Winnebago County, Illinois
HOLINESS WILL BE THE THEME
Convention of Workers to Be Held Next Week in Rockford
WELL KNOWN SPEAKERS
Gift of $1,500 by W.R. McDannell to Local Church
The Holiness Workers of the United States will hold a big convention in Rockford from Oct. 2 to Oct 12, and over 100 of the most interested and best known men and women in this cause will hold services at Mendelssohn hall. The public is invited to these meetings, which will be held every morning, afternoon and evening. Duke M. Farson of Chicago, a well known millionaire banker, and brother of John Farson, who is known in Rockford, will be one of the principal speakers of the Metropolitan Holiness church in Chicago, where there is always a constant revival and stand-room at present is at a premium. His church membership numbers over 300 persons. In Holiness work Mr. Farson occupies a high place. He is the founder of Buffalo Rock camp meeting near Ottawa, Ill., having purchased the beautiful grounds of 100 acres for $1,000. The grounds have been used for three years and about $5,000 has been spent in improving them.
WANTED FOR BEER GARDEN
There is an interesting story in regard to Mr. Farson's purchase of the place. He was delayed through missing a train, and took a hack to go to another place, when he passed the spot he was immediately attracted by its beauty. Three men had just offered the owner the sum of $9,000 to purchase the grounds for a beer garden. Mr. Farson paid the sum of $10,000 to use it for religious purposes. In financial matters the meetings are unique. No gate fee is charges and no price is set on the meals at the dining hall where those who en(tion)(?) is taken and a box is place in the dining haal(?) where those who enter can contribute what they think is good. This plan has been found admirable and all expenses were paid at the last meeting, besides which $2,000 was raised for improvements and $100,000 for carrying on the movement. C.B. Wetherell of Rockford was secretary at the meeting where this huge donation was made by those present. Mrs. Kent White of Denver, Colo., who will attend all the services, is a prominent Holiness worker in the western states, expecially in the Rocky mountain region and along the coast. She is president of the Pentecostal Union Bible school at Denver, where evangelists are trained, as well as young men and women for home and foreign mission work. She is said to have had more conversions in her meetings during the last nine years than all the conferences and synods in the same district. She is a good singer and has a strong voice. Mrs. White is also superintendent of the Pentecostal missions in Denver and vicinity.
ABOUT HARVEYE.L. Harvey of Chicago, is the head of the Harvey Lodging House system, and is one of the best known preachers in the west. He is considered the most forcible exponent of the Holiness movement. He has the business side of the cause, and will be in Rockford during the entire meeting. A.F. Ingler of Denver, Colo., a tenor soloist and compiler of the Burning Bush Songs, will lead the
singing during the meeting. Others who will be present are J.W. Lee, an evangelist from Indiana, and L.A. Townsend, who was formerly a Congregational minister. W.E. Shepard of Chicago, one of those who will attend the convention, is the founder and head of the Metropolitan Holiness Training School in Chicago, which was opened on Monday, Sept, 22. The building occupied the corner of Franklin boulevard andn Kedzie avenue, three stories in height. The class room, dining room and kitchen are on the first floor with the young men's dormitory above. The announcement of the school says:
"The Ladies' is in an adjoining building. Ample room is provided as the school grows and demands it. This building has been beautifully remodeled and the rooms are furnished completely. "One particular feature of the school is the special instruction in the Bible on practical evangelistic and other soul-saving lines. It is not the thought to take up the dead languages and teach Hebrew and Greek, but rather such systematic study of the Word that will give the students the most essential qualifications for gospel work. "Those whose earlier education has been neglected will have an opportunity of taking up the studies most helpfulll to them. An opportunity to sudy music will be afforded. "Who may come? Those who are divinely called to enter gospel work, and feel that this school is the divinely appointed place for them to seek such preparation. We do not want anyone who will compromise or who is not prepared to stand strong meat and red-hot meetings. It is not quantity we are after, but quality. "Tuition free; board and loading free will offering."
TO BUILD CHURCH
The local movement was started five months ago, and the congregation occupies a hall at 1023 South Main street, where C.B. Wetherell acts as pastor. There is a good membership and the meetings are well attended. It is inteded to soon begin the construction of a substantial church building and Duke M. Farson has promised his support. W.R. McDannell, the South Town druggist, has made a gift to the church of $1,500 toward the building fund and several other large donations are in prospect. Many delegates are writing for details of arrangements and local workers are doing all in their power to make the stay of the guests a very pleasant one. [--Rockford Daily Register-Gazette, September 25, 1902]
PROPERTY IS IN VIEW - IT IS BELIEVED THAT THE OLD SECOND CONGREGATIONAL BUILDING IS WANTED
Another gift of $1,000 to the local Metropolitan Holiness church was announced Wednesday evening by Rev. C.B. Wetherell, pastor of the church. George Youngs of Epworth, Ia., who will soon remove to Rockford, has made the gift. This donation, toward the building of a new church or the securing of other church property, together with several previously announced, shows that interest is being taken, and a new church is not far distant. Workers in the church say that there is property in view, and by outsiders it is believed that the congregational hopes to be able to puchase the old Second Congregational church building at the corner of South Church and Chestnut streets. Rev. Wetherell refused to confirm or deny this rumour. Rev. Wetherell left Wednesday evening for Racine, Wis., where he will be in attendance at the big Holiness convention that is being held. Duke Farson and other Chicago Men of prominence will also be present. [Rockford Daily Register-Gazette, November 20, 1902]
Guest of Rev. Wetherell
Rev. Oscar Penticoss of Naperville college is the guest of Rev. C.B. Wetherell and will speak at the services of Metropolitan Holiness church to-night. [--Rockford Daily Register-Gazette, December 12, 1902]
