Wallacestone Methodist Chapel - Alexander Patrick (1842)

At the beginning of 1842 Alexander Patrick was invited to Wallacestone. 

'This part of the country was then in a state of deplorable spiritual destitution, at a considerable distance from the parish kirk, and no one greatly caring for the souls of the people. The population was therefore miserably sunk in morals. without restraint, and almost without shame, the most open sin was commonly practised. Drunkenness, brawling, gambling and general licentiousness met the eye every day and almost everywhere.'

First of all, Patrick led two visitors to his hosts to the Lord and then the husband and wife who were hosting him. The news got around and people started to visit him and he was asked to preach. From then on he preached nearly every evening for weeks.

'A schoolroom was procured as a preaching place; the congregation was large; many were pricked to the heart and cried out for mercy and a considerable number obtained the pearl of great price and were added to the Lord...

In about six weeks after his arrival in the place, by the blessing of God upon his solitary labours, 46 persons were capable of uniting in church-fellowship...

On March 27th, the Rev T Williams, one of the ministers of Glasgow, visited them and formally instituted two classes. His preaching on that occasion was owned of God and that visit will not soon be forgotten. It appeared that many present were made the subject of deep feeling, which they restrained until after the usual benediction was pronounced at the close of the service and the congregation was actually breaking up. One young man could contain no longer but cried out vehemently that they should pray for him. The congregation turned back and instantly began a prayer meeting. Other persons in the same case soon vented the distress of their souls in loud prayers, now that an example was given and not less than twenty penitents were then at once crying for mercy, several of whom obtained peace before the meeting finally ended...

Meetings for preaching were held in various houses and often in the open air, vast numbers of hearers attending and some of them from very great distances.'

Meetings were held on a hill where the Wallace Memorial is situated.

'On some occasions, the word delivered on this spot has been accompanied by a power similar in its effects to that which attended the ministrations of Wesley and Whitefield. The hearers have literally fallen to the earth in companies, deploring their past ingratitude and rebellion against God, or rejoicing with an overpowering joy because they had now found his mercy.'

They built a chapel that opened in 1843.

'Patrick was also aware that an extensive field of possible good was lying unregarded in the localities all around; he therefore yielded to the urgent requests of his friends and took up his permanent abode in Wallacestone, giving himself wholly to the care of the religious interests of the people.

A vigorous system of visitation was now adopted and sustained, and by the aid of the zealous members, supported by the local preachers from various parts of the circuit. The word of God was proclaimed in numerous places in the neighbourhood. Conversions took place from time to time in Redding, Lauriston, Grangemouth, Borrowstouness, Avonbridge, Western Divities, Shieldhill, Rumford and Blackbraes.'

'The Wallacestone Reformer',  by John Drake, pages 132-145.


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