Edward Cooney requested the sister workers who had left Great Britain and Ireland to write these letters to be used as evidence in two lawsuit for libel he filed in 1913. The lawsuits were styled:
Edward Cooney and Ernest Walter List v. The People, Ltd.
(for libel contained in July 14, 1912 newspaper article printed in "The People.")
Edward Cooney v. Wm. D. Wilson and Wm. Henderson (bill poster).
Ed Cooney wrote a Statement for the Court about the Sister Workers' "manner of life."
The December 18, 1913 Impartial Reporter gives the terms of the settlement with "The People, Ltd."
Alice Pipe was the first sister worker to come to Mr. Wilson's attention, although according to the letters below, his children actually professed earlier through sister workers Fannie Carroll and Annie Smith. Previously, Mr. Wilson had been sued for libel by John West, William West, Joseph Burfitt and C. T. Partridge, the first three names being convention ground owners. The story unfolds in the newspaper accounts beginning in 1906 and going through 1913. The story is also presented in Chapters 6 and 10 of the on-line book "The Life and Ministry of Wm. Irvine" by Cherie Kropp.
NOTE:Letters presented in alphabetical order by last name.
Frances (Fannie) Carroll
Sara Dawson (later married Alfred Magowan)
Rosetta (Nettie) Millar
c/o Mrs. Wm. Brown
Nova Scotia, Canada
It is with pleasure I write these few lines with my home address and occupation before going to preach, also particulars of my conversion and experience since going forth so that the Allegations made by Wilson of Suffolk may be refuted at the forth coming trial.
My home address is c/o John Adamson, No. 7 Fishercross By Alloa, Clackmannanshire, Scotland. And my occupation before going to preach was housework.
I might say I was brought up a Presbyterian, but for nearly two years previous to my conversion I was very conscious of not being right with God. And in January, 1903, as I was wending my way out of a Presbyterian meeting, a young man who had been brought up near my home and who had been converted three months previous through two of the so called go preachers, laid his hand on my shoulder and asked when did I intend settling the matter with God. And after a few minutes conversation on the change that had taken place in his own life, I was persuaded to go home and give my heart to Jesus.
Then I went with a friend the following Sunday to the meeting where those were who had been converted by the two preachers, but I never met any of the so called go preachers, til eight months later. And when I did meet them I could see their likeness to the New Testament and I gladly followed Jesus in fellowship with them. And as the desire of my heart was to scatter seed for Jesus only, I left home in July 1905 to give my life in the gospel.
I crossed to Belfast with some others for a convention there and got an Irish girl for a companion to return to Forfarshire, Scotland, to seek the lost ones, but as we could not do the journey in one day, we broke off and stayed at my home one night. That was August 1905 and I was there til June, 1906 and visited Mrs. Robert Hastings Letham, Forfarshire frequently during those months and had that for my central address.
As I returned in June, I visited one of my married brothers and one married sister in Fifeshire and then stayed the last week of June at home. Again I crossed to Belfast for Convention the first Sunday of July  where I changed my companion for another Irish girl and returned to Lanarkshire, Scotland and started in without going home.
But in October I received a telegram saying my mother was seriously ill. So I left next morning and got home the same day and stayed a few days til she recovered, then returned to take up my duty in Lanark, but in January, 1907 I went back to Forfarshire and was there till June and again visited my brother and sister on my way and finished up the last week of June at home, where I made known my intentions of going into further fields and took leave of them and crossed to Ireland where I spent a month then left for Halifax, Nova Scotia August 2, 1907 to prove the same God.
I arrived in Halifax Aug 16 th and after some special meetings at Dartmouth two of us girls went to Windsor Junction fifteen miles from Halifax and preached for eight or nine weeks with some results. And all my letters have come there in c/o Wm. Brown the last six years, and I have had the privilege of seeing some of the folks from Windsor Junction about twice a year since. All my first year on this side, I remained in Halifax Co. and never was further away than thirty miles from Windsor Junction, receiving letters from home and other members of our family every four or six weeks.
The second year I went into Hants Co. and started in a place called Ellershouse where I was first troubled with Wilson’s lies published first in the Halifax papers and then leaflets were circulated from house to house. However, we were glad to be staying at the home of one of the Constables when the Chief of Police from Halifax came to investigate our manner of living and left a form with the Constable for us to fill in with our home address and how long we had been in this country and how we lived since coming to this side. The Constable’s name is Daniel Williams, Ellershouse, Hants Co. N.S. where we are welcome to this day.
My third year on this side was spent in Kings Co., where I still had Wilson’s stuff to face, but I praise God that most people believe there are two sides to a story and when they give us a chance to give them the other side to Wilson’s story, they believe us to be sincere in giving our lives in the gospel, instead of how W. D. Wilson has put it, to steal, kill or destroy. Mrs. Havlock Lockhart, Cold Brook Station, Kings. Co., Nova Scotia is another home I visit frequently and welcome at.
My fourth year I went into Kings Co., New Brunswick, where I also had fruit for my labour, in spite of Wilson’s stuff there to hinder. My central address there being c/o Mrs. Fred Smith, Smithtown, Kings Co. N.B. and many other homes there I am welcome at.
Then my fifth year was spent in Cumberland Co., N.S. where I was again made a blessing to some perishing ones, my central address in that county was c/o Mrs. Wilbert Ripley, Shulie, Cumb. Co., N.S.
And from the first of September, 1912 I have been in Yarmouth Co. where the opposition from Wilson’s reports have been very keen. For instance, there was a leaflet sent to the family I was staying with this last June, which I will enclose with this letter. It was dated Feb 3rd, 1913 and printed published by W. D. Wilson, that it might be more effective in turning people against us, but I am always glad when I see people with a mind of their own and not led about by what everybody says or writes. My central address in this county and a home I am much welcomed at because I was instrumental in bringing them life and liberty through the gospel is c/o Mrs. Henry Mickerson, Argyle Sound, Yarmouth Co. N.S.
One thing might be worth mentioning here that might go to prove everything in connection with the work is in keeping with highest conceptions of morality and in according with the views held by other evangelical sects. Most everybody who listens to us notices the resemblance of our doctrine. For instance, a man was saying the other night, “I have been following you pretty close these few weeks and I can’t see you doctrine differs from the Baptist’s.” He says, “Everywhere people use similar phrases.” Another thing people often make remarks about is the plainness of our dress and in a good many districts we find people ready to copy us, as they say, you always look so neat.
I believe the record of my two years in Scotland and the freedom to visit home so often, should make it clear that I am at liberty to visit home anytime I wish to do so. Also the record of my six years in the Maritime Provinces, staying at least in each county I have mentioned one year should make it clear that everybody has a chance to prove my manner of life and the life that each sister lives when preaching, even in Canada, is in keeping with her welfare physically, morally and spiritually. For instance, I have been in this work eight years and never had to miss one meeting through ill health, and I often praise God for the privileges of outdoor exercise in visiting the different homes of the people we labour amongst.
Yours in Christ’s service
Dear Mr. Cooney,
In reply to your letter re particulars of my conversion and life since. My home address is Knockenree, Avoca, Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
My parents were farmers and I lived in the home and helped with the housework. Two evangelists came into the district and held some Gospel meetings. Believing their preaching to be God’s message I freely took my stand by what they preached. I continued to live in my home for some years and proved the Lord to work in my heart and life.
Having a life free and no one dependent on me I decided to go and preach. To that end I joined a sister (in Scotland) she having more experience of this work. After spending some time in Scotland, wishing to extend my usefulness in this Work, I left for New Zealand in company with another sister. On arriving at Wellington we were met by several friends and returned to the home of Mr. & Mrs. Alf Berryman, Lower Hutt. (They have since moved and are now living at Greenhithe, Auckland).
After a short rest, we started Gospel meetings, getting the use of any suitable public building such as church or school or hall, subject to the approval of the committee or trustees. We take lodgings as conveniently as possible to where we preach to enable us to visit and know the people we preach to. During my stay in NZ we made a number of friends where we always found a glad welcome, among whom especially were:
Mr. & Mrs. Geo. Gibson, Aurora Rd, Tarauaki NZ
Mr. & Mrs. J. Cannon, Kapougg, Larauki, NZ
In March of this year we crossed to NSW and continued Gospel work in the Southern part of the state both in country and town. Mrs. Oppermann has proved very kindly in taking care of any mail for us at c/o Jarrett Street, Leichhardt, Sydney, forwarding same.
Mr. & Mrs. Knaus, “Annerley” Rawson St, Grandville, would have had us to stay with them before coming south, but we were anxious to get to work.
Mr. & Mrs. Brodie, St Gallen,” Guildford, have ever proved good friends in making us at home there.
While my Australian friends would make comparison between the Colonies and home country, they know I am every bit as free to return as to come, but I’m glad to be here to speak of Jesus.
Since leaving home, I have enjoyed the best of health and value having a life to spend in the work that is before me and have kept in touch with my home and people by regular correspondence.
Yours truly in Christ’s Service
Having heard the “Wilson Case,” is soon to come off. I am sending you a few particulars re our work on this side; which may help you to refute the terrible charges this man has brought against us as the Lords servants. And, which has caused so much suffering during the last few years.
How glad we ought to be, however, to know that those whom he has so cruelly libeled in different parts of the world have no other desire than to honour and serve the Lord, and live pure, holy lives before God and men.
I was converted through Mr. Wm. Irvine in Rathmolyon, Co. Meath, Ireland in October, 1897. Spent some years in business with my brother in Dublin before going forth to preach the Gospel. My first field of labour being Suffolk, England. Miss A. Smith who is now in Tasmania was my co-worker. We held Evangelistic meetings in several of the villages and towns. Mr. Wilson’s five children and a number of others were converted as a result of our labours, who can testify of the blessing brought into their lives.
With some others I went to New Zealand in 1905 and returned to visit my friends in Dublin and elsewhere in 1910. And came over to this side of the Atlantic to join my brother and sister that same year. They are both Evangelists and engaged in this work.
The fact that we preach Jesus as the only Example and Pattern as well as the only Saviour and Lord and daily seek to deny ourselves and follow Him in the world ought to make it clear to all honest minds that our standard of morality is the only true standard for all who profess and call themselves christians.
I correspond regularly with my married brother and his wife in the old country, both of whom are in hearty sympathy with our work on this side. We have many christian friends and christian homes to which we are always welcome. Here are a few names and addresses to which any who are interested can refer.
Mr. & Mrs. Julias Richter, Chesaw, Wash.
Mr. & Mrs. J. Ostland, 1201 S. Monroe St., Tacoma, Wash.
Mr. & Mrs. J. Westin, 1219 Sth Wash St., Tacoma, Wash.
Mr. & Mrs. H. Sinclair, 2142 Venable St, Vancouver, B.C.
Of course you know we are quite free to go home to see our friends or leave the work any time we like, and that two sisters always work together. From every standpoint we have proved our methods of work and manner of life are conducive to a healthy life, physically, morally and spiritually and we have the joy of seeing many lives and homes transformed.
I trust the Case will be decided and settled definitely and that this man may be silenced for good. You have our best wishes and sympathy.
Yours sincerely in Christs service
NOTES: “I was converted through Mr. Wm. Irvine in Rathmolyon, Co. Meath, Ireland in October, 1897.”
“ My first field of labour being Suffolk, England. Miss A. Smith who is now in Tasmania was my co-worker… Mr. Wilson’s five children and a number of others were converted as a result of our labours”
Wm. D. Wilson’s children professed through the preaching of Fannie Carroll and Annie Smith.
