. Ireland."  He was 32 years old when he started with them.  At the time Wm. Irvine joined the Faith Mission, there were 47 Faith Mission workers, (Letter dated November 22, 1993 from Keith Percival, General Director of The Faith Mission.)

The first time William Irvine's name was mentioned in a Faith Mission publication was two months after he joined them in Bright Words, August 15, 1895.   His location was given as Ford Forge, about ten miles from Edinburgh: "In the south a mission is being worked by two brothers who have recently joined us, William Irvine from Queenzieburn..."  

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