News, Musings and exploring our APSC artefacts (Formerly "Blogs")

The Australasian Pentecostal Studies Centre (APSC) Significance Assessment Report has now been received from Dr Roslyn Russell of Museum Services. AC is very proud to house such a prestigious and valuable collection.  Dr Russell notes that the APSC:

“…is of considerable historical significance for its capacity to trace the development of Pentecostal spirituality in Australia from the revivals and street meetings of the early twentieth century to massive churches such as Hillsong. Pentecostal Christianity has, over a century, moved from the periphery to the mainstream of Christian life in Australia and now wields considerable social and political influence. The APSC collection documents this trajectory in publications, photographs, audiovisual and multimedia documents…These items, and the collection as a whole, can be demonstrated as having social significance for those who remember the personalities and the situations it illustrates. Much of the collection is modern, with extensive holdings of oral histories and videos, and this means that the connections it makes to the current Pentecostal community are powerful.”

Please continue to promote the APSC as a safe and worthwhile place for people to donate their archives, as well as a valuable research resource.  The full report can be viewed here.

The Australasian Pentecostal Studies Centre (APSC) was officially launched, on 6th July 2015, by Rev Dr Andrew Evans, former General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God in Australia and former Member of the Legislative Council in South Australia. The APS Centre recently received a Community Heritage Grant funded by the Australian Government and managed by the National Library of Australia in recognition of the national significance of the collection. This grant included a one-day Heritage Workshop and two-day Significance Assessment of the APS Centre collection by Dr Roslyn Russell.

We were honoured to have with at the launch many special guests, including: Dr Geoffrey Lee, State Member for Parramatta; Councilor Andrew Wilson, Parramatta City Council; Dr Mark Robinson, State Member for Cleveland in Queensland and Rev Dr Harold Hunter, Director of the International Pentecostal Holiness Church Archives and Research Center in Oklahoma.

Heritage Training Workshop (6th July 2015: 10am-5pm)

It was great to have 43 people in attendance at the one-day Heritage Training Workshop, including AC staff, students, alumni, community group representatives and others from our church constituency. Dr Russell provided a fascinating day of training which covered:

  • Session 1: Explaining the Significance criteria and methodology
  • Session 2: Using the Significance criteria and methodology
  • Session 3: Case study: Three versions of John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress; Assessing items from the APSC collection
  • Session 4: Assessing items from the APSC collection; summary

It was particularly touching to see some of the attendees were able to provide further providence information regarding some of the items in the collection.

APSC Official Launch (6th July 2015: 5.30pm-7pm)

While the Pentecostal Heritage Centre originally commenced in 2001 at Chester Hill, the renamed APSC was officially launched at its Parramatta location in a room which was built to museum expert specifications. It was wonderful to see around 150 people gather for this event. The launch program featured:

  • Australian Indigenous Acknowledgement of Country – Ps David Armstrong
  • Greeting – Dr Geoffrey Lee, State Member for Parramatta
  • Greeting – Councillor Andrew Wilson, Parramatta City Council
  • University Vision – Assoc Prof Stephen Fogarty, AC CEO
  • Thesis presentation and tribute to David Cartledge – Dr Mark Robinson
  • Preserving Pentecostal history – Rev Dr Harold Hunter
  • Official opening of APS Centre – Rev Dr Andrew Evans

Significance Assessment (7th and 8th July 2015: 9am-5pm)

Dr Russell then conducted a two-day significance assessment of the APSC collection. This was a vital step in progressing the vision of the APSC as she was able to provide us with detailed information about the significance of the collection and how best to proceed in the future. This was also an incredibly valuable experience to have one-on-one time with an expert in the field to ask questions, seek advice and gain insights regarding archival collection and preservation.

Besides preservation, the goal of the APSC is also to encourage inter-institutional research projects in Pentecostal scholarship which will benefit the wider community locally, nationally and internationally. We welcome donations of church archives, sermons, artefacts, denominational magazines, photographs and any other memorabilia. Let’s join together in preserving our Pentecostal and charismatic history!

Rev Assoc Prof Denise Austin

Australasian Pentecostal Studies Centre Director



Short History book

This book is one is a series of 'short histories' by Cambridge University Press. The series will also include a short history of Pentecostalism, by seminal scholar Edith Blumhofer.  That history, however, is some little way off, and while this book – by Mark Hutchinson (University of Western Sydney) and John Wolffe (Open University) – seeks to avoid many of Blumhofer’s key interests, it remains an important ‘back story’ to the emergence of Pentecostalism. It offers an authoritative overview of the history of evangelicalism as a global movement, from its origins in Europe and North America in the first half of the eighteenth century to its present-day dynamic growth in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Oceania. Starting with a definition of the movement within the context of the history of Protestantism, it follows the history of evangelicalism from its early North Atlantic revivals to the great expansion in the Victorian era, through to its fracturing and reorientation in response to the stresses of modernity and total war in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It describes the movement’s indigenization and expansion toward becoming a multicentered and diverse movement at home in the non-Western world that nevertheless retains continuity with its historic roots. The book concludes with an analysis of contemporary worldwide evangelicalism’s current trajectory and the movement’s adaptability to changing historical and geographical circumstances.
The biographical approach to piecing together early Pentecostal history has been a useful tool. It has provided us, for instance, with good material on major figures such as John Alexander Dowie, whose contribution to both early Australian Pentecostalism (Chant, 2011) and international proto-pentecostalism (Dayton, 1987) are now well-described. Emerging work, on the other hand, suggests that it is not enough. First, biographical approaches only begin to assume contextual meaning when they exist within a profusion of other biographies. This requires at least a number of scholars working in the same field, preferably in contact with one another. This has not been the case in Australian pentecostalism. Secondly, even once all the ‘bits’ have been put together, the whole can escape the historian. So, we know something about Dowie’s personal healing ministry after the outbreak of a measles/ scarlet fever epidemic along Australia’s east coast in 1875-76 (Chant, 1992), but the more general context of divine healing during the period in Australia is not well understood. There is also something of a biographical fallacy at work –in search of his ‘significant’ work, biographers of Dowie have tended to jump directly from Newtown to independent ministry to the Melbourne tabernacle. His period with the Salvation Army in Adelaide and Melbourne is glossed over, as is the larger circle of divine healers who – closer attention would suggest – were working consciously in the same circles as Dowie. In part this is a matter of sources – even such a competent historian as Chant tends to depend on the major newspapers of the day rather than the denominational press. Much of the fine detail is thus missed.

One way of filling out the story of an international figure such as Dowie is to track the stories of their less well-known associates. One of these was James William Wood (b.20 Sept 1830-d.17 Feb 1916, Portslade, Sussex), a native of Maresfield, Sussex who migrated to Australia in the late 1850s, presumably as part of the global interest provoked by the Australian goldfields.[1] The son of Richard Wood and Lydia Lewry, Wood married Phillis Atkins (or Aitken/ Aitkins) (b. c. 1839, Aberdeenshire, Scotland-d. 21 Oct 1882) in Launceston, Tasmania (27 May 1862), with whom he had a large if somewhat fragile family. Many of his children died young,[2] though four seem to have survived him.[3] He himself would in part explain his search for healing as a result of 25 years of ‘continuous indisposition’, during which he had ‘consulted doctors without end’ and took ‘enough medicine to sink a ship.’[4] Wood was a mining agent and stockbroker, living at ‘Woodlands’ in Northcote, Melbourne, but active around Ballarat and from an office in Little Collins Street, Melbourne. Apart from insolvencies in 1866 and 1875,[5] he seems to have been a pragmatic businessman, raising finance,[6] organising mining companies and their activities,[7] and active in attempts to have railway extended to Northcote.[8] Wood appears in reference to healing around 1883, shortly after the death of his wife in 1882. (Wood does not mention this coincidence in press reports, but the timing is suggestive). Having been ill for many years, he reports calling on God some time in 1883, and his pain disappearing. In prayer, God instructed him to take this healing to others. ‘He had been ordered by God to heal, and he got the power by waiting upon God. He had waited upon God to ask Him for any power He would like to give. He felt that something was wanting, and he determined to wait upon God till he got it.’[9 Like Dowie, he returned to the text – the New Testament stories of healing, and Christ’s promise that ‘they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover’ (Mark 16:18). Unlike Dowie, Wood did not seem to have the advantages of theological education. A report on his appearance in Adelaide the next year found him ‘not at all distingué nor admiration compelling, education not much better than that of the fisherman disciples probably.’ His language was ungrammatical and rough: when instructing his audience to on how to pray with faith, for example, he would turn his back to them, pray, and then turn ‘sharply round to the audience cried out, “How many done it?”’[10 He could, H.V. Brown of London noted:

scarcely be described as an educated man. He seemed to have little acquaintance with current thought, and his pronunciation was not perfect. But he had fire. He was what I may to allowed to call a powerful natural preacher. He had the Bible at his fingers’ ends, and could pour out quotations from it endlessly. I have seen him rouse his people to a perfectly amazing pitch of enthusiasm.[11]

Descriptions of his appearance varied, depending on the bias of the report. Early in his career, he was held to look ‘like an ordinary labourer some time retired, and now attitudinising in slop-made clothes’, a description which fitted the Galilean fisherman theme and references to ‘primitive Christianity’ which his ministry elicited in the Victorian mind.[12] In his early days in London from 1887, he seems to have adopted a rough Salvation Army-like uniform, ‘scarlet flannel jersey’.[13] In his later career in England, by way of contrast, when he absorbed Old Testament models and ran afoul of British authorities, he was described as a ‘striking figure of patriarchial appearance, with leonine face and white beard.’[14] Character, it would appear, is in the eye of the beholder.

After receiving what he considered to be a gift from God, Wood ‘did not try it for some time’. Family came first: ‘His first patient was his own daughter, who was troubled with a burning face and a large lump  under her chin. He laid his hands upon her face and the heat left her, and he passed a hand over the lump and it vanished immediately.’[15] He was clearly reading and connecting to others in the period. While fringe literature had already appeared on the subject (e.g. Mary Baker Eddy’s Science and Health, 1875), by the time of Phillis’s death in 1882, there was much more mainstream support for the subject developing. In that year, for instance, the Boston Baptist bible teacher, A. J. Gordon, a close associate of D. L. Moody and founder of Gordon-Conwell Seminary, published his book The Ministry of Healing, a title which Wood would regularly use to describe his own ministry. The context is premillennial revivalism rather than uniquely to do with healing, as might be seen from Wood’s continued use of Sankey’s hymns and songs in his ministry. As early as 1878 it appears that Wood had been prominent in the drive to establish an independent chapel connected to the work of that other independent workingman-evangelist who had come to Australia in search of gold, Henry Varley.[16] In 1884, Wood appears in the company of Dowie and a number of others, holding healing campaigns in various parts of Victoria. A later record suggest he was co-trustee with Dowie in an independent Baptist church, and at the marriage of his son, Victor, he lists his occupation as ‘Baptist minister’. Having left a Congregational ministry in NSW to go into independent ministry, Dowie’s connections in the southern colonies were among such ‘independents’, and numbers of these would be important for Wood’s career. Wood was invited to South Australia by a coalition of independent clergymen who had associated with Dowie (particularly the Baptist minister, W. B. Shorthose, the secretary of the Christian Crusaders, S. W. Burton, and the ‘captain’ of the Port Adelaide Working Men and Women’s Mission, William Ross), and with the breakaway group—the Christian Crusaders—which his work with the Salvation Army had inspired. They would promote Wood, while his ministry would draw the sort of attention needed for them to expand their work in Adelaide and its Port. In turn, Wood absorbed Salvation Army models, attracted many former Army members to his causes, later established an organisation entitled ‘The Army of the Lord’,[17] and (in insolvency later in life) passed the property of his organisation into Salvation Army hands.[18]

Though not well known previously, the advent of Wood’s ‘Ministry of Healing’ in April 1884 found him suddenly in the limelight, dividing opinion and ‘dwarfing all other social movements during the last month.’[19] Advertisement through revivalist networks and local newspapers drew hundreds from across Adelaide and its hinterland to meetings which began in the week of 20 April in the Crusader’s Hall on Victoria Square. Commencing with an ‘all night consecration prayer meeting’ on Sunday 20 April, meetings ran every night except Tuesday.[20] Invitations to run meetings rapidly came in – in Port Adelaide at the Working Men and Women’s Hall, in the Gospel Hall on Gouger Street, and then at the Adelaide Town Hall. Day-time meetings for ‘the laying on of hands’ were regularly held at Whitmore Square and in the Crusaders Hall. The technology of revivalism was apparent despite Wood’s relative lack of experience: advertisements appeared in the Advertiser requesting notes of affirmation from people who had experienced healing in the early meetings, while at various times Praise Meetings were held to elicit testimony as to the effectiveness of the ministry. To those who reported few results, he encouraged them to ‘have faith’: as a skeptic reported at the time, the quality of faith in the powers of the healer appeared to be ‘all-important’.[21] Testimony fuelled expectation. At Wood’s meetings in the Working Men and Women’s Mission Hall, Port Adelaide, an ‘immense crowd assembled there at the appointed time, the place being so packed that about 200 persons were unable to get in or even approach the doorway.’[22]

There is no indication that Wood was aware that he had been invited to Adelaide on the tail of a ‘Freethought Mission’ by the leading secularist, Joseph Symes. In early April, Symes (who published a radical secularist newspaper entitled The Liberator, and had been sent to Australia by Charles Bradlaugh as a sort of secularizing evangelist), gave a number of lectures, including one entitled ‘My path from the Wesleyan pulpit to the secular platform.’[23] In preparation, he sent a newspaper challenge to the ‘representative clergymen’ of Adelaide, inviting them to debate him in open forum during his sessions at the German Club. Newspapers reported his talks as ‘a peculiar sort of entertainment… in which the elements were distressing and diverting by turns.’[24] The opposition to Wood which soon reared its head in this most respectable of Australian cities, therefore, began among professional classes who had been well-primed. One ‘medical gentleman was heard on Friday making an offer of £10 to the Adelaide Hospital for the first case of genuine and permanent cure brought before him.’[25] Wood’s ‘ministry’ was an imposition on the imaginations of gullible people, people with psychosomatic syndromes: ‘when asked what was the matter with them, nearly always alleged that they had been suffering from pains in the back, or side, or head, or had a touch of what they thought was rheumatism. Some had been a little deaf and said they could hear better; others had weak eyes and “believed” that they would come all right again.’ A reporter attending the Port Adelaide meetings declared ‘The results could not be called satisfactory, as there was not a single case in which any definite disease was cured.’[26] The commentariat took to the newspapers to make explicit the conversations being had in fashionable drawing rooms and salons. Wood’s lack of education and class background, as well as that of his clientele, fuelled calls for healing approaches based on rationality and expertise rather than faith. Evidence would undo the claims of faith healers. Wood’s approach was relocated in the narrative of quacks, mesmerists and ’humbugs’. ‘Not long ago’, one writer to the Register noted,

a man was convicted in Paris for injury to a lady’s arm in bone-setting. He declared that he was endowed with Divine power, and among the poorer classes his claims were recognised, and it was reported that he had wrought many marvellous cures. If he had refrained from attempting the operations of surgery he might have lived and died a reputed worker of miracles; but he did not, and justice overtook him.[27]

A clear warning to stay out of the British Medical Association’s bailiwick: healing was for the weak of mind or will, real men took medicine. Wood’s own understandings of healing clearly did not help. A combination of his reported public statements provide something of his tenor.