CONVENTION OF HOLINESS SECT
BIG MEETING WILL OPEN HERE THURSDAY
EXPECT MANY DELEGATES
Movement Formed Strong Church in this City--
Forest City Mission Its Expression--Big Men Are Coming The Holiness church, whose outward manifestation in Rockford is the Forest City Missision(?), meeting in South Town, will open a convention of Holiness workers in Rockford Thursday for a meeting of ten days. This is practically a national convention of this religious movement and it is expected there will be 100 delegates present from all over the country. The meetings willl be held in Mendelssohn hall and will be addressed by the leading members of the church, will be here and address the sessions. He is a brother cured for the meeting. Duke M. Farson, the financier and evangelist, one of the most prominent members of the church will be here and address the sessions. He is a brother of John Farson and makes this sort of religious work his principal interest in life outside of his business. E.L. Harvey, of Chicago, the founder of the Harvey home for men, will be here. He is the financial manager of the interestes of the church and devotes all his time to it. Another leader to be present at the meeting is Mrs. Kent White of Denver, Col. She has been an evangelist for the past nine years, her territory being in the Rocky mountains and ont he coast. She is the president of the Pentecostal Bible school at Denver. This is run on the faith plan, the money for its maintenance being entirely from voluntary gifts, there being no fixed income or endowment. John Wesley Lee of Indiana is another speaker, an orator of power. W.E. Shepard, editor of the "Burning Bush" the organ of the movement, will be one of the leaders. The music will be managed by Arthur F. Ingler, a well known musician, compiler of the song book used in the Holiness churches. The church in Rockford has been in existence the past four months. It was the outgrowth of a meeting of a Holiness sect in Rockford last spring. The meeting was planeed to last for five days but the interest it created was such that it filled a month and the promoters found in could not be stopped and the Rev. C.B. Wetherell was called as pastor of the church which was formed at once. The meetings are held in the Forest City Mission in South Town. A holiness meeting is held Monday evenings and the prayer meeting Thursday evening. This is in order not to conflict with the meetings of other churches as those who attend are in large measure members of others churches interested in this church. One of the tenets of the church is that money raised by secular entertainments is not properly applied to church work. Socials and suppers, bazars and fairs are frowned on and the means for operating a church are secured entirely through free-will offerings. All a man's possessions are considered as the property of the Deity and loaned to him only for good use. The other doctrine, from which the church gets its name, is that of sancification or holiness. This is the old Wesleyan doctrine, one of the strongest tenets of the early Methodist church. Members of the church are expected after conversion from sinful ways. The local church is looking forward to the building of a new church as soon as possible. One contribution of $1,500 has been made by G.W. McDannel, the South Town druggist, and othes are looked for. The church is a new one and not large but it is intersting a large number of people and is expected to grow in members and strength until it can secure its own place of worship. [--Rockford Morning Star, September 30, 1902]
MEANNESS IN ROCKFORD AS MUCH OF IT IN SQUARE FOOT AS IN OTHER CITIES SAYS HOLINESSS SPEAKER
At Meeting Last Night--Some Ministers Given a Rap--Duke Farson Tonight--Great Day Tomorrow Expected The feature of the second evening meeting of the Holiness Church at Mendelssohn Hall last night was the remarkes of E.L. Harvey, who followed John Wesley Lee, who preached the sermon of the evening. Mr. Harvey talked somewat on the order of Sam Johns without employing any of the vulgarity and slang expressions that the distinguished Georgian does. He had his audience with him and there was not a sleepy person in the hall. Mr. Harvey has been preaching for eighteen years and has never accepted a cent of salary. In addition to that he spends his income almost entirely for the good of the church and so he is in a position to talk plainly about giving to the Lord and also to make some criticisms of some preachers without being charged with being inconsistent at least. "There are a lot of ministers who preach their people to sleep for $2,000 a year who would not preach a single sermon or more if their salaries were stopped," said he. He declared that "the man who does not give a tithe, a tenth of his income, to the Lord is a thief." He believed that some men would never get square with the Lord if they gave all they had and all they could get hold of the remainder of the lives. Before he concluded Mr. Harvey took a shot at Rockford which appeared to meet with the approval of his auditors. He said that Rockford is a nice town with plenty of churches but there is the same amount of meanness to the square foot here as in any other city. There was a large attendance at the meeting last night and much religious fervor was manifested. This morning Mr. Harvey conducted the services. Mrs. Kent White, who arrived this noon, spoke this afternoon. The rain made the attendance somewhat lighter today than eas expected although it did not interfere with the members of the church from being present. They are not the kind of people who permit a little rain to dampen their ardor. Tonight Duke Farson will speak and it is expected that he will have a large congregation. It is anticipated that tomorrow will be a great day for the cause. At 8 o'clock there will be an early morning service and at 10:30 o'clock Duke Farson will preach. At 2:30 o'clock in afternoon Mrs. Kent White will speak and in the evening Mr. Harvey will again exhort. [--Rockford Republic, October 4, 1902]
ROCKFORD IS HELL
DUKE FARSON SAYS SAME THING AS BILLY SUNDAY DID
MINISTERS OUT FOR MONEY
Declare Holiness Speakers--Sunday School Teachers Scored--Nearly Sixty Converts--Why Churches Don't Draw
Duke Farson and Billy Sunday entertain the same opinion concerning Rockford. Some time ago when the ex-ball player was stirring up animals in Belvidere he told his audience that Rockford was hell, and if they wanted to go to hell all that they had to do to get there was to take a car to Rockford. Last night at the Holiness meeting at the opera house Duke Farson told his large audience that Rockford was hell and nearly all of the people were disciples of the devil.
