Revival in the City: The Impact of American Evangelists in Canada, 1884-1914
From the 1880s to the outset of World War I, the best-known American evangelists held hundreds of revival meetings in cities across Canada. Over a million and a half Canadians gathered in churches, roller rinks, halls, theatres, factories, and even saloons to hear the likes of D.L. Moody, Sam Jones, Sam Small, Reuben Torrey, and J. Wilbur Chapman preach a particular American brand of revivalism. While at first these meetings were as successful in Canada as they were in the US, by the second decade of the twentieth century the support of Canadian Protestant leaders for revivalism had diminished. The American evangelists inspired their largely working-class listeners by talk of personal salvation, but, Eric Crouse argues, in an increasingly secular climate this inspiration did not lead them to become church members. The Canadian church leadership thus came to see the revival experience as costly and ineffective.