Founding[ edit ] InWilliam Irvine was sent from Scotland to southern Ireland as a missionary by John George Govan 's Faith Missionan interdenominational organization with roots in the Holiness movement. Its caption read "How 'Dippers' are Initiated". Above all, Irvine was increasingly intolerant of the Faith Mission's cooperation with the other churches and clergy in the various communities of southern Ireland, regarding converts who ed churches as "lost among the rIvine.
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And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat. There he held a series of mission meetings in which all established churches were Irvune, and Irvine's new doctrine and method of ministry were set forth. It was in Rathmolyon that he recruited the first adherents to his new message.
See endnote for link to the full article. Rather than adding members to established denominations, as was the practice of the Faith Mission outreach, churches began noticing their congregations thinning after exposure to the Two by Two missions.
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Clerics soon began regarding the Two by Two preachers as "inimical to the membership of the church". Regarded as a novelty, the outdoor "dippings" and accompanying sermons attracted large crowds. Large gatherings were held in Dublin, Glasgow and Belfast during Annual conventions, modeled after the evangelical Keswick Conventions in England,  began to be held regularly in Ireland starting in During the next few years, this change became universal.
The church continued to grow rapidly and held regular annual conventions lasting several weeks at a time. Irvine traveled widely during this period, attending conventions and preaching worldwide, and began sending workers from the British Isles to follow up and expand interest in various areas. Wilson, an English farmer whose unmarried children had left home and ed the Two by Twos, began publishing articles stating girls were being recruited by the church for immoral purposes.
Two by twos
Each worker was ased a particular geographical sphere and then coordinated the efforts of the ministry within his area. Irvine continued to have the ultimate say over worker conduct and finances, and his activities within their fields became regarded as "interference".
As his message turned towards indicating a new era, which held no place for the ministry and hierarchy  that had rapidly grown up around the "Alpha Gospel", resentment arose on the part of overseers who saw him as a threat to their positions. As progressed, he was excluded from speaking in a growing of regions, as more overseers broke away from him.
He was shunned and his name was no longer mentioned, making him a nonperson in the church he founded. Lacking any organizational means of making his case before the membership, Irvine's ouster occurred quietly.
Cooney himself adhered to the earlier, unfettered style of itinerant ministry, moving about wherever he felt he was needed. The overseers seized upon a failed attempt at performing a faith healing as a pretext to excommunicate him.
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Prior to the schismonlookers had labeled the entire movement as "Cooneyites" due to Edward Cooney's prominence in the early growth of the church. There are areas where this older usage continues. Most supporters of Irvine, and later Cooney, were either coaxed into abandoning those loyalties or put out of the fellowship.
Among these were the early workers May Carroll, Irvine Weir one of the first workers in North America, who was excommunicated for continued contact with Cooney and for his objection to registration of the church under names  and Tom Elliot who had conducted baptisms of the first workers and was nicknamed "Tom the Baptist".
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Because of animosity, they did not form a united front with other Protestant communities. One exception was the involvement of the Pearson family in the still-controversial Coolacrease incident.
The public preaching of its early days was replaced with low-key "gospel meetings", which were attended only by members and invitees. The church began to assert that it had a 1st-century origin. The church shunned publicity, making the church very difficult for outsiders to follow.
Inan agreement was forged vlack the senior overseers which limited workers operating outside of their appointed geographical spheres, known as "fields": workers traveling into an area controlled by another overseer had to first submit their revelation to,  and obtain permission from, the local overseer. However, there were problems with recognition of this name outside the British Isles, and exemption was refused in many other areas. Most members were not aware of these names.
Some who dissented after learning of the practice were expelled by the workers.
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Rather than producing further unity, som attempt produced conflicts over the church's history which was exposed, the existence of legal names, disagreements over the hierarchy which had developed and other controversies. Many excommunications took place in the subsequent effort to enforce harmony.
British overseer Willie Gill died in Some former members and critics of the church have made statements about its Ahy, although these points have rarely been publicly responded to by any authorities within the church. These are seen as inconsistent with biblical Christianity and were strongly denounced by early workers.
The church has upheld these practices since its inception. The Bible itself is held as insufficient for salvation unless its words be made "alive" through preaching of its ministers. Jesus is God's son, a fully human figure who came to earth to establish a way of ministry and salvation,  but not God himself. The entity was dissolved in after its AAny became generally known. This term is never used to refer to a building, except when referring to church buildings of other denominations, or occasionally when speaking metaphorically.