Stockton on Tees - Salvation Army (1874)

The first report from this Salvation Army station.

I commenced services here on Sunday, the 6th; the theatre was crammed full, and hundreds were unable to get in. God gave me blessed power and liberty. The words "What shall the end be?" went straight home to the people's hearts; many went home deeply convinced of sin, while seven or eight sought and found the Saviour. God’s people likewise were greatly blessed. Praise ye the Lord!

On Sunday, the 13th, owing to the crowd that could not obtain admittance at the People's Hall, we had taken a larger theatre in Yarm Lane, which will seat between two and three thousand people. I preached in the afternoon: it was a time of refreshing; a great number of people were present. God's Spirit was manifestly at work while the words " Lovest thou Me?" searched the hearts of God's children, and we came away saying it was good to be there. 

And now came the time I had looked for with something like wondering expectation, yet strong in the strength that God supplies through His Eternal Son; and truly His strength is made perfect in our weakness. The people thronged into the building till a quarter to seven, when 2,500 people filled the place. The sight was grand to see the vast multitude, the greater part of whom never go to a place of worship, stand up and sing the songs of Zion! 

During the preaching, it was easy to see that God was at work. The spirit of conviction was very deep. Many seeing their state as poor prodigals, and wanderers from a loving God were led to say in the hearts, "I will arise and go to my Father." Of course, we shall not be able to tell the result of that service till eternity reveals it. But, praise the Lord, when the invitation was given to those that were anxious, many came from other parts of the building into the pit, to be spoken to and prayed with. Nor is that all! A dozen at least went away happy in a Saviour's love. 

From, 'The Christian Mission Magazine,' January 1875, page 19.

"Oh, dear me! oh, dear me! I do think the world must be coming to an end! for there is such a to-do about religion, the whole town is in an uproar. Go to whatever part of the town you may, someone talks to you about religion." So said a poor woman to one of our members who had called to invite her to the services, and I do think God that there is a great stir in this town and nearly every society is going in most earnestly for Christian mission work. Six services a day are being held at the churches, at some of which precious souls are being saved. The Methodists, praise God! are moving, and, glory be to God! the Mission is in full blast. Services are being held continually in the street, whether the snow is on the ground or not. On Sunday last the bands were out until they were wet through, and sinners were willing to listen.

We held preaching services every night packed to the door. God's Spirit was poured out, and numbers of the worst sinners have been converted, nearly all of whom have signed the temperance pledge. I may say that every anxious inquirer at our meetings is asked to sign the pledge on their knees now, and not 10 per cent refuse. This is a drunken town most of the workpeople are slaves to drink, and, by God's help, we mean to make a deadly war against il.

From, 'The Christian Mission Magazine,' April 1876, page 88.

(There have been good reports from here over the last three years)

From the accounts given, both in Sister Watts' letters and from others on the ground, we are inclined to believe what Sister Watts says in her last, that things are too good to make a report which can properly convey an idea of the glorious work the Lord is doing. Some of the meetings, we hear, are marvellous times of power, and in the open air.

From 'The Salvationist', March 1879, page 73. 

Hundred outside. Grand influence all day, outside and in. Nine cases of conversion. A lot of volunteers for Jesus; some marched right up out of the pit and out of the gallery onto the stage without an invitation.

From, 'The Salvationist', December 1879, page 322.

For future reports see, 'The War Cry' which began January 1880.

Additional Information

I do not know where in Yarm Lane the Theatre Royal was.

Later they moved to the Star Theatre which is marked, although this is a laterbuilding.

By 1877 they were meeting in Green Dragon Yard and the Exchange Hall in the High Street, now a cinema.

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