First Presbyterian Church Portadown (1921)

In May 1921 William commenced a united mission in Portadown; this mission had wide support from all the local churches. The meetings were held in the First Presbyterian Church for the first two weeks then in Thomas Street Methodist Church for the final two weeks. The commencement of the mission was delayed for a week because of the great coal strike combined with a dock strike which delayed William's crossing from Glasgow. The Belfast Telegraph inter­viewed William when he was eighty-two years old and William laughed as he recalled the beginning of the mission. "We were very fortunate, for there was a shortage of coal and the people of Portadown were kept warm in my mission hall."

The church was packed to capacity for the first two weeks, and this was repeated in the second half of the mission held in Thomas Street Methodist Church. A report of the mission which appeared in The Irish Endeavour in July 1921, states:

Mr Nicholson gained the ear of the people in a marked degree, and although uncompromising in his condemnation of smoking and danc­ing and the picture show, and presenting the bald alternatives of "Christ or Hell," even those who disagreed with him came under his spell and were converted. Over 900 names were registered as of those accepting Christ and whole families became one in Him.

From 'All for Jesus' by Stanley Barnes, published by Ambassador Productions, p62-3.