May Carroll's Testimony - 1913
Entered the work in 1903
Bellingham - Aug 15th [probably 1913]
We have learned that at last Mr. Wilson is about to face in a court of Justice the false and slanderous accusations brought against the Lord’s Servants and handmaidens.
I sincerely trust that as a result of this Trial we may be allowed to continue the work of the Lord without this malicious persecution which is so annoying to us and our friends in the Gospel.
It may be a help to have my testimony being one of the sisters longest in the work and the first that preached in Suffolk. Also one of the first to come to U.S.A.
In January, 1894 my father died and for the first time in my life I gave serious consideration to eternal things. Tho a nominal member of the Episcopalian Church, I was not satisfied that I was a Christian.
In August 1897, my brother Jack and I attended the meetings held in Nenagh by Mr. Irvine and were impressed from the first by the faithful message and the unselfish life of the Preacher. This caused us to compare our vain selfish lives with that of Christ and His Servant and we both decided to make Jesus Lord and Master and His teaching the rule and guide of our lives from that time forth.
For two years I continued in my Uncle’s business, and on Oct the 10th, 1899, after having spent six weeks at my home then in Meath, I went forth in Christ’s Service*. My Mother and brothers were in perfect sympathy with the step I then took. [*May entered the Faith Mission on this day. She joined Irvine's Workers in 1903 per 1905 Workers list]
It was while my companion and I were preaching in Monk Soham, Suffolk that my brother who also decided to spend his life in the service of God wrote me concerning going with him to preach in U.S.A. My sister Fannie took my place in Suffolk and we sailed on the 6th of May, 1903.
Miss Sarah Rogers and I worked together in P.A. and saw some souls saved there and friends afield with the Message of Salvation.
I joined my brother in Michigan after he had concluded a series of services in the central Presbyterian Church in Detroit. We continued all summer in a Gospel Tent in City.
I also worked with Miss Annie Edwards in the surrounding counties.
I returned to Ireland from Michigan in January, 1907 and remained in Ireland til August of same year. My brother also having spent some months in Ireland, we decided to return to America this time to work on the Pacific coast.
Miss Florence May of Oshawa, Ontario joined me and we worked together on Vancouver Island also on the Mainland in B.C. and for three years in Washington. Last year my sister Fannie and I worked in Chelan Co. where as the result of our testimony some of the leading fruit growers and members of their families were baptized into fellowship with us.
We have many friends in the cities, towns and country districts where we laboured who would be glad to testify to the purity and sincerity of our lives.
We also study the laws of health and hygiene and comply with God’s condition for having a healthy body soul and spirit. I have been 14 years preaching and have not been off a month through illness.
During my first years in His Service I spent from 4 to 6 weeks at my home: 76 Lr Beechwood Ave Ranelagh each year. Since my mother died, when needing a rest or change, I visit with some of the friends whose names I give you.
At the time of writing we are having well attended services in Gospel Tent in Bellingham. Will enclose our card and announcement in daily paper.
Mr. & Mrs. Larson, Walnut St. will be able to answer to the manner of our lives while working here.
Mr. & Mrs. Jacob Simpson, Saanich, Van Isle B.C.
Mr. & Mrs. A. P. McCreight, Clinton, Wash
Mr. & Mrs. John Westin, 1219 S. Wash St, Tacoma, Wash
Mr. & Mrs. Schwab, 1613 Broadway, Everett, Wash
Mr. & Mrs. H. Sinclair, 2142 Vinable St., Van B.C.
These are all property owners and tax payers and our most intimate friends. I can give you hundreds of others in this and other states who rejoice that they know us, the Lord having used us to bless their lives and their homes.
Wishing you true success in confuting the false charges made against His Name.
Yours very truly in Christ’s Service
NOTES: “In August 1897, my brother Jack and I attended the meetings held in Nenagh by Mr. Irvine… and we both decided to make Jesus Lord and Master and His teaching the rule and guide of our lives from that time forth.”
“It may be a help to have my testimony being one of the sisters longest in the work and the first that preached in Suffolk. Also one of the first to come to U.S.A…we sailed on the 6th of May, 1903.”
Faith Mission records show May joining them on October 11, 1899: “Oct the 10th, 1899, after having spent six weeks at my home then in Meath, I went forth in Christ’s Service.”
May's Mother’s home, 76 Lr Beechwood Ave, Ranelagh, Dublin, was located on the south side of Dublin, Ireland. She died in 1916.
Having heard that the “ Wilson case” is coming off soon I thought it might be helpful to you to know something of my movements since leaving Ireland.
I was brought to a knowledge of the Lord there, thru the preaching of the Gospel by Mr. W. Irvine. Afterwards seeing the fields white already unto harvest decided to give my life in service to the one who gave His life freely for me.
Previous to that I lived with my Mother at 76 Lr Beechwood Ave, Ranelagh, Dublin. After her death, I came to this country and have since been working in fellowship with my brother and two sisters who have been preaching in this Country a number of years. The first nine months I was in the work was spent with my sister in the Eastern part of the State of Washington. Since then I have laboured with other girls who like myself are spending their lives for the extension of His Gospel in the world. We have many friends in B.C. and Washington. I will give you a few addresses of those to whom any really interested, in the manner of our lives can refer.
Mr. & Mrs. Anderson, Langley, Wash.
Mr. & Mrs. McCreight, Clinton, Wash.
Mr. & Mrs. Wilson, Olalla, Wash.
Mr. & Mrs. Parkinson, Vancouver B.C.
Mrs. Proctor, Vancouver, B.C.
Of course you understand we are quite free to leave the work or return to the old land any time we choose.
At present I am helping my brother Jack (an old friend of yours) in a Gospel Mission in [a] large tent in this city. Our message is at all times “Christ Jesus as Lord,” and we endeavor by our lives to prove that we are truly His. I hope you will be successful and that this man who has so cruelly slandered those who have no other desire in the world but to live Godly lives will once for all be silenced.
With best wishes
Yours sincerely in Christ’s Service
8 St. Marks Square
Sept. 26, 1913
My Dear Eddie,
Was glad of your wee note received this morn. Intended writing you this week, as it has been on my mind to do so.
Lizzie Coles went to India as children’s nurse with a family. Her people still live in London, but I do not know what part. No doubt I could find out if necessary. She had been nurse in several places previous to going away, and lived at home when out of a place, also for a short time before sailing. I heard this from my people some time ago. I may say say they are much kinder to me. Most of their bitterness was due to Lizzie’s methods in getting me away from home…
I am sure your heart must be grieved these days to hear how things are going on in the London Church. The meetings have never been the same since being at Fred's. Most of us girls were conscious something was wrong, but felt the only thing we could do was to keep faithful individually. Was sorry to hear how Tom had been treated, for am sure he is true and honest. Was real glad to hear yesterday he had started work and was getting on.
Some of us have been thinking if it wouldn't be better to go to Charlton, and I think would value your advice on the matter. I was over at the meeting last Sunday morning and there still seemed to be something wrong. No doubt you have heard all. I know it has caused me to seek to keep true more than ever before. We hardly realize how jealous Satan is to hinder God working. Am sure there are a few who value Sidney's faithfulness, in exposing the corruption that was working, and we know too, a little of how it has caused him to suffer. While all this was going on Phil. was such a comfort to me. Now I hope you will understand what have tried to explain.
Yours in his Love and Care,
c/o Mrs. Nelson Stokes
Victoria Co. Ont.
August 7, 1913
Am writing to give you my testimony regarding my experience since I first got interested as to my condition before God.
15 years ago last January, 2 evangelists came to the village of Borrisokane, Co. Tipperary, Ireland to hold a 7 wks mission in the Methodist Church. My parents, brothers, sisters and myself attended the mtgs. The first night when entering the church that hymn was being sung, “Where will you spent eternity?” It seemed to go home very forcibly to my heart although previous to this I had been brought up by my parents to live a pure moral life. As I continued going to these mtgs God began—
(2) Page 2 is missing
(3) Home address is “Springmount,” Borrisokane, Co. Tipperary Ireland.
7 years ago in the month of September I joined my companion in Belfast (Sarah McClung). We then crossed to England and had our first mission I the City of Bedford. I preached for 3 years I England. Always having my sister worker with me. When working a mission we read the Scriptures together, waited on God in prayer in the forenoon, allowing God to do a work in our own hearts, so that as we came in contact with people we might be able to speak the words of God effectively. In the afternoon we visited the people, finding it very beneficial physically and spiritually.
After spending 3 years in England we then went to Scotland, spent 3 years there working exactly along same lines as when in England. A year ago in the month of August we came to Canada.
(4) For those 7 years, I have had different sister workers with me, all of which had the marks of uprightness, morality and sincerity in the Master’s work. When coming to Canada we came to Toronto, from there to Georgetown a distance of about 30 miles where we had a weeks meetings. We than went up to Bruce Col, Ontario to hold several missions. Extreme kindness had been shown us when there.
Several homes to which we are heartily welcome, a few of which I’ll mention.
Mr. & Mrs. Dave Scott, Spry, Bruce Co.
Mr. & Mrs. Jas. Fowlie (Senior)
Mr. & Mrs. Jas. Fowlie (Junior), Spry PO
Mr. & Mrs. Boyle Dyers, Bay, Bruce Co.
Mr. & Mrs. H. Pettigrew, Tobermory, Bruce Co.
Also several homes in Toronto to whom we are in fellowship with.
Mr. & Mrs. R. Hallowell, 133 Cooper Ave, Toronto
Mr. & Mrs. W. Stinson, 15 Foxley St, Toronto
Mr. & Mrs. T. Pringle, 3 Cooper Avenue, Toronto
(5) We spent 9 months in Bruce Co. preaching in churches and halls. After which I came to Victoria Co., Ontario to take the place of another sister worker who was going home to Scotland to see her friends. When working in England and Scotland I was home every year to see my parents quite at liberty to stay at home if I desired to do so. I have the very same liberty today to return home at any time. My reason for coming to Canada has been that the Gospel might reach other lands. Jesus command to His disciples is seen in Mark 16:15. Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.
I hear regularly from my parents and friends. No compulsion whatever connected to the life I’m living.
Missing: last page w/signature
NOTES: " 15 years ago last January, 2 evangelists came to the village of Borrisokane, Co. Tipperary."
~~ Letter dated August 7, 1913 minus 15 years= 1898.
Annie is not a sister to Sarah Corcoran. Sara's home was: “Springmount,” Borrisokane, Co. Tipperary Ireland. Annie died in 1950--no information regarding place of death.
Jackson Co., Oregon U.S.A.
August 12, 1913
Mr. E. Cooney
In reply to yours of July 21st will give you an outline of my life and work since my conversion.
My home address is Finnoe, Borrisokane, Co. Tipperary, Ireland.
Fourteen years ago I decided for the Lord at some Gospel meetings held in Borrisokane. I lived at home with my parents for six years after that time. Then in the year 1905 I decided to go forth and spend my life in the service of God.
My first experience in the work was at Kilcullen, Co. Kildare, where Miss J. Allan and I held meetings for several weeks. We then crossed to England and worked in Lincolnshire. I remained in England about 4 years and during that time I had several companions. Miss Humphries, Miss McCance, Miss Reid and Miss Minnie Wilson.
In November 1909, I crossed to Canada where I visited my Uncle Jonathan Atkinson at Souris, Manitoba and then my brother in Vancouver, British Columbia (who is also a worker.)
I afterwards crossed to United States and worked in Washington State with Miss Emily Wilson, then went to Alaska where I worked with my brother for several months. Returned again to the United States and have been working in Southern Oregon for the past 2 ½ years. I am at present working in Medford, Oregon with a Miss Howard.