A short devotional service was conducted by the Rev A. Turnbull, after which Mr Wood addressed the meeting on the subject of the power of healing with which he had been endowed. The power which he exercised, he said, was not an earthly power, but it was the direct gift of God. Some of the cures the affected might be obtained by doctors with the aid of herbs and minerals, but even if they succeeded such cures were the work of the devil, what his were the work of God.[28]

Such statements—which, because of Wood’s instant notoriety, were now always in spaces made public by the presence of the press and the public role of the Church in Victorian Adelaide—fanned the flames. Wood was not reticent about his opinions on ‘educated men’, about whom he said ‘a hard thing or two.’[29] Healing to him was first, a personal gift or endowment, restored (secondly) to him for the first time since the days of the apostles, which worked (thirdly) according to the faith of the supplicant. ‘He had come here to bring them the glad tidings of God’s salvation, and make known his power and willingness to heal if they only had faith in Him.’[30] In other words, it was a priestly view which conflicted with the new priesthood of modernity, and which took no responsibility for its claims. It is true that a lot of 19th century medicine was still struggling to emerge from its origins in the religious- when leading laryngologist, Sir Morell Mackenzie (that grandson of a Kirk minister of Cromarty, Scotland), died in 1892, his work was lauded (alongside that of Charles Spurgeon) as a ‘ministry of healing’.[31] Likewise, medical practice–in many of the diatribes against Wood — is described in ways which attempt to retain medical practice with the sphere of moral philosophy, while yet championing its rational and social superiority. Medical men were still wanting to have their cake and eat it too.

Outside the circled wagons of the medical community, Rev. William Roby Fletcher (sometime minister of Stow Congregational Church, university gold medallist, university lecturer and at the time of the sermon Vice Chancellor of the University of Adelaide)[32] attempted to interpret Wood’s claims in a broader context. A ‘cautious liberal’[33] synthesizer of religious thought and science, Fletcher asked his congregation on 4 May where the truth lay between Symes and Wood, Freethought and Divine Healing? The former—having ‘denied the existence of God and the authenticity of the Bible’— was ‘either … ignorant or regardless of the teachings of history, or … perverted in his judgment.’[34] The latter had divided opinion, and Fletcher classified the opinions in circulation as follows:

(1), as the result of some occult mesmeric power on the par of the operator; (2), as produced by faith on the part of the patients : (3), as similar in kind, but so different in degree from the marvels of the New Testament that it is impossible to attribute them to religious causes; and (4), as genuine illustrations of the promised power to work wonders of healing, which Christians feel they ought to believe, even if they do not.[35]

For himself, after a time of doubt, Fletcher accepted the possibility of the miraculous in the New Testament: ‘God’s laws are wider than our thoughts, and it is only our ignorance that makes us deem that God ever violates his own laws. God’s laws take in the unseen as well as the seen.’[36] As science advances, it will discover the things it does not yet know (the ‘region of law which our science cannot teach’), which will unveil how much more the wisdom of God encompasses both the spiritual and the material. A ‘miracle was not a suspension or violation of the law of nature, but the intrusion of a higher and unknown law into the realm of known laws.’[37]

Over in depressed Port Adelaide, the ‘militant and informed’ evangelical social reformer Rev. Joseph Coles Kirby also affirmed the miraculous. Pointing his congregation to the Book of Acts (chapter ii. 22— ‘Ye men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs which God did by Him on the most of you, as ye yourselves also know’)[38] he pointed out the distance between the text and the conversation among respectable Adelaideans who had been ‘very much astonished’ that the historic work of Jesus might still be found among them. He had gone to find out himself about the substance of the ministry of Mr Wood, operating just up the road at the Working Men and Women’s Mission. ‘Mr. Wood, from his enquiries, was of honest repute, and there was every reason to suppose him sincere and not seeking his own ends.’[39] Wood had not collected much money, suggesting that he was an ‘honest if a mistaken man’ – and who was to say that this was not the work of God? ‘Had Christ limited the working of miracles and the exercise of gifts of healing to the apostolic age? Certainly not…’ Did Wood’s failures indicate that God was not with him? No more than the failures of the apostles did so of them. The natural and the spiritual were all one to God:

Because some cured by minerals or magnetism it did not follow that Mr. Wood or others who might be used as instruments or servants of God might not exercise a certain healing influence by means of forces they obtained by their faith in Christ or by the use of certain natural forces brought into play under the inspiration of the Spirit of Christ.[40]

The operations might be natural (such as the operations of a powerful will over the weak minded), but have spiritual effects; they might also be spiritual (such as in apostolic times) and have natural effects. ‘Faith’ was both a psychological as well as a spiritual component, which was why ‘In the Epistle to the Corinthians the gift of healing is distinctly marked off from the gift of miracle – working.’[41] Despite Wood’s theology (which Kirby thought was questionable: ‘the Saviour did not make saving faith in any instance a necessary condition of a work of healing’), it was conceivable that what they were seeing was a work of God. Though he lacked ‘the gift of knowledge and wisdom’, As a social reformer, Kirby was alive the presence of vested social interests in the public square. Wood’s presence was timely in the sense that it challenged the pride and power of the medical profession: ‘If medical men would get their eyes a little wider open, and abandon some of the bigotry and old womanly prejudice, they might do more for suffering humanity.’[42] ‘All curative agencies’ pointed towards ‘the spiritual cure by Christ of the great disease called sin, and the greatest miracle was the conversion and transformation of a man’s moral nature.’[43] That was a need to be found on both sides of the debate.

The warnings that Wood’s brusque manner, sectarian theology of healing and lack of wisdom would bring him unstuck seemed to be fulfilled in the case of Mary Smith Faulk. Covering the Port Adelaide Police Court, reporters discovered that this woman (‘in moderately good health’ according to one report, in a ‘delicate condition’ by another) had been consigned to a mental asylum on the basis of ‘religious mania’. After attending Wood’s mission it appears that Faulk had some sort of psychotic breakdown. Shortly after her committal, she died leaving behind a furious husband and a number of children.[44] The Advertiser in particular took up her case, attacking Wood for his inordinate claims, the fanaticism of his party, and his ‘insult to the common sense of the community’.[45] Logically, it was not likely that Wood’s ministry was the cause of the woman’s death, particularly given the fact that she was under medical treatment at the time of her death. The choice of one case among hundreds, however, successfully depicted Wood as a dangerous charlatan, preying on the weak and incapable. There is no further coverage of his ministry in the public press of South Australia thereafter.

The lack of continued press coverage from 1884-1887 was not, apparently, an indicator of lack of activity on Wood’s part. By the time he re-emerges in London in 1887, his reputation for powerful preaching seems to have gone before him. His ‘Australian fame as a preacher preceded him, and to was ‘taken up in a quiet way’ by people who held to the literal interpretation of Scriptural phrases such as “The lord shall heal thine infirmities.”’[46] Wood himself claimed to have received a revelation from God that he was to commence ministry in the resort town of Brighton. If so, he was following a common calling: even by the late 1880s, Brighton was the home of the spiritually-adventurous. Its religious landscape included Spiritualists, Catholic Apostolics, Old Catholics and Theodore and Laura Horos’ ‘infamous’ ‘Order of Theocratic Unity’[47] among others. It was also in Sussex, where Wood had been born c. 58 years before. After some time operating a healing room in London-super-mare, therefore, he decamped to Brighton where—attracting the attention of literalist ‘nonconformists’ (by which term Brown seems to mean non-Anglicans of a heretical nature, a category used elsewhere in his writings to indicate anyone, such as the Unitarians, who upset the evangelical status quo)—he gained the support of a well known merchant and ‘a lady of wealth and strong religious feelings’. Funds were raised for a building on Edward Street, Brighton,

a long, low-roofed building with high barred windows and a great iron gate facing the street and leading to a courtyard of almost prison-like gloom. The front of the building is painted red, and the words ‘The Sanctuary of Jehovah’ were … inscribed in huge black letters across the facade.[48]

Around the Sanctuary, Wood gathered eventually up to 300 followers who gave liberally to his Army of the Lord, many of whom lived in rented accommodation scattered throughout the city. For those who gave up everything to the cause, and lived and ate communally in the houses attached to the Sanctuary, a “Prophetess of Israel” would allocate new and seemingly biblical names. Wood himself became known as ‘King Solomon’, while others were variously renamed ‘King David, King Saul, Queen Esther, Queen of Sheba, Faithful Abraham, Brother Isaac, etc.’ (‘Her nomenclature was not always Biblical, for in the army then were a King Alfred, a Queen Victory, and a King Canute.’)[49] Once prophetically given, the names, however, were a movable feast, ‘a prophetess who was a plain “sister” one day would be a “queen” the next.’[50] Theology and dress also seem to have been just as movable – the group was always searching for ‘some new freak’ in expression, ritual or thought. ‘King Solomon’ traded in his scarlet flannel for a ‘magnificent robe of purple and gold’, members danced ‘under the power of the Holy Spirit’ until exhausted in a ‘golden circle’ before the crimson mantled preaching dais, members who erred were sent ‘curious epistles’ of mixed charismatic commands and biblical injunctions. On one occasion at least, the Army ended up in court when Wood exploded in anger and, grabbing the offender by the throat, physically ejected him from the Sanctuary.

The comparisons between the ability of a William Booth to hold his new religious movement together and Wood’s inability were to the fore in the minds of commentators. Wood did not have the leadership ability, it seemed, to overcome the problems of birthing an organisation on charismatic authority. He was, as his mining career had showed, a good starter, but a poor manager—and just as with his commercial career, over the longer term the Army staggered towards insolvency. The major cause was unfulfilled prophecy – revelations about the location of the Ark of the Covenant (resulting in a fruitless trip by Wood to Palestine), about the identity of the Man-Child ‘prophesied’ in the Book of the Revelation, about the ability of Wood to raise ‘a brother’ from the dead or be carried up like Elijah on a chariot of fire[51] – damaged his authority. In the absence of real evangelism, and so continued growth which could replace defectors and (as Thomas O’Dea points to in his identification of the ‘dilemma of the symbolic’)[52] provide legitimacy through materialised replacement, the Army of the Lord gradually collapsed in on itself. The deflation of the early abundance of enthusiasm resulted ultimately in the drying up of funds. After a number of insurrections from members and his own prophets, and unable to pay a £5.0.0 fine incurred as a result of assaulting one of his members, Wood spent some time in custody,[53] before departing from Brighton. The property passed to the Salvation Army, while Wood retired into ignominy. In the 1891 census, ‘James William Wood, Evangelist of the Army of the Lord’, was boarding alone at 3 Gladstone Terrace in Portslade,[54] further up the Sussex Coast. Later, he and a small group of continuing followers took over the former Portslade Conservative Club, and renamed it ‘Arregosobah’ (variously interpreted as ‘the King’s residence’ or ‘the abode of love’), at 35 Carlton Terrace, Portslade.[55] While he remarried (to Ida Lilly Johanna nee Biber) in 1908, and producing a daughter (Deborah Elizabeth), it seems rather symbolic that his house in Portslade simply grew more and more decrepit until, in the 1950s, it was torn down.[56] His impact on his followers, for good or bad, lingered for decades. Brown declared that the ‘weird’ and eerie scenes of spiritual dancing in the semi-darkened hall of the Sanctuary would remain with him for the rest of his days.[57] Wood died at Portslade in February 1916, aged 85.[58]

It would be exceedingly difficult to demonstrate direct impacts between Wood and later developments in charismatic religion. His value to scholars is as a mirror to the better known events in the life of more public figures such as J. A. Dowie, and to the construction of religious respectability in the late Victorian period. Like the former, Wood’s career emerges in the relatively uncontrolled religious space of the British dominions (in his case, Ballarat and Melbourne, in Dowie’s case Alma, Newtown and Melbourne), at a time of high spiritual experimentation. Other people who developed along a similar track were (out of provincial Victoria, Australia) J. M. Hickson and (later, out of provincial Saskatchewan) the Latter Rain movement. There does seem to be something happening in the period 1880-1950 which made the hinterlands of western nation states the breeding ground for religious innovation. In figures such as Oral Roberts and W. M. Branham, this counter-modernist reflex would fuel protestant fundamentalism with charismatic spirituality on the global scale. Wood and Dowie (and Hickson and Marshall) demonstrate that this reflex was as present in rural Australia as it was in the prairies of Canada and the United States. It is not enough to dismiss these characters as charlatans and con-men. Kirby’s assessment of Wood as an ‘honest if a mistaken man’ is probably correct, though the extent to which his theological ‘mistakenness’ would go by the end of Wood’s career would probably have shaken that hopeful reformer’s ability to cast a temperate opinion.

Like Dowie, a charismatic character, entrepreneurial nature and an emphasis on spiritual healing led, in the absence of other models and theological delimiters, to Wood being captured by Old Testament narratives. In a sense, this is an uncontrolled version of what David Bebbington describes as the evangelical orientation towards ‘Biblicism’.[59] Just as the Dowie the Scottish-Australian Congregationalist would arc through healing and temperance to priestly communal reinvention as Elijah the Restorer (decked out in suitably magnificent levitical robes)[60] under the pressure of having to demonstrate a prophetic end to his ministry, so Wood the English-Australian Baptist would move towards communalist theocracy (as ‘King Solomon’) and a vision of himself fulfilling the book of the Revelation through embodying the return of Elijah, the prophet who was lifted up on a fiery chariot. Both drew energy from the religious frontiers of their days (particularly the early revivalism of the Salvation Army), and showed entrepreneurial spirit in moving from distant Australia to centres close to metropoli (Zion City-Chicago in Dowie’s case, Brighton-London in Wood’s case). Both ministries ultimately collapsed through the pressure of social opprobrium (which, in the case of the Adelaide Advertiser, linked opposition to their ministries) and inability to find organisationally stable manifestations of their charismatic ministries. This latter was not simply a matter of entertaining ‘weird religion’ – Wood and Dowie’s religious expressions were no more outré than those of their contemporaries, for example, Alfred Deakin (future Australian Prime Minister) or Arthur Conan Doyle. The difference between them and the social leaders who swam in their religious context was that they set up sectarian communities which threatened the authority of rising elites (such as the British Medical Association) and challenged increasingly scientistic and legal/rational norms with regard to individual rights. James William Wood as an independent healing evangelist could have continued his ministry into advanced old age had his practice not turned inward with the formation of a self-referential community. As other cases of religious innovation have shown (for instance, Scientology) being ridiculous is not enough to destroy legitimacy in all available constituencies. Graduating towards the status of social menace in the eyes of the law, however, required a much more powerful apparatus than Wood was able to develop. This was a problem which Dowie solved, first by moving to more religiously tolerant America, and secondly by having the great good fortune of having his praxis absorbed posthumously by a globalising spiritual movement. Wood, it appears, left few successors, and so disappeared from history.



Adelaide Mail, 19 February 1916.

Argus, 31 January 1863, 3 December 1870, 27 March 1875, 26 June 1878, 30 April 1879.

Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal, 2 December 1901,

Brisbane Courier, 8 February 1892, 27 May 1889

Cornell Daily Sun, 20 March 1916.

Leaves of Healing, vol. 38, no. 1.

Otago Witness, 11 October 1894

Queenslander, 24 May 1884, p. 30.

