Hastings - Salvation Army (1870)

Catherine Booth did some successful meetings here and from them, they set up a Mission Station.

This is one of their reports.

We closed our last report on Wednesday, the 11th of January, with a full room, souls in distress, four saved and others panting after holiness of heart. 

The work progresses amid persecution. Bless God, the work still continues to roll on. On Thursday, in the Fish Market, we were pelted with filth of all descriptions but we kept our minds stayed upon God. Many followed us to the Hall and three stepped into liberty.

Saturday. We had a little opposition in the open air, but a good time in the hall and three saved.

Sunday, 15th. A man came into our preaching room during the morning service, all in rags and dirt, but while listening to the truth from brother Ritchie, the power of God went home to his heart – he felt himself a sinner, went home, asked for mercy, found peace and came in the afternoon a saved man!

In the evening the mayor sent a message to the effect that, if we went into the open air, they would close the Market Hall against us and that we must close inside by 9:30. We cast all this at the feet of Jesus, left the matter with Him and afterwards three souls found peace.

Tuesday. A man that had been professing for years, Felt he still lacked a change of heart; came to Jesus, found what he needed and went home in peace.

Thursday. We had a little stir in the Fish Market, but much worse in the hall. About 50 fishermen squeezed themselves into the room and passage to get up a disturbance. I had to take one young man out by the collar and was about to hand him over to the police, but his mother came and begged us not to punish him. I said, “if he will come tomorrow morning, by 11 o’clock and beg my pardon, I will forgive him; if not he must suffer.“ After spending a very uneasy night, he and his mother came; he confessed his guilt and we settled the matter upon our knees.

Sunday, 27th. The devil wanted to make a hand of me because brother Ritchie was gone to London and my voice was almost gone; but after spending a little time on my knees, Faith centred in God and I went up full of confidence in the Holy Ghost. Brothers Tyrell, Whytehead, Edwards and self gave addresses. God came down in our midst and at the close of the public service, we turned out the backlights, invited believers forward and told penitence to come to Jesus. Over 20 came boldly out and professed to find peace.

Monday. Myself and a dear sister began to sing in the Fish Market at 6:30. At once hell began to rage and stones, baskets, fish heads and all kinds of filth, were hurled at us from all quarters; but at that time a few Christian ladies came up and felt it an honour to be counted worthy to suffer for the Master. We weathered the storm, trusting in Jesus and three found peace in the room afterwards.

Sunday Jan 29th. We felt much of the presence of God all day. In the evening, addresses were delivered by Messrs Rivington, Tyrrell, Edwards, Ritchie and Hamilton, with great effect and three came out for Jesus.

Monday. We had a very good meeting in the open air and many followed us to God’s house. Near the close of the meeting a number of fallen girls came in for sport, but they had not been in five minutes before I saw that the Holy Spirit was striving with one of them. In the prayer meeting she came to Jesus, confessing her sinfulness and was made happy. A few of our friends talked to her and told her that if she wished that we would get her into a Refuge. We called to see her next morning and found that one of her companions had found peace and both, at all risks, were anxious to get away from their old associates. We provided them a home with some pious people and have clothed them very comfortably, the friends in the town and neighbourhood taking a great interest in their welfare.

From the commencement we have greatly needed a larger place for our weeknight and sabbath morning work; and having obtained the Boys British School, we commenced services in it. Mr Edwards kindly took the first service. The room was full to overflowing and in the prayer meeting six professed to find peace; giving us proof that God was with us in this new undertaking.

Wednesday. We had our believers meeting. Over 100 were present (50 of whom belong to the mission). All got blessed and two professed to find Jesus.

Thursday. We had one of the best open-air services we have had for some time. Brother Ritchie preached with great power and in the prayer meeting another fallen girl wanted us to pray for her. 

Monday another poor fallen girl professed to find peace; making four in a fortnight; and we hope to get them all into Reformatories.

Thursday. While singing a lad, about 13 years old, came to brother Ritchie and looking him in the face said, “I believe I’m saved sir; the Lord saved me in a field. I’m so happy!“

Sabbath, 12th. A blessed day to all our souls. In the Market Hall the Holy Ghost came down and after two or three had professed to find peace.

From, 'The Christian Mission Magazine', March 1872, page 46-8.

Capt. Blandy reports increase of numbers. Stoppage of Sunday processions, making it necessary to procession in silence. Much larger congregations. Some good cases of conversion. Rising.

(It seems Hastings went through a difficult time)

From the 'Salvationist', December 1879, page 328.

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

Additional Information

The Fish Market was around this area, both on the beach and in this car park.

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