Ravenhill Presbyterian Church (1923)

The second mission in East Belfast was held in Ravenhill Presby­terian Church. There was unanimous agreement by the Kirk-session in November 1922 to extend a hearty invitation to William to use the Ravenhill church as one of his centres for East Belfast. This decision led to the mission in February 1923. Here too there was a special "men's only" meeting for the shipyard workers. Led by a Salvation Army band, they marched from the shipyard straight to the church. Unfortunately, when they got to the church, the gates were closed. The Rev. John Ross recorded, "when the gates were opened, the crowd was so large that the men got wedged between the pillars and so fierce was the struggle to get in that the central pillar was moved from its place." The men were eventually allowed entrance, and that night William preached with amaz­ing power.

As a result of the conversions of many of the shipyard men, Harland and Wolff shipbuilders were obliged to open a large shed in which to store the tools and other items of property which had been stolen and then returned. This large storage shed became known as the "Nicholson shed."

The Witness, in fact, they came in shoals." What a night of rejoicing there must have been in Ravenhill at that time of mighty ingathering. A Presbyterian weekly records the following report concerning the closing days of the mission, "A great number responded to the appeal by their decision to follow Christ, and

Records show that the number of persons admitted that year to the Lord's Table for the first time was 110 and the following year the total number of communicants reached 556 out of 600 families.

From 'All for Jesus' by Stanley Barnes, published by Ambassador Productions, p77-8