My permanent address is Sams Valley, Jackson Co., Oregon. Some of my particular friends are:
Mrs. M. E. Gardner, Postmistress, Sams Valley
Mrs. C. Pipes, Gold Hill, Oregon
Mrs. D. M. Taylor, Phoenix, Oregon
Miss Mabel Kiumau, Yoncalla, Oregon
We often go to their homes to visit and when needing a rest.
In this country while we differ in religious views with the denominations, yet we feel the need of uniting our forces with them against all forms of immorality, and seek by our own lives and testimony to raise high the true standard of Christianity.
I hear from my Mother, brothers, sisters and home friends regularly and I expect to return home to see them sometime in the near future.
Wishing you much success in your work on that side.
Yours in the Service of Jesus,
NOTES: "Fourteen years ago I decided for the Lord at some Gospel meetings held in Borrisokane."
~~1913 – 14 yrs = 1899
Sarah aka Sally had 3 brothers who also went in the work also: Jack, Bill and Jim.
Sally (Corcoran) McCoy was born in Co. Tipperary, Ireland on Jan. 2, 1878 and died in California. She married Ray McCoy. 1901 Irish census shows Sarah Jane (not "Sally"), which is probably a nickname for Sarah. Her letter is signed Sara—without the “h”.
Sarah’s mother Jane Ann Corcoran professed at Borrisokane in 1898 thru Wm. Irvine.
Read Corcoran’s "Story of Faith"
Sarah is not a sister to Annie. Sara's home was "Finnoe House," Borrisokane, Co. Tipperary, Ireland.
Received your letter of July 21 st, 13 inquiring into the different things I now state.
My home address. Drumboy, Springfield, Enniskillen, Fermanagh, Ireland.
My occupation before going to preach – dressmaking.
About the age of 16 while serving my apprenticeship, I attended a gospel mission held by Messrs. Irvine, Walker, Weir and Quinn in Enniskillen Orange Hall. I yielded my life to serve the Lord and walk in His way.
About the age of 22 I went forth to preach (with another lady preacher) of my own free choice, had a few missions in England…
Mrs. Holloway as address given
Major Pinchen, Grice St. Essendon, Victoria, Australia
Mrs. Heyes, View Bank, Evandale, Tasmania
Mr. Lester Springfield, Tasmania
Mrs. Jacob, Eden Hill, Guildford, West Australia
Mrs. Burgess, James St., Gulidford, West Australia
I’m at liberty to return home at any time, as its of my own free choice to be in Australia. I’m bound by no rules or regulations of any sort. Two lady preachers always go together.
I am in communication with the other sister and hear from them regularly and know that the life each one lives is in keeping with her welfare physically, morally and spiritually. We are all well at present.
Your Sister in Christ Jesus,
Editor's Note: Mary Catherine (Molly) Dane was born January 29, 1887 in Drumboy, Co. Fermanagh, Ireland. She heard Wm. Irvine et al preaching in 1903 and professed then. She travelled to Australia with several other workers in early 1912 and spent the rest of her life there, except for occasional visits to the UK. She died in Melbourne on July 10, 1976. Her sister Margaret “Maggie” Dane married George Walker. After being married a few years, they started in the work in 1919 and labored in Eastern Canada until her death in 1960 years. Her first cousin Rebecca Dane died July 5, 1907, age 28 after being in the work since Sept. 1904. She had gone to America with other workers in Sept. 1906. She died at Liverpool, England and is buried in West Derby Cemetery there. View photo of her Tombstone
Testimony of Jessie Dawson
C/O Mr. & Mrs. W. J. Koeniger
8th August 1913
Since I came to this country I have been preaching one year in Illinois. This year in Indiana. Previous to this I preached in Scotland and have never regretted the choice I made over 6 years ago in gospel meetings held in Dublin by preachers who were seeking to live true for God and putting His interest first.
No person compels me to live and preach this Way. It is my own free choice as I seek to live for God and the extension of His Kingdom.
Two lady preachers always go together. My companion’s name is Kate Armstrong. We have been almost one year together in Indiana having gospel meetings in different places where we can get a suitable home and building to stay in while there. We have made several friends as we go from place to place.
The above address is our central one, people who live pure clean lives. Also Mr. & Mrs. Britton, 1307 Shawnee St., Mount Vernon, Illinois; Mr. & Mrs. J. Knosc, 745 Cleveland Av., Philadelphia, PA; Mrs. Abernethy, 1649 Ayre St., Philadelphia, PA. Latter where I stayed when I landed in Philadelphia two years ago next October.
My Aunt, Miss E. Hughes, 79 Grove Park, Rathmines, Dublin writes to me regular and will welcome me back anytime I wish to go. I lived with her and did housework before going out to preach on the 7 July, 1907.
I have good health and enjoy the work and am very happy and contended.
Yours in Christ Service
Before going to preach I lived with an Aunt of mine (Miss E. Hughes) at 79 Grove Park, Rathmines, Dublin. I was brought up a Presbyterian. Attended the United Free Church of Scotland, Lower Abbey Street.
Some years before I went forth to preach I attended some meetings which caused me to see I needed to be born again and that the way laid down in the Scripture was for today. Preachers going forth two by two leaving home and all for His sake and those in their homes living the life too, according to the pattern seen in Jesus.
I lived at home for over three years before I left to go to preach I met quite a number of the preachers out in this way. During that time in Dublin and altho’ my Aunt could not see as I did, yet she was glad when they called at her home and found them all they professed to be.
Then I decided to go forth to preach, joining another young lady as we always go two by two. I worked awhile in Ireland and England.
About this time last year I crossed to America with a number of ladies on the vessel called “The Dominion,” Liverpool. My Aunt saw us off at the train at Kingsbridge leaving for Queenstown. She wished me every success and said I would be welcome to come back any time which I am always at liberty to do whenever I choose.
We landed in Philadelphia. A friend of mine met us there when we came off the boat. (Mrs. Jackson Stewark, 5733 Fernard St F.K.D Phil) entertained us for a few days before leaving for Baltimore where there were a series of meetings for the deepening of spiritual life (at Mr. Hawkins, Brooklyn, Maryland). From there we visited Mr. & Mrs. Nutter Logan, Ohio. We received with much kindness.
Coming to Illinois in October to Mr. & Mrs. Harrison Clay City, Illinois, where we held some meetings. After the meetings were over I joined Miss Bessie Adams to go to hold Gospel Meetings in different places. We started in Southern part of Illinois. Have been working in these parts ever since. Held meetings in a church in “Sacramento” which the people enjoyed and said our teaching and manner of living were all in accordance with the Scriptures. We received hospitality in the different homes.
The life since I came out to preach has benefited me spiritually and physically as it is a more healthful occupation everything in connection with the life tends to improve one’s mind and body and is up to the highest standard of morality.
Since I landed in America, I have corresponded regularly with my Aunt and other relatives in Dublin and hear quite often from them.
Above address is my central address. I have visited Mr. & Mrs. Britton and am always welcome, also at Mr. & Mrs. Hays, Fl. Gaza Illinois and others whom I could mention.
Sara K. Dawson
Janet Dougal’s Testimony - 1913
To all whom it may concern
I, Janet Dougal, hereby wish to relate particulars of my conversion, also my experience as an evangelist in fellowship with William Irvine, Edward Cooney and others.
In the summer of 1902, two lady Evangelist, Misses Sarah Rogers and Mary Spence, conducted meetings at my native place, it was then I professed conversion.
July 1907, I went forth to preach with a lady companion, as two ladies always travel together. We conducted meetings one year in Lanarkshire, Scotland.
I am engaged in this work voluntary, it is not compulsory, and I am at liberty to return home at any time I wish to do so.
My personal experience of the work and workers is of such a character that everything in connection with it is in keeping with the highest conceptions of morality, and also in accordance with the views held by the leading Evangelical Sects regarding such.
The plans we follow in connection with out work are as follows.
When we go into a place to conduct meetings we make arrangements to board in a respectable home in some parts it is the custom to…missing a page…
During our stay in Maritime Provinces, especially in Prince Edward Island, we encountered a good deal of opposition, owing to circulars distributed advocating that our work was in connection with the white slave traffic. The name of W. D. Wilson of Suffolk, England, was commonly used in connection with these circulars.
We found people in some parts prejudiced, but on hearing us, most of them were soon convinced that all they had heard and read was false and only done to hinder our work…
...remainder of letter missing.
A week or two ago I received a cutting from one of the Fermanagh papers telling a little about the convention in Crocknacrieve, but dealing mostly with Workers, especially sisters who have gone abroad to preach.
I would like to give my Testimony regarding what I know of working in “so called Foreign Lands,” having been in Australia now for some years preaching.
My home address is “Hillsboro, Borrisokane, Co. Tipperary, Ireland. My Father being a Farmer, my occupation was working in the home with the others.
15 years ago  I attended a mission conducted by some of the Workers in a village 3 miles from my home and decided to become a Christian. Four years later  I went forth to preach, “of my own free will choice,” with no other motive than to get others to know the Lord as I had got to know Him. I joined a Miss Boyd from Co. Armagh and worked with her for several years in different parts of Ireland. Cavan; Longford; Fermanagh; Derry; etc.
Then I got a young sister worker and took the lead myself and worked in Co. Armagh for a time and then crossed to England where I worked for a short while before coming out to Australia. I came out to Western Australia with Miss Aggie Hughes from Co. Down and we worked together for 2 years.
Then I went to Victoria where I worked with a number of different sisters for over 2 years. After which I returned home to see my parents and all my friends and relations in Ireland. I worked for 12 months in Northants, England and then returned to Western Australia with 3 other sister workers.
All the time I have been away I have heard regularly from my home and all my friends in Ireland. All my letters are forwarded to above address. And the following are a few of the many homes where we are well known and have worked near.
Mrs. Trigg, Bambra, Victoria
Mrs. Holtham, Murroon, Victoria
Mrs. Hayes, Evandale, Launcester, Tasmania, etc.
Everything in connection with the Testimony which I belong to is in keeping with the highest conception of morality and in accordance with the views held by the leading Evangelical sects regarding such, as well as with the Word of God. And all that I have seen and known at home or abroad of work and workers is such as can commend itself to honest hearts and consciences in the sight of God and man.
I have always had perfect liberty to return home any time I wished to do so. I have never held missions alone. I have always had a sister worker to help me. The life of every sister that I have had the privilege of working with has been consistent with her Testimony.
If any further particulars are required, ___of___above address will reply.
Signed: Laura A. Falkiner
Daisy Fee’s Testimony - 1913
9th August 1913
It is almost eleven years since I met those preachers who walk the Jesus Way. I was then living with my parents at Crieve, Longford, Ireland, my father since deceased was a farmer. I saw my need of being saved and yielded to God during the Mission. I lived for three years at home after that and at the close of 1906 went forth to preach the Gospel.
During my time at home, the preachers visited us many times and were always held in high esteem by my relatives which they continue to do up to the present time. Their characters were above reproach, and I always did and will consider it the highest privilege to have met them and become one of those in fellowship.
I preached in Scotland for about one year and a half and then during that time visited my home in Ireland twice. I am and always have been quite at liberty to return to my home at any time and have corresponded all those years with my friends and relatives at home.
I left home and went to Nova Scotia, Canada, after this and met with those there who valued our friendship and fellowship in the Gospel. Amongst them are Mr. & Mrs. Colin Fogarty.
