William Booth's Awakening (1846)

In 1846 James Caughey, an American evangelist, came to speak in Nottingham, and William was set on fire at his meetings. Caughey not only majored on salvation but also on holiness. Here at last was religion in action, the real and living religion of his dreams. His close friend, Will Sanson was so stirred by the meetings that he set up meetings of his own in the slums of Nottingham and invited William to take part. Surprisingly, William did not preach or lead any of the meetings, which was against character. However, an evangelist from Scarborough, David Greenbury, recognised his earnestness, the vigour of his personality, his remarkable appearance and emphatic manner. He urged upon the young man that it was his duty to speak, that he owed it to God to conquer his timidity, which was a form of selfishness. As a result William threw himself into street preaching.

They would stand on a chair in the street, give out a hymn, William would speak and they would then invite the people to a meeting in a house. Will Sanson would kneel down after the meeting and wrestle with God in prayer (travailing prayer) until it seemed he would move the very stones on which he knelt, as well as the hearts of the people who heard him.

From my biography of William Booth on this website.

Additional Information

The Wesleyan Chapel has been knocked down and there is now a cinema there.

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