The churches not only of Rockford but of other cities came in for a good scoring. They are looked upon by the Holiness people as being literary, social and musical clubs, but not as institutions where souls are saved and God is glorified. The churches were founded upon the Bible and the ministers to this day go through the form of taking a text from it but they don't preach only such parts of it as they think their flocks will stand and they don't believe in only a part of it although they carry it around and quote from it in a formal kind of way. More than one speaker Saturday night and yesterday declared that the ministers were out for the money.
Mrs. Kent White, who is a vocal whirlwind from the west didn't stop with a shot at "your little old preachers who are using the Bible for a bluff for the reason that they only accept what they like of it," but she went after the Sunday school teacher too. She declared that nearly all of them were people who seldom even made a pretense of leading a Christian life outside of the church, that they danced themselves to the devil, played cards and skylarked around generally, and hence were utterly unfit to stand before children in a Sunday school. "I thank God," said she, "that no child of mine has ever been contaminated by coming into contact with such people." She further said that one of the reasons men didn't go to church and that so many people generally remained away from the so-called divine services was that the churches had been so deadened that they seldom produced a man any more for the pulpit who had fire enough in him to draw a crowd.
Mr. Farson said last night that Rockford was noted for being a city of churches. He admitted it had the churches so far as the buildings were concerned but that was all. It was not a religious city. Fine edifices do not make a religious people necessarily.
There was not a large crowd at the opera house yesterday, either in the forenoon or afternoon for the reason that the Holiness people were so busy wrestling with the devil Saturday that they did not advertise the fact that there was to be a change of place for holding the services and consequently many did not know where to go. The attendants of the forenoon and afternoon spread the information as to where the meeting was and last night despite the bad weather there, was a large audience.
There has been mock supplication on the stage of the opera house and fervent prayers have been offered from it at times but last night was the first time in its history when a portion of it was converted into an altar with seekers for the "blessing" there. The stage afforded good opportunities for the dancing proclivities of the workers and they were improved to the utmost. There has been show dancing on the stage of the opera house which was not so loudly applauded as was that of last night. Next year Duke Farson and his co-workers will do business with the road of which Duke's brother, John Farson, is part owner. Duke Farson, is a part owner. Duke Farson stated this morning that the Harlem Auditorium at Harlem Park would be engaged next years for the meetings. The street car company overlooked a bet this year in not having the meetings there if they could have been secured. Messrs. Farson and Harvey left for Chicago this morning. Mrs. Kent White for her home int he west and all but a few of the workers have gone. The statistics of the Holiness gathering in Rockford show that over 100 persons were "seekers" at the altar and of this number 59 announced that they had received the "blessing" that gave them their "experience." The meetings willl be continued for a few evenings at the Forest City Mission in South Rockford. Rev. C.B. Wetherell , assisted by local workers, will conduct them. --[Rockford Republic, October 13, 1902]
VERY LITTLE SALVATION In Rockford But Much Religian Says Rev. C.B. Wetherell
In an article in the Burning Bush, the organ of the Holiness Church, Rev. C.B. Wetherell says that Rockford has "much wealth, culture and religion but very little salvation." He also writes: "Conviction is on the people all over the city. A man told me Sunday that he was under such conviction that he did not go to bed Saturday night at all but spent every minute on his knees praying to God for salvation" [--Rockford Republic, Tuesday Evening, November 4, 1902]
PROPERTY IS IN VIEW
IT IS BELIEVED THAT THE OLD SECOND CONGREGATIONAL BUILDING IS WANTED
Another gift of $1,000 to the local Metropolitan Holiness church was announced Wednesday evening by Rev. C.B. Wetherell, pastor of the church. George Youngs of Epworth, Ia., who will soon remove to Rockford, has made the gift. This donation, toward the building of a new church or the securing of other church property, together with several previously announced, shows that interest is being taken, and a new church is not far distant. Workers in the church say that there is property in view, and by outsiders it is believed that the congregational hopes to be able to puchase the old Second Congregational church building at the corner of South Church and Chestnut streets. Rev. Wetherell refused to confirm or deny this rumour. Rev. Wetherell left Wednesday evening for Racine, Wis., where he will be in attendance at the big Holiness convention that is being held. Duke Farson and other Chicago Men of prominence will also be present. [--Rockford Daily Register-Gazette, November 20, 1902]
THE SHOUTERS ARE DISTURBED
FOLLOWERS OF DUKE FARSON HAVE TWO BOYS ARRESTED FOR TALKING IN CHURCH
THEY HAD NO ATTORNEY
JUSTICE NORTON FINES THEM--CAN NOISE DISTURB HOLINESS MEETING, SOME ATTORNEYS ASK
Members of the Metropolitan Holiness church, together with the local pastor, Rev. C.B. Wetherell, testified in Justice B.W. Norton's court this morning that two boys, William Layng and James O'Brien, who were on trial, disturbed the meeting of "the shouters" by talking and whispering in church. The boys, who ae nearly young men, had no attorney, and the case was prosecuted by Corporation Counsel R.K. Welsh, so together with the fact that the church had additional evidence in numbers, Justice Norton decided that a small fine was proper. Layng has been asked to pay $10 and costs, and O'Brien, the younger boy, $5 and costs. The case was appealed to the Circuit court. Rev. Wetherell, W.A. McDannell, W. H. Gitchell and D.B. Smith, pronounced themselves believers in the Holiness faith, testified that the boys talked and laughed and even whispered, and that this disturbed the meeting. They said this was not the ordinary conduct in meetings that they held. The two defendants told of a very plain story of how one of them ate candy with Mr. Gitchell, and was disturbed for that, but that when they laughed after others had laughed, they were told to leave. They said they could not see how it was out of the ordinary when the preacher danced and shouted in his efforts to convert people and save the souls of sinners. Several attorneys after the trial took up the matter of an appeal with the defendants and it is not unlikely that as the case will be taken to the circuit court the peculiar actions in the Metropolitan church will be rehearsed. Young O'Brien is a son of Engineer James O'Brien of the water works. [--Rockford Daily Register-Gazette, February 6, 1903]
