Text of the first three of the weekly "diaries"
which Hartzell sent back to the YFC office in the United States
Collection 224, Box 1, Folder 17
Comments in brackets  are by the archivist. In some cases, spelling and punctuation have been corrected.
The following is a report on the activities of
our group up to date.
On Monday night, Mar. 18, when we landed at Harmon, Newfoundland, forced down by weather, we held an entirely unplanned meeting for the members of the armed forces at that air base. Shufelt sang and led a few hymns. Graham outlined the program and progress of YOUTH FOR CHRIST. We were not allowed to give an invitation, but the Gospel got across to the boys anyhow. Templeton and Johnson also spoke.
On Tuesday we spent the day flying the Atlantic, and it was as calm as riding a tricycle across the carpet. We were above clouds all day and the sun shone brilliantly. The moon rose in splendor as night came with us still above the Atlantic. It was beautiful and everyone of us felt quite close to God as our great plane roared through the firmament.
We were very glad to see the first lights of Eire, however, end later step ashore at Shannon airport. The air was soft and warm and filled with a scent which I learned later was the smoke from the peat that the Irish use for fuel. It was indescribable. It was close to midnight when we landed, only to learn that we could not go on to the Hum airport close to London. We were compelled by the weather to fly to Prestwick, close to Glasgow, almost a day’s ride by train from London. We got there and through customs about 4:30 a.m. We could not get a plane to take us to London next morning and so had to spend the day on the train to London.
We arrived in London about 8:30 p.m. having kept a group of some 75 or more religious leaders waiting since 5:30 p.m. Tom Rees [prominent Brutish evangelist and a sponsor of the tour] immediately introduced Torrey to the audience, and then Torrey proceeded to outline the American YOUTH OR CHRIST program. The reception was marvelous. Everybody crowded around to ask questions afterward, and Rees had a tough time getting us away to Hildenborough to stay for the night.
Three Rolls Royces rolled us to Hildenborough, south of London, where we stay-ed in a huge manor house, bought by Rees to convert into a youth conference ground in the summer. It is a beautiful old place, surrounded by a formal garden set in the roiling slopes of Kentish hills. The estate consists of about 28 acres, and you can just see ancient Earls and Lords racing across those hills chasing their everlasting foxes — as they used to do.
We had a light snack at about 11p.m. Supper was not served on the train and we ha4 not had time to eat before we had arrived — having gone directly into our meeting with the ministers. It tasted good. After supper we all had coffee in the drawing room. There was a good pianist there and several other Christian friends and so we sang end testified to the glory of God. Rees has an excellent voice and sang a few English Gospel songs for us, including “Thank You, Lord, for Saving My Soul,” verses as well as chorus. This was the first time I knew it was .an English song and had verses to it. They’re lovely, and I’m sure Strat got a copy of them to sing for the rallies when he returns.
Then Strat sang some songs, including the “Glory, Glory, how the Angels Sing.” They’d never heard it before and got quite a bang out of the ending which, of course, tells how the redeemed will sing better than the angels because we have a joy in our salvation that they can never know.
We then handed around chocolate bars which were gratefully received by all. Britishers got only 3/4 lb of candy a month, and little of it is chocolate. Then Rees bid us all to “get down on our benders” and we had a prayer meeting. Altogether it was one of the most inspirational times I’ve ever had in my whole life. It seemed like Christ was in the very room.
Next morning we had breakfast at 8:30. Billy and Chuck were late — as expected. Then they were all driven down to Eastbourne, a south coast resort town, where the quartet met thirty or forty more pastors. This was on Thursday, Mar. 21. No meeting had been scheduled for that night in Eastbourne, but so enthused were all the pastors — every denomination, by the way — that they insisted the gang hold a meeting that very night. The manager of the Hustington Hotel, Cecil Baker, gave thorn the use of the lobby for a meeting place on the condition that Torrey preach the straight Gospel. Well, that was duck soup for Torrey.
The religious leaders after an afternoon question period, then got busy call 4ng up all their friends and relatives, and Baker announced the meeting on the Hotel public address system, the “loud haler”, which reached every room, and by the meeting time every section of the lobby was crowded to capacity-. Shufelt sang and led singing, Johnson acted as master of ceremonies, Templeton told the story of YOUTH FOR CHRIST in America and Billy Graham preached.
The tragedy of Eastbourne, the pastors of Eastbourne told the Americans, is that in a city of 60,000, only 100 young people are connected with a church, The pastors counted them up among themselves. The boys were invited to return in the Fall for a series- of meetings. The religious leaders agreed to start an Eastbourne YOUTH FOR CHRIST rally among themselves. Nest morning, as they left, the gang found many people at the station to bid farewell to them.
