Sunderland - Salvation Army (1878)

This is an excerpt from the first monthly report from the Salvation Army station here.

The Lyceum Theatre has been secured for Sunday afternoons and evenings and the Mission Chapel for weeknights. The former, seating nearly 3,000 persons, has been crowded since the first night and marvellous have been the displays of saving power we have witnessed, strong hardened sinners sobbing their way from all parts of the building to the stage to cast themselves down as broken-hearted children at the Saviour's feet, while we have been compelled to stand still and see the salvation of God. 

During the five weeks we have recorded the names of between two and three hundred anxious enquirers, and we have no hesitation in saying that there are hundreds of people in this town under deep conviction of sin, who will ultimately seek Salvation at the Cross.  

From 'The Christian Mission Magazine', April 1878, page 101.

I have to report again this month the prosperity of the Lord's work. We have not had a day since we commenced without hearing the cry for mercy, and pointing some poor soul to Christ. Oh, Hallelujah! this sets my heart all in a flame! Glory to the Bleeding Lamb!

The 17th of March was a day of power and blessing.

Mr Booth conducted the services preached in afternoon and evening. At night the Holy Ghost came down and 50 precious souls came out for salvation. On the Monday we held our opening tea, with a very impressive public meeting after. 

The 24th was a day of power and blessing. Mrs Brown preached with unusual power, afternoon and evening and 21 souls came forward and all over that vast theatre the people were sobbing and crying for mercy. On the 25th we had 20 souls; 26th, 8; 27th, 18; 28th, 6; 29th, 1 ; 30th, 6.

31st, Sunday, we had very severe weather. Heavy snowstorm all day, but could not keep the people indoors; got outside, held a wonderful open-air meeting, and wound up with 27 precious souls.

From 'The Christian Mission Magazine', May 1878, page 133. 

This has been the month of months in my evangelistic history. Hundreds of souls and many in Sunderland will remember it forever. The Saturday night and Sunday, 1st and 2nd of June, were times of especial power and blessing, many souls sought and found the Saviour, and the All-Night Prayer Meeting on the following Wednesday night, at which friends from Felling, and North and South Shields were present was the time of such a baptism of the Holy Ghost, that many of us hardly knew whether we were on earth or heaven. Such a giving up of self; such a laying down of earth with all its fashion and trifles; such a taking hold of God. Oh, Hallelujah! the very thought of it sets my heart all of a glow and fills my soul with joy.

From 'The Christian Mission Magazine', July 1878, page 188. 

To us this month has been a time of the singing of birds, a time of coming again with rejoicing, of victory and conquest, and increase, all glory be to Jesus our conquering Saviour.

Mr Joshua Dawson has paid us a visit. The Sunday was a powerful time and on the Monday, though our dear brother was shaken in body, the spirit of God came on him and ·on us all in overwhelming power, and there were SIXTY precious souls seeking either pardon or purity. Oh, Hallelujah! Truly it was a night never to be forgotten.

From 'The Christian Mission Magazine', August 1878, page 220. 

From the Annual Conference.

I can tell you we were watched about by some folks for the first two or three weeks as though we were pick-pockets going to take the bread out of somebody's mouth.

I stood in the open air by myself at first; but during the six months, we have had within a few units of 1,000 souls saved.

...I have been in the town some seven months, and I don't think there have been seven nights but what God has saved souls.

We have seen as many as 60 souls saved in one night, and have had to close our meeting three times before we could get the people away. We have got a force of 200 men and women ready to go anywhere or do anything for Jesus.

From 'The Christian Mission Magazine', September 1878, page 233. 

We have not space to describe the blessed hallowed time we spent here last Saturday night and Sunday with two noble processions bringing immense crowds to the theatre in which 3,000 people crammed to hear the Gospel message. We had a wonderful service. A triumphant day- three times out and four times in, and always gaining the victory.

On Tuesday 100 came forward for holiness.

From, 'The Salvationist', November 1879, page 301.

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

Additional Information

Likely spot for the theatre.

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