Yon Farson, dat Chicago man who hav devil vaggon like Malcolm Lofe goin to run, iss havin great times tinkin how he's going to use his brudder, Duke Farson, dat yumper, ven he iss on Harlem Park next summer at Holiness meet. Las time Yon vass in Rockford he eente sure vot he vould do, but Ay heard from reliable place dat he now hass good scheme. He vil have collector for hot air an put engine out in big auditorium, and run dynamo dere, vid de hot air dat hiss brudder an man name Harvey shoot out. Dat's clever scheme, by vy not do avay vid lectric line and hav cable cars? De yumpers could pull cable vid deir feet. Ay tinkkk dat iss best plan. [ --Rockford Republic, February 27, 1903]
SOME NOTED SPEAKERS WILL BE HEARD HERE AT HOLINESS CAMP MEETING
Big Event to be Held at Harlem Park Auditorium July 31 to August 9--Rev. F.M. Messenger, Who Gave Up $15,000 Position to Undertake Work, Will be Prominent Among Visitors
The great Holiness camp meeting to be held at Harlem park, July 31 to Aug. 9. promises to attract a great deal of attention among Rockford residents as well as among the Holiness workers themselves. About 50 of the most earnest and zealous workers of the Holiness church througout the whole country are expected to be present and take part in the ten days session. The meetings of the Holiness people last fall and this spring have awakened a considerable interest in the minds of the people of this city to the sect and all Holiness sessions in this city have been very successful. The camp meeting will be on a bigger scale than anything the members of the Rockford Holiness church has ever before attempted and a big attendance is looked for at all meetings.
May Build Church
A number of business matters important to the Holiness people at large and to the Rockford congregation in particular will be transacted at the meeting. For some time the local congregation has found its quarters on South Main street much too small to accomodate all who wished to attend the meetings and hundreds have been turned away on special occasions. The hope is to secure a more central location. If some desirable property already built can be secured it will be purchased, otherwise a new church will probably go up in the course of a few years. A number of locations have been looked over, but nothing definite has been done in regard to the matter. It will be determined at the camp meeting.
Well Known Worker
Probably the best known worker who will be in attendance at the camp meeting is the Rev. F.M. Messenger, lately of Putnam, Conn., but who will make his home in the west in the futures. Mr.
Messenger has been connected with the Holiness work for years and has been regarded the most influential man in the east. Mr. F.M. Messenger was born April 3, 1852, in New Hampshire, and he is therefore 51 years old--in the very prime of life and mental and physical strength. He was brought up on a farm until 14 years old. He tried several mechanical callings until he was 19, when he settled down permanently to work in a cotton factory at Wichendon, Mass. He worked in several other places, gaining higher position at each change, until finally he entertained the employment of Grosvenor Dale company as superintendent in 1884, and in 1887 became agent of all the mills. His salary was increased at each advancement until finally it reached $15,000 a year. Mr. Messenger was once offered $20,000 by another cotton manufacturing company, which was not the only offer he had to go elsewhere and leave the Grosvenor-Dale company, but they would not part with him, as virtually increased the capacity of their mills full 25 per cent. He was favored in many ways, and allowed to direct the company's affairs almost without restriction. It would require a great deal of space to describe in detail all the various improvements he made, not only to transform the character of the mill to an increased capacity of 25 per cen, but the two villages, making them the model manufacturing towns in New England to the outward eye with the entire population within the company's corporate limits. All his improvements were made with the full knowledge of his employers and with their approval.
Gives Up Position
The company he was connected with objected to the notoriety which Mr. Messenger's religious work brought upon them, and as a result he left their employ and has been engaged in the Holiness work since.
Rev. D.S. Curtis
The Rev. D.S. Curtis, also of Putnam, Conn., is probably the next best known man in Holiness circles throughout the country. Mr. Curtis has been engaged in the revival work for a number of years and his efforts have been crowned with much success.
Mr. Curtis and family will remove to the west this year. While Mr. Curtis was in this city some time ago he commented on the great beauty of Rockford, and it is highly probable that before long he will be a resident of the Forest City. He is a brilliant and powerful man, a good speaker and an earnest worker.
The Rev. "Duke" M. Farson needs no introduction to the people of the city. Mr. Farson, a brother of John Farson, the street railway millionaire magnate, has been engaged in the work for years and is one of the most powerful evangelists in the country. Rev. Farson is pastor of the Metropolitan Holiness church of Chicago.
"Black Susan," a colored evangelist of Chicago, is noted the country over for her efforts in behalf of the Holiness movement.
Editor of Burning Bush
Rev. E.L. Harvey of Chicago, editor of the Burning Bush, will be one of the most prominent workers in attendance. Rev. Harvey has been editor of the Holiness publication for a number of years, and his powerful editorials have done much for the good of the cause.
Mrs. Kent White
Among the most prominent women workers in attendance will be Mrs. Kent White of Denver, Colo. Mrs. White is superintendent of the Pentecostal Union of Denver, and also in charge of the Denver Bible school. Mrs. White has charge of the building of a large tabernacle to be used for the holiness services in the Colorado city.
Among the other prominent and influential speakers at the conventon are Mrs. E.L. Harvey, wife of Editor Harvey; Rev. W.E. Shepard, principal of the Metropolitan Bible school of Chicago; Rev. James Howell, superintendent of the Chicago Bible school, and Arthur Ingler, the noted gospel singer of Chicago.