I spent one year there preaching with another sister and then left for Newfoundland where I labored in gospel for three years and have many friends also there. Among them are Mr. & Mrs. McCarte…West St. Johns and Mr. & Mrs. Wm Coombs, Lopsail…St. Johns. We were always welcome in all these homes, as well as in many others because of the truth we preach and the lives we live. We seek to be an example to all we meet morally, physically and spiritually.
I left for Ireland in May 1911, and visited my relatives for a time and then went to England to preach during my stay there for nearly a year. I visited my brother, a Dr. in…a few times, who is quite satisfied that I should spend my life in this way. I went back to Ireland about June 1912, and once more visited my then widowed mother, and in August left for U.S. where I am at present time.
I went to the homes of a few friends in Philadelphia, amongst them are Mr. & Mrs. John Reid…and Mrs. Abernethy, where we are always welcome. I came on to Illinois and have been with another sister preaching, since two ladies always go together and every one that it has been my lot to meet or be with in this way have been of blameless character. Everything is in keeping with the highest conceptions of morality and in accordance with the leading Evangelical Sects regarding such. We seek in every way to keep well and strong so as to be able to go ahead and preach. My one desire is to continue as a Servant of God until the end. It’s the very best and purest way for any girl to spend her life.
My permanent address in this state is c/o Mrs. W. Britton, 1307 Shawnee St., Mount Vernon, Illinois. We are gladly received at their home and in others too numerous to mention. I went to the home of Mr. & Mrs. Dempsly Harrison, Clay City, R.F.D. Clay Co. Illinois when I came to Illinois first.
Dear Mr. Cooney,
Will try to tell you in as short a space as possible a little of my experience, both before and after I yielded to the message of God.
As a family we were brought up with a high standard of morality, but were taught that that in itself was not sufficient.
Over 16 years ago while I was absent from my home, my brothers and sisters attended some Gospel Meetings where they were converted. On my return I too had the privilege of listening to the same preacher. The words he spoke, and the life manifested by him, combined with the change in the lives of my friends caused me to feel my need of God. At the end of another year I yielded to Him and found what it meant to be born of God.
At that time I held First-class Diplomas from the Liverpool School of Cookery and Laundry, and had already done some work as a Technical Teacher. After my conversion I decided to give my life to preaching the Gospel. This I did of my own free will, not as the result of any outside pressure being brought to bear upon me.
For a few years I conducted meetings in different parts of Ireland accompanied by a lady companion. In 1904 I spent a few months in eastern part of England helping there in meetings.
In the end of November of that year I came to America and after spending a few weeks with friends in the east, came to the home of my sister and her husband who lived near Cando, North Dakota. Joined there by another lady who had given her life to the Gospel we conducted meetings. Our object in these meetings is to impress upon the people their need of being born again and living up to the Standard of righteousness spoken of by Jesus and his Apostles.
For the last 8 years we have spent most of our time in the Dakotas, with the exception of a few months spent in visiting my home in Ireland.
In both Dakotas there are many homes where we are welcome. I have already mentioned my sister, Mrs. Hughes, Cando, North Dakota. In S. Dakota I frequently stay with Mr. & Mrs. McMullen, Lyndall, S.D. also with Mr. & Mrs. J. B. Schmidt, Springfield, S.D., as well as several others. The address given above is our permanent address and when in Minneapolis we stay with Mr. and Mrs. Frendsen.
We frequently receive letters from those who have accepted the message we brought, expressing thankfulness for having learned how they could get the power, not only to live a moral life, but also a spiritual one. We find the life we live helpful to our life morally, spiritually and physically. The regular exercise in open air keeping us in a better condition physically than many of the ladies we work amongst.
I may mention that since starting in this work I carry on a regular correspondence with my relatives in Ireland and am free to return there whenever I choose. The address of my home there is: Dalystown, Castlerickard, Moyvalley, Co. Kildare, Ireland.
I am Faithfully yrs
NOTES: “Over 16 years ago while I was absent from my home, my brothers and sisters attended some Gospel Meetings where they were converted. On my return I too had the privilege of listening to the same preacher.” ~~1913 minus 16 years = 1897. The preacher was Wm. Irvine.
Miss Helen Harrison
c/o Mrs. W. Ripley
Salem, Cumberland Co. Nova Scotia
August 27, 1913
Regarding the much trouble caused by W. D. Wilson near Suffolk England. Writing and sending circulars containing all manner of falsehoods and misrepresentations against us as preachers.
Certain editors willingly published and circulated broadcasts without any foundation as living facts. But the meaness of. It is supposed [“—Lie--?]. Tis reported.
Our lives have been well watched wherever we have laboured and the people have had every possible chance of discovering whether we are good or bad. And during all the years we have been preaching we can defy anyone to put a finger on any inconsistency. And rejoicing is this. With all good conscience in all simplicity in Godly sincerity not with fleshly wisdom but by Grace of God we have our [conviction?] in the world. Seeking to teach men and women to live according to the Word of God.
We believe in practicing what we preach. Which is so much needed. Our faith is in the living God. Who has promised that if we seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness our food and clothing will be added. This we have proved and found the Lord to be a never failing Friend.
I might say I belong to England. Home address: Miss Helen Harrison, Manor Farm, Fotherby, Eng. Since in March 1904 our home was open to receive two lady preachers which I proved were pract[ic]ing what they preached as taught in the word of God (living to preach) “and was won by loving choice took my stand by God and His truth.
About twelve months after I heard the call of God and by pure choice I gave my whole life to be used by God in His service to win precious souls to live and practice as becometh Christians as it is written. And it has resulted in many hearts lives and homes being opened by the Lord.
Where I am welcome at any time and any others in fellowship…I have been preaching for over eight years. Laboured two years in England. Two years in Ireland. Then by choice came over to Canada. Laboured two years in Prince Ed[ward] Island. Many there in fellowship. Mr. and Mrs. John Martin, Wood Island, Prince Ed. Island. This last two years laboured in Cumb. Co., NS. Mr. & Mrs. Ed Carter Salem Cumb. Co. NS. You may use any of these addresses if they will benefit.
Trusting this will in some degree counteract the misrepresentations circulated and make clear our standing and relation to the word of God.
In Christ’s Service and Fellowship
NOTES: Helen Harrison was born November 8, 1866 and was 38 years old when she met the workers in 1904. She entered work in 1905. For many years, it was said that she was the oldest worker on earth. She was 104 years old when she died in 1970.
Mrs. J. Oppermann
c/o Jarrett Street
Sydney, NSW, Australia
Just a few lines in answer to yours received today.
My home address: “Tigroney Mines” Avoca, Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Before going forth to preach I lived with my parents and helped in the home duties. It is over eight years ago since the preachers held the Mission in Avoca. I attended the Meetings and being convinced by their life and testimony that it was God’s way according to Scripture and feeling my own need of Salvation I professed through them. The preachers were john Sullivan who is now in Queensland and Ralph Bullick who is in America.
I left home for Belfast in 1906. I went from there to England with Mary Knox. We worked in Wiltshire for a time and then went to Bedfordshire with Sarah McClung. In 1907, I worked in Lancashire with my companion, Rose Corn. I sailed from Dublin the 13th of October, 1908 for New Zealand with Mr. & Mrs. McClung and Hannah Alexander. Spent two months in South Africa and one in Sydney for some Meetings. Arrived in New Zealand the 4th March, worked there for nearly 4 years and enjoyed the best of health.
While there I was welcome in the homes of Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Mr. & Mrs. Wenham, Hukanui, Wairarapa, also Mr. & Mrs. C. Jensen, Waiheke, Carterton, Wairarapa, Mr. & Mrs. Wise, Purakaunai, South Island, Mrs. Condy, 403 Salesbury St., Christchurch and others who are in fellowship with us.
I left there for New South Wales last February and have been working on the Southern line since. We find the people friendly and there are homes where we are welcome at any time. Mrs. J. Patterson “Rosevale” via Culcairn, Mrs. Brodie, Mrs. Knaus, Rawson St., Granville, also Mr. & Mrs. Oppermann c/o Jarrett St, Leichhardt, Sydney and several others.
In all my experience I have no cause to regret the step I took over eight years ago and have enjoyed fellowship with those in the Work finding them very steady and practical in every way with a purpose in view of living above those things which would tend to immorality or any such thing. The work too is very healthy and I have proved His care and protection by my own experience as I fulfill the conditions God has laid down in the Scriptures. He is faithful to do His part.
I have kept in touch with my people ever since leaving home. Mother writes me, also my married sister and husband and a brother in South Africa. I hear from one of my sisters regularly every week. I left home of my own free will to come out into the work and can return when I wish to do so. My companion and I are now in “Walla Walla” not far from the Victorian border and have a comfortable room with the use of kitchen in the home of Mr. & Mrs. Doughty, who are very kind to us and we enjoy helping her as far as possible in keeping the house clean and tidy, besides our daily study, visiting, etc. We have the use of a hall in the town for preaching in, but will be leaving soon.
Yours in Him
Dora Holland's Testimony Letter
Entered the work in 1902
c/o A. A. Rhinehart
Oslo, Minnesota U.S.A.
Aug. 11th, 1913
Yours of July 21st just to hand, I herewith reply, and give you all the information you desire. My home address in Ireland was Annaville, Woodlawn, Co. Galway, Ireland. That is where I was born and brought up. My father’s name is Philip Holland. He has since come out to live in Canada.
I was educated at home for first years and finished in a school in Dublin, conducted by Miss Jones, 119 Leinster Sq, Rathmines. Afterwards I followed the occupation of teaching for some years, was a governess and lived with a lady in Kilrush, Co. Clare, a Mrs. Wm. Peacocke. It was while I was there that two preachers came along and held meetings in the town. I attended the services. They were held by a Mr. Wm. Irvine from Scotland, and his companion. It was at that time that I made the choice I would yield my life fully to God’s control and have reason to believe that God through the instrumentality of His Messengers wrought a change in my heart and mind, and gave me new desires and purposes. I decided then that I would give my life to gospel work sometime, but continued teaching for a few years.
It was eleven years ago the 24th day of May last since I went forth to preach in the way the New Testament teaches. No person asked me to go. It was a matter of my own choice and discussion and the outcome of God moving on my mind and heart to do so, as I got to see the need of the world and felt a personal responsibility in the matter. My father and other friends did not seek to prohibit me taking this step as he and they are glad to see me choose the highest calling, viz to be of use to people to help them in the things and ways of God. I went out with a Miss Janet Gill from Co. Meath. She had previously been a schoolmate in Dublin and an intimate friend. We labored for awhile in Berwickshire, Scotland.
Two lady preachers always go together, and I can say that after being over seventeen years in touch with the work and now over eleven years out preaching in fellowship with all in it that I have always found that everything in connection with it is in keeping with the highest conceptions of morality, and in accordance with the views held by the leading Evangelical sects regarding such.
I preached for the first few years in Scotland, England and Ireland, came out to Western Canada on Aug. 5th, 1905 on the Virginian-Allan Line. My brother had come out to the West a few years previously to farm and my father and family anticipated doing so. This helped to cause me to have a desire to come to Canada. I preached in Manitoba and Saskatchewan for first few years and enclose you the addresses of friends there that are in fellowship with me and in whose homes I am welcome, and also some addresses on this side of the line. My father and family came out to Emo, Western Ontario, Canada eight years ago, and five years ago I went to visit my people and spent a couple of years preaching in and round that part of Western Ontario where my people live.
I am always at liberty to go home anytime I wish to do so. I spent a month there last fall taking a holiday and anticipate doing so next month. Most of my family are in fellowship with the testimony and all believe in the work as they have seen practical results in the lives of those who have been influenced by the teaching we have given them.
