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Showing posts from November, 2009

The spreading flame

Fire is often used to describe the growth of a revival. This is nowhere more true than the rapid spread of the flame in 1859. From sparks in the lives of 4 men to the whole of Ulster & beyond in less than a year!

One story from early on in the revival shows this better than anything else. Samuel Campbell from Connor attended a meeting led by the instigators, McQuilken & Meneely. It is reported that he was so overwhelmed by an awareness of his sin during the meeting that he fell onto his knees & cried out for mercy. The following morning he was led to Christ whilst reading his bible.

This is wonderful, but what happened next is characteristic of story after story in Ulster. It is the catalyst factor which turned a time of blessing into a full blown revival.

Having found his own peace with God, Campbell became increasingly distressed about his relatives in the nearby town of Ahogill. Just 3 weeks later, after praying with others, Campbell visited his family home to plead with h…

A confectionary rant

First it was the Marathon bar, then Opal Fruits. This creeping globalisation & re-branding of our favourite childhood sweets simply because Opal Fruits means 'Panda farts' in Mandarin. Who are these mystery executives in their corporate towers that make these life changing decisions?

If we're honest with ourselves even back then, we knew really that our silence would only allow greater evils to emerge. It's true. We were sidelined, shaking our heads as Wagon Wheels got smaller & smaller. This was once a mighty product which began life in the wild west as an actual sized meringue & choclate covered wagon wheel.

The mystery men are at it again, & now they have my all time favourite in their sights. Ladies & Gentlemen, I give you the Sherbert Fountain! It's the kind of product that would never be allowed today, would never get through the focus groups & the fanatical PC commitees that now hold sweet makers hostage in the top floor of their sweet…

'I yelled, they prayed, God worked!'

150 years ago the Ulster Revival had an impact not only in the Province but around the world. I'm continuing today with some stories from this great breakthrough which came almost 50 years before Asuza. Here you will find a few insights that don't make the headlines, but which any would be preachers may understand.

Jeremiah Meneely was one of the original gang of four from the prayer meeting in the Old Schoolhouse. As the revival grew, these four became reluctant leaders of an increasing band of converts. No one was more surprised about this than Meneely himself.

Whilst travelling to one of their first meetings, they argued about who should preach. Eventually, after all had expressed their reluctance, Jerry stepped forward & said that he would on the condition that they pray. Describing the meeting afterwards, Meneely reported, 'I yelled, they prayed, God worked!' In this unassuming way they had inadvertantly hit upon a successful formula!

Meneely took his zealous pre…

The 1859 Ulster Revival

150 years have passed since the Ulster Revival of 1859. This significant revival had connections with the awakening the previous year in the US. There is little of the story in print right now, with most concerning themselves with the more recent centenery celebrations from Wales,then Asuza Street & the birth of Pentecostalism.

What we see in Ulster is a genuine pentecost 40 years before Asuza. Over the next few posts I shall give you some excerpts, most of which come from the unlikely source of the Rev Ian Paisley. Better known to English readers as the florid faced Presbyterian ranter who always seemed to get on the news in the 1980's with something bad to say about the Catholics. Whatever his political leanings, Paisley has written a long out of print account of the '59 revival which remains stirring to this day.

It all started with four new young converts - James McQuilkin, Jeremiah Meneely, Robert Carlisle & John Wallace. They agreed to meet weekly on a Friday night…