Lake Farm, Shebbear (1815)

A meeting took place here on 9th October 1815, which was the catalyst which brought about the formation of the Bible Christians. William O'Bryan was asked to speak to a group of people who were hungry for the Word of God; being starved of it in their area. After the meeting, 22 people asked O'Bryan to form a Society. O'Bryan was a Methodist but he was not accepted as a preacher, so he went off on his own. This group were the founding members of what became a new denomination - the Bible Christians.

The house was the home of the Thorne family, the head of which was John, and it was his son James who eventually took over the leadership of the denomination.

From O'Bryan's journal - 'December 25th, 1816 - we met at Lake at four in the morning, to praise the Lord for the revival of his work, which left no place "unwatered still and dry". One received the evidence that the blood of Christ cleanses thee from all sin; six found peace with God, and more were crying for it... At 2 pm the people gathered in the church. I spoke on the words "thou shalt call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins". Three fell when I was speaking; we prayed, and soon more fell; I think six found peace.'

The Bible Christians: Their Origin and History (1815-1900) by F.W. Bourne - Page 41.