Admission is Free
The Rev. C.B. Wetherell, pastor of the local Holiness church, will be in charge of all details regarding the camp meeting. Admission to the park will be free for all services. Tents, cots and comforters will be furnished at cost and meals will be furnished the campers. Delegations are expected to attend from various points in northern Illinois, southern Wisconsin and Iowa. A cordial invitation is extended the people of the city to attend any and all meetings.
Start Meeting Thursday
The Rockford Holiness people are planning for an active crusade this summer. Thursday night of this week will be held he first meeting of a ten days' convention, to be held in the church on South Main street. A number of out of town pastors will be present and lend ther assistance during the two weeks. Next Saturday, the Fourth, an all day session will be held.
School Planned for Rockford
A school for the instruction of the young children of the Holiness church who are too young to enter the Bible school in Chicago is being planned for this city. The school will probably be started as soon as a desirable location can be found. It is hope there will be a large number of out of town students attracted by the establishment of the school. [ --Rockford Register-Gazette, June 30, 1903]
Duke Farson's Plan For A Seminary For Holiness Church
Holiness At Auditorium Friday
Duke Farson, The Banker Evangelist-Preacher Will Probably Lead
Held At Harlem Park
Hundreds of People Will Probably Attend Religious Gathering Out of Curiousity
Duke Farson, the Chicago banker who left the Methodist Episcopal church several years since and has led the Metropolitan Holiness church in its competitionnn against the protestant organizations, is to be in Rockford for several days within a week. The holiness workers are to have a sort of convention at Harlem Park and have engaged the Chautauqau auditorium to begin services on Friday, July 31. For a week or more it is expected that there will be a crowd every night at the park, for the meetings held by the Holiness church last winter attracted hundreds, who went out of curiousity. Many Rockford people were present to watch the actions of the religious workers, whose actions caused them to get the nick-name "Jumpers." The attacks of Farson, Rev. E.L. Harvey and others on the Methodists recently at the Des Plaines camp meeting has caused additional interest in their coming services in Rockford. Farson and his church established a competing camp meeting very near the Methodist grounds, and at various times had lively discussions or made comments backward and forward with the Methodist ministers and those attending the meetings. Farson, who is a brother of John Farson, the Oak Park Chicago Millionaire, is a banker, but has become very deeply interested in religious work. Two years ago he was a Methodist and a lay preacher, but left the church at the conference held in Evanston. He is a strong speaker, seems to have real sincerety in his religious enthusiasm and makes a good impression on his audiences. E.L. Harvey, who is his second man, is also a Chicago resident. He has had control of the Harvey lodging house system for some time, and is the chief owner in the company. Black Susan, a woman converted to the Holiness faith, and a strong worker of her kind, is also to be present, and many others have been announced for the stay of the Holiness people. [--Rockford Republic, July 29, 1903]
FARSON, LEADER OF SHOUTERS
Chicago Banker at the Holiness Camp Meeting and Much Demonstration Likely
Duke Farson, the real shouter of the Holiness Church, and the man who seems to actually believe that should be a part of everyone's religion, is to be the leader tonight at the Holiness camp meeting at Harlem park. As the result of the announcement, word is being passed today that the excitement is likely to break loose again, although Rev. E.L. Harvey has been holding it down for couple of days. Farson left the Methodist Church, in which he was a lay preacher, because the Methodists did not shout enough, did not show joy by dancing, etc., and did not preach enough about Hell to suit him. Now he has an independent church of which he is the principal moving force, he does all that he though(t) the Methodists ought to do. An immense crowd that assembed at the auditorium last night was disappointed. Rev. Harvey cut the service short at the end of the sermon and with the "workers" he mysteriously disappeared. The crowd could hardly realize that it was over for there had been no special shouting. But there was no other thing to do but go home, and home the crowd did go. Later in the evening, Farson arrived and a special meeting was called for the campers, and it is reported that there was some extra shouting, jumping, etc., in order to make up for lost time. Comments are being made by some people about the fact that while Duke Farson and his church is drawing the crowd and giving the entertainment at the auditorium, that John Farson is quietly resting at his home in Oak Park while cash rolls in because of the increase traffic over the street car lines. John Farson has a large interest in the electric line here, and probably would not object if the street car company could keep on hauling 4,500 to 5,000 people every night to Harlem Park. Anyway, Duke Farson is making money now for John Farson, although the brothers are running independent business and seldom join each other in any of their deals. [--Rockford Republic, August 7, 1903]
SEE HEAVEN WHILE IN TRANCE
REV. DUKE M. FARSON AND OTHERS TELL WONDERFUL STORIES
CONVERTED CRIMINAL HERE
Charles Cook, Who Was Sent to Chester Prison From Rockford, One of Holiness Workers
Tales of how converts to the Holiness faith had visions, visited Heaven, were healed miraculously, were cleansed of devils and many other things that sounded strange and uncanny were the principal part of a sermon delivered last night by Rev. Duke M. Farson before an immense congregation at the Harlem Park auditorium. The spirit once more worked in the Holiness camp meeting, for Duke Farson seems to have a peculiar faculty of making it move. There was jumping, shouting, moaning and groaning, laughing, dancing, singing and yelling at the meeting last night, and despite it all the audience kept quiet and listened to the noise that was made by the workers and their converts.