Having had eleven years experience preaching in this way, I can say that the life we sisters live is in keeping with our welfare physically, morally and spiritually. I enjoy the best of health and prove that our temporal needs are in every way provided as we go along.
We meet with many kind friends who consider it a privilege to receive us as the Messengers of God and show us hospitality and kindness and as a result we have the joy of seeing some nearly every place we work in yield their lives to God.
I have been working here in Northern Minnesota for over eighteen months, mostly Scandinavian people, and get large and interested attendance at our meetings all the time. I have always been treated with respect and courtesy every place I have preached in and I prove that walking this pathway enables me to enjoy more fellowship with God than I did even when I was teaching, as my whole mind and life is abandoned to the one purpose, viz to learn His will and ways and seek to tell others to do the same.
Yours in Christ’s Service
NOTES: “I attended the services. They were held by a Mr. Wm. Irvine from Scotland, and his companion. It was at that time that I made the choice I would yield my life fully to God’s control”
“…after being over seventeen years in touch with the work”
~~1913 minus 17 years = 1896 Dora heard Wm. Irvine preach in Kilrush, Co. Clare Ireland.
“and now over eleven years out preaching in fellowship”
~~1913 minus 11 years = 1902 when Dora entered the work (1902 is also the year shown on the 1905 workers list for when Dora entered the work)
Mr. Cooney - Dear Friend
Yours to hand the other day. I gladly give you a little of my experience. I was brought up in Lauder, Berwickshire, Scotland, where my parents are still living. I was a dressmaker by trade. During that time I had an opportunity of Gospel meetings. While attending these meetings I got to see my need of getting God’s nature, if I was to live a life that would please Him, and so I made my choice to allow God to be my Master and to follow in Jesus’ steps.
I could see that these Gospel preachers were men of God and going by the pattern laid down by Jesus in the Bible. I could see their whole hearts were in it. The Bible became a new book altogether to me. Before I read it as a matter of course, but could not see much in it, but now that my eyes were opened I could understand it.
I then could see that God expected us to live for Him before this I was just living to please myself. At this time my brother was out preaching and was often writing me about the work of God he was in and what a glorious life it was to be seeking for precious souls, that they may get born again into God’s Family. So I decided to spend my life like my brother and years after my conversion I went forth to preach.
I crossed to Ireland where my brother was preaching and spent a few months there and then I went to USA and was five years there. I then return to Scotland and spend 2 months with my parents at Lauder. In October, 1910, I came to South Australia with my brother where I have been preaching ever since. I enjoy the preaching very much. It is a very healthy life going about from place to place. What we teach and preach is the simple Gospel that Jesus gave us. As we have it recorded in His Word Jesus is the same, yesterday, today and forever and our mission or aim is to get people to live for God and so enjoy His smile and favour here and in Eternity. Our teaching is the very same as what the leading Evangelical sects teach.
Two lady preachers always go together so that I have always a companion. We study the Bible every day together and seek to understand more of God’s Word. I am at liberty to return home at any time. I write home every week and usually hear from my Father and Mother every week. When we need a little rest, we have plenty of friends who are in fellowship with us, in whose homes we are welcome. I give you a few of them: Mrs. Wuttke, Woodside, Mrs. Schmidt, Bethel, Mrs. Geue, Kapunda, Mrs. Vogt, Saddleworth, Mrs. Wray, Magill, Adelaide, Mrs. Cox, R---, Mrs. Lune, Clarendon, Mrs. Matz, ---, Mrs. Phillips, Manoora.
My Central address is: c/o Miss Collins, Forest Range PO, South Australia
We hold our Meetings in state schools, halls, institutes just as they can be had. We are glad to see some results from our labours in getting some born again into God’s Family and starting to live a life that is not only profitable here, but also in Eternity. As the Bible says, Godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.
We enjoy good health and find the life out preaching is beneficial in every way. Physically, morally and spiritually, as we always visit the people, we are amongst and as we seek to live to please Him and for the interest of others, that it all helps to build one up in body, soul and spirit. We value God’s care and interest and enjoy our privileges of service to Him. The desire and purpose is always being deepened after Himself and to be more useful for Him in this world, so that He may be glorified.
Yours faithfully in His Service,
Annie Irwin’s Testimony – 1913
c/o E. O. Fielder
Vinton Box 154
Roanoke Co., Virginia USA
August 14, 1913
Yours at hand a few days ago, asking me for my Home Address, occupation before going to preach. Also particulars of my conversion and a little of my experience since going forth to preach.
My home address is Kilclay, Augher, Co. Tyrone, Ireland. My occupation “Dairy maid.” I worked some time in Augher Creamery and was next employed by Lord Castletown, Granston Manor, Abbeyleix, Queens Co., Ire; where I remained for 2-1/2 years when in his employment about 1 year.
I attended some meetings held near Bellacolla; (4 miles from Lord Castletowns) and heard preached what I believed was the True Gospel and decided on July 7, 1903, that I would endeavour to live according to the teachings of the Scripture, knowing it to be the Standard by which I would be Judged one day.
I remained in lord Castletowns’ employment [until] Dec. 22nd, 1904, and on Jan 1st, 1905, I went forth to preach the same Gospel. I laboured 6 months in Ireland, having joined a young lady with whom I was acquainted. Our first field was near Birr, Kings Co.
On August 4, 1905, I left the British Isles for Canada in company with the young lady that I had preached with in Ireland, and some others, came to Toronto and laboured in that part for some time; spent 2 years altogether in Ontario. The next 4 years I laboured in New Brunswick, chiefly in Westmoreland, Queens and Sunbury Cos. The last two years I laboured in U.S., chiefly in the Stats of Maine, Massachusetts and Virginia, where I am at present.
In regards to my going to preach I was not induced by any one to do so. “It was my own choice.” After becoming a Christian I had a desire to spend my life in seeking to help others to see the way of Truth and with that motive only I launched forth and have laboured with no other object in view for the past 8 years. Everything in connection with the work is in keeping with the highest conceptions of morality and in accordance with the views held by the leading Evangelical Sects in regards to such We believe in complying with the Laws of God and the Laws of the Country in regards to marriage.
When out preaching, two ladies always go together and in every way seek to consider our welfare, physically, morally and spiritually. Physically, seek to have plenty of fresh air, wholesome food, exercise and rest. Morally, careful always to stay in the homes of those of respectability, reputation, etc. In every community, the Gospel we have preached and life lived has always gained the confidence and respect of such people who have shown us much hospitality.
Will give a few addresses of some people in communities where we have preached in whose homes we have been entertained and would still be welcome at anytime we wish to return.
Mrs. John Barker, Black Creek, Box 6, Ont, Can.
Mrs. John Hesler, Bixmark Box 30, Ontario, Can
Mr. Borders Randall, Stilesville, Westmoreland, N.B. Canada
Mrs. Temple Lutes, Hilgard P.O., Moncton, West Co., N.B.
Mr. & Mrs. Spurgeon Steeves, Indian Mt., Westmoreland Co., N.B. Canada
Mr. & Mrs. Geo. Clarke, Cumberland Bay P.O., Queens Co., N.B.
Mr. & Mrs. Charles Barton, Coxs Point P.O., Queens Co., N.B.
Mr. & Mrs. Duncan Betts, Lintons P.O., Chipman, Sunbury Co., N.B., Can
Mrs. Stephen Fletcher, Bradford, Maine
Mr. & Mrs. Wm Horn, 604 – 11th Ave., Roanoke, Virginia USA
Since leaving home, I have corresponded regularly with my relatives, both in Ireland, USA and Canada, as well as visiting them when it was convenient for me to do so. When in Ontario about 1 year and 9 months I visited my Aunt and family in Kent Co., Ont. I returned to my home April 16, 1910. I remained in Ireland about 3 months, spending some time at my home and with other friends nearby. In July, I returned to Canada. Last summer I visited my bother, Matthew Irwin, 504 Washington St., Newark, New Jersey, USA, and in the fall visited my Aunt, Mrs. Walker D. Richmond, Erdman Ave., Baltimore, Maryland, and am still at liberty to return at any time I wish to do so.
I will say in closing that I can encourage anyone that may be concerned to investigate all that I have written, as I know the work with which I am connected will stand the test from a moral standpoint as well as for spiritual.
P.S. Central address for letters is at c/o E. O. Fielder, Vinton Box 154, Virginia USA
Lizzie Kerr’s Testimony – 1913
c/o Mr. Chas Hultgren
Crossfield, Alberta, Canada
August 19, 1913
My home address is: Moneenroe, Castlecomer, Co. Kilkenny, Ireland.
Two brother preachers preached near my home eleven years ago when I heard the truth and got saved. I always done general housework until I went to preach seven years ago. I preached two years in the British Isles. Then came to this side and preached three months in Manitoba and the remainder of the time here in Alberta.
I have always had a lady companion with me and have got acquainted with many since coming here which make me welcome to their homes at any time we wish to go. Will give you the address of some we are working near at present.
Mr. Frank C. Websdale, Vegreville, Alberta
Mr. Chas Huntley, RR #1, Bremmer, Alta
My Central address is: Drawer G, Crossfield, Alta c/o Mr. Hultgren
I write to my people and also hear from them regularly, and am at liberty to go see them at any time convenient to myself. We work amongst all religious sects, and the work carried on by us is in accordance with their highest views of morality.
Each sister has every chance to look after her own welfare in every sense, and seeks to live true and pure in the sight of God and man, and labours in the Gospel for the extension of God’s Kingdom.
Your sister in Jesus
c/o W. O. Cosc R. 3
Moscow, Idaho USA
August 12th, 1913
In reply to yours of July 21st, 1913, I’ll write a few lines.
My Fathers address is Robert Lyness, Drumgor, Portadown, Co. Armagh, Ireland.
My occupation before going to preach was helping Mother and Father on the farm. I was converted to Christ in Feb. 1903 through the labours of Mr. E. Cooney and Mr. J. Kerr and have been in connection with the work of Christ since. I went forth to preach the gospel in September 1908 and was in England with Miss Pennie Barton for nine months. At the end of this time I returned to Ireland to visit my people and attend the convention at Mr. John West of Crocknacrieve.
On the 2nd of November, 1909, I left home to go to America, my Brother being there engaged in the work for some years before. I thought it would be nice to be where I could see him once in awhile and help him.
I have found every thing in connection with the work strictly moral and upright in every way.
I spend the summer months with my brother in tent meetings and the winter with a lady companion. We are in the work because we love the Lord and enjoy spending our lives in His service, and are at liberty to go home at any time we choose. We find all things agreeable and are delighted to have the opportunity to spend our lives in the service of Christ. All things that I have found in the work tend to build me up morally and spiritually.
I hear from my people at home and write every few weeks. I have been getting my mail for the past three years in c/o Mr. I. C. Bottorff, Fereewater, Oregon, USA. Since coming north for the summer, I get my mail in c/o Mr. W. O. Cosc, RFD 3, Moscow, Idaho USA.
I have found many friends since coming out here. Some of whom I will mention
Mr. & Mrs. S. G. Owen, Turner, Washington.
Mr. & Mrs. J. K. Livingood, Dayton, Washington.
I. C. Bottorff Fereewater, Oregon.
G. W. Johnson, Weston, Oregon, and many more that I need not mention.
I have been with many, many sister workers and find them all like myself as far as enjoying the work is conserned (sic). Two sisters go together except occasionally a brother and sister in the flesh may work together.
If there is anything else I can say to help you I shall be glad to do so.
