Evenwood (1835)

The decade named included the first appearance of Joseph Spoor in the circuit as a minister, during which the late Ralph Shields, a native of Cockfield and one of Mr Spoor’s many sons in the gospel, says the revival spread through the entire circuit, which is now covered by six flourishing stations. The very name of Joseph Spoor had an effect almost magical at that time, and it only needed to be known that he was going to preach to ensure large congregations. The most extraordinary scenes were witnessed. "Fallings" were common, as many as fourteen being seen on the floor at once. At a love-feast at Bishop Auckland the people fell in all directions, and "there was a strange mingling of cries, shouts, groans, and hallelujahs." During the revival at South Side, "centres of gamblers were broken up; confirmed gamblers burnt their dice, cards, and books of enchantment; drunkards, hopeless, incurable sots, were freed from the dread tyranny of fiery appetite; pugilists, practised and professional, and cock-fighters of terrible experience, turned from their brutalities." The miracle of grace was repeated at Evenwood, West Auckland, and elsewhere, and at each place the converts became church workers and several of them local preachers.

‘Northern Primitive Methodism’ by W M Patterson, published 1909, page 70.

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