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West Street Mission

Location:  West street, near Georgia.

    This mission was established on the 25th of July, 1869, by a colony of young men from the First Church, assisted by two or three other persons; who secured, for their purpose, a building formerly used as a Soldiers' Barracks, located as above.

    The field was not inviting, and the building anything but elegant or attractive; but the founders of the enterprise, with little but their own zeal and persistence (of which they have certainly expended an extraordinary amount) to aid them in the work, succeeded in establishing and conducting a useful and growing mission of the Presbyterian Church, in a locality where there was great need of such an undertaking.

    They began by organizing a Sabbath-School, with Henry D. Carlisle as superintendent.  The school was successful from the beginning.  The average attendance of pupils is about seventy-five; any material increases of which number is hindered by the limited capacity of the building.  Mr. Carlisle has, with the exception of an intermission of a few months, been the superintendent ever since.  The young men who founded the mission have, with the assistance of an additional helper or two, continued to sustain it; and have managed to accumulate a handsome Sunday-School library, and an organ, besides fitting up the room and paying the rental.

    During the past summer, out-door meetings, largely attended, were held every Sabbath in front of the building; and when the cold weather put a stop to these, and forced the "Colony" to adjourn to the inside, these meetings were not discontinued.  These religious services have been conducted by the five young men in charge of the Sabbath-School, (Henry D. Carlisle, P. L. Mayhew, R. D. Craighead, Leroy W. Braden, and Charles Meigs;) who--as they express it--" being too poor to secure a regular minister, have had to do their own preaching,--with what help they could get from laymen of the different churches of the city."

    The attendance at these Sabbath evening meetings has generally been as large as the limited capacity o the building would admit of.

pp. 215-216.
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