There was a stirring in the area due to the trial of James Morison in 1841 by the Kilmarnock Presbytery of the United Secessions Church over him rejecting Calvinism. Over the next few years three other ministers were suspended and they formed the Evangelical Union. The public discussions about Calvinism vs Arminianism stirred up spiritual interest so it was decided to hold protracted meetings at the Trades Hall in Glasgow.
The meetings were a surprising success from the start, 'The excitement though not outwardly demonstrative was deep and the good done of the most encouraging nature. Christians were refreshed and advanced in divine life and those who had cared nothing for personal religion were led in scores to the foot of the Cross.'
Out of these meetings a new church was formed and a very young Fergus Ferguson became their pastor. He was soon preaching to hundreds three times each Sunday. For several years, 'there was scarcely a Sabbath or a sermon delivered when there was not one or more who confessed they were brought to the knowledge of the truth, had found the Bible a new book, rejoiced in prayer and had views of the relation God stood in to man which they had never thought before... The fellowship roll increased in numbers, money came in freely.
'The life of the Rev Fergus Ferguson', by Adamson, pages 59, 63-4.
With thanks to Tom Lennie's, 'Land of Many Revivals', pages 467-8.