Saturday, August 23, 2008

This Week in Texas Methodist History August 24

“All Star” Preachers Participate in Holiness Revival at Waco, August 1894

By 1894 the Holiness Movement had generated a great deal of momentum and was shaking up the MECS establishment. One of the areas of controversy was the role of travelling evangelists. The ease of railroad transport made it possible for gifted preachers to decline an appointment in a local church and earn a comfortable living preaching at revivals. The question of how such persons would relate to their annual conferences posed some interesting problems. One solution was simply to locate. Another was to be appointed to the position of “conference evangelist.” At least some station preachers did not welcome such travelling evangelists. The evangelist, for example, might come to town, whip the laity into a frenzy with Holiness doctrines not shared by the station preacher, and then move on leaving the station preacher to deal with any doctrinal disputes that had arisen.

The 1894 General Conference came down on the side of the station preachers. It passed a rule requiring the station preacher’s permission before a travelling evangelist in connection with the MECS could hold a revival in the city. Naturally some evangelists could not submit to such a rule and left the connection.

The following description of the August 1894 Holiness Camp Meeting at Waco is from the pen of J. P. Musset, via Macum Phelan (II). The passage emphasizes the dual nature of Holiness revivals—to bring sinners to repentance and to bring converted persons to Entire Sanctification (Second Blessing). The line up of preachers is one of the most distinguished ever to grace the preaching platform of a revival in Texas.

This camp meeting, embracing the East Waco and 10th
Street charge, has had the largest attendance it ever had.
I never saw as many campers at one camp meeting. They
held seven services a day, and the display of Divine power
was truly marvellous. Sinners were converted and believers
were sanctified at the same altar. Some would shout and
praise God for the pardon of actual transgressions and
others would praise God for cleansing them from inbred sin
and the sanctification of their souls. Drs. Carradine (Rev. Beverly Carradine 1848-1931, “The Prince of the Holiness Preachers”) and
Morrison and Dodge did most of the preaching. Bishop Jo-
seph S. Key and his son Howard, from Tennessee, were with
us two days. He preached Sunday at 11 a. m. from Psalm
23. A number of preachers from different parts of the state
were present, some of whom experienced entire sanctifica-
tion. Rev. W. F. Lloyd, newly elected president of Poly-
technic College, was with us and preached. Also Rev. R. C.
Armstrong, presiding elder of the Waco district.


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