Workers, Friends, Home Church, The Truth, The Way, Meetings, Gospel, Cooneyites, Christian Conventions, Hymns Old & New
Edgar & Olga Hawkins
Revised December 31, 2022

James E. and Annie (Farring) Hawkins professed in 1906 through George Walker and David Christie in Brooklyn, Maryland. Six of their seven children (3 daughters, 4 sons) went in the Work; two remained in the Work for all their lives (Ida and Bessie*); three married other Workers, and one of these, Edgar, with his wife Olga, left meetings. All but the youngest (William Louis Hawkins) spent some time in the work. 

Children in order of birth:

*Ida Mary Hawkins (1886-1978), went in work Dec 1906, worked in North Carolina, Georgia, California, Florida, and Virginia/Maryland until her death.

James Edgar Hawkins (1887-1971), was in work at least 1913-1915 in Michigan, but neither date is definitive, married worker Olga Iverson and lived the rest of his life in Detroit area.

George Farring Hawkins (1889-1982), was in work at least 1907-1917 in Georgia, but neither date is definitive, married worker Annie McLaughlin, returned to live in Baltimore area.

Robert Maurice Hawkins (1891-1992), was in work at least 1915-1930, but neither date is definitive, was one of first four to South America in 1919, worked in Georgia, South Carolina, Argentina, Chile, and California.  Married Myrtle Munson (not a worker) and lived his later years in the Bay Area of California.

Leah Louise Hawkins (1893-1976), was in work at least 1921-1932. 1921 is not definitive. Worked in Georgia, Argentina, and Chile. Married worker Sumner Beam (Canadian working in Chile) and made their home in Ontario.

*Annie Elizabeth "Bessie" Hawkins (1895-1983), went in work 1923, worked in Alabama, Florida, Virginia/Maryland, and Georgia until her death.

William Louis Hawkins, b. 1899 did not enter the work. 

The Maryland Convention was held from 1908 to 1953 in Brooklyn near Baltimore on James E. Hawkins Senior's farm. While the members were sleeping nearby, two large tents of the "Irvinites" were set on fire after midnight and a nearby house containing provisions was partially destroyed by a mob of men: "Hardly had the flames appeared when four of the "Irvinites" dashed up to the place, and were met by the attacking party with pistols...The principal cause of the trouble it is thought, was the vigorous preaching of the "Irvinites," in which they denounced the people of the town generally... founder Irvine , it is alleged, used some offensive language toward the women of Brooklyn" ( Washington Post, Sept. 17, 1908, TTT ; Washington Times Sept. 16, 1908, TTT ). The Sect was called Irvinites, an eponym of their founder's name as early as 1903--before the sect began denying that William Irvine was their founder. In the mean time, a temporary convention was arranged at Ohiopyle, Pennsylvania, on Charles Burnsworth's farm, just south of Pittsburgh. Subsequent conventions were held at Brooklyn on Hawkin's place through 1953.

Doug Parker met with Edgar and Olga Hawkins in Detroit, Michigan. In 1906, George Walker had knocked on the door of the home of Edgar's parents, James E. and Annie Hawkins, in Brooklyn, Maryland. The family professed. Subsequently, a Convention was held on their farm for forty years. Six of their seven children went in the Work, including Edgar. Edgar left the Work, married Olga Iverson, a Sister Worker who had professed in 1911.

Below is a letter Olga wrote dated November 13, 1946, to the U.S. Selective Service in Washington D.C. requesting information regarding the "Christian Conventions" or "Assemblies of Christians" with "specific reference to the expression of any view regarding conscientious objection."

She received a reply enclosing a copy of George Walker's 1942 letter to the government (Walker 1942, TTT ). Olga gave Doug Parker a copy. We have Olga to thank for this valuable historical document that has circulated around the world and is posted on the Internet. After she left the Sect, Olga "tried in a small way to make known these same facts to others" (Sept. 17, 1959, to Fred Hanowell, TTT ).