On Friday, March 22, they got back to London after leaving Eastbourne about noon. I had set up a press conference for them in the Bonnington Hotel, and at about 3 p.m. reporters started to arrive. Represented was the Reuter (Official British) news agency, the Press Association, an inland news service which supplies every provincial paper in Britain, the Chicago Daily News foreign service, the International News Service, several London papers and several representatives from papers of other large British cities.
The press was quite amazed at the bright ties and sports clothes the Americans wore, and their stories which appeared later showed this amazement. They’d never seen such youthful preachers for one thing, and never saw any preacher, young or old, wear such clothes. Their stories were very favorable, however, and particularly quoted Torrey on the need for revival in England.
On Saturday, March 23, early in the morning Shufelt, Templeton, Graham, Johnson, and Hamilton [Gavin Hamilton, another British minister who was sponsoring the tour and would later be very prominent in the British YFC organization] left for Manchester, where 150 pastors and laymen entertained them at tea at 3 p.m. They were drawn not only- from the city but also in from rural areas of Lancashire county. Torrey and Chuck did most of the talking at the meeting in the Grand Hotel. James Hutchins [possibly Eric Hutchings?], a prominent layman of Manchester, hailed their visit and said: “We’ve been praying for this for a long time.”
In the evening the largest auditorium remaining in bombed Manchester was filled with 2,000 people 40 minutes before starting time. Hundreds were turned away- at the door and scores lined the wails inside. In Birkenhead, Liverpool, another large crowd in an auditorium listened to the message on a telephone and amplifier hookup, the first one that had ever been tried in all England’s history. Templeton spoke on “Christ the Panacea” and more than 20 young people accepted Christ on the spot. This was new to England, for the boys had been warned that the English were very shy and public invitations were not popular.
The appearance of the group was sponsored by the Manchester Evangelistic Campaign Committee, which had already been holding youth meetings once a month, but in the words of Mr. Arthur Pennington, a Lancashire, “This is one of the greatest meetings I’ve seen for years in Manchester.”
The boys were invited back in the Fall, and the Committee pledged them that they would secure the Manchester Football Stadium, seating 50,000 if only they would come to help fill it. One man donated 250 pounds ($1,000) towards its rental.
Next morning, March 24, on a Sunday, Torrey and Strat Shufelt preached at two Methodist churches, Strat at the Heaton Park Methodist Church and Torrey at Cheetam Methodist Church. Just to show the condition of almost every church in England, only 62 persons, including 2 young people, were present at Cheetam, which seats about 1200 people.
At Strat’s meeting the mayor of Manchester was present. He too was enthused and said: “This should have been a union service for everybody in town.”
On Sunday evening the boys again preached in Houldsworth Hall. The place was again jammed. This time 75 young people came forward to give their hearts to the Lord. What & thrill it was to see them come with tears in their eyes under the conviction of the Holy Ghost! Billy brought the message, and the Spirit moved on the whole crowd. The remarkable part was that in the afternoon Torrey had spoken to a group of about 175 service men and women in the Armed Forces Christian Service Center. Half of them came on to the evening service at Houldsworth Hall.
One young artilleryman, who had been wounded at Dunkirk and captured by the Germans, was saved, and really- praised the Lord. Another, a noted Rugby football player and former service men, a1o found Christ as his Saviour. There were dozens of others.
When the meeting was done, young people queued
up three deep down the aisle for autographs. The queu [sic; queue] extended
the length of the hall.
The boys have made plans now to send Billy back in the Fall to hold a series of meetings, not only in Manchester, but all over the British Isles. The need is so great and the hunger for the Word so evident that the call cannot go unheeded.
As Torrey says: the revival is like the tons of water piled up behind a dam and ready to be broken, pouring a great flood of blessing up.$his broken, barren land.
The London Daily Sketch had a reporter and photographer cover the Manchester meeting — which was almost unprecedented in English history. And I am sure that John Wesley and David Livingston [sic], in their graves in Westminster Abbey are more at ease than ever before.
If we have any message for the folks back home it is: PRAY, PRAY, PRAY WITHOUT CEASING, the Spirit of God may fall with fire on this land. For it desperately needs it. I cannot describe to you the despair and moral blackness which hangs over London like a word of Damocles. I am afraid that England faces a race between revival and destruction. And the latter has such a great start. It is time for Americans to pray- as they never have before . For if England goes down into the abyss then I am afraid America will follow her.