Wishing success to all on that side in the service of Christ,
Testimony of Annie McClung:
c/o Mr. H. Holloway
7 Lincoln Rd., Essendon, Victoria
c/o Major Pinchen “Talfarno”
Grice St, Essendon, Victoria
August 31, 1913
My dear Brother
We got yours and in reply, our home address is 116 Clifton Park Av. Belfast and 190 Crumlin Rd., Belfast. Before our going forth to preach my husband was Clerk in the General Prison Service, Ireland.
My conversion, as well as my husband’s, took place in Galway in year 1898 through the preaching of Mr. Wm. Irvine in that town, and on my husband’s resignation from the Prison Service, we went out to preach November, 1903. We preached in Ireland for a year, then in England in Berkshire and Suffolk until our leaving for Australia in October 1908.
We have many friends in all these places made through the gospel and since going forth have proved the power of the gospel to change men and women’s lives and keep ourselves pure and holy, as well as make ample provision for all our needs without any appeal for money or anything of the kind, and feel more than ever that nothing else can do this.
We have been very intimately acquainted with the work for 15 years and can faithfully say that everything in connection with it is in keeping with the highest conceptions of morality and in accordance with the views held by the leading Evangelical sects regarding such.
Since leaving the British Isles we spent two months in Africa among the workers there and found everything perfectly consistent with the highest ideals, morally and spiritually. Since then we have spent our time in Victoria and Tasmania, preaching the Gospel. In these parts we have many friends in the Gospel. We correspond regularly with our relations in the homeland ever since going forth to preach.
Our central addresses are found on top of letter, from which places our letters are forwarded to any part we may be working in. We are always welcome in these homes, as well as many more of which I’ll give a few. (numerous names and addresses follow)
We are at liberty to return home at any time we wish to do so. Myself and my husband always preach together, but two lady preachers always go together. We are in closest touch and communication with all in these countries and exercise oversight over them and know that the life that each one lives is in keeping with their highest welfare, physically, morally and spiritually. All are in good health at present and get on well.
Our love to all that side
Yours in Him,
(Mrs.) Annie McClung
NOTES: John Long wrote August 1898: "At that time, William Irvine left me and went to Galway town." Wilson and Annie McClung were a married worker couple who had no children.
Minnie McGuirk’s Testimony - 1913
c/o Mr. W. Stinson
15 Foxley St
Toronto, Ont. Canada
August 7th, 1913
In reply to yours of July 21st re the allegations made by Mr. Wilson of Suffolk, England, I wish to give my experience since going forth to preach in the summer of 1905, having been converted a year before that at a mission held near my home.
The statements made by Mr. Wilson is altogether untrue. Everything in connection with this work and our own manner of living is in keeping with the highest conceptions of morality, according to the laws of God and man and in keeping with the leading Evangelical sects regarding such.
My father’s name is Wm. McGuirk. He lives at Dunganstown, Co. Wicklow, [Ireland]. I lived with my parents before I went out to preach and left home for this work with my parents full consent and approval, and since that time I have kept up a regular (generally weekly) correspondence with them so that they know all my movements. I spent 4 years in the work in Scotland and England and paid a visit to my home every summer. I have been 4 years in Canada this August; and am at liberty to return home should I wish to do so at any time.
During these 8 years I have never seen or known anything to take place such as Mr. Wilson has charged us with. Two sisters always go together, and I am in touch with the sisters who have been my companions, and can speak both for them and myself that in any place where we have been, our manner of living can bear the strictest investigation, and should anyone wish to inquire into our movements in the parts we have been. We do not fear them to do so.
My companion at present is Miss Edna Harper of Mr. Forest, Ontario, who is preaching with her parents’ approval. Her father’s address is Mr. Philip Harper, Box 292, Mt. Forest, Ontario, should anyone wish to write him. There are homes too numerous to write in which we are welcome, or if we need a rest are gladly received. I enclose a list of a few people whose homes we are welcome. Any of whom is well known in the district where they live. I could give other names if necessary. Trusting this will be a help to show that the charges brought against us are fake.
I am Yours in Christ’s service,
c/o Mr. John Knox
6034 Irving St
Philadelphia, PA USA
August 18, 2013
My dear bro.
I reply to yours of July 21st. My home address is Ballyboggie, Clough, Co. Antrim, Ireland. And before I went forth to preach the gospel, I was Milliner and Saleswoman in the town of Dronure, Co. Down, Ireland.
While there, I heard of some evangelists who were preaching at Ballynahinch, six miles from there. From what I heard I got interested and was inclined to believe that these evangelists had more light on the Scriptures than I had. I learned that they were to hold a convention in Leadbetter St. Hall, Belfast, and I decided I would attend. I was impressed by the preaching and purposed in heart that I would do the will of God.
I could see that the workers were seeking to follow the example of Jesus. Seeking not their own earthly gain, but the eternal welfare of others. At that convention all things were conducted in a strictly moral way, as at all conventions I have attended since.
Eight months after this, I gave up my position as Milliner and went forth to preach the gospel, having as my companion Miss A. McBride, who had been in this work for two years. I preached for two years in Scotland, mostly in Perth Co. At that time. Mr. & Mrs. John Frazer of Oakbank Cottage, Cherry Bank, Perth, received us into their home and we are still welcome there.
At Crocknacrieve Convention five years ago, I volunteered to go to Newfoundland and preach the gospel. It was altogether a free will choice. My mother seemed also to approve. I kept up a correspondence with my parents while there.
We enjoyed the friendship there of Mr. & Mrs. John House of East Point, Catalina, Trinity Bay. Also Mr. & Mrs. Sam Berrige of Bell Isle, Con. Boeuf. They are still our friends. Two years ago I went back to the British Isles, preached the Gospel for about one year in Warwickshire, England. I visited my parents twice during that year.
One year ago, I again left the British Isles for Philadelphia to go on evangelistic work in Pennsylvania. Since then I have preached in several places in the Northeast of the state, my companion being Miss. E. Webb of Upper Brookside Ave, Amsterdam, New York.
Since coming to PA, my permanent address is c/o John Knox, 6034 Irving St., Philadelphia. We are always welcome at the above address. Also at the homes of Mr. & Mrs. Eugene Hilbert, Beaumont, Pa; and Mr. & Mrs. L. Cheupluvies, Meshoppen, Pa. Also Mr. & Mrs. Darius Beuel, Wyalusing, Pa.
Everything in keeping with this work is of a strictly moral character and our views regarding morality correspond with these of the Presbyterian and Methodist or any of the leading popular sects. “Two sisters always go together.”
I am under no compulsion to remain in this work or in any particular place and if I choose I could go back to my parents at any time, but I choose to remain in the Lord’s service, as I realize that the fields are already white unto harvest and the labourers are few, as Jesus said.
I have been almost seven years preaching the gospel and feel in better health today than when I went forth into the work. We are taught to exercise care in seeking to be in a condition physically, spiritually and morally to commend the gospel of Jesus to others.
I am satisfied with the choice I have made and I am still I correspondence with my parents.
Rosetta Millar [aka Nettie]
In January 1901, two Evangelists came to the village of Sauchie, Clackmannashire, (where I was then residing with my brothers and sisters) and laboured for a few weeks in the district, visiting the people and holding “Gospel Meetings.” From the first time I heard the Senior worker address a company of people, I was assured he was sent of God, and the ring of Truth and Sincerity found an echo in my life.
As I saw the possibility of enjoying what I had long craved, viz: true fellowship with God. Consequently I purposed to do my best to encourage them in their efforts re the extension of God’s Kingdom as revealed in the Scriptures; and which was being made manifest through their lives.
I was then engaged by the “Alloa School Board” as Infant Mistress in one of their Schools, which situation I held for nearly ten years. However, seeing the value of living for what was unseen and eternal was of the greatest importance, I immediately began to make preparations for going forth into the field of God’s service.
I did not meet any of the workers for twelve months when I again had fellowship with them in the Christian Conference held at Kilsyth. I mention this as it was not the association with others that attracted my interest, but the deep desire to know God and be spent in His service, as I had seen possible through the lives of those workers I had been privileged to be brought in touch with.
I left home in June, 1902 and crossed to Portadown where I met my companion (Dora Holland), with whom I returned to Perthshire where we commenced mission work. Thereafter I spent three years in various parts of the British Isles, during which time I enjoyed the pleasureable companionship of six different Sisters. Younger workers volunteering for service necessitated the frequency of change, as two lady workers always go together.
From my first acquaintance with the Workers until the present time, I am assured that the highest conceptions of purity and all thoughts regarding chastity, marriage and morality are identical to those used by members of the Established Churches and all other leading Denominations in the British Isles; and the church of the Province of South Africa, and the Dutch Reformed Church and all the other leading churches in this Colony.
In August 1905 I sailed for South Africa in company with a few others. My Companion (Lily Reid) and I came on to Natal, where we laboured for a year when we were joined by other two lady companions from home. Thereafter we four labored chiefly in Natal until I left for home in June, 1910; where I remained until September, 1911 when I again set sail with my companion (Barbara Baxter) for Africa.
Since returning to this land, I have spent part of the time in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Port Elizabeth. Now my companion (May Lund) and I are in Durban. I may here make mention that two lady preachers always go together, and we are at perfect liberty to return home at any time we should desire; or settle down and make homes of our own.
However, for my own part, I long to be at my best always for God, that the life He has given me may be fully and only dedicated to Him.
Since leaving home in 1902 I have enjoyed far better health physically than I ever did as a teacher, and the deepening of spiritual fellowship as one walks with God can never be found anywhere else in this world, except as I am now enjoying and have done during these last twelve years; and makes up in super abundance for all that one might naturally desire.
Since I arrived in Africa nearly eight years ago, I have heard regularly by every mail from my sisters and brothers, with whom I correspond weekly. They know all my movements as far as I can possibly acquaint them, and show interest in every step I take.
My unmarried Brothers and Sisters live at: Gairney House, Sauchie, Alloa, Scotland.
I have three sisters married and one brother and all correspond with me.
My central address in Africa is: 33 Davenport Avenue, Durban, Natal.
And there are many homes all over South Africa where we are always welcome. I may append a few addresses which may be serviceable:
Mr. Robr. M’Nale, 12 Victoria Street, Pietermaritzburg
Mr. Alex Herd, Cathcart Street, Greystown, Natal
Mr. John Roberts, The Gables, Estcourt, Natal
Mr. O. Johnson, The Farm, Ladysmith, Natal
Mr. J. Anderson, Myrtle Cottage, Malern, Jo’burg
Mr. Geo. Round, Custom House Officer, Port Elizabeth
Mr. A. Dickens, East Street Les Marias, Pretoria
Trusting this may be all that is desired
Yours in Christ’s Service
NOTES: Mary Moodie was the first sister worker to enter the work in Scotland. A convention was held at Portadown, Ireland in 1902. Mary Moodie and Barbara Baxter sailed from London to Natal on September 7, 1911 on The Union Castle Mail Steamship Co.. Ltd. SS Dunvegan Castle. Each took a cycle with them.
Affidavit of Mary Moodie
Entered the work in 1902
KNOW ALL MEN BY THESE PRESENTS that on this the 25th day of November in the year of Our Lord One thousand nine hundred and thirteen personally came and appeared BEFORE ME LEWIS BYRON, Notary Public, by lawful authority duly admitted and sworn and practising at Durban in the Province of Natal, South Africa, MARY MOODIE, of Durban, who made oath and declared as follows:
WHEREAS the Deponent is a member of a religious association known as "Go-preachers".
