Behind the Scenes
NOTE: My most recent comments are at the end.
How, When and Why I Wrote My Book
It was not my dream to write a book. If anyone had ever told me "Someday you will write a book," I'd have scoffed at the idea. Especially a history book! I detested history in school and made my worst grades in it. However, I do love books and have been a voracious reader ever since I learned to read.
I didn't just decide one day, "I'm going to write a book." No, it wasn't that way at all. My book evolved without me even being aware of it. Here's how it happened.
This nameless church avoids publicity and has no written literature, other than a hymnal. The church leaders have never published an official account of their church beginnings and development. In the 1980s, I heard there was a book written about this church, and I was very interested in reading it, even though I had no idea what it was about. Without knowing the book title, I had no way to find it or any other information in print about this "church with no name." Frustrated, I searched for several years. I wondered if this book discussed some of the same doubts and reservations I had. Perhaps it would shed some light and answer some of my questions.
Finally in 1989, I found the elusive book: The Secret Sect
by Doug and Helen Parker. I devoured it, and to say I was shocked would be an understatement!
I was a third generation follower in this church. My grandparents, parents and I were taught that our church started when Jesus sent out his apostles two by two "from the shores of Galilee" (Matthew 10), and that from that time, the ministry and church had continued in an unbroken chain until the present. We believed our preachers were of apostolic succession, and that our church that met in homes was God's only authentic true church on earth. We believed the church was started by the apostles in Acts of the Apostles; and that the only way to get to heaven was to be a part of this one true church--and all other churches were false churches.
Parkers' book alleged that a Scotsman named William Irvine had started our church in Ireland, and further, that it was not even 100 years old! He revealed that the church history had been hidden after the founder was excommunicated. Of course, I was shocked and very skeptical of the contents of the book, so I decided to investigate further. If Parkers' information was correct, we were victims of spiritual fraud; our salvation was based on fraud. I was determined to get to the bottom of this and find out for myself what the truth was.
I independently obtained my own copy of all Parkers' sources, including a copy of every newspaper article Parkers quoted, often certified copies. When my detective work was finished, I proved beyond all doubt that Parkers' book was a factual, accurate representation of the history of my church. I only found a few insignificant scribal errors; nothing that affected the integrity of the book. I was unconvinced when I began my search, but the end I was more than convinced. I was positive the Parkers were telling the truth.
The Secret Sect
is the single book that has had the most impact on my life, except for the Bible. About a year after I read this book, I attended my last church meeting in May 1990.
I sent a 6-page letter to 100 family and friends, telling them that I'd left the church and why (my Exit Letter). I received a few replies; none believed the short history of the church or that there was a founder.
The following year, I wrote a 52-page letter to the same people addressing all the responses I'd received, and attached documents proving the church started around 1900. I didn't know it then, but that 52-page letter was the start of my book.
Through the years, I discovered additional historical information that Parkers did not have when they wrote their book in 1982 (now out of print). I continued to add to my collection of historical documents about this church, especially newspaper articles. I bought every book I could find that contained material about this church for my library. I typed notes about discoveries and various related subjects. Slowly my file cabinets became filled with hard copies of material, and other file cabinets were added. I had no idea that one day my collection would wind up in chronological order in a book--this book!
I decided I needed to share the information I'd discovered that was included in Parkers' book. I planned to write a book supplementing his excellent book. However, in explaining the information I'd turned up, it was necessary to provide the background for it to make sense. I was rewriting so many of the facts and events contained in Parkers' book, that I changed my mind and decided to write the whole story myself. Good thing I did. Parkers' book is now out of print, and there is no other book providing a detailed history about this nameless church.
I didn't write my book in chronological order. I wrote and typed bits and pieces as I researched a particular subject. Eventually I arranged all the pieces in chronological order, and chapters emerged. I took my time and refused to be rushed while I thoroughly researched the church and founder's history, including two trips to the Ireland, Scotland and Ireland.
While I was writing this book, much of the time I worked up to 40 hours a week in various positions relating to real estate. I was married and the mother of two children. I was also busy with many other projects, including setting up three other websites, moderating the TLC Forum; writing articles for the Forward Press newsletter, and corresponding with others who were questioning what they had been taught, as I had.
