Pilgrim Preachers arrived in Wick at the beginning of October 1921 and started
holding meetings in the
Drifters coming in to Wick (1927)
(Picture: Mrs.Jack, from the Jack collection via St. Andrews University.)
Away in Yarmouth
God was moving among the Wick fishermen. Around six were converted, some of
them notorious characters. Among these men were Don Rosie and John Flett, both of the motor drifter
Brae Flett. One man relates how he walked from Gorleston to
Baptst Church, Wick (1983).
(Picture: G. NIcolson, Peterhead.)
As the fishermen
of Wick returned home, the converts were alive for God. On
"Ho! ev'ry one that is thirsty in spirit,
Ho! ev 'ry one that is weary and sad;
Come to the fountain, there's fulness in Jesus,
All that you're longing for, come and be glad.
'I will pour water on him that is thirsty,
I will pour floods upon the dry ground;
Open your hearts for the gift I am bringing;
While you are seeking Me, I will be found.'
It is reported that the atmosphere was charged with the power of the Holy Spirit and in the meeting some precious souls found Christ. After the service Billie gathered all the young converts together and said, "Boys I'm a Salvationist, I'll be going to the Salvation Army tomorrow night. If you want to come, "meet me outside the Army Hall at ." Captain Reid and Lieutenant Long were the officers in charge at Wick and they had a real burden for souls. At that Saturday night meeting things began to happen as God started to move. When the service was over the converts went out to an open air meeting at the market place. Sunday was a great day, for souls were saved in every meeting. Later that evening they went into the open air. Eyewitnesses told of how the market place was filled with people, one estimate put the number at a thousand. Men and women witnessed of their new found joy till after
By Monday, 26th November, almost the entire population of Wick was talking about the revival.
There was a deep
sense of' God's presence. At an open-air service on the Brae-Head above the
harbour at the Pulteney side of Wick these young
souls, some only converted for a few hours, boldly testified of Christ' s redeeming power. Two well known young fishermen
came out of the public house across from the meeting and John Flett, who had recently been saved in
Tuesday the 27th was the greatest night of all. After the meetings indoors there was a. tremendous open air service in the market place where it was estimated that over one hundred and twenty accepted Christ as their personal Saviour. Witnesses of this great event tell of how hardened men and women broke down, and with tears of repentance cried upon God for mercy. The young converts took off their coats and laid them on the ground so that those who desired could kneel in comfort. From that night the blessing spread like wildfire.
Those who were leading the work came under exceptional strain. Conducting meetings, holding nights of prayer and praise, leading enquirers to Christ all took their toll on the health of those concerned. Captain Reid of the Salvation Army became ill. Young Lieutenant Long found herself in charge of the work. God used that young woman mightily in His service. The open air services at the Brae-Head brought out large crowds and on several occasions at least four streets were blocked. Listeners were amazed as the young Christians fluently quoted scripture.
A convert who later became a Salvation Army Officer, eventually rising to the rank of Brigadier, tells of these meetings. "I was unsaved and unmoved when the awakening started. As cashier of the Breadalban Picture House, I can say that hardly anyone was attending the cinema, at one showing there were only five present. I would be going to my work at when the crowds were so large I could not get through and had to make a detour around back streets to get to my place of employment."
Brigadier Rosie goes on to give her testimony.
"I was saved in the New Year in the Rifle Hall. The crowds were so large that the Rifle Hall had to be taken over as it was the only Hall big enough, yet even that was too small. Six months later I came into the experience of scriptural holiness and could sing from a clean heart's experience,
‘I'm more than conqueror through His blood,
Jesus saves me now,
I rest beneath the shield of God,
Jesus saves me now.’"
Our sister went to
the Salvation Army Training College and became an officer in many Corps where a
great work was done. Her sweet voice could be heard singing the songs of
In these times of refreshing it was wonderful to witness that all believers were united in Christ.
The one aim was to
see souls rescued from sin. Mr. Millard
His church was
constantly filled, most of the time there was standing room only. Prayer
meetings played a very important part in his ministry. The testimony meetings on Sunday afternoons
were special occasions. Don Rosie told of how he stopped smoking six weeks before
he got saved in a meeting run by Douglas Brown at
"You ask me how I know I'm saved? I'll tell you. Before I got saved I would find myself under the bed on a Sunday morning because I was so drunk that I could not get into it on Saturday night. Now, I am in bed on a Sunday morning for I have never touched a drop of drink since I got saved."
These converts were new creatures in Christ, and they knew it.
"I'm saved, I know I'm saved cried one fisherman. How do I know? Well, yesterday I went into Walter' Craig's shoppie and on the counter were some knives. I could not steal them. Before I got saved I would have had two or three in my pocket."
How these uneducated men loved to tell in their own way the change that had been wrought in their lives since Jesus had come to abide in their hearts. They were so keen to testify that the leader during a meeting had to insist on order as two or three would have spoken at once.
A Salvation Army
Staff Captain, Mrs. Rohu from
Jock Troup arrived
home at Wick on
A special Gospel Rally was held in the United Free Church. This was his first engagement since the operation. Witnesses declare that it was a meeting "out of this world". The place was packed to capacity, chairs filled the aisles and there were people sitting on the pulpit steps. His text for that night was, "Ye must be born again." People who knew him in days past had to recognise that he carried the seal of God's approval on his life and work.
Zion Hall, Wick (1983).
(Picture: G. NIcolson, Peterhead.)
Jock now flung his whole weight into the meetings. The rest had done him good, for the time he had been laid aside proved to have brought fresh inspiration. So large were the crowds that gathered to hear the local man that the police asked him to move from the Market Place down to the harbour at. The Camps. Services were held between and every night Jock also preached in the Rifle Hall. It must have been a great sight to watch him holding forth with his jacket off and his sleeves rolled up. It was in the Zion Salvation Army Hall that he first introduced the following hymn to his local townsfolk.
"What a wonderful change in my life has been wrought,
Since Jesus came into my heart.
I have peace in my soul for which long 1 have sought,
Since Jesus came into my heart."
The Master's call
was heavy upon Jock, for it was not long before he started to travel. God's
work in Wick went on, with the tide continuing to rise in blessing. One notable
feature was that the young converts grasped every opportunity to witness for
Christ. Jock made many new friends among them. One of these was a young man who
had been saved only a few months earlier through the Pilgrim Preachers. From
the beginning of his Christian life this young man showed great promise, and he
travelled with Jock around
Old view of Wick harbour.
(Picture: St. Andrews University.)
Jock found it hard
to get away to the quiet place. In a crowded home it was not easy to escape the
publicity he attracted. Often he would go down to the old sail-boats which were
moored on the river at Wick. There he cried alone to God in prayer. Sometimes
Angie joined him. In later years these
days became precious memories. Angie was
later to associate himself with the Open Brethren. For over fifty years he has
proved to be a faithful Bible teacher and evangelist. Many have found Christ through his ministry
in the Brethren Assemblies, especially in