South Australian Advertiser, 5 April 1884, 30 April 1884, 1 May 1884, 2 May 1884, 7 May 1884, 13 November 1894, 25 November 1901

South Australian Register, 19 April 1884, 26 April 1884, 28 April 1884, 5 May 1884, 17 May 1884.


Bebbington, D. W., Evangelicalism in Modern Britain: A History from the 1730s to the 1980s, London: Unwyn-Hyman, 1989.

Census results, England, 1891.

Garrett, John, ‘Kirby, Joseph Coles (1837–1924)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 7 January 2012.

Hilliard, David, ‘Strong’s Liberal Contemporaries: Adelaide, 1870-1914’,, accessed 7 Jan 2012.

Jones, Keith, personal correspondence.

Mulholland, John, Beware familiar spirits, New York: Arno Press, 1938 (repr 1975).

O’Dea, Thomas, The Sociology of Religion, Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall 1966.

Walker, R. B., ‘Fletcher, William Roby (1833–1894)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 7 January 2012.


1. My special thanks go to Mr Keith Jones, the great-grandson of J. W. Wood, for sharing in the reconstruction of this story with me, and pointing me to important sources of information otherwise not known to me.

2. Phillis Aitkins, b. 1869, and Violet Edith, b. 1881, died at birth, Beatrice Albertine, b. 1876, Emanuel, b. 1867, and Lilly Ann Aitken, b. 1870, aged only 1 year; James William jr, b. 1875, died aged 18; Joshua Victor Wilberforce, b. 1864, in his early twenties.

3. Florence Margaret Alice, b. 1873, (later married John Brennan, 1875, and Sydney Taylor, 1880)  Adeline Victoria Elizabeth, b. 1872 (later married Arthur Perryman); Bertram Swanson, b. 1877 (later married Mary Seal), Augustus Percival, b. 1879 (later married Alice Cook), Winifred Frances, b. 1882 (later married Louis James Knight).

4. ‘South Australia’, The Queenslander, 24 May 1884, p. 30.

5. The Argus, 27 March 1875, p.5.

6. The Argus, 31 January 1863, p. 1.

7. The Argus, 3 December 1870, p. 8.

8. ‘Railway Meeting at Northcote,’ The Argus, 30 April 1879, p. 6.

9. “Mr J. W. Wood at Port Adelaide”, South Australian Advertiser, 30 April 1884, p. 7.

10. Advertiser, 30 April 1884, p. 7.

11. ‘Our London Letter’, Advertiser, 13 November 1894, pp. 5-6.

12. ‘South Australia’, The Queenslander, 24 May 1884, p. 830.

13. ‘Our London Letter’, Advertiser, 13 November 1894, pp. 5-6.

14. ‘King Solomon,  London religious fanatic, dead’, Cornell Daily Sun, 20 March 1916, p. 6.

15. ‘South Australia’, The Queenslander, 24 May 1884, p. 830.

16. The Argus, 26 June 1878, p. 5.

17. Possibly after the ‘commander of the army of the Lord’, who appeared to Joshua, in Joshua 5, a figure often interpreted in English, evangelical sermons as a fore-type of Christ (see for instance, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the passage).

18. ‘Our London Letter’, Advertiser, 13 November 1894, pp. 5-6.

19. ‘South Australia’, The Queenslander, 24 May 1884, p. 830.

20. South Australian Register, 19 April 1884, p. 2.

21. South Australian Register, 5 May 1884, p. 4.

22. Advertiser,  30 April 1884, p. 7.

23. Advertiser, 5 April 1884, p.2

24. South Australian Register, 26 April 1884, p.4.

25. South Australian Register, 5 May 1884, p. 4.

26. Advertiser, 1 May 1884, p. 5.

27. South Australian Register, 28 April 1884, p. 6.

28. Advertiser,

2 May 1884, p. 6.

29. Advertiser, 30 April 1884, p. 7.

30. South Australian Register, 5 May 1884, pp. 4-5.

31. ‘Charles Haddon Spurgeon: In Memoriam Services, The City Tabernacle’, The Brisbane Courier, 8 February 1892, p. 6.

32. R. B. Walker, ‘Fletcher, William Roby (1833–1894)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 7 January 2012.

33. David Hilliard, ‘Strong’s Liberal Contemporaries: Adelaide, 1870-1914’,, accessed 7 Jan 2012.

34. ‘Special Notes from the Pulpits: Freethought and the Ministry of Healing’, South Australian Register, 5 May 1884, p. 6.

35. ‘Special Notes from the Pulpits: Freethought and the Ministry of Healing’

36. ‘Special Notes from the Pulpits: Freethought and the Ministry of Healing’

37. ‘Special Notes from the Pulpits: Freethought and the Ministry of Healing’

38. John Garrett, ‘Kirby, Joseph Coles (1837–1924)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 7 January 2012.

39. ‘Special Notes from the Pulpits: The Ministry of Healing’

40. ‘Special Notes from the Pulpits: The Ministry of Healing’

41. ‘Special Notes from the Pulpits: The Ministry of Healing’

42. ‘Special Notes from the Pulpits: The Ministry of Healing’

43. ‘Special Notes from the Pulpits: The Ministry of Healing’

44. South Australian Register, 17 May 1884, p. 5.

45. Advertiser, 7 May 1884, p. 4

46. ‘Our London Letter’, Advertiser, 13 November 1894, pp. 5-6.

47. Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal, 2 December 1901, p. 3; John Mulholland, Beware familiar spirits, New York: Arno Press, 1938 (repr 1975), pp. 259-260.

48. H. V. Brown, ‘A scattered sect’, reprinted in Otago Witness, 11 October 1894, p. 42.

49. ‘Our London Letter’, Advertiser, 13 November 1894, p. 6.

50. Brown, ‘A scattered sect’.

51. Brown, ‘A scattered sect’.

52. The Sociology of Religion, Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall 1966.

53. ‘Extraordinary case of religious fanaticism’, Brisbane Courier, 27 May 1889, p. 6.

54. England, Census 1891,

55. Advertiser, 25 November 1901, p. 6.

56. K. Jones to M. Hutchinson, private correspondence, 9/11/2011.

57. Brown, ‘A scattered sect’.

58. Adelaide Mail, 19 February 1916, p. 1.

59. D. W. Bebbington, Evangelicalism in Modern Britain: A History from the 1730s to the 1980s, London: Unwyn-Hyman, 1989, pp. 12-13.

60. Leaves of Healing, vol. 38, no. 1, p. 4.

As Barry Chant notes in his recent book The Spirit of Pentecost (Emeth Press, 2011), there were significant connections between the rise of the Salvation Army in Australia and the emergence of early Pentecostalism. Unfortunately, beyond listing individual examples, the oral nature of Pentecostal witness and the tendency of Salvation Army sources to concentrate on ‘officers’ rather than on ‘soldiers’ has meant that there has been little opportunity to draw meaningful outcomes from the observation. To say, for example, that Maxwell Armstrong, Frank Houston, Paul Collins, Albert Banton, Bill McMartin, the Mortomores, or many of the people who converted under F B Van Eyk in the Cessnock revival or who made up Good News Hall, were previously Salvationists, is not to explain why they got caught up in, or what effect their Salvationism had on the shape of, Australian Pentecostalism. In part, this is because Pentecostal and Salvationist sources continue to embody the mutual antagonism elicited when people depart from one house in order to go to another. Salvationists on the whole are convinced that those who left their ranks, were often energetic people who could not submit to the discipline of the Army. On the other hand, Pentecostals are convinced that many of its early members left Salvationism and because it, like other traditions at the time, was liberalising (ie. losing ‘the blood’) and/ or losing its ‘fire’. The latter therefore tend to leap back over to the writings of William and Catherine Booth rather than to look at the very real links which existed around the time of the formation of Pentecostalism.

This paper suggests that the link between Herbert Booth and early Australian Pentecostalism would be a fertile ground in which to explore the continuities between the movements. A connection may be found in the figure of Peter John Lovelock, who mysteriously appears on stage with Aimee Semple McPherson in her Australian campaigns in 1922. Who was this ‘divine healing teacher’ reported in the press? Why does he receive almost no attention in the literature of either the Salvation Army or Australian Pentecostalism? The answers to these questions reveal much about the nature of relationships between Salvationism and Pentecostalism, and about the nature of religious historiography.

Peter John Lovelock was born in 1859 in Launceston, the fourth child of Henry Lovelock (b. 1821, Vernham Dean, Hampshire) and Anne (nee Dunn). Lovelock’s life breaks into two discrete parts: that of Peter  Lovelock, Salvationist, of NSW and the Australasian Territory, and that of ‘P.J. Lovelock’, divine healing evangelist, of Brisbane. Peter’s father, Henry, was a reputedly a ticket of leave man in Launceston, a Protestant who married a Catholic woman, leading to the 7 children, including Peter and his sister Mary, being raised in the Church of the Apostles in Launceston. When Harry Lovelock died in 1903, he was buried with Catholic forms. In December 1883, Peter married Elizabeth Ann (nee Austin, b. 23.7.1861), another Salvation Army Captain, in the Protestant Hall in Sydney. The Salvation Army had only been formally organised in Australia since 1880, and the Lovelocks were the first people to be married in Sydney by Major Thomas Sutherland, who had been sent out from England to organise the work. They would have five children together: Lizzie (b 1885, d. 30/11/1978); Stephen Henry Lovelock (b. 1887; d. 1952); Benjamin Harle (b. 1888, d. 1953, m. Martha Muller); Elwyn Robinson (b. 1891, Port Gawler, SA; m. Clan Thow), Myra Austin (b. 1893, m. John William Renton, 1920).

Lovelock family, 1920s

Peter Lovelock later advertised himself as a ‘former parson. He may therefore be identical to the ‘Rev. P. Lovelock’ who was a Wesleyan Methodist minister in South Australia prior to his entry into the Salvation Army. We can track him by the birth of his children. His oldest daughter, Lizzie, was born in New Lambton, NSW, in 1885 during the expansion of the Army there amid considerable local opposition, and industrial turmoil around the New Lambton Colliery. (Clarence and Richmond Examiner and New England Advertiser, 15 September 1883, p. 5) Local publicans and agitated miners encouraged opposition to the presence of the Army, by ‘skeleton armies’. One such group organised itself as the ‘White Ribbon Army’, blocking the street in West Maitland as the White Ribboners and the Salvation Army sang songs against one another, and each attempted to drown the other out. (Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser, 16 October 1883, p. 5, 15 March 1884, p. 4.) In its early phase, the armies aggressive warfare produced a modicum of aggression in return. At a memorial stone laying at Hotham Barracks in Victoria in 1883, for instance, the speaker (Major Barker) noted the ‘marks of warfare’ on the face of Captain Madigan standing before him, declaring ‘they can knock down a Captain, but they cannot knock down the Army’. (War Cry, 23 Jun 1883) Violence and abuse were all part of the Army’s approach to gaining traction on colonial public opinion. If court cases for interruption of services, violence on the streets by their opponents, or occasional arrests for public nuisance were reported in the newspapers, all news was good news.

Lovelock was in the middle of this growth and conflict. Shortly after his wedding, the Bulletin Magazine (the self-appointed critic of religionists in Australia, which took particular delight in attacks on the working class nature of what it called the ‘Harmy’), noted:

They gave Captain Lovelock (of the Harmy) and the Missis a ‘farewell tea’ at the Protestant Hall the other night. The Captain is shifted to Lambton [near Newcastle], to take his share of the boulders and coal chunks [the favourite weapon of larrikins against street preaching Salvationists]. Gilmour, the Lambton man, is reported to be quite used up. Besides being clothed in glory, he is, they say, enveloped from head to foot in vinegar and brown paper [the local version of tar and feathering], and when at meals has a job to prevent his left eye-ball from falling into his tea-cup. We’ll give Captain Lovelock three weeks before he is down here at the infirmary, giving, in a weak voice, an order for a new set of features and a vulcanite kneecap. [Bulletin, 2/8/1884, p.6]

It took considerably longer than three weeks, but one might expect the rigours of Army life to wear upon Lovelock, as it did on many others. In 1884 we find him participating in a ‘rejoicing meeting’ of the ‘Maitland Militants’, who were celebrating the first anniversary of the Salvation Army barracks in Elgin Street, West Maitland (Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser, 6 September 1884, p. 2) The next year, when ‘The Colonel”, Ballington Booth visited Newcastle in 1884, ‘Captain Lovelock’ was prominent in procedures, testifying ‘to the wicked life they had been leading, previous to hearing the Army, and of the entire change that had taken place in their hearts, thoughts, and lives after they had given themselves to Christ and had been saved, and of their present happiness in the knowledge that they were saved’. (The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser, 20 September 1884, p. 13.) In later years, Peter would preach on having been saved from alcoholism, and so it may have been this that formed the content of his testimony on this day. It made him an effective preacher. In 1885, he was in Bathurst, leading parades down the street (and dealing with the public angst which resulted).

In 1886, the Lovelocks’ second son, Stephen Harry (known as Harry), was born in Newcastle, NSW. By this time Peter was a relatively ‘well-known’ evangelist for the Salvation Army, and worked up and down the east coast. In 1886 (now an adjutant, a rank which would be phased out in 1948), he assisted in the ‘great hallelujah meeting’ which marked the opening of the new Salvation Army Barracks in Tamworth (The Sydney Morning Herald, 24 December 1886, p. 8), and led the ‘Female Rescue Brigade’ in evangelism in West Maitland (Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser, 21 October 1886, p. 1). Later in the year, he is to be found in Launceston, being promoted as a “well known” evangelist bringing “Tremendous times”. (Launceston Examiner, 14 August 1886, p. 4.) In 1887 Lieutenant Lovelock was appointed as head of Northern Division in New Zealand, based at Auckland. Again, he ran into some trouble with the holding of parades in Gisborne, NZ, where he and four other officers were locked up for leading a procession and preaching in the street. While there, he was promoted to ‘Staff-Captain’ in absentia by the 1888 Territorial conference in Melbourne (WC 4 Feb 1888, p. 5). He made his energy known to HQ – his family retained a copy of a letter sent to him by William Booth, congratulating him on his mounting, for the first time, of an Army ‘Expedition’ to the Maoris of the North Island. By April, some success was being reported (see WC April 13 1889).

In 1889, ‘Major Lovelock’ was transferred to Victoria, to assist (War Cry 13 April 1889, 5) and then to South Australia, and enrolled as an officiating officer, at Gawler in SA. ( South Australian Register, 25 October 1889, p. 7) In none of the advertisements where Lovelock appears is his wife, Elizabeth, mentioned (though she does seem to occasionally travel with him –e.g. Launceston Examiner, 18 August 1886, p. 3). It is clear that she played a critical role in bringing up their five children and supporting Peter’s ministry, however, and she is thanked a number of times by ranking officers in this regard. According to the SA Government Gazette, Peter surrenders his marriage licence in 1891, suggesting that it was around this time that he parted with full-time Army life. There are short references in the War Cry, referring to him being, first, ‘on furlough’, and secondly, resigning officer status in the Army due to ‘the very serious condition of his health.’ (War Cry, 16 May; 27 June 1891).