As yet we do not know what the continent is like, but I shudder to think what it is if it is worse than London. The boys met a worker for the UNRRA [United Nations Refugee and Relief Agency] , a Lady Fletcher, on the train to Manchester. When she learned what they were doing here, she pleaded with them with tears in her eyes to try to get into Germany with the Gospel. She had worked there among displaced persons. She described conditions to them which cannot be printed in an American paper and such conditions, she said, were normal among the people of Germany.
Well, this is the diary for the first week. I think the rest of the boys, when they get around to it, Will likewise make out their diaries. God bless them. They are all working hard
The party (with the exclusion of myself--I was still in London working on visas, etc.) left Manchester for Glasgow on Monday, March 25, and. travelled most of the day b train, considerably encouraged by the tremendous spiritual response received in the manufacturing center.
In Glasgow, Hamilton, Templeton and Graham put up at the Barresford Hotel, not far from the famous Saltmarket where Tent Hall is located. Johnson and Shufelt were lodged at the home of the Cowans, some well-to-do candy manufacturers and very fine Christians.
I joined the group Tuesday morning after having travelled all
night by sleeper from London. Tuesday morning the Cowans called on us to take
us for a hundred mile trip through the Trossach mountains of Scotland. Mr.
Cowan drove one car and his son Aldworth, a major in. the British Third Army,
now on leave, drove the other. It was altogether lovely, and the whole group
was thrilled to see from the estate of the Duke of Montrose a panoramic view
which included the famous Loch Lomond and. Ben(Mount) Lomond. We drove on
into the Trossachs to a famous hotel nestling on the shores of a lovely lake
at the foot of the heather-covered Trossaehs.
There we washed up and had. a wonderful lunch. We bought postcards, of course, and. anything else that was not tied down. After lunch we drove to Loch Katrine, a very large lake that has its own steamer route around its shores, and which is the setting of the literary epic, “Lady of the Lake”. We got out of the cars and. walked a mile or so along the shore road. The boys tried to climb like mountain goats the steep rocky slopes of the hills and generally had, a good time throwing stones at each other o the astonishment but evident delight of the Cowans. Aldworth had his bride of a few months along with him. She is very lovely, and I’m sure the fellows all got homesick right then and there!
Templeton picked some heather for a few of his Scottish parishioners back home. It was not in bloom, but he was sure they’d be happy to get it anyway, he said.. It was a gorgeous spot, with the sheep for which Scotland is famous, grazing over the grass and heather covered slopes.
Regretfully we left, for we had yet to visit Stirling castle, the home of the ancient kings of Scotland, and. the spot where Wallace, Robert Bruce and Black Douglas figured prominently.
As we drove through the highlands towards Stirling we were struck
by the great numbers of German Prisoners of War working beside the roads and
also the large ammunition dumps which were seen on every hand.. Every once
in a while we bumped over spots in the roads which had once been tank traps.
The evidences of war were all about.
We saw Stirling Castle long before we got there. It stands on the top of a rocky promontory about 250 to 300 feet high and overlooks a vast plain on which the battle of Bannockburn was fought, in which the Scottish soundly licked. the English to retain their independence.
Naturally we wanted to see the castle and so the Cowans drove up. It was open, so a guide took us around, explaining all the buildings in its vast environs. There was a moat, of course, and then the main palace where the Scottish kings lived and. had. their festivities. Then there was a parliament building where Scotch laws were passed.
We saw the dungeons and the cannon which commanded the valley
from its heights. But one thing impressed us more than any other. That was
the old pulpit from which John Knox laid down God’s law to the kings
of Scotland. It’s not well preserved, and many of its panels have long
since rotted away. It was impossible to stand in it, and I imagine Torrey
and the others would have given their right pounding hands to have been able
to do so. But it was too frail.
We saw the Scottish mint, where their coins were made long ago and many other historic spots frequented. by Mary, Queen of Scots, James III, IV, V and VI, who made their homes there. But all too soon we had to leave again to return in. time for high tea (supper to you) at the Cowans.
In the evening another son of the Cowans, John, arrived and we all sat around while the boys explained the work of Youth For Christ in America. Then we had a prayer time and then we went to bed, T. J. and Shufelt staying with Cowans.
The next day, Wednesday, was a day of work. At 11:00 we bad. an appointment with the Lord Provost of Glasgow (the Mayor), Hector McNeil. Our talk with him encouraged us considerably. He told us that we had come in time to catch the youth of Scotland before they started to follow after a man. instead of the Lord Jesus Christ. He said delinquency had been on the increase in Glasgow during and after the war and that something must be done to win the young people to the paths of righteousness
The Lord Provost is a personal friend of the late Harry Hopkins, former Ambassador John Winant and other American notables. He gave us a very marvelous reception and told us to do a good job, “Because youth of today are looking for leadership, and it had better be the right kind.”
