Preface to Preserving the Truth
All books have a story behind them, and this book is no exception. My story began in 1989 when I received an envelope in the mail from Threshing Floor Ministries of Spokane, Washington, US, containing about 50 old articles from an Irish newspaper, the Impartial Reporter and Farmer’s Journal, relating to a new religious sect that was making “big news” in Ireland.
As I pored over the articles from the early 1900s, I read about William Irvine, the founder of a peculiar new religious sect in Ireland, and a large Christian convention he arranged in Enniskillen in 1904. This new sect had no name, and its itinerant preachers went about the countryside preaching in pairs. To my amazement, I saw the familiar names of some preachers, such as George Walker and Jack Carroll—both these men and Carroll’s sisters, Fannie and May, had visited in my family’s homes!
The more I read, the more certain I became that the articles were about the nameless church my family and I had been attending for three generations. My grandparents entered this church in the early 1930s when my parents were children. Devout followers, my parents hosted the annual statewide convention in Jackson, Mississippi, where I grew up.
As I studied these old newspaper articles, I wondered why my family and church friends had never heard an inkling about this preacher, William Irvine. Nor had we been aware that our church started in Ireland around the turn of the twentieth century. Having been immersed in this church from birth, these discoveries turned my world upside down.
Most children born and bred into this church were told that there was no earthly founder; that Jesus Himself had started it, and that our ministers had continued in a direct line from the first century apostles to the current ministers (a concept known as apostolic succession). That is, our church began when Jesus sent out His disciple from the Sea of Galilee to preach in Matthew 10. We believed this without question—it never occurred to us that it might not be true. Countless followers believed and still believe this particular nameless church is the only church that was not founded by man.
After mulling over this surprising new information, I began a quest to prove or disprove if William Irvine had really started our church. I discovered his senior ministers had quietly expelled him in 1914 and deliberately erased his name and role from their church history. The church continued much the same as usual.
I was initially aided in my research by a book published in 1982 that revealed many hidden details surrounding the life and ministry of William Irvine. The title was The Secret Sect written by Doug and Helen Parker from Australia. Over time, I independently verified the facts contained in the Parkers’ book. During my investigation, I made two research trips to the UK and Ireland where I found additional evidence.
Over the past 25 years, I have been dedicated to researching, collecting, preserving, publishing and revealing the hidden history of this nameless sect. It has been a daunting challenge to compile an accurate account of a sect that purposely does not take a name, does not record its own history and even goes to great lengths to prevent it from being documented by others. The content of some of this book is being published for the first time.
Truth is a precious commodity, and I place a high value on it. Devoted to the pursuit of truth and its preservation, I am strongly opposed to deception and unwilling to remain silent. For this reason, I created a website in 1997, where I have shared my research documents publicly. I believe everyone who has ever been associated with this church has a right to know the truth about its history and deserves access to the facts. Arrangements have been set in place for this book and my associated website, Telling The Truth (TellingTheTruth.info) to continue indefinitely, long after I leave this world.
Ultimately, I hope this book will give the reader insight into who, what, when where, why and how the 2×2 Sect started and developed. It is a well-established principle that understanding the linkage between the past and present is essential for a good understanding of the present.
Researching the history of the 2×2 Sect has been a very fulfilling and enjoyable quest. To the best of my knowledge, I have preserved and reported the facts currently known to me. I am deeply indebted and grateful to countless sources all over the world who have assisted me in compiling this book.
Written for the love and preservation of Truth,
NOTE: In my book, I refer to this nameless church by its most common public nickname, “Two by Twos” (2x2s).
Truth is not only violated by falsehood; it may be equally outraged by silence.
(Henri F. Amiel)
Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?
(Galatians 4:16 KJV)