Portgordon (1860)

Feb. 17, 1860.—I have come over to Portgordon this forenoon to make arrangements for a meeting on Saturday night for the first time in this place. I have faith for this place Mr is just like the others when the Master sent me to them. O, pray for Portgordon. You will get this letter about nine o'clock on Saturday night, and I trust to feel you then. I will be in the work all night Mr if my body Mr able to stand it—pray for that.

"Portgordon, famed for drunkenness, has been brought down. The Lord sent me to it ten days ago. That was on Saturday week. I spoke that night, but not a move. It was a hard night's work, and I gave it up at twelve o'clock. I called a meeting next morning at eight o'clock, only a few came, but I carried on the meeting the whole day. At six in the evening the house filled and many could not get in. The Spirit was largely poured out, and many were smitten down under the mighty power of God. Those who were nearest the door were carried out, others had to lie till they got power to rise. I staid among them a week, and we had the Spirit's presence the whole time. Country people came down to scoff and to make sport of the work of God, but painful convictions seized upon many of those also, and they would fain have left the meeting but they could not walk. They staggered like people drunk and had to be helped into the meeting again. Some of them con­tinued all night in that state—oh that they may all find peace in believing!

Nov. 25, 1861.—You will think it strange when I tell you that I am once more busily engaged in the Lord's work, seeing that I was so weak and ill when you heard last. I went to Buckie to engage boats, not intending to have any meetings. After I had the boats engaged, I left Buckle and went to Portgordon to bid the people of God good-bye, everyone to leave it that night again; but they dot me persuaded to hold a prayer-meeting, saying they would not press me to speak. So I went to the school where the meet­ing was to be, and a great number of people first;. Of course, in such circumstances I could not be silent, and before we separated there were many indications of the Spirit's presence in our midst. I have now been three nights here,, and the movement is as at my first visit. I left the meet­ing this morning at two o'clock, and the broken in heart were kneeling on the streets, praying to God to have mercy on them. I am to begin this night's. allowed; in about an hour. Oh for strength of soul and body! My cough is much better since I came here, and I actually think the work is making me better. I do not know what Dr. Pirrie will think of me for this step—but it is the Lord and not sue."

From 'James Turner,' by E McHardie.

Additional Information

“he held his services in what was then the village school hall, a small building situated at the corner of East High Street, near the present U.F. Church hall.” - That is what is now the Church of Scotland.

The most prominent building in Gordon Street is the |Methodist Church. In 1860 James Turner preached in the school hall in East High Street. He was so successful that Portgordon, which had previously enjoyed a reputation for drunkenness, lost 6 of its 10 public houses either through the conversion of the publicans or the loss of business resulting from the new interest in religion. A congregation was formed with the services held in a garret at 31 Gordon Street (AB56 1JJ ) until 1874 when the present “handsome and commodious” church was opened.”

(Buckie and Area Past and Present – Moray district libraries 1987)

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