Shortly after Peter ceased to be mentioned in the public press as acting for the Army, Elizabeth opened a herbalist business in Brisbane. She may have been inspired by the presence of ‘Professor Guscott’, the ‘renowned American herbalist and chiropodist’, or Frank Weston’s Wizard Oil, operating variously in Newcastle and West Maitland during their stay there. In 1893 she is advertising the fact that:




By Consulting (personally or by letter)



She was located at


where in 1902 “H & L Lovelock” (“A DENTIST that is always reliable, supplying best of work at moderate prices”) (TBC, 12 Dec 1903, p. 9) were later registered as dentists. (The Brisbane Courier, 1 April 1893) Describing herself as a herbalist only told half the story: Elizabeth Ann’s family remembered that she supplied medicines to the Diamantina (now the Princess Alexandra) Hospital, and was widely respected there. In her brief account, their great grand-daughter specifically using the word ‘homeopathy’ to describe her work (Sherwin, 2006). This description ties her into what Martyr in her study calls the ‘empirical’ form of medicine, originating in the European practice of Hahnemann, and transferring to Britain through both European and later American influences. A Homeopathic League was founded in Lovelock’s home town of Launceston in 1897, indicating a general interest in the subject, and possibly a vector for influence on Elizabeth herself. (Wellington Times, 23 October 1897, p. 3)

Peter himself was registered as an ‘experienced’ Dentist in 1903, operating out of the same address as his wife, daughter (Lizzie) and son (Stephen), under the provisions of the Queensland Dentists Act, 1902, section 8.iii. His advertising offered ‘A BEAUTIFUL set of teeth for two guineas. They fit well, wear well, look well’, at ‘Dentist Lovelock, George-st., Brisbane, next, McDonnell, East, drapers’ (TBC, 30 May 1910, p. 8.) Both Lizzie and Stephen trained at Queensland Technical College, while we presume that Peter received his training through experience. While Elizabeth stayed home, ran the shop and looked after the children, Peter toured north and west from Brisbane in horse and sulky, offering dental services to small towns and mining settlements. (Sherwin, 2006)

Peter’s last published appearance on a Salvation Army pulpit seems to be in 1908, at which time he is once again referred to as ‘Adjutant’ rather than ‘Captain’, reflecting on his time out of the hierarchy. (There are references in 1913, and then 1923-1924, to activity by a ‘Brother Lovelock’ in the Life Saving Scouts and the Box Hill Boys group, but this seems too late and detached from Peter’s other work to be him.) While the Brisbane Courier reports in November 1908 that “Adjutant Lovelock’s revival campaign at the City Temple is being maintained with unabated vigour, and marked by increased attendances and sterling spiritual results” (Brisbane Courier, 28 November 1908, p. 16), his return there is noted to be “with the hearty endorsement of Staff-Captain M’Lure”. (Brisbane Courier, 19 Dec 1908, p. 16) Notably, while other revivalists were obtaining broad coverage in the War Cry, with salvation decisions of two or three, Lovelock’s larger results received only a brief notice in small print:

Brisbane campaign continues with unabated interest. Adjutant Lovelock at his best, backed by the united efforts of officers, bandsmen, and soldiers. Magnificent day yesterday, desperate fighting! Miss [Lizzie] Lovelock’s singing at night much appreciated. Total results for the day, 26 souls. – D. O. (War Cry, 5 Dec 1908, p. 10)

In the same column, Lieut. Col. Graham’ revival meeting in Melbourne received broad coverage: he seemed happy with the 2 individuals who responded to his appeal. Energetic individuals such as Lovelock may well have irked under such discipline, and taken seriously the movement’s consistent use of pentecostal language to consider new options when these came along. (e.g. War Cry, 12 Dec 1908, p.10) By the time that the Pentecostal movement began to organise itself from its foundation in that year in North Melbourne, however, people like Lovelock, while faithful Army members, already had the synthesis of ideas which would engage their interest. From his South Australian experience, Lovelock fused his evangelistic practice with his interest (and family practice) in health, emerging some time in the 1890s with an interest in Divine Healing and a revivalistic methodology. The herbalist practice of his wife, and the ‘testimony’ form of Salvation Army practice also place him in the mainstream of two ‘empirical’ traditions, both of which were rich with the language of healing.

If we presume that Lovelock fell ill in 1891, and sought help at a location teaching Divine Healing, he could have connected to that teaching either in Adelaide or Brisbane. Divine Healing was a matter of widespread interest in the Army, bubbling along in the holiness, Biblicist subculture as a form of spiritual technology directly attached to the demands of working with poor people who could often not afford even the often ineffective medical help of the age. William Booth certainly believed in Divine Healing, a theology which came under pressure when his wife Catherine was diagnosed with cancer. When the Army world-wide was called to fasting and prayer in 1888, Lovelock wrote to the General and (among various reports) asked after Catherine, to be told, ‘there is no improvement in the health of my dear wife… our only trust is in an answer from Him who doeth all things well.’ (Letter, W. Booth to P J Lovelock) In his biography of his mother-in-law, Frederick Booth-Tucker remembered her saying, on her death-bed, to Commissioner Railton:

Give my love to your brother Launcelot. Tell him I did not under-estimate the faith-healing question. I think I understand it now. God did not want the Army to be taken up with it. That was not His way. He wanted them to stick to the saving of souls and to leave the bodies to Him, only doing them all the good we can. (F. de L. Booth-Tucker, The Life of Catherine Booth: The Mother of the Salvation Army, vol. 2, p. 612)

She died on 4 October 1890, and event which set off divisions throughout the Army, and indeed within the Booth family. For their part, Catherine’s daughter Katie (the Marechale) and her husband, Commissioner Arthur Booth-Clibborn, retained faith in Divine Healing, while as a whole the Booth family moved towards the position that God can heal, but often chooses not to. The Booth-Clibborns would eventually accept exile from the Army for independent evangelism, and both they and some of their children would be associated with Pentecostalism. Bramwell Booth and others saw it as resignation to God’s will. Herbert, Arthur and Katie, on the other hand, so it as a lack of faith which betrayed the Army’s founding principles. Sarah Jane Lancaster later reported a conversation that she had had with ‘the childhood’s nurse of Mrs. Booth’s youngest son, Herbert’, during which ‘she told the Editor how she had called on her during her fatal illness, when few visitors were allowed to see her. “Dear Mrs. Booth,” she asked, “don’t you believe in Divine Healing?”’ To which Catherine replied:

‘Indeed I do, my dear; but I have not faith enough to receive it for myself. … Mr. Herbert Booth also told us that the British Islands had been scoured for someone who would pray the prayer of faith for his much-loved mother, but none could be found. (Good News, November 1927, p. 16)

In Australia, Divine Healing had long become a regular feature of the interdenominational world within which the Army moved, and was regularly reported on by the Army’s magazines, Power for Witness and Full Salvation. The role of testimony inevitably brought in accounts of personal healing. (e.g. the testimony of Bro. Rapkin, ADC, Power for Witness, August 1883, p. 16) While these magazines drew their theology from Fletcher, Cullis, Finney, Booth and Boardman, the early years of the Salvation Army in Australia overlapped both in geography and time with an upsurge in Divine Healing practice. One of the Army’s strongest supporters in Melbourne (indeed, someone who resigned from the Wesleyan ministry to ‘take a leading position’ in the Army) was John F. Horsley, ‘a powerful and eloquent preacher’(Advertiser, 7 February 1907, p. 6) who had been a disciple of John Watsford, and who worked closely with Divine Healing exponents in Victoria and South Australia. In the mid-1880s, Horsley ran healing meetings in Prahran, Collingwood, South Melbourne and Ballarat. The Bulletin reported on the cooperation of Sydney healer, John Alexander Dowie and Mrs Captain Sutherland in Adelaide in over a five-month period in 1881, while Power for Witness (PW) followed with interest the growth of Dowie’s ministry in Melbourne in 1883-4 (Power for Witness, January 1884, p. 95). Dowie was one of a number of healers circulating in the period: J. W. Wood (of Northcote, Melbourne, d. 1884) (PW May 1884, p. 157) was reputedly mobbed by ‘hundreds’ of people seeking healing when his tour of Australia brought him to Port Adelaide in 1884. Messrs. Little and Hoskin, and Miss Penny of Ballarat were also well known healers of the day. The meetings of Wood and Dowie left a significant interest in healing. Just as Bethshan healing homes had been opened in London, Chicago and a number of international cities, (PW June 1884, p. 161), George Burnell opened Bethshan House of Helps in his wool sorting warehouse in Adelaide, while Divine Healing meetings were also being held at the YMCA in Brisbane, as early as June 1888. While the Lovelock family originally inhabited a ‘tiny stone cottage’ on Tank Street when they moved to Brisbane in 1892, the Lovelocks soon opened offices below the family’s two-room apartment at 400 George Street (Sherwin, 2006). Not coincidentally, this was within sight of the Brisbane YMCA, where Divine Healing meetings were still being run in 1912. In 1904, John Alexander Dowie returned to Australia, and ran some ‘rowdy’ healing missions in Adelaide, Melbourne, and Sydney. (Brisbane Courier, 18 February 1904, p. 5).

Though Peter had left the officership of the Army in 1891, the family remained ‘soldiers’ and the children were bought up in the Salvation Army Sunday School on Ann Street. Peter had a close relationship with at least one of the Booths, Herbert, who stayed with the Lovelocks when they were running the Northern District of New Zealand, and who later returned to Australia as Territory Commissioner (Sherwin, 2006). His musical gifts, and passionate oratory, won him many friends. While in Melbourne, he connected to the early Pentecostal movement, particularly to the ex-Methodist Sarah Jane Lancaster. Her paper, Good News, carried regular excerpts from Booth’s work, and when Herbert died in 1926, her Apostolic Faith Mission was one of the three main bodies to take part in commemoration services organised by the Christian Covanter Confederation. Lancaster wrote of the importance of his friendship and support during the founding years: ‘For our sakes this noble man of God suffered much. Some day – if God will – we may be permitted to tell you of his self abnegation and how he stood with us through evil report.’ (Good News, October 1926, p.19) When, suffering from ill health himself, Herbert  Booth decided to leave the Army and become an independent evangelist, many Salvationists in Australia were grieved by the loss of one of their best loved leaders. Herbert denied that he was leaving due to the Divine Healing issue which had so recently (1902) seen the defection of the Booth-Clibborns, but there was no doubt that he was looking for better methods, a ‘larger gospel’. In later years, Lovelock would be involved in Booth’s Christian Covenant meetings, and may be assumed to have been present during Booth’s Queensland campaigns of 1921-22. Booth described his approach as:

Apostolic and pentecostal. A campaign of Holy Ghost fire utilised in a very real fight with evil, a campaign in which the teachings of Christ and his Apostles, what they said, saw, predicted, are insisted on and applied to modern conditions. This is what is needed. A new vision of the eternal Christ, Christ as God, Saviour, coming King… Next to the Holy Spirit and the few workers who join me here, I rely on the Lord’s faithful followers, both ministers and people in Australia, real Christians, hidden away in every church, the submerged tenth, I fear, of the religious world here as elsewhere. (Rockhampton Morning Bulletin, 14 September 1920, p. 10)

The Covenant Confederacy would fade from existence in many places, but in Brisbane, it would be absorbed into the growing Pentecostal subculture of the 1920s, and formally coopted by Booth’s Pentecostal nephew, William Booth Clibborn, during the latter’s campaigns in 1931-3. Some of its members may have shared the journey with Peter Lovelock, as he followed Herbert’s path out of the Army and into independent itinerant evangelism.

In 1920, P. J. Lovelock, Dentist, opened an office in Sydney (in the Temperance and General Life Assurance Society Building, at 211 Elizabeth Street, Redfern). After visiting Melbourne, in 1921 passenger records find Lovelock returning (on 26 December 1921) from San Francisco to Sydney aboard the S. S. Marama. From their home in Dunlop Street, Bowen Hills, Lovelock and his wife Elizabeth commenced a  ‘Pentecostal Assembly’ in the local Oddfellows Hall (later moving to the WCTU Rooms on Ann Street), using a ‘fourfold’ formula not unlike that of Aimee Semple McPherson. It would be logical to consider this Lovelock’s response to having returned from California, having met McPherson. This group ceases to advertise shortly after his death in 1926, though by then it seems to have received a prophetic, British Israel form of message. In 1922, Lovelock and his wife (they are both registered as returning passengers aboard the TSS Ulimaroa, from Auckland to Sydney) participated in the Smith Wigglesworth campaign in Auckland, and we also have to assume that they participated in Wigglesworth’s campaigns in Melbourne and Sydney. Later that year, in October, Aimee Semple McPherson toured Australia, and Lovelock supported the campaign as ‘an organizer of spiritual workers’ in the main evangelistic services, and ‘instructor in divine healing’ to the smaller, entirely Christian meetings held at the Hindmarsh Square Congregational Church in Adelaide, and in various halls in Melbourne. Lovelock continued work this work after McPherson returned to the USA. The end of October that month finds him in Balmain, cooperating with the Foursquare church of Maxwell Armstrong (himself a former Salvation Army member), which had acquired Herbert Booth’s campaign tent in order to hold a ‘GREAT REVIVAL CAMPAIGN’.

The next year, 1923, Lovelock set off around the world in emulation of Booth: in October, he was ministering at the Assemblies of God’s ‘Stone Church’ in Chicago, staying at the Church’s Chicago Missionary  Rest Home. While there is no trace of his movements, when he returns to Brisbane at the end of that year, the first place he reports is to a meeting of the CHRISTIAN “Covenanters” Confederacy, Brisbane Circle, meeting in the Queensland Evangelistic Society’s Rooms, on Albert-street. The advertisement describes his travels as to ‘England, Switzerland, Canada, and “The States”,’ all of which were key locations for the activities of Herbert Booth and his extended family By now, Lovelock was thoroughly identified with Pentecostal work: in May 1924, for example, he is a regular preacher at the West End Gospel Mission, Brisbane, and from 12-30 November that year he conducted evangelistic services ‘at the Methodist Hall, Franklin-street West, till November 30, under the auspices of the Four-Square Gospel Mission’. ‘Showers of Blessing’ were promised. (Advertiser, 15 November 1924, p. 18; 8 November 1924, p. 9). Unfortunately, Peter Lovelock’s resurgence as a Pentecostal evangelist does not seem to have lasted long. He died in Brisbane, on 23 June 1926 (the same year as Herbert Booth), at the age of 67, and was interred at Toowong Cemetery. His family remained active in Baptist, Methodist and Salvation Army circles, Harle preaching among the prisoners at Boggo Road Gaol, and around Redland Bay, Harry a Methodist lay preacher, and Lizzie learning ‘Chinese, Greek & Russian’ in order to preach among Brisbane’s growing migrant communities. The offices at 400 George Street would remain a Lovelock dentist’s practice for over 50 years. Peter’s wife, Elizabeth Ann, his daughter, Lizzie, and his granddaughter would all be co-buried with him in later years. His son, Harry, lived in later years at ‘Choma’, Marine Parade, Southport; he too was buried in the Toowong Cemetery in 1952.