Farson was the speaker of the eveing, and was seconded in his efforts by Exhorter Shepherd and Rev. E.L. Harvey, the latter acting as leader and waving the actions of the people with his handkerchief. Farson said that people of the present day did not believe miracles were going on, but that they were. He said that there was such a thing as faith healing and said if doctors were left alone and kept away from the general public would be much better off. That there were visions in the Holiness church, he said, was attested to by the actions of some of the converts at the Chicago camp meeting. There two women, who could not hear each other, for distance on the ground were able to answer and ask questions of each other during a trance and when they awoke told the story that they had been in Heaven. A young Rockford woman, who gave a testimony, declared she had been in a vision during the middle of the night, had seen Heaven, and had been converted. She was a young girl of about 16 ot 17 years. The conversion was about 2 o'clock in the morning on the camp grounds.
One of the features last night was the introduction of an aged ex-Methodist minister, who claimed that he was 76 1/2 years "young" and danced up and down the platform with Rev. Mr. Farson and Rev. Mr. Harvey to prove that he had holiness. He claimed the Methodists did that way some years ago, and told a wonderful story about a Methodist camp meeting. He said about six hundred people were stricken on the grounds of the meeting, that a big thunderstorm camp up and that the rain poured down and soaked them all to the skin. Then the preacher ordered them carried into the meeting place, and amid great rejoicing they came back from their trance and were saved. After Farson had rested for a little while, it was intimated to the preacher that he had talked enough, and that he might sit down, but he had his spirits started and could not keep down. Finally he was shoved into a chair by Rev. Mr. Harvey, who sat down on him and held him in the chair until he became quiet.
"Who is the end man on the south side of the platform?" was a question heard in the auditorium last night. The worker who was noticed was well known in Rockford not long since as a man who was sent to Chester penitentiary for incendarism some four years ago. Charles Cook, who then went by the name of Charles Ox, thought there were devils in the straw stacks of the paper mill and wanted to burn them out. He was at the prison for a few months and then released on parole. A short time later he was converted tot he Holiness faith and is now an enthusiastic church man. He is at the camp grounds with his wife and child.
Excitement at the park is likely again tonight and tomorrow as Rev. Mr. Farson is here, and that generally means a lot of jumping, shouting and Holiness as seen by the peculiar members of the sect. --[Rockford Republic, August 8, 1903]
HOLINESS GETS HIS DAUGHTER
DISTRACTED FATHER APPEALS FOR AID TO THE POLICE AND STATE'S ATTORNEY
GIRL INFATUATED With the Religious Demonstrations at Harlem Park and Won't Obey Parents
Duke Farson was correct when he announced in his talk at the Holiness meeting Sunday afternoon that the presence of the Holiness band in Rockford would result in estrangement of married couples and bickerings between parents and children
Wants His Daughter
An angry father was a caller at the central police station this morning asking the police to take a hand in an effort to get his daughter out of the clutches of the Holiness band. The visitor was Mr. Cotton who lives some distance out on Rockton avenue and whose daughter Lena has become a convert to the Holiness faith.
Won't Leave Band
The daughter according to the father's story spends the greater part of her time at the meetings of the sect at Harlem park and he desires that someting be done to force her to sever her connections with the band.
Girl is of Age
Lena, the daughter who has become imbued with the teachings of the Holiness people people, is about 20 years of age and being out of her teens it is doubtful if the law can step in and assist the parents in forcing her to give up the religion she has espoused, or the belief which she regards as religion.
Law Won't Interfere
The parents consider the Holiness faith as a fas of maniacs and its espousal as a momentary act of insanity by people who are roused to hysterical outbursts of excitement and they want their daughter forcces to remain away from the influence of the band, but it is hardly likely that the law will attemp to step in where parental control has failed and attempt to dictate to 20-year-old daughters what religion they shall embrace. [--Rockford Daily Register-Gazette, August 8, 1903]
HOLINESS AS REPORTED
Burning Bush Official Paper of the Recent Visitors Here, Tells of Meetings
The Burning Bush, the official organ of the Metropolitan Holiness Church has the following regard to the recent camp meeting here: The beautiful Rock river flows by the encampment and the white tents of our holiness people dotting the Harlem Park, make a scene of rare beauty. This camp has gone into history. About sixty or seventy members of the Metropolitan Church were present and united with our Rockford friends in this feast or rather fast as it proved to be. No collection boxes were passed and no one solicited for money and yet bills were fully paid and several thousand dollars given for God's work by His people. This was the first year for the encampment and yet on one day there were 16,905 fares paid on one line of cars, to say nothing of boats, bicycles and buggies. The great auditorium, seating from four to five thousand, was entirely filled and as many thousand could not get in at all. The daily press scored the services, but God owned and blessed them and came down mightily upon His word. Daily attendance was estimated at about five thousand. There were about twelve thousand present the last day. On Sunday p.m. the great crowd listened to Brother Farson preach on "Prepare to meet they God." He was followed by missionaries and others, the long altar was filled and old and young got the blessing sought, and rejoiced with joy unseakable. In the middle of the week an awful conflict was waged with hell and the saints were called to prayer. All night the battle raged and souls kept getting through gloriously. A lady stood on a chair to offer testimony and the fire hit her and she fell as if dead. Such scenes were common throughout the camp. Cots were brought in and the folks carried to the tent at late hours, and these unusual scenes served to attract such attention the peope were unwilling to leave the grounds. They charged us with exercising hypnotic power and were afraid of us, but God kep owning the work and blessing wonderfully. One of the brethren arose to residn from the Rockford Church, feeling experience was not as some others. Immediately eight or more of the saints were unconscious, lying out before the altar. A lady in a vision sumoned him and ordered him to prostrate himself upon the floor. He obeyed and for an hour struggled. He was a well-known druggist. She told him his business was in the way, and he, like a good man, gave it up and agreed to get out of it. One by one she called for people and gave them the words God gave her for them. It seemed surely like inspiration as the advice was just what was needed. The plough went deep and as Bros. Messenger. Farson and Harvey told of the sins of men, they listened with bated breath. A man arose to dispute and the crowd ordered him down. The speaker told of the sins of doctors, lawyers and preachers, etc. They told the men to be careful of their homes and whom they let in, even for an hour. Sin was rebuked and God got a chance to preach to the men heart to heart. At night, unconscious of the world, a lady in a vision saw our altar and the souls coming, before they came, and sure enough they did come and got through to Jesus. It was a service never to be forgotten, for God walked among the candlesticks. [--Rockford Republic, August, 24, 1903]
