Having been “opened " by South Shields, the preachers on the station, of course, took Sunderland on their rounds, and in and around the Wearside town, and as far as Pelton, Chester-le-Street, and Houghton-le-Spring, the Brothers Nelson and their colleagues did a remarkable work. Writing from Newcastle on July 28th, 1823, Jeremiah Gilbert refers to a camp meeting held "at or near Sunderland," on June 22nd, which was conducted by the evangelists, and says: "Sinners began to fall down and cry for mercy before the preaching commenced. In the course of the day thirty found liberty." On Sunday, July 13th, Mr Gilbert adds: “There was a love-feast at Sunderland, in the South Shields branch of Hull Circuit, and many were set at liberty. In that branch they have four travelling preachers, and I have been informed that last week under one sermon ten were converted, eight under another, and five under another." Thomas Nelson confirms Mr Gilbert s account of the camp meeting, and thinks there were about six thousand people present; "but, indeed," he adds, "I was so thronged in praying with the distressed that I knew very little who was preaching."
From that eventful day Primitive Methodism went forward with a bound in Sunderland.
‘Northern Primitive Methodism’ by W M Patterson, published in 1909, p243.