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Holy Roller vs. Holiness Theology

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General William BoothThe Salvation Army, founded in 1865 by William Booth, a Methodist minister who began his ministry in the East End of London in 1865, placed heavy emphasis on active social work and was operated in a military fashion. Philosophically it was part of the Holiness movement which also included the Nazarene Church, the Free Methodists and the Wesleyan Church. The religious services of most Holiness congregations of that time were lively, spirit-filled events where many of the formalities of traditional church services were dispensed with.

Members of Holiness congregations believed "Ye must be born again"--John 3:7. They believed that instantaneous conversion was possible and often after such a conversion "grown men bowed in earnestness and sobbed like children," and "drunkards and blasphemers were awed into solemnity." Those born again believed that with their new faith in God and following their repentance, their sins had been remitted and they stood before God as though they had never sinned.

After being born again, they had to seek and receive a second work of grace, "Sanctification." They believed this eradicated their inbred sinful natures and made them holy. Many churches that had once strongly embraced this teaching had since discarded it. But members of Holiness congregations considered "Sanctification" to be at the center of leading a Christian life. Without it, one could not become holy, and without becoming holy, one could not see the Lord.

"Holiness is the abolition of sin," said W. Bramwell Booth, Chief of the Staff of the Salvation Army and son of its founder, "the doing of righteousness and the enthronement of God. It is harmony, it is health, is is union, it is victory, it is joy unspeakable and full of glory. It is the work of the Holy Ghost, begun in pardon and adoption, made complete through body and soul and spirit in full salvation and brought to perfection in the maturity and fruitfulness of an obedient heart and consecrated life."

"The power of holiness is the eternal God. The way of holiness is straight and leads to the Cross. The testimony of holiness convicts the sinner. The fruit of holiness is love. The test of holiness is hard work and real sacrifice for the salvation of the bodies and souls of men. Its watchword is "others."

"If holiness is possible anywhere to anyone at any time, it must be possible everywhere, to everyone, and all the time, therefore to you and just now. Desire it above everything else. Seek it above everything else. Pay the price marked on it, nothing less than the sum total of your all and begin now to believe God is true, and you shall have it. He is faithful. I have proved it."

Holy Rollers

Buy Holy Rollers: Murder & Madness in Oregon's Love Cult as an eBook for a measly $3.99 or get an autographed paperback for $15.

Holy Rollers is a story that has everything a good read should have: sex, religious fervor, mass insanity, the downfall of prominent families, murder and sensational court trials.

And it's all true.

John Terry, the Oregonian's 'Oregon's Trails' columnist says of the book: "A dandy piece of research and a good read. Lots more stuff than I was aware of. It deserves an audience"













Holy Rollers Paper Back

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Sample Chapters from Holy Rollers:
Murder and Madness in Oregon's Love Cult


The Cast of Characters
Photos and Bios of the Holy Rollers


Holy Rollers' Asylum Commitment Papers


Info for Book Groups

Book Reviews


1903 to 1907 Newspaper Articles About the Holy Rollers

1906 Editorial Calling for Gun Control
After Multiple Murders Involving the Holy Rollers

Stewart Holbrook Holy Rollers Article

Advertisements from 1893 to 1913


Oregon Insane Asylum
Where the Holy Rollers Were Committed

Creffield, Brainwashing & Thought Reform

Early Cases of Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity

1906 Autopsies Of Holy Rollers
Forensics Before CSI

Holy Roller Bizarre Divorce Decree
Hartley describes trying to kill his wife's lover


Comedians on Edmund Creffield

The Shadow Testament
A Play About The Holy Rollers

How the Fire Fell
A Movie About The Holy Rollers


Life in Corvallis in the early 1900s

Life in Waldport, OR in early 1900s

Heaven's Gate

Facts & Stats about 1906
And How The Holy Rollers Measured Up

Oregon State Penitentiary
Where Creffield Was Incarcerated


Info about Cults

Could you ever be lured into joining a cult?

Share your thoughts about, and experiences with, cults


Creffield's Preachings

Creffield Vs. Crefeld

The Salvation Army Opening Fire in 1886

Holy Roller Theology

Reverend Knapp's Bible Songs of Salvation & Victory
Songs Sung by the Holy Rollers


About the Authors

Theresa (T-) McCracken

Robert B. Blodgett

In addition to writing, McCracken is a cartoonist.

To see some of her 'toons, go to the Home of McHumor Cartoons mchumor.com

McCracken's Blog

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Snail Mail
Theresa (T-) McCracken
890 North Bayview Loop
Waldport, Oregon 97394

(541) 563-3112


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Theresa (T-) McCracken