Springwell Street Revival (1859)

The first remarkable manifestation of the movement in those resident in Ballymena took place in a house in Springwell Street. The first converts in this manifestation were Hessie Herbeson and Mary Beattie. This house in Springwell Street was quickly crowded by a deeply moved throng, those within having cried out to their neighbours to come and hear the great things that God had done for their souls.

So great was the quickly-assembled multitude that the windows of the house had to be removed so that those without might participate in the worship and praise of those who had gained admittance. A school in the same street, called Jackson’s Schoolhouse, was soon brought into use and there the first public meetings of the movement commenced. Converts multiplied and regular weekly prayer meetings were established in Springwell Street, Fountain Place Schoolhouse, William Street, Broughshane Street, Ballymoney Street, Galgorm Road, Coach Entry, Mill Street Place, Mill Street, Galgorm Street, Robert Street, Brocklamount, Drumclug, Harryville Schoolroom, Meetinghouse Lane, Alexander Street, Bridewell Street, Bridge Street, and Railway Street.

Taken from http://www.the1859revival.org/antrim.php

"There were at least 2,000 people engaged in a series of prayer and praise meetings. Six or seven houses were crowded with people in every spot where standing room could be obtained. The doors, and in some cases, the windows were standing open and besieged by a throng of all classes, anxious to hear or to obtain a glance of the proceedings within. These were the homes of the "stricken" parties, some of whom were in a state of very great weakness, and partial stupor; some were dreadfully excited, calling upon God for mercy with an earnestness which no intelligent had obtained a happy consciousness of peace and reconciliation with God through Jesus Christ, and were pouring forth the feelings of the soul in accents of heart touching and adoring gratitude."

Such scenes soon became common in every part of the town. At first they were found in the poorer districts of Spring-well Street, Ballymoney Street, Broughshane Street and Galgorm Street, but, by 28th May, we read that "cases were to be found in every street and among all classes of society .. it had extended to every district of the town and among all classes and denominations of the people. Hardly an hour of any day or night had passed without some marked development."

From "The Ballymena Observer"

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