AND WHEREAS certain pamphlets or leaflets have been published in England by one Wilson or another or other persons whose names are at present unknown to Deponent, reflecting discredit upon the said Association, and imputing or inferring improper moral conduct on the part of the Deponent or other persons.
AND WHEREAS an action is contemplated against the authors or publishers of the aforesaid leaflets.
NOW THEREFORE THE DEPONENT SAITH:-
1--- That during the month of January, 1901, while residing in Clackmannanshire, Scotland, she became converted to membership of the aforesaid Association of "Go-preachers:
2--- That she became an itinerant preacher for the said Association in June, 1902, and in September, 1905, after the Convention held in Leadbetter St. Hall, Belfast, came out to South Africa to continue her preaching in this country by personal choice.
3--- That in June, 1910, she returned to Britain where she pursued her preaching, and again sailed for Natal in September, 1911 where she has remained since, and is presently engaged in this Evangelistic work.
4--- Deponent further saith that no worker in connection with this Association is under any obligation to go and preach, such being a matter of individual choice.
5--- No worker is sent abroad against his or her personal desire and consent, and the district or field of labour is left to the choice of the worker.
6--- The Deponent further testifies that from the time she became acquainted with those known as "Go-preachers" (including those whose names are William Irvine, William Gill and Edward Cooney) until the present time the views held by herself and, to the best of her knowledge, by all other members, regarding chastity, marriage and morality, are similar to those held by members of the Established Church, and other leading denominations in England, and the Church of the Province of South Africa, the Dutch Reformed Church, and all the other leading Churches in this Country.
7--- That the aforesaid views regarding chastity, marriage and morality, are both practised and preached by the members of the said Association of "Go-preachers".
WHEREFOR an Act being required I have granted these re__nts under my Notarial form and seal to serve and avail all occasion shall or may require.
DATED at Durban aforesaid this 25th day of November, in the Year of Our Lord One thousand nine hundred and thirteen.
MARY MOODIE, Attestor
AS WITNESS: M. S. Chapman; Isabel MacLavish
NOTARY PUBLIC, Lewis Byron
NOTE: Mary Moodie is No. 189 on the 1921 Dimsdale Hall, Staffordshire Photo.
c/o Mrs. Gill
W Charley Lanes
Present add: 28 High Street, Belmont, W Bolton, Lancs
October 19, 1913
My dear Brother,
I got yours yesterday and sorry I cannot tell much that might help you about the Wilson Case. Mr. List of Deben House, Debenham, Stowmarket, Suffolk would be able to tell you some things.
1. All I know of a Messenger calling at Belfast 9 years ago was a man, a Schoolmaster, called to see Edith Easy, who had been teaching in a School in Brundish, and I saw her speak to him inside the building and someone said his wife was somewhere nearby but I did not see her nor did Edith.
2. When Wilson McClung was preaching in Ipswich, Louie detectives came and asked us several questions. We were all called out one by one and we answered all his questions. We were having Louie Special Meetings.
3. The only loss I know about was he came along to a village in which we were preaching and after using very bad language he took a stone and broke our windows. We had to pay £6 to get them repaired. He broke Sam Cole's windows and damaged the wooden hall belonging to W. McClung, but both was taken before the Magistrates and he had to make right.
4. I only know of one village where his literature is believed in and forgot the name of it. We were followed a mile by an angry mob and were clodded all the way. It was through the clergymans advise (sic) that we were put out. I cannot remember his name. Very few of the people believed in him in Suffolk or Norfolk.
This is all I can tell you. Hope it will be useful. Let us know how all goes on.
NOTES: Alice Pipe is shown on the 1905 Workers List as entering the work in 1903. She was active in the work until at least 1914, and perhaps beyond. She is shown on the 1911 England Census with her companion Miriam Buttimer (age 43 years then). According to that census, she was born in Wilby, Suffolk in 1867-68. She is mentioned in several newspaper articles:
June 9, 1906, Morning Leader: “A great stir has been created recently in East Anglia by a body of "No Sect" people whose preachers have been holding meetings in that part of rural England for several years past. This sect, if we may call it a sect, was started in Scotland by a William Irvine, seven or eight years ago. It has grown gradually. Fifty men or women missionaries connected with it are now working in England. There are as many in Scotland and more in Ireland. The headquarters are now in Belfast. "We have no name," said one of the preachers, "but some call us Cooneyites, Tramps, Faith Missioners, No Secters, and so on." Alice Pipe, a pretty girl missioner, was the first of the sect to visit East Anglia. She was followed by William Irvine, the founder. Recently a Mr. McClung, one of the leaders - Mr. Cooney is now the other leader - has been holding meetings in Framlingham, Cretingham, Debenham, Needham, Stow Upland, Stowmarket, and Ipswich. These meetings have caused many people to leave their different churches and chapels, and to identify themselves with the new sect. This has created some opposition and much hard feeling, and all manner of stories are told against the "Tramp Preachers."
June 28, 1906, Impartial Reporter: "Alice Pipe, a pretty girl missioner, was the first of the sect to visit East Anglia. She was followed by William Irwin, the founder. Recently a Mr. M’Clung, one of the leaders--Mr. Cooney is now the other leader--has been holding meetings in Framlingham, Cretingham, Debenham, Needham, Stow, Upland, Stowmarket and Ipswich."
January 27, 1907, Lloyd's Weekly: "About two years ago the village of Brundish, in Suffolk, was visited by a couple of women missioners, named Alice Pipe and Lily Reid. On an agricultural community, glad, perhaps, of a little colour in the monotony of life, they appear to have made a great impression."
Feb 3, 1907, Lloyd's Weekly: "...the Preachers were first brought under Mr. Wilson’s notice by a Miss Pipe, who wrote to Mr. Wilson in March, 1904, asking for the loan of the Cretingham school room."
July 14, 1912, The People: "Among the Cooneyite female preachers was one Alice Pipe, a pretty girl with a sweet voice. Under a species of hypnotic influence she falls into a sort of trance and repeats words that might be any language. It is gravely announced that she speaks by the Spirit, and many have been converted through her."
c/o Wm. Koeniger
Pendleton, Indiana U.S.A.
August 28, 1913
My Dear Bro. Cooney
You will likely be enjoying your work these days on the Irish side. We hope you have a year of blessing. We are certainly enjoying preaching the word over in the United States. It often makes my heart glad for the privileges we each have of being God’s Messengers and having ever heard ourselves.
About 14 years ago in the town of Maryboro, Queens Co., Ireland, I first heard Wm. Irvine. He held meetings there which I attended and for the first time saw who Jesus was and purposed to follow Him.
Almost 2 years afterwards I had the joy of going forth to preach. Went to Scotland to begin and travelled to various parts there with a sister worker where our labours were blessed in some measure.
Crossed over to United States about 10 years ago with some others who also came to sound out the Gospel. Have worked in P.A., Ill, S. and Indiana. Glad we ever came because of those whom God has given us in the Gospel.
It is not compulsory at all that we should remain on the field or even away from our relatives, as every worker is at perfect liberty to cease preaching when they desire to and go to their friends.
My Mother, Mrs. Rogers, Tulnyoan, near Derrygonnelly, Ireland still lives, from whom I hear regularly and always have since leaving. She never has in any way hindered me from going forth as a preacher. Have been home once since coming to this country, but have learned to feel at home amongst the Lord’s friends here who have been friends indeed to us.
I have trained a sister worker on the field each year. Sometimes an Irish girl. Sometimes an American, as they were anxious to go.
Have always found the strictest moral teaching observed in the Testimony amongst workers on the field and saints in the home and have indeed seen lived all our ideas of purity as taught from childhood.
Was brought up in the Methodist Church, Church Hill near Derrygonnelly, Co. Fermanagh. At present my address is c/o Wm. Koeniger, Pendleton, Ind., U.S.A., our standing address. On looking back today, it’s a cause for praise that God ever sent His messengers to show me His lowly path when busy seeking the world ___? in Maryboro while in Mrs. Buckley’s store there as Milliner and Saleswoman.
The homes welcome us today are many in Indiana. Might give a few names, such as:
George Helms & wife,
Martin Schulze & wife. Ad of both: Flat Rock, Ind U.S.A.
Frank Gesher & wife, Bluffton, R2 Ind US
Frank Barrick, Uniondale, Ind US
And many others.
The health of each worker is our first consideration. Each sister has been well cared for and always can rest when over tired or not strong. Our work is a delight, not a compulsory thing.
Trust you keep well yourself and being much used.
Your sister in Christ
NOTES: About 14 years ago in the town of Maryboro, Queens CO., Ireland, I first heard Wm. Irvine. He held meetings there which I attended and for the first time saw who Jesus was and purposed to follow Him.
~~1913 minus 14 years = year 1899.
Goodhand Pattison wrote: I have mentioned William's visits to Galway, Maryboro etc. Living in the former was a Mr. Burton and in the latter a Mrs. Buckley, both of whom in those days seemed very attached friends of his but for some reason dropped out later on. It was at Mrs. Buckley's that Sarah Rogers was employed and. took her stand later on to go forth and become so effective a preacher.
I received yours last night. My home address before going to preach: Rathmore, Naas, Co. Kildare, Ireland. Occupation: Dressmaker. While dressmaking in Blessington, Co. Wicklow, I attended a mission conducted by Mr. & Miss Gill where I got saved, seeing that my life could become more useful to God through preaching than by dressmaking. After three years I went forth to preach. I then joined Miss E. Gill in Co. Cavan where we worked a mission together for some weeks in a hall and lodging with thee Rev. and Mrs. S. Robinson.
I then crossed to England and joined Miss Pipe in Suffolk and preached with her there for some months and then left England to attend convention in Ireland. On the 16th November, 1906, I left for Queensland with Miss Hodgins, working together for a year there, and God blessing our work efforts, we made some friends in the Gospel. The people showing us kindness and opening their homes to us, some of whom are Mr. & Mrs. Lileen, Mr. & Mrs. Dobbin (with whom we lodged).
We then came to Victoria where I’ve since been working missions with Miss Harrison, also with Miss Taylor, and again we have had good success in our work in people getting saved and opening their hearts and homes to the Lord and us, and they make us very welcome in their homes. Among who are Mr. & Mrs. Cameron and family, Mr. & Mrs. McDonald, Mr. & Mrs. Hawse with whom we lodged at Joyce’s Creek.
In July, 1911, I returned home to Ireland to see my own people and friends and I’m at liberty to do so at any time I wish. After spending some holidays with my people I joined Miss Forbes in Yorkshire where we worked missions together, and in July, 1912 I attended the convention at Nutfield. After which I returned again to Australia. Since coming to Australia, I correspond with my relatives at home where also I’ve got a married brother and two sisters that I correspond with and visit.
When we go into a place to preach, we rent the public hall or they give us the free use of the State Schools, and we get lodgings with some of the people we are preaching amongst and as preachers of the Gospel the people are very friendly and kind to us and we enjoy seeking to do the good and win them for God.
During the past nine months since I returned to Australia I’ve been working missions in Gippsland and my present companion is Miss Thring. Just at present we are in the second week of our mission in Dutson and the people are coming out well and showing kindness to us and interest in our work.
Yrs in Christ’s Service
c/o Mr. C. W. Heyes
September 3, 1913
I received yours and herewith give you a few particulars regarding my conversion and work since then.
My earliest years were spent at my home at Bridge House, Rathdrum, Co. Wicklow, Ireland where I remained until going to the Drapery Business in Bray, Co. Wicklow in the year 1894. In June 1898 I was engaged as charge of the Ladies Outfitting Dept. at Messrs. W. R. Cooney’s of Enniskillen which position I held for over 4 ½ years.