So what does a case study of Peter John Lovelock contribute to the understanding of early Pentecostalism? The first thing to note is that there were push factors, common preparation factors, and ‘pull’ factors which build bridges between early sectarian Pentecostalism and its widely successful older cousin, Salvationism. First, Salvationism had a very significant turnover of staff in part because it had implicit faith in the sustaining power of God, without a fully worked theology or practice of it. William Booth was often criticised for driving his officers too hard, a criticism that he countered by referring to the provision of God. The ‘churn’ of officers inevitably meant that numbers of them ended up in other movements, often taking soldiers with them. Peter John Lovelock’s illness was not unusual, and maybe identified as one of the reasons why he went seeking for a more effective anodyne to the spiritual and physical crises which he suffered in the service of the Army. The Booths tended to hold theology lightly, preferring instead a Biblicist restoration of primitive Christianity. This lack of definition was both a strength and a weakness. On the one hand it tapped into the deep primitivism and search for authenticity in the West at the time, though on the other it inevitably assisted splintering in the movement when a crisis, such as the terminal illness of Catherine Booth, afflicted the core family. By the 1890s, the differences between various members of the family over key doctrines, over succession, and over attitudes towards other emerging movements were quite apparent. Australia plays a not insignificant role in this splintering and redefinition. The powerful teaching of John Alexander Dowie influenced the Booth-Clibborns to become amongst the first of the family to set off in another direction, while it was Herbert Booth’s time in Australasia which convinced him of the necessity of a more apostolic form of evangelism, and of the importance of new forms of cultural engagement, including film and drama. Bramwell Booth’s heavy-handed discipline at the core in defence of a hierarchical organisation form as opposed to the emerging federation model, and his increasing personal instability, were push factors even for members of the family who had not already arrived at the divergent theological positions.

Acting as a bridge for people seeking to transfer out of the Army were the common holiness subcultures of the time. One could find most Salvationist emphases in other traditions. Salvationisms great uniqueness lay in its practicality — it was a spirituality which worked. In the absence of effective medical alternatives, and in the face of personal health crises, the turn of official Salvationism away from Divine Healing, therefore, might be imagined to have created a number of personal crises for people such as Lovelock. After all, Salvationist journals had been strongly supporting faith healing through the 1880s. Its’ turn towards social Christianity and away from spiritualities of direct personal help (real or imagined) would inevitably have caused some of its members to seek alternatives. There were plenty of these available in the fringe cultures of 1890s Australia: the Lovelocks demonstrate a meeting between two of these—self-help homeopathy and the emerging profession of dentistry on the one hand, and divine healing revivalism on the other. The timing was crucial — the fusion emerged prior to the strict regulation of medical services from 1900, and in the gap between the promising discoveries by modern medicine in the 1860s and 70s and their realisation in the 1940s with the invention of sulphur drugs and later antibiotics. The holiness global subcultures which saw Herbert Booth attract thousands to his meetings (in New York, up to 40,000 people attended one meeting), also provided revivalist healers such as P. J. Lovelock with an audience.

Apart from the push and bridging factors, however, early Pentecostalism provided significant ‘pull’ for people such as Lovelock and Booth. From the 1860s and 70s there had been widespread expectation of an outpouring of the Holy Spirit which would sweep away perceived secular resistance to the gospel, and see the extension of God’s kingdom. That expectation is widely to be found in Herbert Booth’s hymns, in Salvation Army newspapers, in holiness conventions and the Methodist preaching of the time. As Booth sang:

Hark! Hark! my soul, the Spirit’s voice is calling,

Rise from thy sin and slothfulness and care,

See, o’er the earth, the heavenly rains are falling;

Haste to the Cross, the clouds are gathering there.

Rain, blessed Spirit, rain, rain on me,

My soul is hungering and thirsting after Thee.

Oh, gracious Lord, on me Thy Spirit pouring,

Fulfil Thy pledge, on me His gifts bestow,

Honor Thy Word, with “signs and wonders” following,

That this deluded world Thy power may know.

Come, mighty Spirit, that all may see,

Thy wonder-working power still manifest in me.

(‘Come Holy Ghost’, Hymns that Help).

This was the music of spiritual virtuosos, embodied desire which no organisation could really satisfy. In Pentecostal, experiential revival began to break out around the world in the early 1900s, some Salvationists were not slow in seeking to realise what they had been singing about for years. The early Pentecostal journal, Good News regularly reported Salvation Army officers preaching at ‘Headquarters’ (Good News Hall), or providing their testimonies as to conversion, healing or baptism in the Spirit. One former Army member in Maryborough, Queensland, who had been ‘seeking the Holy Spirit for years whilst I was a member of the Salvation Army’ had already left the Army and joined Walker Street Methodist Church when F. B. Van Eyk’s campaign came to town.

One night he said that anyone who had anything against a brother could not expect to receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. … I attended the Mission meetings as regularly as possible, and often led in prayer, but, although I attended the meetings, the way God works when people receive the blessing, and the “speaking in those tongues” did not appeal to me. … At the same time I was reading a book by Wm. Arthur, “The Tongue of Fire,” which proved a great blessing to me. That night, God revealed to me that I had to go to a certain person and tell him that I had forgiven the others, which command I obeyed in the morning. I started then to attend the tarrying meetings; after this, I decided to follow my Lord in baptism in water, which I did on Sunday, May 15. The following night the tarrying meeting was at Bro. Burns’; a certain sister came in mightily under the power of God, and the leader put the meeting straight way into prayer; immediately the power took hold of me; Sister Burns laid hands and me and prayed for me, and I went to the floor; whilst under the power I sang and quoted Scripture, and also pleaded for the people of Maryborough to be reconciled to God. The power went through my whole body; I came through speaking something I did not understand; after this I sang; those who heard me confirmed that I had spoken and sung in the unknown tongue. [‘Bro. J. L. H. Wilson’s Testimony’, Good News, December 1927, p. 11]

Some frequented Pentecostal meetings, but did not leave the Army. From the same meetings noted above, Burns later reported: ‘Last Sunday (13th) we baptised eleven, one of whom was a foundation member of the Salvation Army in Maryborough over 40 years ago, and was 74 years of age. Hallelujah! She is not leaving the Army, but rejoices in “the answer of a good conscience toward God” (1 Pet. 1: 21).’ [Good News, Jan-Feb 1928, p. 17] Another [H. S. Kilpatrick] wrote, ‘as a Salvation Army officer, I claimed the baptism by faith, and thought I had it without the speaking in tongues. At times I had glorious experiences, being led and guided by the Spirit of God; but I know now that I was not baptised in the Spirit then.’ [Good News, August 1928, p. 7] For people such as Kilpatrick, and for Annie Chamberlain in South Australia, the encounter with the Spirit caused them to leave the Army and establish core groups around which Pentecostal churches later grew. [Chant, 2007] The tone of expectation raised, but not fulfilled, is common in such accounts. As in many things, the critics of Salvationism proved to be acute observers. Magazines such as the Bulletin readily picked up on the sometimes mawkish sentimentality of Army meetings, and probably over-reported those situations in which there were observable gaps between the claims and the actual experience of people. Bramwell himself was not unaware of the lag between the language of revivalism and its evidence on the ground:

I am very much exercised upon the whole question of the Field Officer’s religion [he wrote in 1902]. I am persuaded that many of the Officers are trying to do the Salvation Army without salvation—at any rate, with very little; trying to exemplify the principles of the most wonderful religious organisation that the world has ever seen with very little religion. They get into a formal or a legal way of doing things and go on doing them without any results or with very little results because the life and heat, and fire and passion are burned out or almost out. The District Officers, I am afraid, in many eases go round and do everything for them except light the fire; they inspect and explore and advise, cheer them up, galvanise the thing, but what they do not do is to sit down with the officer and clear away his troubles, ferret out his backslidings and kindle again the holy zeal. [quoted Wilson, 1948, pp. 132-3.]

By then, many of the ‘holy zealots’, including some members of the Booth family itself, were already seeking other fields in which to realise the Army’s promises of spiritual fulfilment. Pentecostalism provided promise of realisation, within an imminent ‘end times’ historical framework, a ‘spiritual activism’ which caught up many of the strengths of the Army without the demands of its hierarchy.


Booth-Tucker, F. de L. The Life of Catherine Booth: The Mother of the Salvation Army, vol. 2, New York: Fleming Revell, 1892.

Brunato, Madeleine, Hanji Mahomet Allum: Afghan camel-driver, herbalist and healer in Australia, Leabrook, S.A., Investigator, 1972

Brown, P. S., ‘Herbalists and Medical Botanists in Mid-Nineteenth Century Britain with Special Reference to Bristol’, Medical History, no. 26 (1982).

Chant, Barry, ‘Waters to Swim in: Adelaide’s First Three Pentecostal Churches, 1910-1935’, Australasian Pentecostal Studies, 2006, no. 8, online @

Lovelock Peter John, Southern District, Will no. 1926/624, Item ID: 743339, Prev. Sys: SCT/P1530, Not filmed.

Martyr, Philippa, Paradise of Quacks: An Alternative History of Medicine in Australia, Macleay Press, Sydney, 2002.

Matthews, Holly F. ‘Doctors and Root Doctors: People who use both’, in James Kirkland, et al (eds), Herbal and magical medicine: traditional healing today, Durham: Duke University Press, 1992

Brisbane Courier, Sydney Morning Herald, Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser, and Adelaide Advertiser, 1880-1930’, Good News, 1920-1926.

Marriage certificate, P Lovelock and E. A. Austin, NSW Births, Deaths and Marriages.

Notes on Peter John Lovelock, Desley Sherwin to NSW Salvationist Heritage Centre, 15.1.2006

Wilson, P. W., General Evangeline Booth of the Salvation Army, New York: Salvation Army, 1948.

As Australia simmered in the effects of hot weather and the Rothbury miner’s lockout seemed likely to turn violent, a Sydney journalist regaled the residents of Adelaide with stories about the ‘sin city’ on the Eastern seaboard. The journalist was surprised at the rash of righteousness in Sydney and surrounds. Sydney-siders had been made aware by the press of the spectacle created by mass baptisms attending the evangelism of F. B. Van Eyk in Cessnock. In a town only a few miles from the centre of the nation’s attention at Rothbury, Van Eyk’s turbulent passage (which included fights and denunciations both with the Salvation Army and workers groups) had been extensively reported. A Mr Kent, evangelist, was also having some success around Bathurst. It was, however, the incongruous actions of visiting missionary ‘B.S. Moore’ at well-heeled Watson’s Bay which drew his attention.

Watson’s Bay . . . gently prospers in quiet retirement. But the highly-respectable suburb has attracted some attention from the outside world lately, because, on successive Saturday afternoons, a gentleman from America, Rev. B. S. Moore has conducted baptismal ceremonies there.

Among the paddlers and canoeists in the water, and the lovers and idlers on the beach, he has with intense solemnity waded, fully clad, knee deep, into the water, and baptised ladies clad in night dresses, by dipping them smartly below the surface. His converts range from dainty young girls to elderly matrons. As they are dipped, the choir softly chants hymns. Regretfully, it must be observed, that the remarks of the more facetious onlookers, as the ladies emerge dripping wet, hardly indicate a sympathetic understanding of Mr. Moore and his ideals. He says the ladies may wear bathing gowns if they desire, but he thinks nightgowns more suitable. This is the first public baptismal service of the nature Sydney has witnessed.

The last statement is doubtful. It is more likely that this was the first such public baptismal service which the residents of Watson’s Bay had witnessed. Enthusiastic religion tended to be a frontier practice in Australia, and had long departed the leafy and influential eastern suburbs. The journalist dismissed the event as a quirk of the weather:

Perhaps the excessive hot weather may have some remote connection with the interest aroused, for it must be remarked, in conclusion, that Sydney is suffering, perforce, with a steamy limp humidity from the weather that would make a lover of the tropical jungles jazz with delight. For days and nights the humidity has hovered around the nineties. (Advertiser, 1 January 1930, p. 7)

Moore, however, represented a rising tide of revivalist interest and Australian engagement with Asia. Though far less prominent than A. C. Valdez, he also represented the continuing percolation of the Azusa Street Revival into Australia through the peregrinations of evangelists. He was also an echo of an earlier American holiness Methodist revivalism which was a minor partner compared to the British Salvationist/Wesleyan Methodist majority which contributed so significantly to the rise of Pentecostalism in Australia.

Barney Stansbury Francis Moore

Barney S. F. Moore was born on 2 August 1874 at Elliott, Maryland, USA, the son of Caleb L. Moore and Etta J. (nee Mills), sailor and housekeeper respectively. He was the second son, and third child of five siblings (US Census 1880). On the available evidence, the Moores were just the sort of marginal, working class people described by Anderson in his Vision of the Disinherited. (When Moore applied for a passport in 1919 to return to the mission field, his brother was a ‘labourer’ living in Baltimore.) By 1900, Caleb was dead, and Barney himself was working as a sailor – one of the major vocations in their area, where most of his neighbours were

B S Moore baptising converts in Hawaii.

oysterpackers etc. It would have been as a sailor that he received the tattoo mark on his right forearm which he bore for the rest of his life. Moore was ordained in 1906 by the Metropolitan Church Association in Chicago, a holiness revivalist group founded by Edwin L. Harvey, at first in association with the Methodist Episcopal Church, and then by separation in 1899. The group later shifted its headquarters to Waukesha, Wisconsin. The MCA spread on a faith mission basis, sending evangelistic teams and mission teams all over the USA and beyond. Moore was one of the ‘large number’ of ministers (some 122 were on the rolls in 1916) who were released on a strictly non-remunerative basis. (Religious Bodies: 1916, pp. 282-3.) Their worship culture and commitment to faith healing was pilloried by socialist reformers and the respectable, who thought their practice of ‘Holy Jumping’ either ridiculous, or the epitome of ‘the opiate of the people’. The press hated them for their adoption of ‘yellow journalism’ tactics. Their commitment to not owning private property, however, seems to have won them some grudging admiration on the left, even though their communalism and anti-moderatism piqued the middle classes. (see Kostlevy, 2010).

Moore was converted in 1901 under a Methodist Holiness Missionary from Utah. ‘He was preaching nearly everything that is now preached in Pentecost, though he said he did not understand it, he just saw it in the Word.’ (Moore, 1931, 2) Moore describes a mighty rushing wind filling the church where he was praying, a third of the congregation being slain in the spirit, and the pastor hiding behind the organ. When he was asked to pray, he opened his mouth and ‘something broke loose and I prayed right out in a language I had never heard.’ This, he explained, was ‘what we read in the second chapter of Acts’. (Moore, 1931, 2) At the same time he seems to have had a healing experience, later described as ‘the Lord healed his broken body.’ (PE 29 Oct 1921, 1) He was directed towards Taylor University, where ‘the power would fall every time we prayed together’ in the prayer-event to which he belonged. He remained afraid, however, of his own experience of speaking and singing in tongues: ‘I would sometimes get afraid that I was a little “off”‘. In 1904, he took his first pastorate in Urbana, Illinois, where the spread of tongue speaking (which he understood to be xenolalia: ‘A lady spoke in classical Hebrew’) raised opposition, and saw him incarcerated for nearly a month.

In 1906, Moore married Mary (or Marie) Ellis, who was born on 15 October 1877 at Cranberry, Quebec, of Irish parents, and migrated to the USA in 1899, taking out citizenship in 1900. She was independently ordained by the Apostolic Holiness Association in 1905, after an experience of the Holy Spirit in which ‘a light like that of the noonday sun surrounded her and she spoke in many languages.’ Mary later took AG-USA ordination in 1918. Together they commenced evangelistic work through their family connections, and it was ‘while we were in a revival in Maryland we received the call to the foreign field. At the same time, they heard of the Azusa Street revival, ‘a holy awe settled on both of us; we longed to go’. Miraculously, the required money was forwarded to them by mail after prayer, (Moore, 1931, 2) The two travelled to Oakland, where they participated in a continuous series of revival meetings for 18 months. For some years, perhaps through connections with Carrie Judd Montgomery (whose ‘Home of Peace’ was in Oakland) they heard about and developed a desire to go on mission in Japan. When, in 1910, they were living in Alameda, California, they applied for passports, the Moores were already describing themselves as ‘travelling’ missionaries.