I launched my first website in 1996. It is Telling the Truth (TTT), tellingthetruth.info. It contains: historical documents, old photographs, publications, hundreds of William Irvine's letters, hundreds of newspaper articles, church letterhead, family trees of Wm Irvine and other early prominent preachers, sermons, court cases, FBI Investigations, lists of books, conventions, preachers, and much more. I wanted to make information easily accessible. To peel back the curtain for those who are interested in learning the hidden church history or had questions, as I had.
Most of the citations and references in this book are posted in full on TTT. This book and the TTT website are closely connected. TTT also has a hard copy of almost all documents, newspaper articles and references mentioned in this book and on TTT.
TTT is the largest body of reliable historical info about the Church without a Name on the internet. Its mission is to protect, preserve and make accessible the history of this nameless church and his founder, William Irvine. This book exposes a trail of "FIRSTS" that prove this nameless church cannot be traced historically any further than the turn of the 20th century.
As I started posting the historical information about this church and its founder on TTT, others began sharing additional information with me, often using the "Contact Us" button. Out of the clear blue sky, new material from all over the world began dropping into my inbox. In the mail came envelopes and boxes full of notes, lists, sermons and photos. Stories about how I came by various pieces of primary evidence will follow in future installments of Behind the Scenes.
Finding John Long's Journal
Posted Sept. 6, 1918
John Long's Journal is the most significant primary source to be discovered as of this date to support the fact that the 2x2s were started in Ireland around 1897. John Long was a 2x2 worker from 1899-1907. For years, it was known that John Long's Journal existed. But who had it?
Dr. Patricia Roberts made reference to a shortened version of Journal several times in her book The Life & Ministry of Edward Cooney 1867-1960. Unfortunately, Dr. Roberts had misplaced her copy. Doug Parker knew of John Long's Journal when his book, The Secret Sect, was printed. For years, the location of the family of John Long remained unknown.
Following is an account of how this very important document was finally located in Ireland in 2002. Unexpectedly, Paul Abenroth from Washington U.S. became aware of the existence of John Long's Journal in August 1999. While visiting the Faith Mission headquarters in Edinburgh, Scotland, Mr. John Matthews, the Faith Mission administrator, told Paul about the following occurrence.
One semester Mr. Matthews was teaching a customary series of classes about cults and exclusive movements such as the Jehovah Witnesses and the Mormons, which included the movement started by a former Faith Missioner, William Irvine and John Long. During this class, a young lady named Ruth Long exclaimed, "John Long was my Grandfather!"
Paul Abenroth conveyed this information to Robert Kee of Belfast, Northern Ireland and he contacted John Matthews who provided the telephone number the son of the author of the Journal, Ruth's father, also named John Long. Robert Kee spoke to John Long by telephone and he appeared quite receptive to the idea of having his father's journal published elsewhere.
Bobby Dukelow, a retired Faith Missioner, arranged for Robert Kee to visit John Long and to photocopy his father's Journal. Mr. Long did not want the Journal to leave his home, so on February 20, 2002, Robert took the necessary equipment and scanned the Journal over 2-3 separate visits. The Journal covers the years 1872 through 1956 when his mother died. Each Journal is actually a set of several books, each set containing approximately 8 to 10. Scanned copies were made of the years through 1927, and these have been typed and are posted on the internet.
It was John Long who obtained the meeting place for Wm. Irvine to hold a mission which John Long viewed as the start of the Go-Preacher movement (aka 2x2 sect). John wrote: "In 1895, he [Wm. Irvine] ...was sent by J. G. Govan to Northern Ireland to Evangelize; and from north to Co. Clare, in the south of Ireland. While conducting a mission in Kilrush, I met him and directed him to Nenagh, where a revival began in August, 1897, which afterwards formed into the Go-Preacher Testimony." ( August 1897, John Long's Journal )
On the last page of his original Journal, Mr. Long mentions that he intended to write a second book, (Journal) and he did so. The other Journal was handwritten and almost identical to the first. The copying process must have been unbelievably tedious and have taken an enormous time. His son had inherited both Journals and he valued them very much.