Letter from US Selective Service System to Olga Hawkins
(Click Here for Photo)

National Headquarters
21st and C Streets NW
Washington 25, D.C.
November 22, 1946
File No. 3-164

Mrs. O. D. Hawkins
14967 Freeland Avenue
Detroit 27, Michigan

Subject: Status of Christian Conventions

Dear Mrs. Hawkins,

Receipt is acknowledged of your letter of November 13, 1946, regarding the “Christian Convention people or Assemblies of Christians.” It is noted that you requested information regarding this organization with specific reference to the question of the expression of any views regarding conscientious objection.

This Headquarters has issued a predetermination that Christian Conventions is a recognized church, religious sect, or a religious organization, within the meaning of Section 622.44 of the Selective Service Regulations. This predetermination was based upon information procured directly from officials of the church; namely George Walker (overseer), 2350 East Susquahanna Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and others. This necessity came out of the fact that the organization was not included by the Bureau of Census, United States Department of Commerce, in its publication, Religious Bodies-1936.

A photostatic copy of a memorandum submitted under date of March 24, 1942, by Mr. Walker is enclosed for your information.

Under date of February 16, 1942, Jesse R. Bond, 3309 Holmes Street, Kansas City, Missouri, who represented himself to be a minister of this organization, addressed a letter to the Director of Selective Service which stated in part: “We have no doctrine which in any way disables our converts to enter into the armed forces of our Nation and many hundreds of our converts to enter into the armed forces of our Nation, and many hundreds of our people are now in our armed forces of their own volition.”

In this connection attention is invited to the fact that the provision of the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940, relating to conscientious objection provides that such must be “by reason of religious training and belief” (see Section 5 (g) of the Act). The claim is to be established as a personal belief and membership or lack of membership in any church body is not a controlling factor.

For the Director,

Major, APS
Chief, Legal and Classification Section
Camp Operations

Olga D. Hawkins' Letter to Fred C. Hanowell & Wife
September 17, 1959

My dear friends,

Today I shall try to answer some of the questions asked in your letter received last week. It would be a long story to tell you some of the things that led to my own questionings of things that were being done on the inside. Perhaps I should say it was an "inquiring mind and a refusal to be satisfied with evasive answers to sincere, honest inquiries."

I am enclosing a paper [titled: A Spiritual Fraud] that may supply the an swers to [much] that you wished to know. This paper came out 7 years after the one [which] is in your possession, the one that I circulated several years ago, [as I] felt that the things that were being done were so wrong.

I have been out of fellowship with the C.C.[Christian Convention] organization 15 years, and it seems it takes years and experiences to cause a real concern and question ing, but in spite of the time element, a few here and [there] in all parts of the world wish to know the facts.

Some one said that there are 3 sides to every story--my [side], your side, and the facts. All I am interested in is conveying the latter. The young chap [Doug parker] who compiled the enclosed, as well as many in his country knew some sad experiences, but perhaps all has taken place to open their eyes to the truth of things as they are, for which all should be grateful.

Having been in fellowship with them since 1911, I knew much of what had been going on inside, and since it has been of earthly origin and very deceptive at that, it's no small wonder that it has taken the turn it has.

It's just too bad that so-called "workers" still con tinue to cover up and deceive, and while there may be some of the younger ones who are ignorant of things, this cannot be said of the older ones. Some of the older ones in your own country have seen and know of these papers and will some day have to answer for themselves.

Mr. Parker was in our home 5 yrs. ago before that paper ever went to press and had he been older and in fellowship with them longer, it could have contained a great deal more. I have correspondence from the Government* and other sources regarding statements they have made which have been enlightening to me, and while for a time it did cause heartache and bitter disillusionment, I have learned through the past to quietly and calmly reason things out and have tried in a small way to make known these same facts to others so that they would not support or uphold the wrong.

It was my privilege a few weeks ago to visit with some in Alaska and in the western states who have given thought to these things and I know there are many in other places who are doing likewise.

You mentioned that you may in the not too distant future come to these shores, and if so, I would be glad to meet you and speak face to face. My best wishes and greetings to you both and I shall be glad to hear again from you.

Sincerely yours,

Olga D. Hawkins

Source: Reflections Chapter 23, page 199.

* George Walkers Statement to the U. S. Government (1942)

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