In 1914, just prior to his departure for Japan and as the Assemblies of God was in formation at Hot Springs Arkansas, Moore preached at the Stone Church in Chicago on John’s vision in the Revelation. He had experienced an earthquake in California, and its lessons of the transitory nature of the material had clearly stayed with him. He applied a popularist’s appropriation of Chicago University geology to the text, and emerged with a sense that the fire of destruction really referred to the old earth trembling in ‘convulsions’ under the judgement of God. The Lake of Fire would be a literal extrusion of subterranean magma. The bible was fact, not symbol: his hearers needed to unlearn the sophistication of their day and take the bible literally. It was, no doubt, a matter of some surprise to him when he reached Japan to hear other foreign missionaries not preaching the gospel as he understood it, but ‘every dead thing in America and England’: one Anglican clergyman declared to a meeting of missionaries that ‘Eternal Punishment is a damnable doctrine… Poor old man, surely he made a great concession to the devil.’ (Word and Witness, Aug 1914, p. 4)

Arriving in Japan on 18 June 1914, the Moores were taken from Yokohama to the mission founded by Estella and Beatrice Bernauer in 1910, with Leonard Coote and others in Tokyo. After 1914, it was supported in connection with the Assemblies of God (USA). It was barely two months before the start of the First World War, and the press from the USA was thick with prophetic utterances: “the wars and rumours of wars” were the “beginning of sorrows”. (Christian Evangel, 9 Jan 1915, p. 4) It is clear from his reports that, while he was one of the earliest AG-USA missionaries in Japan, Moore long considered his work to be an independent evangelistic enterprise ‘in association with’ the AG, a continuation the work which had begun in 1901 with his own experience of the Spirit, and had developed in their independent evangelism before Azusa Street became known. Neither Azusa Street nor Hot Springs were the beginning of Pentecost for the Moores: their experience had preceded both. From the start, Moore impressed Bernauer and others as one who had ‘the real power of God’, preaching passionately, creating a stir. ‘I love to hear him pray’, noted Bernauer. Her translator, Bro. Takigawa—like so many, one who had spent time in the Salvation Army before joining becoming Pentecostal—went with Moore to Kobe, where they quickly saw some 35 members of the YMCA converted. After Kobe, they worked in Yokohama, where they built a ‘small chapel’ in an area of dense settlement: “Here we saw the power of God fall on thirty-five at one time when they rose right up from their seats, with hands raised toward heaven, and began singing in something that was not Japanese. And such healings!” (Moore, 1931, 3.) This is listed as their base in the AG-USA Minister’s Directory, along with Ruth A. Johnson and Jessie Wengler, and later the Juergensens, who ‘being Germans they are having it rather hard’, due to the financial isolation of wartime German missions from their homeland. The tent campaign were ‘largely attended’ and the crowd was ‘so great one Sunday they almost trode on each other (as Jesus said on one occasion, Luke 12:1) in order to get some of the gospel portions to take home’. (Christian Evangel, 9 Jan 1915, p. 4) A lot of Moore’s work seems to have been itinerary, including up through Isamagahara [sic] (‘a wilderness section of Japan’, Sagamihara?) where there was no other mission, and where word of mouth spread the ‘white American’s’ gospel seemingly faster than they could travel. Working among the subsistence farmers meant eating what they ate, and sleeping where they slept: snake soup and boiled dog was just part of the bargain. ‘Bro. Moore said he remembered that nothing is to be refused, but it is to be perceived with thanksgiving of them which believe they know the truth … and so he ate and drank to the glory of God and praised the Lord… he gave these people the whole gospel, for the Japanese want the whole thing; salvation from sin, healing for the body, the Baptism of the Spirit and the second coming of Christ. Bro. Moore does not believe in giving them just a little skim milk. Again the Lord worked in power .’ (PE 29 Oct 1921, 1) Disease was a constant threat, the Moores seeing ‘hundreds die of bubonic plague’, as was famine, particularly in the north. His conversion in the context of healing, however, and the MCA background, explains why he considered taking medicine like ‘going down to Egypt.’ Finances and food were to be prayed for. (PE 29 Oct 1921, 1) When the latter fell short, he was not above criticising the sending agencies, which were so involved arguing over theological points (such as the meaning of certain words in the Bible) that they distracted the public from the all important task of missions: ‘All this jangle and controversy is very grievous to our hearts’, wrote Moore to his supporters in Chicago. (LRE, Oct 1915, p. 16) On the other hand, he also criticised the liberalising missionaries he met along the way from the well-funded traditional denominations, who resorted to building educational institutions and other ‘human means’.

His experience was that if the proper message was taken in a proper way, the people would gladly hear. There is one kind of so-called missionary work which just makes the natives top-heavy with higher education, and which has no message of deliverance from sin, but this was not what they were standing for. God has promised that in the last days He would pour out His Spirit upon all flesh—and that includes the people of Japan—and they were having the joy of seeing the people repeating in receiving the Baptism of the Holy Ghost just as they received on the day of Pentecost. (PE 29 Oct 1921, 1)

Wengler’s 1921 report suggests tent ministry was a regular event.

We are in the midst of our tent meeting which Mr Moore put up in a new locality. Many precious souls have the opportunity to hear the gospel message and we are trusting God to give a harvest of souls.

Moore reports continuous, though slow growth, across the first several years. While F. H. Gray was bemoaning the very conservative and resistant nature of Japanese society, Moore had to be satisfied with ‘continually getting some saved’ and opening small works hither and yon. ‘150 children in three schools’, and three Japanese workers, was clearly not up to his expectations of revival power. (Weekly Evangel, 23 Oct 1915, p.4) It was ‘a land of idols’: Isaiah 2:8, 14-24 was, in his mind, ‘a good photo of this country and what will come upon idol worshippers when God “ariseth to shake terribly the earth.”’ (Weekly Evangel, 15 Jan 1916, p. 12) In referring to the worship of the Emperor as a deity, he wrote with some frustration: ‘Earthquakes are shaking this country: 25 recorded in one day, one lasting twenty five minutes. Pray for a spiritual earthquake such as shook the shackles off the Philippian jail.’ (Weekly Evangel, 15 Jan 1916, p. 12) He was clearly reading onto Japan his own experience in California, and possibly the Pentecostal folklore that surrounded the coincidence between the Azusa Street outbreak and the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. The shaking of the earth was a sign of the nearness either of revival or judgement. This would be intensified still further after the events of 1923.

In 1918, the Moores returned to the USA for furlough, returning in 1919 in time to take part in the formation of the Japan District of the AG-USA, the origin of the Nihon Pentekosute Kyokai. In 1921, the Moores left the Yokohama work under Wengler to return to the USA for the General Council of the AG-USA, spending some time en route with C. E. Benham in Vancouver, where a continuous stream of evangelists filled the big tent. Moore was in his element, interspersing biblical reflection with personal experience. His stories of derring do on the missionary frontier, healing the sick, baptising in the Spirit, and seeing the dead rise, no doubt reinforced the core ethos and legitimacy of the General Council. It also helped his profile –his next distribution of Missionary funds in January was nearly twice that of the year before, and nearly to the level he noted as necessary when he had started in 1914. They were still in the USA in May 1922, as funds were being directed to ‘Bro. Moore’s work’, rather than to him personally, while the Juergensen’s mail was being sent to Moore at his brother in law’s address in Long Beach. He would remain a life long supporter of the German couple, directing Australian support their way in 1929 rather than to Leonard Coote, who Barney felt was ‘not straight in doctrine regarding the Trinity and many other vital points of scripture’. (AE May 1929, p. 8.) October 1922 finds the Moores in New York with T. J. Machida, running a 17 day Convention at the Apostolic Faith Church in Anderson St., New Rochelle. Other revivals followed in Kitchener, Ontario (where over 4000 people gathered at the end of a remarkable revival period to watch public baptisms), various sites in Colorado (Denver, Colorado Springs), Fort Morgan (where Eric Booth-Clibborn was pastor), Chappell, Milford and Sioux City (PE 19 August 1922, p. 14). Paul She suggests that there was a rupture between the AG-USA and Moore in 1921, with ‘charges’ being laid against him for an unspecified matter, and the Moore’s returning to Japan without AG support. (She, 2002, p. 48.) Certainly, the AG-USA stopped printing reports from the Moores from 1922, and only resumed in 1931; in 1930, on the US Census form, they nominated themselves as evangelists in the Baptist tradition.

When the Moores returned to Japan in the 1923, therefore, they returned under their own steam: they were just in time to experience ‘the world’s greatest earthquake’. The Great Kanto Earthquake was certainly the most deadly earthquake to strike Japan in recorded history, killing over 100,000. Yokohama was destroyed and much of its population killed. ‘We saw all we had swept away in fifteen seconds’, wrote Moore, ‘proving that we must not trust in uncertain riches or in temporal things, but in the living and true God.’ Mary and a Bible woman were caught under the building, Mary having her arm broken in addition to various smaller injuries when Barney dug her out from under the building. They escaped to the mountains with crowds of refugees, spending three days in the open. The Japanese pastor, Bro. Hasegawa and his family, who the Moores had sponsored from Canada to take over the work, were all killed, and orphans left in dire need. Having nothing and needing Mary to recover, the Moores were evacuated on an emergency passport to Seattle via the SS President Jefferson (arriving on 16 September), where they needed help from the Red Cross. The General Council having closed, the AG-USA, later the senior member of the largest pentecostal movement in the world, had nothing to give, and so borrowed $50 to fill the gap, on the prospect of later repayment.

While they later returned to Japan, thereafter the itinerant ministry of the couple was reinforced by their detachment from possessions and denomination, and by now having a great public story to tell, to which they attached the gospel. They were now ‘The Earthquake Evangelists’, illustrating their missions with lantern slides and personal narrative. Everywhere they went, the Moores baptised, and expected to see people baptised in the Spirit. Nelson Hinman would later record an event which reflected the surprising nature of Moore’s ministry:

I am thinking just now of two young people; they are not so young now, but were young when this happened in Long Beach, California. The young man was a millionaire’s son and had more money than he could spend, but with all his spendthrift ways he lacked that thing in his life which would satisfy his heart. One night he stopped in a meeting at Tenth and Pine, where dear old Barney Moore was preaching. There this young man and his wife were gloriously saved. They went home that night and knelt beside their beds to thank Jesus for saving them, and while they drew near to Him He baptized them with the Holy Ghost. They didn’t know what was happening to them, but they had drawn near to Jesus with thirsty hearts. (Hinman, 1947, p. 14)


This was the sort of ministry the Moores were taking on an ‘around the world’ tour—which included South Africa, Egypt and Palestine—when they came to Australia in early 1929. ‘This is another token that God has got His eyes on Australia and is sending Spirit-filled men to evangelise this needy field’, A C Valdez noted to C L Greenwood in Melbourne. Their 1928 meetings in had Egypt produced ‘satisfactory results’, despite having to be guarded by British troops for fear of Islamic activists. (Brisbane Courier, 25 May 1929, p. 22) Points of evangelism included two weeks of special meetings at C.W. Doney’s school and mission; meetings at Minia (Minya), Samalut (Samalout), and ‘Der-el-janous’ [sic]: ‘God gave us many souls saved and restored, and some marked healings’. They departed Egypt on January 16 for Australia via Colombo. Arriving in Australia on 11 February, the Moores visited Richmond Temple in Melbourne first. Richmond had close associations with missions in Asia, and it’s pastor (C. L. Greenwood) worked hard to ensure the church was the key Pentecostal front door for international visiting ministries. As the Moores arrived to preach at the Pentecostal Church of Australia (PCA) Easter Convention, the church was still bathing in the glow of the prophetic and healing ministry of noted English Elim evangelist Stephen Jeffreys. The church, which had begun as a small mission in Sunshine, had been transformed under the visiting ministry of Azusa Street veteran, A. C. Valdez, who retained an interest in Australia on his return to the USA. In September 1928, Valdez reported that ‘8 or 9 of the leading Evangelists of America’ had written to him (suggesting that Valdez had been circulating ‘feelers’ for people to go to Australia and support the young work) ‘greatly concerned about coming to Australia with the one ambition to open up new centres in all the States.’ (Australian Evangel, Sept 1928, p. 8.) Valdez was planning a barnstorming, multi-tent offensive with these evangelists: this would not happen until after World War II, however, by which time Valdez had also separated from the AG-USA because of his Healing Revival connections, and the ‘lead’ evangelist was Valdez’s son, A.C. Valdez Jr. (see Hutchinson, ‘Healing and Hurting’.). In the interim, it is like that visits by the Moores in 1929, and William Booth-Clibbon in 1931, were a result of Valdez’s promotion back in the USA.

On 18 February, 1929, Moore—who would spend three weeks in Melbourne—set the tone for the tour, preaching on ‘Signs of the Near Return of Our Lord’ (a sermon which has survived due to the meticulous shorthand skills of May Grayson, who also helped record many of Smith Wigglesworth’s extant sermons). Moore began by suggesting he would preach from 2 Timothy, but he rapidly departed from that text and ended up moving between Daniel and the Revelation. As the book of Daniel had predicted, the modern age was typified by people ‘running to and fro’, piling up knowledge and creating great wonders of technology. False prophets had arisen: Moore identified particularly Spiritism, Christian Science and Theosophy. Because the clergy had failed to preach the Foursquare, Full Gospel, tens of thousands of people (especially ‘graduates of our universities’) had ‘gone into’ these ‘bloodless cults’.

We are living in a time when the spirit of Antichrist is breaking up the old forms that we used to have, that were solid, standing on the rock Christ Jesus, standing on the Divine revelation of Jesus Christ, standing on the Blood, standing for the Holy Ghost, standing for the separated life.

His holiness roots and connections with Azusa were obvious. It was not, he said, a time for theological discussions, but a time for getting

down before God until the Holy Ghost comes, until the glory of God fills the temple, and if we will do that, if the Lord sees us in that attitude when He comes there will be no question about our rising. It will be all right. Your hands will be clean. Many shall be purified and made white and tried. What a wonderful process, isn’t it? Purified, made white and tried. Are you ready? (AE April 1929, 2)

Baptism in the Spirit was, for this old holiness preacher, about the end of days, holiness before God, and expectation of the Rapture. The Spirit was like ‘oil on wheels’ – it made everything easy, everything possible. On the Saturday night meeting of the PCA Easter Convention, there ‘was a time of great blessing when Evangelist B. S. Moore thrilled the people as he spoke forth the Word with boldness, and many were at the altar to consecrate their lives afresh to the Lord.’ Mary Ellis Moore ‘spoke on “The Captive Bride,” and her message was very sweet and encouraged the Saints to be ready to go into the marriage supper of the Lamb.’ (AE, May 1929, p. 8.) Barney Moore’s sermon may well have been that reprinted in the May edition of the Australian Evangel, wherein he explained how ‘The wrath of the devil and the fury of anti-christ is soon to be manifested among the nations,’ starting with a representative in the League of Nations.


