A prayer meeting was begun in August 1858 in this town by three people that increased greatly in size. Well over 100 people were saved through these meetings. Then in November 1859 began 'a most decided, deep, widespread, long-continued awakening'. A few young converts from Hellensborough lit the fire. Almost immediately around 40 young men gave their lives to the Lord. In the spring of 1861 the movement went wider, extending to all classes. Nearly all congregations in the town were impacted.
From Tom Lennie's 'Scotland Ablaze', page 94.
Our dear brother, Robert Cunningham, came down last night, and we had our meeting, as arranged, in the Free church. There was a large attendance, and the power of the Lord was present; few were unimpressed. A second meeting was intimated by the minister. A great many remained, when that impressive hymn, "Be in Time," was sung with all its solemnising effect. The minister and Robert addressed them briefly and very appropriately when all were requested to retire except
those who really desired personal conversation. The hymn, "Oh, how He loves," was sung, - the rich fulness of gospel truth it contains, with the simple pathos of its language, rendered it peculiarly fitting for the solemn occasion. When it was concluded, four men and a woman were found sitting in deepest anxiety, with all of whom God had been dealing formerly, each case being peculiar in itself. There was, however, a peculiarity common to all. They were bound to the spot by the omnipotence of the Word, which Robert was enabled freely to use. Throughout his discourse it was generally remarked the great command he had of Scripture, especially those grand old massive truths that speak of God's glory in our salvation. These, with his peculiar way of rendering them, coming crashing down upon the soul like an avalanche. - oh, pity the heart that can resist them. The case of the woman, who had the appearance of an elderly lady was remarkable; she said first to Robert, "I shouldna' been here at all. I shouldna' been here." This she said with deepest emotion, I fear mingled with pride at the humiliating postition she supposed herself in. She afterwards that every sentence of Robert's discourse had been like knives going through her. I cannot say that any of them really came to see the truth and rest on Jesus, but I heard Robert speak of one young man who went away rejoicing, and today heard of another man who is awakened and in great anxiety. In fact, I think there is a deep-seated, widespread work of the Spirit going on here. The minister, who was greatly delighted and refreshed with Robert, urged him to come back soon, offering him his own congregational meeting and hospitality: so Robert is willing to come next week.
"The Revival," February 12th, 1863.