Portsoy (1923)

The 1921 revival that went all along the coast missed out Portsoy until 1923. The revival began when two Salvation Army men from Cullen began preaching in Portsoy. The Town Hall, which held 500 was packed and the whole town was influenced by the revival.

`The open-air meeting commenced about 6 p.m. and followed the usual pattern; lively singing, simple testimonies by young converts from Cullen, a short message from Lieut. Townes, and an invitation to any present to accept God's offer of salvation. I can remember very lit­tle of what was said on that occasion: it had dawned on me that here was what I had been seeking and so far had failed to find. Just then there was a movement among the crowd and a young man went forward and knelt in the ring; a few minutes later he stood publicly to declare that he had accepted Christ as his Saviour. I could stand still no longer: I pushed my way into the ring, and as I knelt there I was shown the way of salvation by Lieut. Townes. I knew then I was 'saved by grace'. As I stood up, I heard the voice of the Lieutenant again, 'Tell the folks that you have accepted the Lord Jesus as your Saviour.' What a sea of faces confronted me as I gave my first stammering words of testimony.

This open-air meeting was a tremendous experience for the young officer as he saw all that he had hoped and prayed for brought to pass, especially so when we remember those who came to help him were young converts. How truly he here proved the truth of Scripture: 'My strength is made perfect in weakness.' (2 Corinthians 12:9) 'Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts.' (Zechariah 4:6)

I quote here from a letter I received from him in which he made reference to this occasion. He says, 'Frankly I do not know how I coped with the situation, nor with the meeting later in the hall, but nothing is more certain than that there was another Presence guiding and direct­ing.

From that open-air gathering the crowd flocked to the Christian Institute, to see again the evidence of the power of the Holy Spirit as six young folk were converted. This was the commencement of a spiri­tual awakening that continued for many weeks, during which time the hall was packed nightly and the open-air services drew great congrega­tions. Many were converted at the time. Those who came from Cullen to conduct the meetings had to cycle daily in all weathers."

From 'A Forgotten Revival,' by Stanley Griffin, published by One Day Publications, p74/5

See also 'Glory in the Glen,' by Tom Lennie, published by Christian Focus Publications, p255-7