One of those present at the PCA Easter Convention was Philip Brandon Duncan, pastor of the PCA Church in Newtown, Sydney. Duncan had come out of William Lamb’s strongly advent-focussed Baptist church in 1921, in the aftermath of Smith Wigglesworth’s visit there. He was thus already au fait with the connection between second advent preaching and power evangelism. Easter in 1929 was on 30 March, and the convention extended through the first week of April. Preliminary newspaper advertisements appeared in Sydney at the end of March, promising that the “Earthquake Evangelists from Japan” would present ‘lantern slides of the Japanese earthquake vividly illustrat[ing] his experience during the time of tragedy’. (SMH 30 March 1929, p.3.) Competing for space in Sydney’s crowded religious marketplace required innovation and energy. The “noted Spirit-filled” preachers were advertised for meetings commencing Sunday 14 April, 1929, between advertisements for the Eastern-influenced Theosophical Society in the Adyar Hall on Bligh Street and the ‘life magnificent’ expressed through Handel’s Messiah at the fractious Liberal Catholic Church meeting in the old Order of the Star in the East meeting place in the Star Amphitheatre, from which the OSE had reputedly hoped to see the new age messiah (Krishnamurti) walk across the waves from Sydney Heads. (This was later denied, and by 1931 the Amphitheatre was being used for vaudeville and other live performances, to which was attached a roof-top mini-golf course). (Roe, 1986) The PCA promised that these missionaries in Japan for many years would ‘tell of their thrilling experiences during the awful earthquake, assisted by many splendid lantern slides…’ (SMH 13 April 1929, p.24) When the Moores arrived, most churches were gearing up for Anzac Day, though the Baptists were concentrating on ‘consecrated speakers’ with Advent messages, the Congregationalists on the much more respectable Mission by American evangelist C. R. L. Vawter, and the Apostolic Faith Mission was continuing it’s tent campaign at Mosman with Evangelist Langley Simmons from Queensland. (SMH 20 April 1929, p.22) The Moores ran Services every night of the week and three times in Sunday. Their experiences were ‘gruesome yet thrilling’ and ‘when illustrated by special films give an idea of God’s judgements at that time.’ (SMH 20 April 1929, p. 22) Even so, their impact was overshadowed to some degree by public interest in the crash and death of Keith Anderson and his co-pilot in the Kookaburra in their ill-fated attempt to beat Kingsford-Smith’s record.

The Kanto Earthquake had received widespread coverage in Australia, with appeals for those left destitute, and newsreels of the devastation shown before theatre productions. A comedy-drama at the State Theatre (‘From the Ground Up’), and a ‘Hoot’ Gibson film at the Hoyts Deluxe Theatre, were attended by a showing of a Fox film, Torment, which promised to show the disaster in ‘all it’s vividness’ at ground level, such that the spectator believes that he is ‘on the spot instead of thousands of miles away… At great risk to the cameraman.’ (Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton) 15 Nov 1923, p.7) The new medium of film was all the rage – in the USA, Billy Sunday announced that he too was planning to make some “talkie” films so as to be able to reach the less accessible regions of England, and also Australia. (SMH 22 April 1929, p.24.) The passenger ship Tango Maru was in Yokohama with Australians on board at the time, raising (ultimately unsubstantiated) fears of greater than usual loss of life. An Australian survivor of the quake (a Miss E. Moore, no relation) reported the tremendous fear which fell on all present: ‘inferno reigned for a day, and Judgement Hour was in the minds of the people.’ (Advertiser, 25 Sept 1923, p.7). The experience created a bond which defused the general Australian fear of the Asian North, which continued up until the emergence of Japan as a military threat in the 1930s. ‘My heart is still up there’, Miss Moore reported. In the aftermath, the wise men in the Institute of Pacific Relations considered ‘the next’ likely war to occur between Japan and Russia, and that too was now unlikely as the earthquake had ‘crippled Japan for the next 25 years.’ (Argus, 3 Aug 1926, p.7) The willingness of 20 or so women to be publicly seen in nightdresses with a Pentecostal evangelist, being dunked off the shore of one of Sydney’s more class-conscious addresses, reflects the ability of the Moore’s to move people with the Advent message. If he had shown the same slides—whether or not they were the ‘only known slides’ of the earthquake—two years later, after Japan had flexed its military muscle in Manchuria, one wonders whether his lantern slides would have engaged sentiments to the same degree.

May 1929 finds the Moores, ‘the Around-the-World Evangelist[s]’, in Brisbane, running an ‘Old Time Revival Campaign.’ (Brisbane Courier, 25 May 1929, p. 3.) The theme now was more directly on advent themes (‘Who Will control Egypt and Palestine?) and their personal applications (‘Who will control you?’). It fitted the competition: in the Lyceum Theatre earlier in the year, ‘Evangelist R. A. Anderson’ begun a campaign on ‘Prophecy Lifts the Veil, Revealing the HIDDEN MEANING OF THE NEW PAPAL STATE. Will the Vatican be the Future Dictator In International Politics?’ (Brisbane Courier, 12 January 1929, p. 3.) Such a contrast makes Moore look relatively mild in his assertions.

On 9 January, 1930 the Moores left Sydney on the RMMS Aorangi for Honolulu (arriving 23 January), before transhipping to the port of Wilmington, California on the City of Honolulu, arriving on 31 Jan 1930. There they visited their brother in law, Andrew J. Wark (commercial traveller) and Mary’s sister, Jennie M. at 901 Raymond Ave., Long Beach, California. Called on by the US Census, they listed their vocation as ‘evangelists’ and their denomination as ‘Baptist’. (US Census 1930). They returned to the Hawaiian Islands on Jan. 17, 1931, on the steamship Calawawi, to undertake further evangelism. In early 1934, Moore reported a flurry of conversions, some twenty in the previous six weeks. The Flower Pentecostal Heritage Centre has photographs of Moore baptising people in the sea in Hawaii, who may be some of those mentioned in his report. The 1935 Japan Christian Year Book places the Moores in Nagazaki, though this may have been a dated reference. By the time they returned to Japan in 1937 to work with the Juergensens, ‘hundreds’ of people had been converted in Hawaii, and established groups were carrying on the work. Just as in 1923, Barney knew how to pick a moment in history. The outbreak of the second Sino-Japanese War in 1937, and its attendant ‘rape of Nanking’ was about as close to humans had yet come to bringing the apocalypse to earth. There was more to come.

So what?

Barney S. F. Moore died in San Bernardino, Southern California, on 25 June 1956; Mary followed him in 1963. What do their stories tell us about the history of Pentecostalism in Australia? From a historiographical point of view, the first thing to note is the filtering impact of institutional and national histories. In writing the history of something as nebulous as the Pentecostal movement, the tendency is to attempt to write that history as if it were the same as ‘real histories’, such as the Australian Conscription campaign, the Battle of Fromelles, or of BHP. In his work, for example, Barry Chant has properly followed the genealogy of Pentecostalism out of Good News Hall into the emerging denominations of the 1920s and 1930s. What this approach does well is to locate the main players and lay the basis for a nation-centred approach—a particularly necessary task in the absence of a previous literature. What it misses, however, are the ‘waifs and strays’ that play such a large part in the history of Pentecostalism. What Grant Wacker describes so well in his work (Wacker, 2001) is the huge, amorphous culture of itinerants who in their thousands floated along the strong holiness and convention pathways in the United States and converged on to short-term Bible Colleges and events like Azusa before being caught up by the denominations, or disappearing. There is little parallel for this in Australia, largely because the sources are not well collated or available, and the numbers in terms of population are orders of magnitude smaller. We are not used to looking for someone like Barney and Mary Moore, and so consequently we don’t see them. Certainly the press of the time didn’t see them, and for a long time had almost no concept of what Pentecostalism was. Some would suggest that little has changed.

Moore receives no treatment in Australian literature, despite the fact that his missionary campaign seems to have lasted almost a year in Australia, during which time he must have connected with many local centres. Nor has he received much treatment in the international literature, much of which has concentrated on identifying the ‘roots and shoots’ of national and denominational narrative. Moore’s evangelistic work preceded the emergence of such stories, and as he cooperated in their emergence he avoided being co-opted into anything other than the larger story which had defined early holiness Pentecostalism—the outpouring of the Spirit in the Last Days. He and his wife Mary were genuine ‘evening light saints’, a rare commodity in Australian Pentecostal history. In refusing to face charges by the General Conference of the Assemblies of God in 1921-2, Moore rejected institutional authority, and so consequently when he arrived in Australia he was a ‘Baptist’ evangelist. He comes into focus during a public baptism, despite the fact that he is deeply rooted in the holiness traditions which gave birth to American Pentecostalism. Again, he falls between two stools—neither respectably Baptist, nor denominationally Pentecostal. If Moore had lived longer, one might think that, like F. F. Bosworth and A C Valdez, he might have ended up as one of the Azusa generation statesmen whose unreconstructed itinerancy would have seen them caught up in the healing revival of the 1950s. That, however, was not to be, and Moore would therefore not be written into either the denominational narrative, nor the Healing Revival narrative which preceded the mainlining of the charismatic movement.

That personal history which is available to us, however, provides a helpful insight into the connections between 19th-century Methodism, missions, evangelicalism, and revivalism. Half a century before Moore was born amid the Scots-Irish communities along the coast of Maryland, just inland a man who was to have a significant impact on Australian evangelicalism was born to a similar family. Like Moore, he would have connections (in his case through an African American woman, Moore through Azusa Street) with Wesleyan and African-American spirituality, come to maturity in the Methodist Episcopal Church, and spent a significant amount of his life in the evangelical diaspora to California and as a foreign missionary. As with Moore, there was a Canadian connection: the difference was that Moore bought his with him in 1929 in the form of his wife. After being ‘certified by the Holy Spirit that the Lord wanted me in Australia’, the namesake of Barney Moore’s alma mater, William ‘California’ Taylor, came to Australia in 1863-65, and again in 1869-70, like Moore as part of a world tour via Palestine. Taylor ‘was the first overseas minister to conduct missions in this country’, and those missions (in every major city and many country towns in every colony except Western Australia) had a significant effect. (Clancy, 1999) In many of the places he would work (India, Peru, Chile, and Africa) Taylor would found works which would, in later years, act as forerunners for the Pentecostal movement. The work in Chile, through Minnie Abrams (who visited Australia with Manoramabai in 1902-1903), would be directly absorbed into the pentecostal movement. Like Moore, ‘throughout his ministry Taylor preferred to act independently of the American Mission Board, and he was somewhat impatient of supervision.’ (Clancy, 1999) Indeed, in many ways, Moore’s methodology in Australia was precisely that of Taylor in the previous century, which the latter described as follows:

The habit of my life as an evangelist is to preach in the same pulpit Sabbath morning to the church members, at 3 p.m. to the children, and in the evening to the masses of unconverted sinners, and continue nightly up to Friday night. (Taylor, 1897, p. 171)

Barney Moore, therefore, can be seen as following—with great precision—Taylorite missionary Methodism in Pentecostal forms. The difference was that Moore did not have Taylor’s stature, he was invited to no great Methodist cathedrals with 2000 seats, and neither did the Australia that he came to in 1929 have the revivalist Methodism or the sense of the frontier which gave Taylor’s mission such broad effect. If Australian Methodism in 1863 had “cleared the forests,” and “ploughed the fallow ground and sowed the seed”, by the time Moore turned up they were not so much (as in Taylor’s day) “gathering the harvest” but building and extending their barns. (Taylor, 1897, p. 159) Further, Taylor had preached in Ireland on the way to Palestine and Egypt, and could (through his letters of introduction) rely upon the enormous goodwill and expectation which had been flowing through the Irish diaspora from the Irish revival of 1859. No such general ‘incoming tide’ was there to float the Moores’ mission in 1929, though Methodists like himself were joining the fledgling Pentecostal movement in increasing numbers at the time. The Moores’ visit can be seen as the closure of a loop begun in 1863 with the arrival of William Taylor, and a sign of the beginning of another. After World War I, the general trend (as David Martin has pointed out) would be out of denominationalised Methodism, and downwards into local communities. In 1912, another William Taylor, the great urban missioner in Sydney, rose to his feet before the NSW Methodist Conference to address his fellows on the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the first class meeting in Australia. He pled ‘with every member of our Church to fall into line’:

Let the Church but go to its knees and master the art of ‘tarrying’ there, and then, ere this year closes, there shall come to our great Church the one thing, the only thing, that can permanently settle this question— a Pentecost, which, bursting upon us with all its original power, shall give God the Holy Ghost His chance, and shall hand back to us our old influence. And then no longer shall we lament that our exchequers are half empty, our congregations are small, our fellowship a dead letter; but the text will repeat itself once again, and we shall enter upon the golden age of our Church, and there shall be added to our numbers daily such as are being saved. (Taylor, 1920, p. 343ff)

Barney and Mary Moore were a sign that the text was already, in fact, repeating itself, emerging under new covers from Azusa Street and a hundred other near-simultaneous local and barely connected revivals into world mission, all in search of the ‘spiritual fellowship’ which would call itself Pentecost. The second William Taylor’s desire for a new Pentecost would be fulfilled. It would not, however, be found among the denominations.

– – –


‘In Other Cities: Sydney Gossip’, The Advertiser, 1 January 1930, p. 7

Adelaide Advertiser, January 1929-January 1930.

AG-USA Minister’s Directory, Springfield, MOL General Council, 1919.

Australian Evangel, 1928-29.

Brisbane Courier, May-June 1929.

Clancy, Eric G., ‘Taylor, William “California”’, in B. Dickey, Australian Dictionary of Evangelical Biography, Adelaide: Flinders, 1999, online,, accessed 4 July 2011.

Hinman, Nelson E., ‘Wet wood among the Saint[s]’ [sic], Pentecostal Evangel, 15 March 1947, pp. 3, 14-15.

Hunt, William Chamberlin and Edwin Munsell Bliss, et al (eds), Religious Bodies: 1916: Separate denominations, history, description,… Washington DC: United States Bureau of the Census, 1916, pp. 282-3.

Hutchinson, Mark & Jane Hull, ‘Healing and Hurting: Mainline relationships with Australian Pentecostalism, and the 1952 Valdez crusade’, CSAC Working Papers, no. 8.

Kostlevy, William, Holy jumpers: evangelicals and radicals in Progressive Era America, Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2010

Moore, Barney S., ‘Signs of the Near Return of Our Lord’, Australian Evangel, April 1929, p. 2.

Moore, Barney, ‘In the days of his preparation: A new Heaven and a new Earth’, Latter Rain Evangel,

Moore, Barney, ‘Glorious Miracles in the Twentieth Century’, Pentecostal Evangel, 17 January 1931, 2-3.

Pentecostal Evangel, 25 June 1921, p. 12; 20 August 1921; 29 Oct 1921; 7 Jan 1922; 21 Jan 1922; 18 March 1922; 27 May 1922; 30 Sept 1922; 31 March 1923; 6 Oct 1923.

Roe, Jill, Beyond belief: theosophy in Australia 1879-1939, Kensington, N.S.W.: New South Wales University Press, 1986.

