Ballinamallard Methodist Church (1800)




1800. Mr. Joseph Armstrong, in describing the work on his circuit, says, that during the thirty-one years he bad been connected with Methodism, and witnessed many revivals, he had never seen such a deep and general awakening. Frequently in preaching he was compelled to cease by loud and earnest cries of distress, while such was the anxiety of the penitents that they often wrestled with God for pardoning mercy until the break of clay. The December quarterly meeting at Ballinamallard, at which both the missionaries were present, was "like the day of Pentecost." On the day following, being the Sabbath, immediately after the close of the Church service, the itinerants commenced their meeting„ which continued until far on in the night. Amongst others converted was a young man afflicted with cancer, which was to have been cut out on the following day; but the Lord in mercy healed both body and soul, and thus rendered the operation unnecessary. Meetings were subsequently held at Cam, Kesh, Pettigo, Lowtherstown, Trillick, Togherdoo, and Dromore, and in each of these places the word of God was accompanied with converting power. At Kesh, a clerical magis­trate, who had bitterly opposed the work, heard for himself, was convinced of his error, and sought a private and friendly interview with Graham. At Pettigo, the members of a family residing in a house near where the missionaries stood, heard the word preached, were aroused to a sense of their sinfulness, and on a class being formed, at once gave in their names as candidates for membership. At Trillick, the people cried aloud for mercy in the open street; and at the close of the service many of them followed the servants of God to the house of John Funston, where they wept, and prayed, and rejoiced together until midnight. At Dromore, a vast crowd of Romanists, as well as Protestants, attended, and the number awakened to serious concern led to the formation of a society there.

1826-8. A very blessed revival took place on the Maguiresbridge and Brookeborough circuit. Mr. John Buttle had charge of this laborious field, and soon after arriving there, saw cheering tokens of increased spiritual life in the leaders and members, and arrangements were made for special prayer, three times each day, for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit.. At length, on March 17th, during a service at Killymendon, near Ballinamallard, the power of God descended, so that many were cut to the heart, and cried aloud for mercy. The meetings were continued each night, large numbers attended, and a great many were brought into glorious liberty. The good work soon extended to other parts of the circuit. Fivemiletown, Maguiresbridge, Ballina­mallard, and Irvinestown all partook in succession of these showers of blessing, until the wilderness became a fruitful field, and the fruitful field was counted for a forest. Amongst those converted was a young man, named Hugh Monahan, of Ballinamallard, who was spared for nearly forty years to labour for Christ and His cause. Young Monahan began his work at home, and soon every member of the family was led to the Saviour, while one at least became a devoted and consistent leader

1832. At Enniskillen “there was a great movement among the people,” about eighty souls having obtained peace with God during one week. Ouseley remained here eight days, and almost every night sinners were awakened and led to religious decision. On the market-day he preached in the street to an immense crowd, and the word was accompanied with great power; and on the day of the love-feast the chapel could not contain the congregation, so the windows were raised, and many stood and listened outside. At Irvinestown, Ballinamallard, Maguiresbridge, Brookeborough, and Clones not only were the audiences very large, but there were blessed tokens of extensive revivals.

1832 In some instances this awful visitation proved a means of much spiritual good. From his first circuit the Rev. Benjamin Bayly writes, "On July 28th I came to Monaghan, where the cholera had made its appearance and summoned some to the bar of God. The people were greatly alarmed, and like others, ‘poured out a prayer when His chastening hand was upon them.’ Yet some have reason to bless God that He sent them the rod; many have been stirred up, and some have been converted. Our congregations are large and our societies many in number, but there are rarely more than twenty members in any one class.'' Although the country about Sidaire was mercifully preserved from this terrible scourge, a most profound and salutary impression was made on the minds of the people; At a prayer-meeting held one Sabbath evening a cry for mercy arose, two persons obtained peace in believing, and thus a good work commenced which continued and spread until no farm-house in the neighbourhood could contain the anxious inquirers, and the chapel at Ballinamallard was too small to accommodate those who attended the prayer meetings. Hundreds were led to the Saviour, and at one service no less than sixty found the pardoning mercy of God.