PASTOR LEAVES CITY
Quits Local Field and Goes to Chicago
Pastor Wetherell's Change
C.B. Wetherell, pastor of the Holiness church on South Main street, has left the city to assist in teaching in the Bible school of the Holiness church of Chicago. He will not, however, sever his connection with the Rockford church entirely, but will return to the city one or possible more times a week and conduct services. Pastor Wetherell has had charge of the Holiness church in this city since its organization and had been its backbone during its existence here. He takes a position in the Chicago institution in which his sister has been interested for some time and will probably return to Rockford after the close of the winter term. His home will be in Chicago for the winter. The general opinion is that the excitement on South Main street will be greatly diminished by the change, but in all probability some assistant will be put in charge. [--Rockford Daily Register-Gazette, October 6, 1903]
The Metropolitan Holiness church, the "Holy Jumpers" will have another session at Harlem Park this summer. They proved one of the most profitable drawing cards the street railway secured last year. [--Rockford Morning Star, May 6, 1904]
WETHERELL FOUNDS A CHURCH WITHDRAWS FROM DUKE FARSON'S METROPOLITAN HOLINESS MOVEMENT ON THE GROUND THAT FOLLOWERS ARE BECOMING FANATICS AND STARTS AND INDEPENDENT ORGANIZATION IN DANVILLE -- VISITS IN ROCKFORD
On the ground that the followers of Duke Farson in the Metropolitan Holiness Church are becoming fanatics, Rev. Charles B. Wetherell , for several years the head of the local Holiness movement, has withdrawn from that faith and has started an independent church in Danville, Ill., on much the same lines, although moderated. With the swing that was made by the preacher, the entire congregation has also had a change of heart and has come out under the banner of the former Rockford man. When the minister left Rockford last fall it was to start a new Metropolitan Holiness Church in a promising field, which had only to a slight degree been opened up through the missionary work of the Chicago leaders. The Rockford man was full of enthusiasm, as the result of the Harlem Park gathering in the summer and the following gatherings at the Forest City Mission in South Rockford. He was picked as the choice of both Duke Farson, the banker-preacher, and E.L. Harvey, who together have been the chief spirits of the Metropolitan Church. He entered the field at Danville with vigor, and a congregation that now numbers about 300 people quickly arose. The supporting membership increased, and there are now about fifty who are contributing regularly to the church's support. The congregation decided to buy the property formerly used by a Baptist Church, and have occupied it, taking up the load of dept and disposing of it rapidly. However, a considerable sum remains to be paid. About two months ago, Rev. Mr. Wetherell had a consultation with some of the leaders of his flock, and found that they did not like the hystical movements that were gone through with. The former Rockford man also acknowledged that he was not partial to such things, and as he had never been a strong advocate in Rockford, he began considering the advisability of correcting the idea that holiness came directly from such a display of emotions as attracted great crowds to Harlem Park a year ago. As a con(c)lusion he decided that the withdrawal of the entire church from the membership with the Metropolitan leaders would be advisable. The result was that the entire church withdrew, and that no entreaties from Duke Farson nor his statements that the new church was doomed to ruin, could bring them back. The announcement that this step had been taken by Rev. Wetherell came as a shock to his Rockford friends yesterday when he was in the city on a business trip. From Rockford he continued to Epworth, Iowa, but will be back in the city in a few days. He had been missed from the Holiness camp meeting near Chicago, and some Rockford people wondered what had happened, but Duke Farson and his followers made no announcement of the change at all. Soon after his arrival in the city yesterday he was seen by a Republic representative and said: "I decided to leave the Metropoitan people, and my entire congregation did because I considered that they were getting, and the people in the church I had charge of thought about the same thing. When they began attacking every denomination and saying that everything was bad excepting the Metropolitan Church, then I though it was going too far. "The Holiness cause is a good one, and I am a firm believer in it. But I have ideas that do not go along with those of Duke Farson and E.L. Harvey and some of the others. Rockford people know that. "It seems that the church kept growing more and more hysterical every day. It was not so bad when it first started, but it kept getting worse every day. Even when the meetings were held in Harlem Park they were not as hysterical as later, when sessions were held in other cities, I could not stand it any more--neither could the congregation that I was in charge of. So the entire church, minister and all, withdrew." That the withdrawl of Rev. Wetherell was sudden is known, for he attempted to make plans for a great Holiness gathering at the Chautaqua Auditorium again this year. These plans fell through because of several reasons, but when very near completion. The result was that the Holiness camp meeting was held in Northwestern Park near Chicago. In explaining the situation of the local church, Rev. Wetherell said that when he withdrew from Rockford the leaders decided not to have a permanent pastor here. Instead a Rockford school teacher, who has been much interested, has taken charge and is assisted by several workers from Chicago when they are needed. The money donated for a church building, part by a man who removed from Iowa, has been returned to the donors, as several withdrew from the Holiness cause and others had "strings" attached to the money. But the little church still holds meetings on south Main Street and some day Duke Farson and his Chicago delegation are expected to again visit Rockford and have similar audiences to the large ones that were at Harlem Park last year. --[Rockford Republic, August 12, 1904]