From the City Chambers we rushed to the old Renfield St. Church to speak at a soon meeting of business men held there every Wednesday. The church was unheated and there was no pianist, but when Strat sang anyway, I felt a glow go all through us and the cold seemed to vanish away. (Britain churches are heated on Sundays or other special occasions.)
The boys as they spoke seemed to spark the whole meeting. The church was filled to the doors and there was much enthusiasm all around.
In the afternoon there wasn’t much to do except shop for
gifts to bring home, which was difficult to do because almost everything is
rationed. They bought Scotch tams for themselves, however, and looked very
jaunty wearing them about the streets of Glasgow. They didn’t feel too
self-conscious because some of the Scots were wearing not only tams but kilts
At high tea in the Cadorra restaurant in Glasgow the fellows were hosts to about 150 religious leaders of Glasgow and surrounding areas. Some came from as far as 40 miles. They listened intently as Torrey told about the Youth For Christ revival in America and Chuck and Billy stressed the awful need. for world-wide revival. It was emphasized too that any work must be on a strictly interdenominational basis. Glasgow has several denominational youth rallies and it is very difficult to get them together.
The meeting, mostly men, sang the old Welsh hymn “Diadem”and I’ve never heard such singing in all my life. They rolled it out onto the dark and gloomy streets of this industrial city of 2 million and I verily believe it seemed to grow lighter outside for a few seconds.
The high tea adjourned to Renfield St Church for a rally attended.
by about 1200. The place was jammed and many were standing. Templeton spoke
on the sacrifice of Christ, delivering a powerful, descriptive message that
brought tears to my own eyes and. I’m sure to others as well
Again there were souls at the altar–not in the same degree as at Manchester--but with the same spirit.
Next morning, Thursday, we left for Aberdeen, the fishing, woolen, quarrying center of Scotland. On the train we had a business session and prayer meeting and arrived in Aberdeen conscious that God was with us. We arrived in the afternoon and immediately took a liking to the city of me 500,000. It is built entirely of granite. There is not a wooden structure to be seen anywhere. It is the home of ancient King’s College, dating back to the thirteenth century and Marshall University, a famous British educational institution. We put up at the Caledonian Hotel in the center of the city.
Our first engagement was another high tea, which was attended by the Lord Provost of Aberdeen, Sir Thomas Mitchell, as jolly a fellow as we’ve met anywhere in Britain. He was rich with Scottish jokes and ragged us Americans considerably ( in his talk at the tea) about the American loan to Britain. The tea was attended by about sixty spiritual leaders of the area, and several were men who had been at our tea in Glasgow who had followed us to Aberdeen. Every kind of denomination was represented, and we very good time in the special dining room of Mitchell and Mull’s restaurant. Gavin Hamiltons brother-in-law, Tom Synclair, is a manager at the restaurant.
After the Lord Provost arrived, news photographers flashed bulbs for a while and then we ate. It was fish again, but what fish! Fillet of lemon sole that melted in you mouth and which had been. brought in by the great Aberdeen fishing fleet that same day.
Then the Lord Provost made a very humorous welcome speech to the “Chicago Gangsters” [note: Johnson and Graham were from the Chicago branch of Youth for Christ] which had arrived in Aberdeen, and we had a good time laughing at his Scottish jokes,
Then Torrey briefly outlined the purpose of the visit to Scotland. His program of Youth or Christ was well received and both Graham and Templeton added fuel to the spiritual fires which were evident all around the audience. The boys really did a good job, and most everyone of the men present remembered Strat from his previous visit with Dr. Ironside and renewed old acquaintances.
We had to hurry over to the evening meeting at Gilcomston St. Church, a lovely old bit of architecture, and which, better yet, was warm when we came into it. The meeting had been. well publicized arid we had. the place full long before starting time. Torrey and Templeton spoke. Strat was never in better voice and was wildly applauded--a thing unheard of before in staid old Scottish churches.
Billy Graham then preached with great power. The Lord was truly with him, and the majority of the audience was teen-aged, and, well, at invitation I thought the revival had come. The youngsters crowded into the inquiry room, Many of them with tears in their eyes, all anxious to find Christ. Up until then it was the most wonderful meeting I’ve ever been in. The next night in Aberdeen was to be even better, however. We sent out an urgent call for workers to come to the inquiry room to deal with the young fork and in the space of about two verses of “Just as I Am” we had every available place filled with workers and seekers. There were close to fifty converts in that short time.
