Bradford - Salvation Army (1877)

These are excerpts from monthly reports from the Salvation Army station here.

The first report from the Salvation Army's station here.

After much deliberation and many prayers we have taken Pullan's Theatre of Varieties 
in which the check taker says there were on last Saturday evening over 4,300 people. How that may be we cannot at present exactly decide; one thing we do know, and that is, that it is an immense place, capable of holding a vast number of people, and in it we trust thousands of precious souls will be saved.

Brother and Sister Dowdle commenced in it on Sunday, February 11th, · and although weather and other things were against them, they had a large number of people, much mighty conviction, and precious souls saved. Glory be to God!

...The services in the theatre have rapidly increased in numbers and power from the first. The weather has been against our open-air work; but on Sunday last a large crowd gathered quickly and listened well. The people of Bradford are anxious to hear the gospel in the open air. At present we have no place for regular week-night work, but we are trying and praying for God to open our way to one.

From, 'The Christian Mission Magazine', April 1877, page 97.

Since my last report God has been blessing us abundantly at Bradford. The theatre services have been encouraging and fruitful; many precious souls have been savingly converted to God, and numbers of backsliders reclaimed. There are hundreds in this town and neighbourhood.

Last Sunday was a grand day. The three open-air meetings and processioning to the theatre were accompanied with more than usual power, especially the morning meeting in the square near the Midland Railway station. The class of men and women we are after came up in crowds. There was soon a stir amongst them, and although some -came to laugh they remained to pray, for the Lord came down. Many wept as they listened to the new converts tell out in simple language, what God had done for their immortal souls. Brother Hurrell spoke with power. God blessed the people there and several from that meeting were seen weeping at the foot of the cross on the theatre stage at night.

Mrs Dowdle preached in the afternoon. God was powerfully with us; the Word was effectual. One soul came out for Jesus, obtained salvation and went home happy. I preached in the evening to a good congregation. My own soul was melted down. The Holy Ghost fell upon us in the after-meeting and over twenty souls came out from the congregation onto the stage and sought salvation. Twenty-one names were taken of those who found peace and several others were under deep conviction. Those we led to Calvary on Monday evening, praise God!

From, 'The Christian Mission Magazine', June 1877, page 153.

Again we are able to report that God has given us success in winning souls. All honour to His holy name! Our open-air meetings, Sunday and weeknights, have been signally owned in bringing sinners to the feet of Jesus. Notwithstanding the cold winds and rain crowds have listened to the truth and followed us indoors. Our theatre services are becoming a mighty power in this town, and the congregations are st!ll increasing. 

Last Sunday the Lord was with us, and His saving, cleansing power was felt by many. In the evening a band of converts spoke with remarkable power and eighteen souls professed salvation. Many more were wounded and nine more gave themselves to God the following night. Our Friday night holiness meeting has been made a great blessing and I am expecting it to prove the backbone of our work here. 

From, 'The Christian Mission Magazine', December 1877, page 327.

We have steadily gone on increasing in congregations and power from the first. Not a Sunday evening has passed without souls crying for mercy, and some passing from death unto life, for which we heartily thank God and take courage, Some of the vilest characters in the town have been saved. Over 600 have given in their names as getting converted, such as gamblers, drunkards, infidels, blasphemers, adulterers, theatre and music-hall goers, comic singers, clowns, stage players- some who had played and sang upon the very stage where they got converted.

From, 'The Christian Mission Magazine', April 1878, page 139.

Additional Information

There is a multi-storey car park now where the Theatre was.

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