Former Holiness Leader Starts Church of His Own at Danville
The Rev. C.B. Wetherell, formerly pastor of the Metropolitan Holiness church in Rockford, the "Holy Jumpers," has withdrawn from that organization and is forming a church of his own at Danville. The Rev. Wetherell was not quite strenuous enough for the game the millionaires, Duke Farson and Harvey, were putting up and found the jumping process a little too strong. His new church will be a modified brand of the same faith. [--Rockford Morning Star, August 13, 1904]
WETHERELL FOUNDS A CHURCH
WITHDRAWS FROM DUKE FARSON'S METROPOLITAN HOLINESS MOVEMENT ON THE GROUND THAT FOLLOWERS ARE BECOMING FANATICS AND STARTS AND INDEPENDENT ORGANIZATION IN DANVILLE--VISITS IN ROCKFORD
On the ground that the followers of Duke Farson in the Metropolitan Holiness Church are becoming fanatics, Rev. Charles B. Wetherell, for several years the head of the local Holiness movement, has withdrawn from that faith and has started an independent church in Danville, Ill., on much the same lines, although moderated. With the swing that was made by the preacher, the entire congregation has also had a change of heart and has come out under the banner of the former Rockford man. When the minister left Rockford last fall it was to start a new Metropolitan Holiness Church in a promising field, which had only to a slight degree been opened up through the missionary work of the Chicago leaders. The Rockford man was full of enthusiasm, as the result of the Harlem Park gathering in the summer and the following gatherings at the Forest City Mission in South Rockford. He was picked as the choice of both Duke Farson, the banker-preacher, and E.L. Harvey, who together have been the chief spirits of the Metropolitan Church. He entered the field at Danville with vigor, and a congregation that now numbers about 300 people quickly arose. The supporting membership increased, and there are now about fifty who are contributing regularly to the church's support. The congregation decided to buy the property formerly used by a Baptist Church, and have occupied it, taking up the load of dept and disposing of it rapidly. However, a considerable sum remains to be paid. About two months ago, Rev. Mr. Wetherell had a consultation with some of the leaders of his flock, and found that they did not like the hystical movements that were gone through with. The former Rockford man also acknowledged that he was not partial to such things, and as he had never been a strong advocate in Rockford, he began considering the advisability of correcting the idea that holiness came directly from such a display of emotions as attracted great crowds to Harlem Park a year ago. As a con(c)lusion he decided that the withdrawal of the entire church from the membership with the Metropolitan leaders would be advisable. The result was that the entire church withdrew, and that no entreaties from Duke Farson nor his statements that the new church was doomed to ruin, could bring them back. The announcement that this step had been taken by Rev. Wetherell came as a shock to his Rockford friends yesterday when he was in the city on a business trip. From Rockford he continued to Epworth, Iowa, but will be back in the city in a few days. He had been missed from the Holiness camp meeting near Chicago, and some Rockford people wondered what had happened, but Duke Farson and his followers made no announcement of the change at all. Soon after his arrival in the city yesterday he was seen by a Republic representative and said: "I decided to leave the Metropoitan people, and my entire congregation did because I considered that they were getting, and the people in the church I had charge of thought about the same thing. When they began attacking every denomination and saying that everything was bad excepting the Metropolitan Church, then I though it was going too far. "The Holiness cause is a good one, and I am a firm believer in it. But I have ideas that do not go along with those of Duke Farson and E.L. Harvey and some of the others. Rockford people know that. "It seems that the church kept growing more and more hysterical every day. It was not so bad when it first started, but it kept getting worse every day. Even when the meetings were held in Harlem Park they were not as hysterical as later, when sessions were held in other cities, I could not stand it any more--neither could the congregation that I was in charge of. So the entire church, minister and all, withdrew." That the withdrawl of Rev. Wetherell was sudden is known, for he attempted to make plans for a great Holiness gathering at the Chautaqua Auditorium again this year. These plans fell through because of several reasons, but when very near completion. The result was that the Holiness camp meeting was held in Northwestern Park near Chicago. In explaining the situation of the local church, Rev. Wetherell said that when he withdrew from Rockford the leaders decided not to have a permanent pastor here. Instead a Rockford school teacher, who has been much interested, has taken charge and is assisted by several workers from Chicago when they are needed. The money donated for a church building, part by a man who removed from Iowa, has been returned to the donors, as several withdrew from the Holiness cause and others had "strings" attached to the money. But the little church still holds meetings on south Main Street and some day Duke Farson and his Chicago delegation are expected to again visit Rockford and have similar audiences to the large ones that were at Harlem Park last year. [Rockford Republic, August 12, 1904]
METHODIST OF THE OLD SCHOOL BEING PREACHED AT CAMP
Duke M. Farson of Chicago, evangelist who preached here 25 years ago at Harlem park, and former Methodist minister, is in charge of the Holiness camp meeting which opened last night in Love's Park at the river end of Pearl avenue. Followers of the Holiness faith adhere strictly to the old school of Methodism, refusing to admit some of the modern ideas such as Darwinian evolution, in their religion. They preach in the street as the Salvation Army does. For several years, Holiness meetings have been held here on Fourteen avenue and Eight street, the Rockford congregation varying from 10 to 45 at times. Mr. Farson is a great revivalist who has gone all over the country holding meetings, and making many converts. He will be aided in this meeting by the Rev. W.L. Jump, pastor of the Holiness church at Burrsville, Md., and four or five costumed missionaries. The garb of the latter consists in a dark-grey suit and deaconess bonnets. The real name of the organization is Emmanuel Herald church. The campmeeting will continue until Aug. 17 [--Rockford Morning Star, August 9, 1924]
BACK to NEWS
BACK TO CHURCHES
-- HOME --
Copyright © Genealogy Trails