One of these experiences that God, in His infinite mercy, gives us, happened also. At the supper, Torrey invited three of the waitresses to come to the meting at Gilcomston church. They came. Their ages were from 18 to 21. All three, with tears in their eyes, were among the first to come forward on the invitation, and one, afterwards told me:”I never dreamed that there was anything in all the world so wonderful as this”. She meant it, too, for as she said it, she started to weep once more.
The next day, Thursday, we were honored by the Lord Provost at a special luncheon at the Caledonia Hotel. He had asked us first to come to the city chambers and sign the guest book, which we did, and he then showed us around the city hall. It was very impressive. There were so many pictures it looked like an art gallery, and he later told me that the museums rotated their pictures in the city chambers, keeping a fresh supply on hand for the Lord Provost to look at. On the ceiling of the council chambers the coats of arms of the principal clans of Scotland were inscribed. Billy looked in vain for that of the Graham clan, and Torrey was unable to find a single MacLeish, which he has been telling everybody were some of his own forebears.
Templeton, who says be has Irish ancestry, is saving his bragging until we get to Belfast or Dublin, he told us. And Strat is saving his for Edinburgh, where, be claims one of his ancestors was martyred for his faith.
Early in the morning on Friday Strat and I hied ourselves down to the famous fish market to see the North Sea trawlers land their catch. It was a tremendous sight to see thousands and thousands of herring, heaps of other fish like turbot and heaven knows what else, auctioned off to fish wholesalers from all over Scotland.
The barking of the auctioneers, the piles of fish, the thousands of gulls wheeling overhead, the colorful boats of Swedish, Norwegian, British registry lining the wharves, and the salty aroma of the sea and its fish was a real tonic. I tore my hair out thinking of the water colors I had left at home.
Then. we walked about the streets for a while watching the children. We were a little homesick, and the Scot Children were beautiful to our eyes. Their cheeks are the reddest I’ve ever seen and they are fat and healthy.
At the Lord Provost’s luncheon were members of the city council, and a few religious bigwigs, including the moderator of the Church of Scotland in Aberdeen. The Lord. Provost again was very humorous and. we all had a good time. We toasted the King, the President of the United States (in soda pop) and lastly, the Scots present toasted us and our work among young people.
In the afternoon Templeton stayed home to prepare his message
for the evening. Torrey and I went to play golf at the Murcar golf course
in Aberdeen.. It is the toughest course I’ve ever been on, and not only
has sand traps and natural bunkers galore, but life further is complicated
by tank traps and barbed wire entanglements. It lies along the coast and could
have been. one of the German’s great beachheads if they’d ever
decided to come.
Our scores will die with us We have an agreement never to tell on one another. After the game we took a taxi to see Aberdeen and visited ancient King’s College.
Our evening service, as I have intimated, was even more spirit-filled than the last. Templeton, full of his message, and refreshed by an afternoon of rest, spoke powerfully and, oratorically beautiful. He reached the climax of his message with six Bible Verses, one after the other, and they rained on the packed church like hammer-blows from Heaven. I could feel a thrill go up my back and I could see t that they were used of the Spirit, for tears began to glisten in the eyes of those about me.
The audience just melted and the young people began to come to the inquiry room o their own accord. A whole row of girls, 15 to 18 years, filed into the room, and bare patches appeared. over the whole congregation as God. moved the people toward. salvation. Not a soul left the church, but they filed in a parade-like procession to the room where personal workers were waiting for them.
Even, after the meeting closed h and the benediction was pronounced,
young people still came into the inquiry room where Templeton and Graham were
dealing with the people.
Afterwards local religious leaders met to organize Scotland’s first Youth Christ. A great melting had taken place and differences were put away. They decided to meet regularly in a neutral auditorium and combine all their youth meetings in the one. The Lord truly bad. worked
Next morning, Saturday, Hamilton, Shufelt, Johnson and myself had to arise at 4:45 a.m. in order to get a train to Edinburgh. Templeton, and Graham were to go to Glasgow to hold a Saturday night rally in Tent Hall
We arrived in Edinburgh in time to keep our appointment with the Lord. Provost who had coffee and cakes waiting for us. He is a very educated man and welcomed us heartily. He was very interested in our work and. told us that young people were not taking to the stiff formality of the old churches, but definitely needed, to start with anyway, to have religion presented to them in a modern way.
