South of Cruden Bay on the Aberdeenshire coast lies
the village of Whinnyfold. During the summer and autumn,
the men of the village went to the herring fishing on the Peterhead boats. In
the winter they took to line fishing for cod and haddock.
In the early part
of the 20th century, there were a number of godly men and women who were
possessed with a vision for the young people of their small community. These
earnest souls prayed with "groanings which
cannot be uttered" for God to move amongst them and do a lasting work of
salvation. There were few opportunities afforded for simple gospel preaching,
yet so anxious were these folks for fellowship that they would walk every
Sunday to Cruden Bay in order to attend church. When the snow was very deep, the men put
on their "thigh sea boots" so they could make the journey to hear the
Word of God. Every Sunday evening a different minister of the district would
come and conduct a service in the village hall. Even so, they felt that as yet
there was no direct answer to their prayers.
1921 came, a number left village to pursue the Yarmouth fishing, the
men to sail in the drifters and the women to gut and pack the herring. At Yarmouth they
attended the meetings conducted by Douglas Brown and Jock Troup and a few were
converted. On returning home fresh interest was stirred so these "old
praying saints" began to see that God was answering the cries which had
ascended to His throne. The vision given
to these men years earlier had tarried, now the promise of God that it would
become a reality was beginning to be fulfilled.
The young converts, full of zeal for Christ, claimed the village hall
one Sunday a month for a straightforward gospel meeting and God began to move
in power in Whinnyfold.
In January 1922,
Davie Walker, an evangelist from Aberdeen came to Whinnyfold at the invitation of a
young believer and preached in the village hall one Sunday night. It was
obvious that there was a deep interest in eternal things, with every indication
that spiritual blessing was about to take place. After that first meeting, it
was arranged to hold services in a certain Alex Hay's
house. God began to move in that home, the crowds being so large that every
room in the house was packed, thus it was decided to take over the village
hall. On the next Sunday , the few believers were in a
state of expectancy, God was not going to disappoint them. Some of the young
men who were accustomed to going across to Port Errol for a walk on Sunday had
just returned. These young men had newly begun to taste worldly pleasures, but
the Lord had a different plan for their lives. As they sat on a dyke outside
the hall where the meeting was in progress, they were talking about anything
but the good news of salvation. The Holy Spirit began to speak to their hearts.
A woman who had just left the meeting came along and when she saw her son among
the young men laughing lightheartedly, she approached
him and rebuked him saying, "You should be at the meeting hearing about
how to get saved." To her amazement the whole group got off the dyke and
made for the hall. Every one of them was a big burly fisherman.
Men saved in the revival at Whinnyfold.
(Picture: J. Cay Peterhead.)
When the hall door
opened, the evangelist wondered what would happen if they made a rumpus. He was
a small man and known as "Wee Davie". While the meeting was going on,
the Holy Spirit took control of them. As the gospel message was preached they
were all gripped by conviction of sin and everyone of
them was saved before the end of the service. This was remarkable as they all
went on to spend their lives for Christ. One of them became a grand gospel
preacher. A testimony for the Lord Jesus
Christ was established soon after that Gospel Campaign and lasted well over
fifty years until those saved moved to Peterhead. It must be recorded that many
of the people mentioned had the privilege of being brought up in Christian
homes. They are now bringing up their families in the same way, so the effects
of the blessing that flowed at Whinnyfold in early
1922 is still in evidence.
View of Whinnyfold.
(Picture: G. NIcolson, Peterhead.)
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