An old time Gospel Revival

Torrey and Charles Alexander his musical conductor arrive to start their meetings in May to find thousands of people eager to hear the gospel.

In April 1902 Reuben Archer Torrey an American evangelist came to Melbourne in response to thousands of petitions sent to DL Moody to preach in Australia. Unfortunately Moody had died in 1899, so R A Torrey was sent by the Moody Bible Institute of Chicago.

For a number of years leading up to the mission that was conducted by the Australasian Evangelization Society, there was 2,100 prayer meetings, attended by 15,000 people that were organised by John McNeil and Mrs Warren to pray for a "big revival" 

R A Torrey

The main background photo seen here was taken at the Melbourne Exhibition Building- May 1902 meeting. There were a number of newspaper reports of the meetings. The original archive reports are available at these websites.

There were 50 mission centres with 50 local evangelists preaching in halls and 30 large tents, while in the city, the town hall, several theatres, and the 7,000 seat exhibition buildings were packed. Weekly attendance across the city reached 250,000 , in a city of 1 million people.

Alfred Deakin who was at the time, the first Federal Attorney General, is seen below attending an armistice celebration for the end of the 2nd Boer War on 31st May. RA Torrey is seated to the left of the Lord Mayer of Melbourne in the Melb Town Hall. (date early June 1902)

R A Torrey

Alfred Deakin

Melbounre Town Hall

Melbounre Town Hall