The photographers and reporters again were present and the boys were photographed with the Lord Provost. Before lunch we went to see famous Edinburgh Castle. It was a long climb, but it was worth it. it is situated about 300 feet in the air and overlooks the whole of the City. From it, on a clear day, can be seen Stirling Castle, 40 miles away. We saw the Scottish crown jewels and a great many other interesting bite of history. Then we visited St. Giles Cathedral , the Westminster Abbey of Scotland. We got there in time for a good formal prayer service, attended only by two people and led by a cleric in imposing robes, who had one attendant, carrying a mace, symbol of religious authority.
It was a lesson to us from God, showing us how ritual and formalism
have failed the world. We stood on ‘The Heart of Scotland”, a
stone heart in a public square in Edinburgh, marking the spot of the prison
where scores of Christians were martyred for their testimony. Stratton was
particularly impressed. But we all had to take our hats off there.
In the afternoon Johnson and Shufelt spoke at Carrubbers Close Mission before a gathering of religious workers, Our hearts were saddened because there seemed to be only old people. The chairman of the meeting was over 80.
In the evening the mission was jammed to hear Torrey. The Lord
blessed us again, however, and a number of young people took Christ. The mission,
seating 1200, was filled. It had been founded by Moody on his visit to Edinburgh.
Graham and Templeton came on to Edinburgh at the close of their rally in Glasgow.
They had had a good time too, and. souls were saved.
[End of report on second week]
[Report of third week]
Sunday, Apr, 6 – En route from Harwich, England to Esbjerg, Denmark
Well, here I am again crammed fun with news for a weekly report, and what a week it has been all around. I think it left off at about a week ago yesterday, and so I’ll start with Sunday morning in Edinburgh.
No sooner had I posted my letter last week than the boys get back from church glowing with the most wonderful reports, of the Sunday morning meeting in a Church of Scotland at which Billy Graham had preached. I suppose you read about it in the papers but if you haven’t here goes.
Billy, preaching at the church of a Rev. Fitch, delivered his
sermon in a formal gown. It was a very formal church and evidently had never
had a revival for years. At any rate, when he finished his menage he was about
to sit down and let it go at that when the Spirit urged him to give an invitation.
That’s an unheard of thing in Scotland, but Billy plunged right in.
In two or three minutes 82 people had come forward, including four of the
church elders and the sessions clerk!
Billy said the preacher (Fitch) came to him with tears in his eyes and threw his arms around him in a big hug. It was, he said, the best thing that had happened to his church in years.
One of the elders had the biggest laundry in Edinburgh (he didn’t do our laundry for us though) and another was Edinburgh’s chief of detectives. Most of the 82 were youngsters in their teens. That is the singular thing about our trip....for although we’re not specifying in the advertisements that our evening public meetings are for youth, most of those who attend are young people, and 90 percent of those who get saved are in their teens.
Gavin Hamilton spoke at another service the same morning and there were many saved there as well.
In the afternoon we had a meeting at Carrubbers Close Mission again, at the same time a rally at Charlotte Baptist Chapel, whose pastor is Sidlow Baxter, author of several pretty famous books. Billy spoke at the Mission, and Torrey at Charlotte Chapel. Well, it was the same thing all over again. The inquiry rooms at the Chapel were crowded with seekers and when we arrived at Carrubbers Close, Billy had about thirty young men and woman with whom he was dealing, at the close of his message,
In the evening at Carrubbers we had what they called a ‘Tonic Meeting’, mostly singing and testimonies, and about a five minute message at the close from Templeton. There were about a dozen more at the altar, drawn from the same crowd that had sat through Billy’s afternoon message.
On our way back to the Darling’s Regent fatal (funny name, eh?) we were really praising God for having given us such a harvest of souls during the two days. And we had a little prayer meeting among us as we got back to our abode.
On Monday morning we had nothing to do but wait for luncheon at which the principal evangelical leaders of the city were to congregate to hear about YOUTH FOR CHRIST. So we went sightseeing and shopping. Strat and I visited John Knox’s house and went gawking around the city. Where the rest went, they’ll have to tell you themselves.
As may be expected after such a stirring weekend with [sic] pastors and religious leaders of the city were out in full force for the luncheon. there were over a hundred, and we put on a little program for them, with Strat leading that old hymn that has been such a blessing all along out trip - “Diadem-All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name”. You have no idea how lovely that old song sounds with about a hundred men pouring it out and really meaning every word of it.
On Monday afternoon the ministers organized a committee to see that EDINBURGH YOUTH FOR CHRIST did not die a-borning. We were well satisfied. David Laurie, of Carrubbers Close, and Sidlow Baxter and the Rev. Fitch were all on it, and, as the ones who got the real blessings, assured us they would press the matter and get the Saturday night rallies started.
