1971-72, 1977, 1984
We crossed the border from England into Scotland at just about the end of our first month’s walk in mid-October, and the winter weather was already sending in cold blustery rain. The wind was so strong it was difficult to walk with the cross without being blown over.
I had a team with me on this walk with the cross. There was Jim McPheeters, my dear brother and close friend from Hollywood, California. Also Dale and Sandy Larsen were with us. They had worked with me also in Hollywood. My family was with me including my children Gina, Joel, Joy and baby Joshua. The families traveled up the road in a big camping truck and a trailer. Jim and Dale walked with the cross with me.
News of our approach reached Edinburgh ahead of us, and reporters were waiting as we came into the city. One of their first questions was where I was going to speak.
“I don’t know,” I replied. “We don’t know anyone here. Where would you suggest?”
“Well, there’s the Mound. It’s in the center of the city. It’s out in the
open air.” “That’s fine. We’ll be there.”
Just as we came into Edinburgh I had heard running footsteps behind us and I turned to see a tearful teenage girl approaching. I stopped to see what she wanted. “I saw you on television a few weeks ago,” she cried. “I just ran away from home and I need help.”
We talked and I showed her that God loved her and that she could know Jesus. He had a plan for her life and would lead her faithfully. She gave her heart to Him and went running back to her family to tell them the good news.
The newspaper the next day reported of our meeting planned for noon. So, considering the continued television and news coverage all along the walk and this latest announcement, we expected a great turnout.
Only the girl and Ian Leach came. Ian had heard me preach in America. The girl was carrying a big Bible, and her face glistened with happiness. That was Friday. We met again Saturday and by Sunday afternoon over a thousand people gathered in the freezing rain and in the end, we were far from the fools for Christ some might have thought only three days before. Our appearance in Edinburgh initiated the outreach pattern of the Jesus Movement, or whatever it was to be called, which arrived the following year.
I’ve been back to Scotland since, and I’ve seen the results of our first short visit there. We’ve held tremendous crusades there after that first year.
God’s word doesn’t return to Him void. The Lord has answered that first prayer we held in Edinburgh, on our knees, with only a happy new Jesus teenager and future
evangelist as our audience.
We walked on to Glasgow. We spent several days preaching in parks, street witnessing, and speaking at several universities. We held meetings in the old Tent Hall and at the St. George’s
Tran Church with Dr. George Duncan as pastor.
I returned for some powerful rallies in Scotland in1972. Many thousands of people attended the meetings and thousands of commitments were made to Jesus. It was a time of a mighty outpouring of the Holy Spirit. It was truly a historic time.
During this great movement of God I spoke in the following places in Scotland:
A Jesus march through Glasgow and preached to several thousand people. Preached at a festival at Queens Park.
Preached at Calvin Hall.
Preached at St. George’s Tran Church.
Preached at Green’s Playhouse for a rally and at Tent Hall.
I also preached at a pastors’ conference and at Glasgow Tech Collage.
I spoke at the big prison outside Glasgow and at the huge Adelaide Baptist Church.
I also preached at large meetings in Edinburgh, Dunferline, Dundee, Aberdeen, Stirling and other cities.
What a glorious time I had carrying the cross and preaching in Scotland.
I will add one more thing. My grandfather on my mother’s side was a Campbell. So I have some Scottish blood in me!
I returned to Scotland in 1977 to preach meetings and again in 1984.
Pilgrim followers of Jesus,
Arthur and Denise Blessitt