She, Paul Tsuchido, ‘A Forgotten History: Correcting the Historical Record of The Roots of Pentecostalism in Japan,’ Asian Journal of Pentecostal Studies, vol. 5, no. 1 (2002), pp. 23-49

She, Paul Tsuchido, ‘Pentecostals in Japan’, in Allan Anderson and Edmond Tang Asian and Pentecostal: the charismatic face of Christianity in Asia, Oxford, UK; Costa Mesa, CA: Regnum Books International; Baguio City, Philippines: APTS Press, 2005.

Suzuki, Masakazu, ‘A New Look at the Pre-war History of the Japan Assemblies of God,’ Asian Journal of Pentecostal Studies, vol. 4, no. 2 (2001), pp. 239-267

Sydney Morning Herald, March-June 1929.

Taylor, William, William Taylor of California, bishop of Africa: an autobiography, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1897.

Taylor, William George, ‘Restore the Fellowship of the Church’ in his The Life Story of an Australian Evangelist, London: Epworth Press, 1920.

Wacker, Grant, Heaven below: early Pentecostals and American culture, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2001.

Wengler, Jessie, Letters from Japan, Pasadena, CA: author, 1951.

Margaret Poloma, whose Assemblies of God at the Crossroads (1989) is one of the foundational works in Christian sociology and in the sociological study of pentecostalism, has returned to her earlier work with a new book The Assemblies of God: Godly Love and the Revitalization of American Pentecostalism (John Green, co-author). Poloma has been working with the Templeton Trust on a major project articulating the idea of ‘godly love’.

Our examination of the AoG turns towards the issue of “routinization of charism,” wherein movements borne of emotional and spiritual fervor often find themselves becoming more tame and institutionalized in successive generations, often leading to slower rates of growth, dissention within the ranks and schismatic movements.  Leaders of the movement and then faced with the challenge of how to constantly revitalize the clergy and laity.  Margaret provides a number of examples of how this has played out in the Assemblies of God, including the spiritually-energized challenge provided by “immigrant churches” within the AoG such as Pastor Bismark Osei Akomeah’s Jesus Power Assembly of God (founded in Ohio and now with several locations throughout the US).  We also discuss the rise of neo-Pentecostalism and the recent emphasis on Godly Love, a revitalizing tendency within Pentecostalism (based on the Great Commandment) and designed to emphasize the dynamic intereaction between the benevolence of God’s grace and human nature.

Follow this link to a broader discussion of the book, and Poloma’s work: The book can be found at Amazon.

It is a commonplace in the literature of Australian Pentecostalism to note that much of the movement was founded by women. The first leader of an enduring Australian Pentecostal Church was Sarah Jane Lancaster. Her Good News Hall network was built upon the labour of women – Winnie Andrews was at ‘headquarters’ as secretary and editor, while former missionary Florrie Mortomore and her colleague Annie Dennis ” opened up Queensland, Mina Ross Brawner cooperated with other women (such as Kate Metcalfe) to expand the small pentecostal work in Sydney, and Sisters Edie Anstis and Ruby Wiles were among the earliest workers in Perth. ‘Over half of the first thirty Pentecostal congregations were founded by women.’ (Chant, 1999)  Jacqui Grey goes further: ‘By 1930, twenty of the thirty-seven churches (for which information is available) were initiated by women.’  (Grey, ‘Torn Stockings’)

There are both apparent and less apparent reasons for this predominance of women. First, it has been observed that new religions provide women with more freedom and opportunities for leadership which are often denied to them in patriarchal societies and organisations.

Secondly, Pentecostalism is a faith of express emotion – Western men often found it difficult to overcome cultural prescriptions about the public display of emotion, while women could ‘play the edges’. Lancaster’s public persona as ‘Mummy Lancaster’ was part of this appropriation of social roles for gospel purposes. Thirdly, Pentecostalism — at least in the British Commonwealth network — and very close ties to preceding revivalist movements, in particular Methodism and the Salvation Army. Almost every major Pentecostal actor in the early twentieth century came from one or both of these movements, women leaving them because of their institutionalisation, men because of their liberalisation.  One doesn’t have to go very far in Australian Pentecostalism to find the influence of renegade branches of the Booth family: Herbert as Commissioner in Melbourne (where he was personally known by Sarah Jane Lancaster), and William Booth-Clibborn (whose father Arthur Clibborn and mother Catherine Booth left Salvation Army over the controlling ways of Bramwell Booth, and disagreements over healing ministry) as revivalist in Brisbane.  In a certain sense, it would not be too much of an exaggeration to say that Australian Pentecostalism in its early years was, in a sense, the Methodist/Salvation Army community in search of its revivalist roots. The role of the Army in the life of those two friends and significant Australian Pentecostals – Kevin Connor and George Forbes – as well as in the lives of many in their networks, was a continuation of what the women of early Pentecost had begun.

A final reason for the effectiveness of women is one that has been best covered in the missionary literature. As Rosemary Gagan points out (*A sensitive independence: Canadian Methodist women missionaries in Canada and the Orient, 1881-1925*, Montreal: McGill Queen’s Univ. Press, 1992) women provided a cheaper ministry labour force than men.  Not only were their average incomes lower than men, but the gradual relocation of religion to the private sphere over the latter half of the 19th century effectively disconnected spiritual pursuits from expectation of social advancement. For women, this meant that there was often no expectation of ministry as career, or of any payment at all. Different solutions for providing ‘shape’ to women’s ministry were tried in different places.  Lancaster, for example, maintained the public myth that her husband Alfred was the pastor, she was simply the secretary of the church and editor of the journal. No one was fooled, however, into thinking that Lancaster and her nationwide network of women workers were not effectively running the church. This was the strength during the lean early years of the movement (1909-c.1925), when there was little in the way of church structure and nothing similar to the vast asset accumulations of the mainstream churches to depend upon. It was, however, also a weakness — most of Lancaster’s network were, like herself, former Methodist and Salvation Army activists for whom the baptism of the Holy Spirit was their ‘charter of liberties’.  The cohort tended to age together, and Good News in the latter half of the 1920s is full of the obituaries of female workers who had spread Pentecost around the country.  This decline in tracks with the decline of her Apostolic Faith Mission as an organisation, just as the rising presence of men in prominent leadership positions tracks with the rise of more formalised Pentecostal denominations. The influence is not one way — the decline of more informal ways of spreading Pentecost reflected both contextual conditions (the 1920s, widespread male unemployment from the 1930s) and the fading of the holiness/ Methodist/ healing mission alliance which had given birth to Pentecostalism in the first place, while the rise of more formal organisations tracked with contextual factors (such as the increasing organisation of the Australian state and welfare system) and the second generation rise of male technical leadership (such as the baptism in the Spirit of organisers such as accountant, A. T. Davidson, who went on to play a critical role in the organisation and ascendancy of the Assemblies of God in Australia.)  In Brisbane, W. H. W. Lavers’ Peoples’ Evangelistic Mission tried another solution, organising a female diaconate (‘ the Sisters of the Church’) on the lines of the deaconess orders already running in Presbyterian and Anglican churches. Lavers’ daughter, M.I. Grace Lavers, was ordained as ‘Sister Grace’, one the first of these Sisters, who undertook social and evangelistic work at the Mission’s Brisbane and Toowoomba outreaches to the poor.

Two of the less well-known female Pentecostal leaders – Mary Anne Frances Tebay (Woy Woy) and Emily Stott

Emily Stott

(Perth) — indicate the grit and determination needed by the founders of this new spiritual movement. Stott was a singer well-known in social circles in Perth, whose conversion through the campaign of F. B. Van Eyk led to the establishment of a church on William Street, Perth. Stott — always referring to herself as Secretary or Evangelist – pastored the church until her death in 1946. She was replaced with a man – R. J. Pillifeant, from an Adelaide family whose connections to Pentecost reached back to 1870. Mary Tebay was the daughter of Monaro pioneers and the wife of a blacksmith. Their relocation during the Depression to coastal Woy Woy led to the establishment of a small work which, through its influence on A. T. Davidson and others, was to have much broader influence. She also was replaced by a man – first Davidson, then T. L. Evans.  Further information is available on both in the Dictionary entries attached to this site.  A good introduction to the work of women in the foundation of Australian Pentecostalism may be found in the Centre’s publication, Shane Clifton and Jacqueline Grey (eds), *Raising Women Leaders: Perspectives in Liberating Women in Pentecostal and Charismatic Contexts* (2009).

One of the additions to the APSC sound-archives, includes an interview with Ray Moore, one of the founders of Youth for Christ, and the Uniting Church Charismatic movement in Newcastle.  Ray, a fighter pilot in WWII, and from a profoundly spiritual Methodist home, was heavily influenced by the Hyman Appelman crusade in 1951, which sent his sister and brother-in-law into missions in PNG and gave many workers to the Church. The Youth For Christ conventions – one of the first instances of the neo-evangelicalism described by George Marsden (in his Reforming Fundamentalism) in Australia – were in Moore’s words ‘the closest to revival that Newcastle has come.’ He also refers to the R.G. LeTourneau campaign (see the APSC Flickr collection) of the period, one of the many great preachers who influenced the youth of Newcastle through the activities of Youth For Christ.

Many of the people so influenced later became involved in the Charismatic Movement. This is an area in which the Centre is collecting, so if you have resources or memories which might assist us in this collection, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Related resources:

Vision Magazine on Webjournals

Biographical entry on Alan Langstaff, in ADPCM

Search results for ‘Methodism’ on Webjournals.

Interview, Ray Moore, Pentecostal Sound Archives (by appointment only)

Biographical entry on William Murray Rule, ADEB.

One of the key issues with archives is that, for the most part, the sources are unavailable to the average person. When they are in physical form, archives are often distant from people wishing to do research, and any thorough going research requires the sort of time, funding and commitment which most people are often not willing to spend. This is not only true with regard to casual or family historians, but also often with regard to professional historians, for whom the slide in  humanities funding and cuts in university funding has meant less free time to undertake detailed research. Then there is the nature of the sources — Pentecostal communities are largely oral in the way they articulate narratives, and almost always are scattered around the nation in minority groupings largely invisible to the public eye. From the beginning, therefore, the Australasian Pentecostal Studies Centre determined to construct itself as a digital archives, making available its sources online and – where possible — free of cost. This is a very significant undertaking, but one which will pay off over time – and indeed has already been paying off in supporting the research of early career scholars at the College.

The first major project undertaken by the centre was to locate surviving Pentecostal journals, and make these available in digital format. Significant portions of the following journals have been made available online through the centres Webjournals publishing framework (

1. Good News:

The magazine for Australia’s first enduring Pentecostal Church, founded by Sarah Jane Lancaster in North Melbourne in 1909, Good News magazine had at its peak a circulation of about 3000. It was a key organ for spreading the news of restored charismatic gifts around Australia, and connecting the scattered Pentecostal community to international events. Heavily eschatological in its content, the magazine is the most valuable source for the history of early Pentecostalism in Australia.

Provenance: The Australasian Pentecostal Studies Centre thanks Dr Barry Chant for making available these rare and important sources. Without Barry’s careful collection over the years, it is doubtful that these sources would have survived.

Coverage: Oct 1913, Nov. 1923, Jan 1924-Aug 1935 (incomplete) The collection is incomplete, partly due to several arson attacks on Dr Chant’s offices over the years, and through the incompleteness of the original collection. If readers of this blog are aware of issues not held, or better copies of those held which are damaged, the APSC would be grateful to hear from you.

2. Glad Tidings Messenger

Commencing in November 1934, the GTM was the official Journal of the Assemblies of God in Queensland. Its editor was Sarah Jane Lancaster’s daughter, Leila Buchanan, who moved with her husband W. A. Buchanan, to plant churches in Queensland, in the wake of the William Booth-Clibborn campaigns of the early 1930s. The commonality of stylistic and content elements with Good News magazine is apparent.

Provenance: James Wallace Memorial Library Collection

Coverage: November 1934 – January 1936. In 1937, the GTM and the Australian Evangel were fused (first as the ‘Australian Evangel and Glad Tidings Messenger’, later as purely the Australian Evangel,  see below.)

3. Australian Evangel

Commencing in 1926, in the wake of the Sunshine Revival in Melbourne, the Australian Evangel was the organ of the Pentecostal Church of Australia founded by Adolfo Valdez, Kelso Glover and Charles Greenwood. In competition with Good News, the aim of the journal was to spread the revival, and assist in organising coherent Pentecostal communities. In 1937 it was fused with the Glad Tidings Messenger on the formation of the Assemblies of God in Australia (through the merger of the Pentecostal Church of Australia and the Queensland Assemblies of God). Ironically, having commenced in competition with Good News, the combined journal was placed under the editorship of Leila Buchanan until she retired in the early 1940s.


Provenance: James Wallace Memorial Library Collection

Coverage: July 1927 – November 1940, May & July 1941, September 1943, Jan-Nov 1944, Jan/ Feb/ June/ July/ Sept 1946; Jan 1947, March 1948, July/ November 1948,  Jan 1949- end (incomplete).

4. Vision Magazine

The magazine of the Temple Trust (later renamed Vision Ministries), Vision was the magazine of the peak interdenominational institution for the organised charismatic movement in Australia. Commenced in February 1974 (with a joint “Jan-Feb” number), the magazine spanned the leadership of Alan Langstaff. Langstaff left the Temple trust in 1980 to pursue opportunities in the United States. The magazine covers most of the key national events of the charismatic movement, provides a unique interdenominational insight into this important period of Australian Christian history, and covers the first use of many of Australia’s future important Pentecostal leaders (such as Frank Houston, David Cartledge, etc) as they emerge onto a national stage.


Provenance: Alan Langstaff

Coverage:Jan-Feb 1974- Sept/Oct 1978.

All of these items may now be searched through the convenient Google search engine embedded in the site. There are many lacunae in the collections, and the Centre would be appreciative of donations (or even photocopies) which would help it fill those holes.

Future Projects:

  1. Revival News: The broadsheet of the latter rain evangelist, Ron Coady, in New Zealand. Incomplete and based on photocopies, the Centre is seeking to complete its collection.
  2. other Australasian denominational magazines, eg. The Australian Revivalist, the New Zealand Evangel, etc.
  3. local church publications
  4. publications by independent ministries.

I opened my e-mail this morning to discover an invitation to review an article for a major journal in the United States. It was on 19th century charismata in Australia. Those who know the field will realise the importance of the event. Twenty years ago there was precisely one person in Australia who might be categorised a “Pentecostal historian”. That was Barry Chant, whose real contribution was to define the area, and write a brilliant thesis at Macquarie University (soon to be published) tracing the history of the first 50 years of organised Pentecostalism in Australia. Ten years ago, there were two of us – myself and Barry. My contribution has been to expand the source base, and to train the next generation. In the last five years, there has been a little ‘flurry’ of activity with regard to Australia Pentecostalism — no doubt in part because of the growing importance of that movement in the Australian religious scene. Some of these publications have appeared due to other interests (for instance, Shane Clifton’s use of Australian Pentecostal history in order to reflect upon a practical ecclesiology); others because of denominational crossovers (for instance, Glen O’Brien’s Methodist interests led him to write “They Made a Pentecostal Out of Her: The Church of God (Cleveland) in Australia,” Lucas, new series No. 1, 2010.) There is yet another literature emerging from the Australian academy (some of it unfortunately not well-informed).

This site will act as a window on to this developing world.  It will trace the development of Pentecostal history, connect readers to resources, and act as a support site for the further development of Pentecostal historiography.

- Prof Mark Hutchinson

Australian Evangel Kookaburra

APSC Good News