In fact, they picked out a meeting hall seating 2200 as the locale -- the Church at Scotland Assembly Hall, adjacent to Edinburgh University, and which, Laurie assured me, was considered interdenominational by every church or youth group in the city. It is a lovely place, and Laurie told me that Moody, Torrey, Chapman, Ironside, and every visiting evangelist of note holds his meetings there. It is surrounded by old University buildings and lies close to St. Giles Cathedral and the historic part of Edinburgh, In fact I wish we had a place like it in Chicago.
We all went over to take a look at it in the afternoon and were very impressed with the atmosphere of the place, I can just see Cliff Barrows or Howard Jones or Bob Cook leading songs in it now – or at least their Scotch counterparts.
In the evening we had nothing to do but rest, but we didn’t,
of course. Baxter and Laurie came over to the hotel and the boys talked with
them until very late about the organization which had been born that very
day It was a profitable time, however, and the boys didn’t regret the
We left on Tuesday for Belfast, Ireland about 8:45 on the train. We went first to Glasgow where we had a couple of hours to kill until the bus left for Prestwick airport, so we had lunch. We took off from Prestwick for Belfast at about 3230 p.m. and arrived in the capital of Northern Ireland about 4:15. The Scottish Airways plane was commodious and comfortable and very fast.
When we landed we were met by a. battery of photographers, reporters, ministers, and porters. Rev. Tocher, famous Belfast pastor, was there and drove us to the Presbyterian Hostel after the photographers got through with us. They took many pictures. I suppose you’ve received by now the newspaper clippings showing’ the gang landing in Belfast.
Unfortunately the Presbyterian Hostel was little more than a run-down dormitory for college students. There was no hot water; the rooms were small, with no heat, no telephones, no room service. We were considerably shocked to find that both men and women students roomed there with no segregation of floors. We were a little disgusted to find some necking going on in the parlors - but young people will be young people, I suppose. We could not secure rooms in any hotel in town and thus were compelled to stay there. The food, fortunately, wasn’t bad. Someone had given Torrey a dozen eggs, and the second morning we bad beck with them.
That evening the boys filled up two meeting places to overflowing – about 2300 in all. Billy spoke at Templemore Hall and had about thirteen souls in the harvest – mostly young men about 18 to 20, Rev. Toober said it was the best harvest for years, Chuck spoke in the Ravenhill Methodist church, and likewise led many to Christ.
The following morning the papers all had the pictures and the boys became quite the talk of Belfast.
At 11 am. on Wednesday we called at the City Hall at the request of the Lord Mayor, Sir Crawford McCullough, who showed us around the place – the pride of Bedfast incidentally, although nothing like one of our own state capitals. We walked clear to the top of the dome and had a good look at Belfast. It is the largest ship-building city in the world, and has . population of 600,000, most of whom seemed to be young kids roaming the streets at night, That seems to be the main occupation of teenagers in every city we’ve visited so far. So bad was it in Belfast we were almost tempted to hold a street meeting on City Hall Square in order to preach to the unsaved.
We inquired into the Irish linen situation, but found there was a 100% tax on it, making a table cloth 3 feet by 3 feet cost around $36. We didn’t buy any!
In the evening the boys preached at two more places: Albert
Mall and St. Agnes Church. Torrey preached to about 1500 packing Albert Mall
and Strat preached at St. Agnes. About forty souls were saved in the former,
and about a dozen more at St. Agnes. The Lord certainly was working.
Earlier, for supper, we had invited about a hundred ministers of the city, and Torrey outlined for them the program of YOUTH FOE CHRIST, while Billy gave them a talk on revival and its need and Chuck outlined the typical YOUTH FOR CHRIST meeting back in the states.
The ministers than and there decided to organize a BELFAST YOUTH
FOR CHRIST, with a local business man, H. T. Johnston, as temporary head of
the organizing committee.
The following morning Torrey and I left by air for London, flying across the Irish sea in a small five passenger plane which rolled and rocked like a chip. We didn’t get sick, but one of the passengers did.
We put down at Liverpool on the way, and as it was a fine day we had a good look at the English country side from the air as the pilot flew only at 1500 feet.
We went to London for several reasons. First, to secure some of our visas which still were hanging fire; second, to secure accommodations in Stockholm for a couple of us which we so far had been unable to get, and third, to talk to J, Lindsay Glegg, an influential London Christian who this week is having a week of meetings in Royal Albert Hall in London featuring the Jubilee Colored Singers.