1849. The Revs. William G. Campbell and Edward Best were appointed to the Lowtherstown circuit, where their labours were greatly owned of God. In August a large field-meeting was held, at Mr. Bobert Graham's of Lettermoney, and was followed by a prayer-meeting, during which eight persons professed to have obtained a conscious sense of sins forgiven. The good work thus commenced soon spread. Service after service was held, at almost every one of which the Lord was present in converting power, more especially at the September lovefeasts. At Lowtherstown one of the converts was a man who had become a socialist in England, returned home, obtained admission to the meeting, and as so powerfully impressed that he cried aloud for mercy. The whole congregation was deeply moved, and earnest prayers for pardon were heard from different parts of the house, until not less than twenty contrite souls obtained peace in believing. During the December quarter the ministers preached in the open air, at fairs and markets, and it was not uncommon to see hundreds kneeling down in penitence of spirit. Thus the blessed work extended still more, including Ballinamallard and Sidaire, and the whole moral and religious aspect of the country was changed. One of the Converts, an aged pensioner, in narrating his experience, said, "My father taught me the fear of the Lord, and I remember several of the old preachers who counselled me and gave me Scripture lessons; but I did not attend to them. During my foreign service I had no less than eighteen fevers and ten other diseases incident to foreign climates, and conscience frequently strove to vindicate its insulted rights, but I had no strength to carry out my convictions. Although I would promise, and vow, and pray, yet when the pressure of affliction was removed I was the same man over again. I was in several engagements, and often at the point of death. On one occasion, as I rushed into the breach of a besieged city, an officer hastened forward and said, 'Noble, allow me first,' and that instant his head was cut off. After all this I persevered in my rebellion against God, and thought when I should leave the army I would turn to Him; but alas! it was worse and worse I became until this night, and now I can declare to all that God has found me out, and pardoned all my sins."

1850. At the Enniskillen quarterly meeting we had a blessed time; of about thirty penitents, thirteen were enabled to praise a sin-pardoning God. On the following day, in the market, a great crowd collected while I sang a hymn, and increased as I proclaimed the glad tidings of salvation. The power of God rested on the assembly, many retired with us to the preaching-house, and some found the Lord to be gracious. About three hundred persons have been converted on this circuit, chiefly about Ballinamallard, within the last three or four months. A very gracious religious awakening took place in connection with the Primitive Wesleyans at Ballyreagh, and like the similar work twelve years previously, commenced in the family of Mr., Robert Orr. He having taken seriously ill, his son Robert, then a young man of twenty-one, became seriously anxious" about him, prayed earnestly for his recovery, and the Lord mercifully granted his request. He then resolved to enter upon a new life, went to class-meeting, where the power of God descended, and at a love-feast held in Lisbellaw found peace in believing. A blessed work thus began which soon spread, and a large number were led to the Saviour. These include five brothers of RobertOrr, two of whom, Thomas and James, as well as Robert, afterwards entered the itinerancy; William McCabe, a Romanist, and Christopher Wilson of Cavancarragh. The good work also extended to Ballinamallard and Knockmanoul, where "the overwhelming power of saving grace" appeared to overturn all opposition, and before the end of the year hundreds of souls were converted to God.

1855. A very gracious religious awakening took place in connection with the Primitive Wesleyans at Ballyreagh, and like the similar work twelve years previously, commenced in the family of Mr. Robert Orr. He having taken seriously ill, his son Robert, then a young man of twenty-one, became seriously anxious about him, prayed earnestly for his recovery, and the Lord merci­fully granted his request. He then resolved to enter upon a new life, went to class-meeting, where the power of God descended, and at a love-feast held in Lisbellaw found peace in believing. A blessed work thus began which soon spread, and a large number were led to the Saviour. These included five brothers of Robert Orr, two of whom, Thomas and James, as well as Robert, afterwards entered the itinerancy; William M'Cabe, a Romanist, and Chris­topher Wilson of Cavancarragh. The good work also extended to Ballinamallard and Knockmanoul, where "the overwhelming power of saving grace" appeared to overturn all opposition, and before the end of the year hundreds of souls were converted to God:"

These extracts are taken from 'History of Methodism in Ireland' Volume II and IIIby Crookshank.


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