He told us that the original Journal was given to a Mr. Walker and remained in that family for years. Cherie Kropp was contacted by a grandson of Mr. Walker who had seen and read some of the Journal in earlier years while it was kept at his grandfather's home. Unfortunately, the homestead was sold, possessions disbursed and the current location of the Journal is not known to him.
Robert Kee sent copies of the handwritten Journal pages to Cherie for typing which was completed in early March, 2002. By May 15, Robert Kee had scanned the original Journal pages to high quality jpeg image files (200 dpi) and made them available on a CD. The total file size was 73.5MB. Copies were distributed to interested parties.
Robert discussed the subject of posting Long's Journal on the internet, and Mr. Long enthusiastically agreed to allow it to be placed on Cherie's website Telling The Truth. Mr. Long signed a Permission Form to publish the Journal on April 23, 2002 in the presence of Robert Kee and Bobby Dukelow, representing Faith Mission. Subsequently, Cherie posted the Journal on her website Telling The Truth.
In 2004, Robert Kee kindly arranged for Cherie Kropp and her husband to visit with Mr. and Mrs. John Long and chauffeured them to the Long's home in Ireland. ( LINK to photos ) Mr. Long allowed them to handle both Journal copies and gave his permission in writing for Cherie Kropp to publish the Journal on July 28, 2004. In her book, Preserving the Truth, Cherie cites numerous passages from John Long's Journal. No other historical 2x2 document has turned up with a fraction of the information contained in this Journal.
Go to John Long's Journal on TTT.
Out of the Blue—An Australian man calls an Oklahoma woman
RE: Goodhand Pattison's Account of the Early Days to his Son, John
When I was on vacation in Oregon in 1993, a long-time friend of my brother and his wife invited me for dinner. While we were discussing the early history of the 2x2 Sect, he asked if I knew about an old document written in 1925 or 35, titled Account of the Early Days that was written by an Irishman, Goodhand Pattison of Cloughjordan, Co. Tipperary, Ireland. I had never heard of it. He had promised not to give this account to anyone, but he agreed to read it to me. It was quite lengthy, and we were up after midnight listening to him read this fascinating story.
There were a few notable statements in the Account that stayed with me. One was Wm Irvine being called a "red-hot evangelist," and saying, "Jesus was a common man."
Of course, after hearing the story, I really wanted a copy for myself. I checked with everyone I knew who might possibly have heard/read it. No one had.
Out of the blue some years later, I received a phone call from a man in Australia, who identified himself as the father of a friend of mine and also the brother to another friend. Both had left meetings. I had met this man one time when I was 16, and we had not communicated since. He told me that he had recently received a copy of a very detailed account of early 2x2 history in Ireland. Would I would be interested in having a copy? WOULD I EVER! He asked that I not reveal my source. I suspected it was the same account my brother's friend had read to me.
FINALLY, the document arrived in my mailbox. I hurriedly read it looking for the "red-hot evangelist" who claimed "Jesus was a common man." Sure enough, it was the same account! Needless to say, I was delighted! I distributed it and also posted it on my website, Telling The Truth.
The document is titled Account of the Early Days by Goodhand Pattison and was written in 1925 at the suggestion of his son, John, who went to South America to preach in 1922, where he remained for over 50 years and was buried. The Account concentrates mostly on the missions held within a 20 mile radius of the town of Nenagh in County Tipperary , Ireland, where the home of Goodhand Pattison, Cloughjordan is located. The Account covered t he time period from the Winter of 1897 through the 1903 Portdadown, Ireland Convention.
Pattison's Account about the early history and development of the 2x2 Sect is one of two primary evidence documents to surface that were written by a first-hand witness and 2x2 sect member when the history was being made. The other document is the Journal of John Long discussed above.
Download a copy: http://workersect.org/pattison01.pdf
Accompanying Map: First independent Missions: http://workersect.org/2x2firstmissionsmap.pdf
Read Account on TTT: https://www.tellingthetruth.info/publications_index/pattisong.php