(The Denton Journal)
Big Revival on the Peninsula
An old fashioned revival and anti-cussing movement is sweeping the Delmarva Peninsula, and swearing, bootlegging, unclean stories and the like are very unpopular, especially among the railroad men, says a dispatch in the Wilmington Evening News. The reason is that this old fashioned revival is spreading over the Peninsula like a prairie fire. The movement started at Pocomoke City the middle of September. Rev. George W. Cooke, the well known evangelist, heard of some bootlegging down that way, and made up his mind that all that was needed was an old fashioned revival, such as was known 50 years ago. He opened a meeting in the Methodist Episcopal Church, just opposite the spot where the Methodist parsonage had been burned be alleged bootleggers. It was not long until men all through the community were getting converted and changing their lives. The most popular subject, on the streets, in the stores and factories and homes, was the revival. One day the community was stirred by the conversion of one "hard case" and then another until the buildings were packed shortly after six o'clock to hear the evangelist.
There were no spectacular methods, just straight from the shoulder he-man sermons. Repeatedly Mr. Cooke would say: "This is no revival for a half-dozen old women and a few children- this is for men and for men who will pay 100 cents on the dollar and give 16 ounce to the pound. Go out and live the way you know a red-blooded Christian ought to live." Before the meetings were closed hundreds were converted, and money raised to replace the old parsonage with a new one, amounting to $10,000, and the new converts gave a large part of the money.
The work then spread to Delmar and the Evangelist Cooke was called to foster the work. He began to preach and the people began to come until it was impossible to get a seat in the Methodist Episcopal Church after 630 in the evening. Nightly the place was packed to suffocation and often they had to have "double headers" in one of the other churches. Two meetings were going on at once and the whole community was strangely stirred.
The community for miles around was singing: "I have the joy down in my heart," and people in stores and on trains and in the railroad shops and the banks were praying and changing their lives. Pool rooms were renovated, dark backrooms with liquids of more than 2.75 per cent were cleaned out , foul stories were discontinued and cussing on the streets became almost a criminal offense.
A Pennsylvania Railroad inspector, after making his tour of the peninsula, remarked, he had never known such an absense of cussing before among railroad men. From one end of the peninsula to the other the chief topic of conversation is religion, and hundreds are being converted, homes are being reunited, and feuds of long standing are being straightened out. A Jewish merchant remarked, "This is very wonderful, for they are paying me money that has been owing for years." He afterward made a subscription to the church as he said this religion had been good for him.
James M. Tunnel, prominent Sussex county attorney, and late candidate on the Democratic ticket in Delaware for United States Senator, remarked- "I don't know what has happened on the peninsula, but at least a dozen men have spoken to me about their changed lives, and about the revival in Delmar."
The revival is spreading like an oldtime conflagration and it is sweeping into the churches men who have never been touched before. The prayer meetings of a handful have increased into the hundreds in many places and it is hard to tell where it will stop. While the work continues at Pocomoke City and Delmar and other places, Evangelist Cooke is now at Seaford, to which place the work has spread.