The People's Mission Hall, Whitechapel - Salvation Army (1869)

This was the first Mission Station purchased by the Salvation Army. Although there are only a few monthly reports here, God moved powerfully here for years.

All are delighted with the place. Its accommodation is greater than we expected. The Hall will seat about 1,550 people; but with the portico and large room over it, which opens immediately into the Hall by a sliding door, the entire width of the room, with these additions and forms in the capacious aisles, the place will contain about 2,000 people. In addition to the Hall, there are ten rooms set apart for living rooms for Hall keeper and Missionary, Believers' and Bible Classes, Mothers' Meetings, &c. The room over the portico is thirty-five feet long and will be very useful for larger gatherings of a private character. The portico is enclosed at each end with doors, which allow of its being thrown wide open, and so admit of its being used as a room for midday prayer meetings, or added to the hall when crowded on Sabbath evenings, or for semi-open-air preaching to the crowds that ceaselessly pass by. Adjoining the main thorough·fare is an excellent shop, which is opened as a bible, book, tract, and picture depot. Here the books published by the Mission can be obtained and any others that may be required for temperance and educational purposes.

The whole premises, taking into consideration the admirable situation, central for the East, and yet not more than a mile Irom the Bank and fronting one of the widest and most frequented thoroughfares in the world, form, in the estimation of all who have seen them, the best-adapted pile of buildings for Evangelistic work to be found in the three kingdoms. 0, may we have grace to use them for good to the very uttermost.

From, 'The Christian Mission Magazine', April 1870, page 74.

April 28th ; This and the preceding evening have been blessed seasons, both outdoors and in. Many members of other churches have been led to examine themselves, and being found wanting, thrown themselves upon the mercy of a loving God, and found peace and pardon through a precious Saviour; may God, in infinite mercy, help them to stand to their covenant, and may they be made a great blessing to the churches to which they belong.

May 1st.-We commenced this day's services with a fellowship meeting, at 7 o'clock in the morning; we were much blessed, and more fully equipped for the day's work. We soon found how much we needed it, for the enemy was in strong force throughout the day; but God was with us. The hall was packed to the door at night; the Holy Ghost fell on the people, and twenty were gathered into the gospel net. Hallelujah

2nd and 3rd. Very much persecuted in the open-nir. Old men, near 70 years old, one on crutches, wanted to fight, but I told them they might as well try to pull the moon down as to stop God's work, and so it proved, for God helped his people, and a poor woman followed us to the hall, and gave God her heart, with six others. Praise the Lord. May He help them to remain steadfast.

4th, 5th, and 6th.- Better open-air services I never had in my life. Our congregations were much larger. Men and women wept aloud, which sight I believe caused the angels to rejoice. The congregations inside also were much larger; sinners also came out every night seeking mercy. The interest awakened in the minds of people in this neighbourhood is daily increasing. Over 500 came into the hall to bear the Word tonight, Friday. Lord, save them.

Sunday, 8th.- It was expected that our dear superintendent would be in his place today, cheering on the tried and tempted, and pointing poor sinners to Jesus; but being still unable, our dear brother Eason preached for him. In the evening; we had three open-air stands. Numbers listened and followed us to the hall, where God in great mercy poured out his Spirit, and many sought the Saviour. Among others, a dear woman cried for pardon, with her infant nestling in her bosom. It was very affecting. May they both meet in Heaven.

Sunday, May 15th.- At seven o'clock a few brethren met to plead with God for a blessing upon the day's services. We held six open-air services today. Hundreds stopped to listen. May the Spirit continue to strive with them. There was a large number present at the afternoon experience meeting, many standing up to testify what the Lord had in mercy done for them. Several members of the Society of Friends were with us, who praised God for his goodness in helping us to carry on so great a work among the poor outcasts of London.

In the evening, Jonathan Grubb preached to a large congregation. A few came out desiring to find the Saviour. One was the husband of one of our members who has long desired his salvation; and when the man received the blessing, he shouted aloud, "I have long been nibbling at the bait, but now I have got it." The Lord in mercy keep him steadfast, and may the blessing of God ever attend the labours of our dear friend Jonathan Grubb, who, I trust, will be made a blessing to thousands.

From, 'The Christian Mission Magazine', June 1870, page 88.

There were many salvations here over the years - too many to report, but here is one example of many. These meetings probably took place in different halls.

Praise the Lord! some sixty souls have been pointed to the Lamb of God since 1875 set in.

Amongst the varied services which have been held, we have had, a Midnight Meeting for the fallen. We met about ten o'clock, and after spending some time in prayer, we went forth inviting the fallen sisters to a free tea, to be held at twelve o'clock. We succeeded in getting some fifty or sixty in for tea, after which we adjourned into the hall, where short addresses were delivered to them; and the broken hearts and sobs as they wet the ground with tears, will never be forgotten. Some ten or twelve came forward, willing to forsake their course of life and to give themselves to the Saviour.

Children's Mission

I am thankful to be able to report that great success has attended the work amongst the children during the month. The dear friends who have been patiently labouring here for a Iong time had become almost disheartened, the rough disorderly boys seeming incapable of receiving any sort of teaching and in fact trying to turn tho hall into a playground. But we have succeeded, not merely in restoring perfect order to all the services, but in largely increasing the numbers in attendance, and the Word spoken having BEen attentively listened to has at every service resulted, we believe, in the salvation of some.

At my first Sunday evening services over 250 \vere present, and thirteen came out for salvation. One of these, as soon as he found peace, began to cry aloud, 'Lord save my mother! Lord save my father!' Three others publicly testified there and then that God, for Christ's sake, had pardoned their sins.

On weeknights we have had over fifty present, and six and seven in an evening have found Jesus. The children are learning not only to serve God all day, but to pray aloud in the meetings, and to tell others what God has done for their souls so that we are training a force of children to carry on the work. May God help us!    Ballington Booth

From, 'The Christian Mission Magazine', March 1875, page 74.

Excerpt from a large article from the 'East London Observer' about the 'Salvation Fair'.

...At night in the open-air services along the Whitechapel Road, and ln the procession, we utilised as banners the boards carried by men throughout the East-end on Saturday, and which bore in type, that every passer-by on pavement or conveyance might read:



.272, Whitechapel Road,

Opens at 11, 3, and 7.

The crowd which: followed was enormous and when during the service indoors, a speaker asked all present who knew their sins forgiven to hold up their hands, the great mass of the audience remained silent witnesses to their own unpardoned guilt.

The day wound up with glorious after meetings, twenty-six persons having processed salvation. All glory to the Lord!

From, 'The Christian Mission Magazine', April 1877, page 102. 

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