Shipley - Salvation Army (1881)

This town has been a great stronghold of the devil and great has been the massacre of men, women and children. Petitions went up to the throne demanding from the King instant deliverance. Special orders came back for us to advance in on Saturday, February 11, great excitement prevailed as our pickets came pouring and all the talk from miles around was that Shipley would fall tomorrow. 

On Sunday morning the King smiled upon us and the artillery from heaven and chariots of Fire were all round about us. As we were on our knees before the throne we all thought that day we would do our duty if we died on the field. 

At 9:30 the blast of The Bugle was heard and soon every soldier was at his post. The Bradford brass band played during the charge. The rank and file, 200 strong marched into the Market with fixed bayonets, mounted the elevations to the amazement of a vast multitude of people and here volleys of “amens” took great effect. We then sang a war song, led by the band and at once felt that God had given us the city.

Seven or 8,000 people had assembled, every available spot occupied – windows and balconies, high walls, telegraph poles, and men and women on roofs of houses, far away from us waving their handkerchiefs, as we waved ours in triumph, rejoicing that we had come to the rescue.

While we expose the devil, speaking of his plans to damn and burn body and soul, multitudes listened with rapt attention. As we offered Salvation from all sin, on condition that they would surrender and while many of our soldiers spoke of their own deliverance, it brought tears to the eyes of many. We were compelled to remain in the open air all the morning and afternoon. At the same time a detachment was keeping up a heavy fire upon the enemy in the barracks, which were packed. The best of order prevailed while the police nobly assisted, clearing the way for passengers and carriages.

At night the Barracks were crowded long before the appointed time, many screaming with the crush to get in, thousands disappointed. Now comes the charge and great slaughter. The truth went to the hearts like a bombshell, then exploding, destroying and blowing out legions of devils. Rows of men and women came weeping for mercy and rejoiced that they were rescued as brands from the fire. 

Then they stood upon the platform declaring what God has done for their souls. One man said he’d been in jail a lot of times and there was a policeman in the Hall who had taken him as a prisoner five times.

After a week's bombardment, Shipley capitulated, 148 lay down their weapons of rebellion and thousands were anxious to see and hear us, but were unable for the want of room.

From, 'The War Cry', March 1881.

This is just one example of what was happening here. More reports can be seen from the War Cry in future months/years.


Additional Information

I do not know where the meetings were held.

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