From my earliest childhood I had the desire to know and feel that I was right with God and for eternity. Being brought up in the Church of Ireland I heard little of anything of the need for a new birth, being taught that I was made a member of Christ when christened. I attended many missions up till the year 1902 but was never satisfied with what I heard at any, as I never saw anything real or practical in what was lived and preached.
In 1902 four gospel preachers came to the town of Enniskillen and held public meetings in one of the town halls, which I with others attended regularly for 6 weeks. From the first I was shown the need of being born again and could see that Jesus Only was preached as the way of salvation. That He was not only a crucified but Risen Saviour, the same yesterday, today and forever, and that the New Testament was meant to be lived today as in the days when it was written. Previous to that I had always been told that times had changed and we were not supposed to follow Jesus now.
During the mission I have just spoken of my eyes were opened to see and know Jesus as the way, truth and life and I yielded my heart to Him and have served Him ever since. The following year I voluntarily gave my life to go forth and preach the Gospel, having as my companion a Miss Carroll from Dublin.
I have preached the Gospel since in different parts of the British Isles, New England, Australia and Tasmania and am at present holding a mission in the Pubic Hall, New Norfolk, S. Tasmania. We preach Jesus as a living Saviour and show people the need for believing in accepting and obeying Him as their Lord and Master if they are to be truly saved.
The Bible is our only guide and we seek to live and walk as Jesus taught the early disciples and preachers in the New Testament. I always have another lady preacher as a companion in my work. My present one being Miss Linda Heyes of Evandale, Tasmania to whose home address I always have my letters sent as my central address.
We seek to live that the moral standard we hold so highly may not be degraded in any way and believe as most of the denominations do in living a pure, chaste, holy life and seek to get others to do the same as is taught in the New Testament. Since going forth to preach I find that my health has improved in every way, probably because of being out so much in the open air and having more exercise than formerly.
I have met with much kindness in the different countries where I have laboured in the Gospel and have many there living in fellowship with me, some of whose addresses I submit where I would receive a hearty welcome as the Lord’s servant at any time. I spent over 2 ½ years in New Zealand, afterwards 2 years in Tasmania, returning to my home in Ireland about 3 ½ years ago. My relatives were all pleased to see me again (we had kept in tough by letter during my absence), and since my return to Australasia 1 ½ years ago, we have corresponded regularly each week.
I may mention that my service as a preacher is perfectly voluntary. I choose where I shall hold missions without any direction from others, believing that God will guide by His Spirit and open up the way. Should I wish to return home at any time or cease to preach I am at perfect liberty to act as I wish in these matters.
Every country we have been in we have seen God’s hand working with us. Changing God-hating people into God-fearing people; drunkards into sober men and women; thieves into honest men and women; immoral into moral men and women; and homes that were wretched into homes where Jesus is loved and honored and hearts made glad.
I rejoice today that ever the Lord sought and found me and gave me the privilege of labouring in his harvest field and I hope to be worthy of spending many years yet in his service.
Yours very truly in Him,
Some addresses of those who are in fellowship with me and to whose homes I am always welcome:
[Five names supplied with addresses in Tasmania, New Zealand, Victoria and Western Australia.]
Annie Stanley’s Testimony – 1913
c/o Mrs. A. Allen
42 St. John St.
West St. John, N.B.
August 13, 1913
Just a few lines today in answer to yours rec’d a short time ago regarding my life since yielding to the Lord 10 years ago.
My home was in Derrinduff, Birr, Kings Co., Ireland. I lived at home with my parents when two preachers who had given up their all and were out along the lines of the New Testament came to preach around our home. The purity of their lives appealed to me. It was something new to see someone live what they preached. The result was I got right with God and I continued in my home two years proving God’s power in my life.
In Feb. 1904, I started out to sow my life in the service of Christ that others might get to know Him as I had. I preached in the Old Country then came over to Newfoundland where I preached for three years. I am at present in New Brunswick, came here one year ago.
I hear regularly from my relatives who all know where I am and also know that my life is pure in every respect. We always go with one of our own sex, sisters going with sisters, and brothers with brothers. I am at liberty to return to my home at any time. We always seek to look after our health as much as possible so as to be useful in the service of God.
All whom I have met in this way since getting right with God myself are living pure lives in every sense of the word. And lives that would attract honest-thinking men and women to the life of Jesus.
Some of those who are in fellowship with us, and at whose homes we are welcome at any time are—Mr. Albert Allen, 42 St. John St., West St. John, N.B.; Mr. Fred Smith, Smithtown, Kings Co., N.B.; Mr. William Brown, Windsor Junction, Halifax, N.S., Mr. H. H. Lockhart, Coldbrook, Kings Co., N.S.
Yours in the service of Christ
c/o Mr. J. A. Hill
Paso Robles, California
August 26, 1913
In reply to yours. My parents live at 21 Upper Baggot Street, Dublin where I lived from about 7 years of age until I went forth to preach, nearly 8 years ago. I was brought up to live a moral and religious life, and was employed as my Father’s book-keeper previous to going forth to preach.
About 18 years ago I first met Brother Irvine, and from time to time I had the privilege of meeting him, and others with him, and hearing them preach occasionally; during which time I was convinced by what I saw in their lives, of the lack in mine, of what would please God; and with the desire to come up to the standard I saw represented in them. I yielded my heart and will to be taught by God through them.
Two years later I started forth to give my life to preaching the gospel, as I believed God was encouraging me to go. Many times I had longed to have Brother Irvine’s encouragement along those lines, but it did not come until I made the move in that direction.
The 1st year I spent in Scotland, with Lizzie Jamieson as companion, and then with Annie Dodds. August 11, 1906 I set sail for U.S.A. with Lizzie Jamieson. On landing (Aug. 18th) Mrs. McIntyre met us at the boat and brought us to her home for a few days rest after our journey. We also spent a day or so with Mrs. Wilson, Philadelphia, and about 3 weeks with Mrs. Hawkins, Baltimore, Maryland, while waiting for the cheaper rates across the Continent
We arrived in California about Sept 22, was met by my Brother [Irvine Weir] and with him visited some homes from Frisco to Los Angeles, which had been made homes to us, as God’s servants, during his 3 years preaching and ministry in California.
My first Companion here was Esther Hanson, who is now preaching in Sweden. We worked outside Los Angeles, then in Oxnard, Ventura Co. until after Xmas time, when Jenny Butler became my companion, working in several small towns in Ventura, Co.
Next year Bessie Dunkin was my companion working all year in and around Bakersfield (San Joaquin Valley), removing to work in the mountains around Deer Creek Springs during the hottest part of the year, for our health sake.
Next year I was my Brother’s companion around Santa Rosa, Calistoga and the mountains there, and the following year in Napa, Petaluma and Watsonville districts.
The following year, he and I preached in Arizona and Texas on our way home, where we spent a few months, returning to California [in] October. The little while away, and the welcome at both sides proved to us, we not only had one home and parents, but many more added, where we are always welcome.
Next year Florence Langworthy was again my companion in Beaumont and Corona districts, then I had Alma Loitz as companion in Riverside, after which I again joined my Brother in Hollister, Gilroy and San Juan.
This year I have been with my Brother in Morgan Hill, San Martin, Green Valley and Corralitos. I go with him as companion when we have not a sufficient number of sisters, so as to go by twos, but my choice would always be to have a sister companion, as two sisters can be so much more together, than even a natural brother and his sister.
I hear regularly from home, and keep up a steady correspondence with Father and Mother and occasionally write to and hear from my Brothers and Sisters, most of them now scattered from home.
A letter addressed to c/o J. A. Hill, Paso Robles or c/o C. H. Skinner, 1522 Allesandro Street, Los Angeles will always find me. I am always welcome at these homes, as well as many others, such as:
Mrs. E. Ritzman, Route 1, Fillmore
Mrs. M. Brown, 6th Street, Bakersfield
Mrs. Denio, Rosedale Route, Bakersfield
Mrs. Engle, Route 3, Watsonville
Mrs. Wiebe, R. Route, Hollister
We keep in touch with these and others letting them know our moves.
Yours in Christ’s Service,
NOTES: "My parents live at 21 Upper Baggot Street, Dublin." This is the location of the very first fellowship meeting. View Photo in TTT Photo Gallery
"About 18 years ago I first met Brother Irvine, and from time to time I had the privilege of meeting him, and others with him, and hearing them preach occasionally;"
~~1913 minus 18 years = 1895 - when Wm. Irvine first came to Ireland with Faith Mission.
On September 30, 1911, Ship Records show Irvine, Edie and Letitia (age 18) and Marion Alexander (age 30) sailed on SS. Columbia from "Glasgow-Derry to NYC-thense to Niagra Falls." They would have arrived about a week later in October, as Edie wrote above.
Miscellaneous Other Letters pertaining to Wm. D. Wilson
Mr. Wilson called at my house Cliftonville, Belfast to see his daughter Ellie. Gave some very abusive language and said my brother, Wilson McClung, was going about with a woman not married to. Said he was a Mormon and a whoremonger, woman stealer and destroyer. Cooney and Irvine were worse than this. After some little time two policemen had to come and remove him off the premises.
Next day two young women called to see Miss Wilson and said Mr. Wilson told them we took his daughter away from home under age. And was having her in the capacity of a servant and allowing no one to see her and made several charges against the Testimony of dishonesty.
Following this a foul and slanderous repeat appeared in several newspapers charging a member of the Testimony living in North Belfast with having the daughter of Mr. Wilson stolen from her home etc and dressed as a house maid when the lady visitors called but would not be allowed to interview.
I gave this report to my solicitor who made the newspaper publish a full apology and admit that the report was groundless.
Robert A. McClung
1906 newspaper article reporting the above:
December 9, 1906, p. 15 - Lloyd’s Weekly News
Suffolk Girl A Prisoner in Belfast
Startling Tale of an Irish Sect
Our Belfast correspondent tells a strange story, for the truth of which he says a number of people in Belfast are prepared to vouch, that a young Englishwoman, possessed of means, has been induced to leave her home in Suffolk and go to Belfast, where she is now not only acting as servant in the house of a member of the Cooneyite sect, but is actua lly to all intents and purposes a prisoner in the establishment.
A year or two ago the new sect of the Cooneyites was started in the county of Fermanagh. Among their chief tenets of belief are baptism by immersion, and a return to the apostolic methods of having all things in common. Some time ago they conducted a mission in the county of Suffolk, and among others who attended the meetings was the daughter of a well-to-do farmer, who has a considerable sum of money in her own right, and has expectations of more. She became a convert to the sect and left her father's house.
The old man was almost distracted, and spared no expense to discover the where abouts of his daughter. Eventually he traced her to Belfast, and proceeded there with the object of taking her home. She had been placed in the house of a leading member of the sect, in the northern district, and so closely was she guarded that at first it was impossible for the girl's father to obtain an interview with her. He appealed to the police, and to some of the local magistrates, but, the girl being over age, they were powerless to help him in the matter. A private detective w as employed, but when this man presented himself at the house he was ordered outside.
A young woman employed in one of the newspaper offices was more successful, and she obtained admission to the house. What was her surprise to find the door opened by the girl herself, dressed in servant's costume. The young lady visitor entered into conversation with her, and while attempting to persuade her to return home to parents' house, the girl expressed her willing ness to do so, but stated she was in terror of the people with whom she is at present residing, and dare not move, so great was their power over her. In the middle at the conversation the tenant of the house, who had evidently had his ear to the keyhole outside, burst into room, and abruptly terminated the interview.