Thursday afternoon and evening we do much except rest, On Friday we worked on visas and letters to the continent, We hadn’t had any luck in getting permission to go to Germany. We had put through a call to [Martin] Neimoller [sic; should be Niemoeller] in Geneva, only to find that he was at present in Germany, No telephone calls or cables are permitted to Germany now, and so Torrey wrote Neimoeller [sic] a letter asking him to go to Geneva where be could meet him, Torrey also secured an appointment with the Lord Mayor of London for the 24th of April.
He also got tow [sic] books [sic] on a Danish steam to Esbjerg, on which I am now writing this letter. Then at lunch he invited Frederick Wood, head of the British Young Life Campaign and had a long talk with him. Wood is making arrangements for our rally on the 20th in Kingsway Hall.
On Saturday morning while I did some more work on our visas, Torrey did some other letter writing. At noon Glegg arrived and we had lunch together. Glegg is very enthusiastic about YOUTH FOR CHRIST and is in line with Torrey’s ideas about doing things unusual in order to attract young people of f the streets. He is president of many Christian societies and, on the whole, probably has more influence on British Christian life than any other man. He is the spiritual father, for instance, of Torn Rees, the English Evangelist. Be suggested that before the boys leave London they call together once again the religious leaders of London and put YOUTH FOR CHRIST up to them. He suggested that Torrey name a representative committee to go ahead with plans and a year from next summer hold a great conference (the British take their time, you see!) inviting tour or five thousand young people, the principle evangelical leaders of the country and then bring over a YOUTH FOR CHRIST group from America.
He said that in the meantime the committee would be busy, establishing the work wherever it could, but that the Summer Conference would really give it a great shove forward He said that the group from America would be Britain’s guest this time. On the whole he cane up with a great many good ideas.
He invited Torrey to send Chuck to the Royal Albert Ball to say a few words on Monday night about YOUTH FOR CHRIST from the platform and announce the meeting in Kingsway Hall on the 20th. This is one at the things we had been working hard for...we had been unable to book Royal Albert Hall at all. It has to be reserved for months in advance. Our talk broke up about 2:30 just in time for us to pack and catch our train to Harwich, from when we go by boat to Denmark.
In the meantime, the rest of the group had gone to Dublin, and I will tell you more about their experiences there when I get to talk to them again. We talked a short while to them on the phone from London, and learned that they had established YOUTH FOR CHRIST there as well and had had some very fruitful meetings. From Dublin the boys go to Birmingham. They do tell me that in Dublin they had orange and grapefruit juice for breakfast along with ham and eggs and REAL coffee, They made our mouths water, for in London the only eggs they have they keep in museums. And ham, well, there just isn’t any.
However, Torrey and I were due for a pleasant surprise when we finally passed through customs at Harwich and got on the boat, about 6 p.m. There on tables groaning with food was a real Danish Smorgasbord, with cold meats of every description, REAL butter, cheese, vegetables, spiced fish and all sorts ,f good things. We just stood there entranced for about fifteen minutest --speechless, just smelling the choice viands Then we shook hands. We couldn’t eat right away, however, for they didn’t serve until. 7:00 p.m. It didn’t take us long to get there when we heard the dinner bell, however. After we stuffed ourselves with a smorgasbord like I’d never seen before even in the states, we were served a Danish meat loaf – something like Swedish meat balls only bigger, potatoes and the first gravy I’d. seen since I left the state.
Then afterwards we got coffee and cake, wrote a few letters, and went to bed happy. God bless the Danes; they know how to feed you.
This morning we had ham and eggs for breakfast, and for dinner we had steaks. Forgive me if I dwell too much on the food.
Torrey is having a great tine trying to make everybody understand
his Danish. I guess they get ‘a word now and then. Be talks to everybody
– from the Captain down to the cabin boy.
Well, this brings me up to date with you again. I hope you’re not getting bored with the details.
The North Sea was calm this morning, but now (5:30 p.m. Danish time, 10:30 a.m. Chicago Time) it is quite rough. As a matter of fact, just as I started this paragraph there was a crash of crockery in the kitchen, and I find a whole tray full of beer bottles just rolled off the table. We’re not too seasick, however, and we’re looking forward to supper.
Torrey feels that. Copenhagen is important to reach, so we will spend a day and a half there. We wouldn’t have gotten there with the message of YOUTH FOR CHRIST otherwise. We will join the other boys in Stockholm on Wednesday morning.
Well, I’ll close for now. We still need your prayers, and I know that we have them, for the Lord has been working. Already YOUTH FOR CHRIST is a going concern in London, Manchester, Eastbourne, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Belfast, and Dublin. Each have assured us they were going all-out for an interdenominational, Saturday night young people”s a program, preaching the straight Gospel. Praise the Lord!