Tuesday, 1 March 2016



 The Pentecostal Dancers had a moderate audience at the Camberwell Public Baths on December 7 (says the London " Daily Mail" ). From the dressing-boxes a stony audience gazed unmoved at the laboured contortions of the Rev Mr Kent- White, the whirling jig figures of the Rev H. L. Harvey, and the solemn or ecstatic perpendicular jumps of the ladies.
 " We were told," Mr Kent-White explained to a representative of the "Daily Mail," "that Camberwell was about the toughest section of this city. So we reckoned to open the mission right here. Seems to me it's a ripe harvest."
 But it has resisted so far the appeal to its emotional side which the Pentecostal Dancers do their best to address. The cake-walk, the fling, the hop, the set-to-partners, the breakdown, and all the rest elicited only gasps of utter bewilderment, which gave place later to laughter and delighted applause. The Pillar of Fire and the Burning Bush are going to have a magnificent vogue when their fame has gone thoroughly abroad.
 The meeting opened with a hymn, and the dancers went straight to business. No sooner were the first notes sounded than the Rev H. L. Harvey slipped himself from leash, and went down the stage, singing vociferously and giving a good exhibition of the sand dance. Mr Kent-White, known to local fame as Abadiah, stood aside for a while and confined himself to the hymn, but when Miss Sadie Walker (of Chicago, Illinois) joined in the mazy dance he became infected, and yielded to the seduction of the moment. His was the kind of step dance which is performed by jumping slowly from one foot to the other, a performance sensibly enhanced by the iron gravity of his face all the time.
 A slender little woman in brown, who carried off all with a face radiant with sheer ecstasy, hopped into favour at once. She is going to India as a missionary, and is qualifying to astonish the natives. She pirouettes with an almost professional grace, and now and again relieves pressure with shrieks. Those in the dressing-boxes testified their sympathy by shrieking weirdly also.
 At this point a man in the audience lurched to the fore, and would have danced too— did dance, in fact, and was forthwith removed by an attendant, under the supervision Mr Harvey, amid the protests of the public.
 The sermon which Mrs Kent-White delivered was, to say the least of it, a fine example of the direct style. She told of converts to the order who recollected with grief days when they had omitted to pay their fares on tramway-cars.
 She has no patience with the baser side of church life.
 "Chicken suppers n' doughnut socials an' oyster stew—oh my dear people, I do hope 'n trust you don't hev' none o' them over hyer.
 "Seems to me most of the holiness that's abroad has gone into the cookin' business."
Of divorce, she admitted: " In America we have thousands of cases —the rottenest cases you ever heard. The audience cheered this.
 The Pentecostal Dancers are a sect claiming parentage form the Methodists.  They are some three years old, and their headquarters are in Chicago, where the Rev H. L. Harvey shares control of the order with a convinced and converted banker.
The revival lasted for ten days.

Star , Issue 8247, 21 February 1905

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