Coventry - Salvation Army (1878)

This is an excerpt from the first monthly report from the Salvation Army station here. The two preachers were women.

 We have now at last found out a real resting place for our week-night services. lt is a factory, once used as a dancing saloon; will hold 500 people, is just in the right position, and wlll, we trust, be filled ere long with pardoned sinners dancing for joy. Of course, we shall have to fit it up with gas and seats, and for this, as well as for the general expenses of the work, we are looking to God and His people for help.

 From, 'The Christian Mission Magazine', April 1878, page 105.

We concluded our last report with the news of our having secured a place for our week-night services. We cannot do better than begin this time by telling what use it has been. ·

We got some new forms made for the place and bought a few old ones and some old chairs. Friends gave us son:e more, and two met me one day with a kind gift of the cost of those we had made.

The opening was a success, seats we had were quite full and a great many were standing. Of course, it caused a stir in the street. We had five souls.

The dear Lord is moving the town. I feel sure there will be a great work here soon. Our meetings in the Factory all the week were good. I have only seats for three hundred, and they were all full, and a great many standing. But Saturday night was best of all. About fourteen new converts spoke. I never was in a more powerful meeting in my life. The people seemed to fairly dance for joy.

We had a grand Sunday; the best yet. The people turned out well for the open- air. Theatre very full, all but gallery, afternoon crowded at night- too full to be comfortable. A heavy shower of rain came down just as we were going to theatre, that seemed to drive the people in. A crowd stopped to the prayer meeting and the place was so full that we could not get to speak to the people, but about twenty souls sought the Lord. 

With all the crowd our collections were very small all day. Of course, the place was so full that the collections could not be made properly. I feel the Lord is trying my faith very much, but I will believe on. I feel it must go and shall go.

God is working here. We have been having souls every night, some blessed cases. Of course, we are very much tried with the roughs. They threw bricks last night and cut one man's eye: I hope you do not think I am afraid of the roughs; you know they never frighten me.

I have over sixty names on the book now. This week I must get some more forms from somewhere for Monday. Our Factory is only half full of forms at present, and only a platform of bricks. People have to stand every night. 

 From, 'The Christian Mission Magazine', May 1878, pages 129/30.

Brother Irons, of Bradford, who went to help Sister Reynolds a few weeks ago, writes:- 

"The past week has been a glorious one. I never was in such powerful meetings in my life. Last Tuesday we had nearly twenty souls, very good cases. 

"The dear Lord is blessing us in a wonderful manner, both spiritually and financially. Yesterday we had an extra good day, souls both afternoon and night.

306 were at the seven o'clock prayer meeting. Offerings all day £4 9s. Std. Glory to God."

But alas ! no sooner had we thus reached the summit of joyous triu~ph than sudd n and almost overwhelllUllg trouble fell upon us.

The Theatre Royal, from the doors of which many had had to turn away, unable to gain admission the last few Sundays, was all at once Condemned by the authorities as an unsafe building and we were shut out of any place nearly large enough for us just on the eve of the fair, at which we had expected to crowd the theatre week-days as well Sundays it being quite unused.

But the glorious work cannot stop, not be cramped.

From, 'The Christian Mission Magazine', July 1878, page 181.

FRIENDS said to me, after reading the report for June, I did not do justice to Coventry by so short a report; but it would be impossible to put down on paper what great things the Lord has done for Coventry. Only eternity will reveal and although the past month has been one of great trial, Jesus has gone on with His work of saving souls. Not being able to get a larger place as yet for Sunday services, we have been compelled to go on with the old factory. God has in a wonderful manner poured out His Spirit on the town and everywhere I go I hear people thanking God that ever the Christian Mission came to Coventry.

From, 'The Christian Mission Magazine', August 1878, page 204.

W.AR between heaven and hell for the souls of the people. God and the Salvation Army against the world and the devil. I have received orders from the King to advance, and at the word of command the 35th with Blood and Fire have made a dash into the headquarters of the devil's kingdom, scattering them in all directions. There are hundreds wounded by the word of the Spirit, and the cries on all sides are "Lord have mercy on me a sinner." In one workshop twelve are have started for heaven; six in another Oh, hallelujah. From a brick-yard four. So they are coming out of the mire and clay and getting on the rock that will stand forever and ever.

...We have eight large processions every week. Crowds of people stand round our rings in the open-air meetings to hear converted drunkards, infidels, racers, gamblers, dancers, and others tell what God has done for them. It brings tears to the eyes of many, and thousands of people come to see our processions which; march through the streets on their way to the Factory in military-style. Order is preserved by the police. Our congregations in the Factory are large. This last three weeks about 150 souls professed to find peace with God. At our assemblies on Wednesday nights over 100 give their experience of what God has done for them. The work in the streets and in the Factory is not all that the Army is doing, but every day we are sent for to pray with the sick and dying, and point them to Christ.

From, 'The Salvationist', August 1879, page 214.

Coventry is driving the devil and taking; the kingdom of Heaven by force; all hell is roused to prevent us, but on we go with blood and fire singing our war songs, no surrender. Every night thousands of people throng the streets to see our army march and hear them sing. There is great excitement in the town just now; the council have had a discussion about us, one wanted to put us down, but another put him down, saying, "That our army had done a great deal of good in Coventry, and we ought to be protected." This seemed to agitate the publicans and they have organised an army for the devil, and hold meetings near to us in the open air, then they form in procession, singing our hymns and go through the streets by thousands from 6.30 till 10.0 p.m., and during that time they travel miles. The town Is very much alarmed by it, and the police are afraid of a riot and many of them are out to preserve the peace.

...It is true that many mighty miracles are wrought in the name of the Lord by our army and we have manifestations of it in our meetings every night.

From, 'The Salvationist', November 1879, pages 302-3.

For future reports see 'The War Cry' which began January 1880.

Additional Information

I do not know where the meetings were held.

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