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Significant Scots
John 'Jock' Troup


Evangelist (1896-1954)
By John Henderson of Stirling, Scotland

John ‘Jock’ Troup was born on the 26th of May, 1896 in Dallachy, near Fochabers, in the Parish of Bellie in the County of Elgin, Scotland, to Harry Clark Troup [Railway Signalman] and Harriet Ross, who married on the 13th of February, 1892 in Garmouth, Moray, Scotland.

Jock’s father, Harry Clark Troup, was born on the 14th of December, 1867 in Auchindoir and Kearn, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, to John Troup [Farm Labourer] and Elisabeth Clark, who married the day that Harry was born!

Jock’s Grandfather, John Troup, was born in 1843 in Forgue, Aberdeenshire to George Troup [Sawmiller] and Margaret Webster who married on the 12th of December, 1840 in Forgue; Jock’s Great Grandfather, George Troup, was born on the 8th of June, 1814 to Alexander Troup [Farm Labourer] and Catherine Monro, who married about 1808 in Fyvie, Aberdeenshire, Scotland; and, Jock’s Great Great Grandfather, Alexander Troup, according to the 1841 Census, was born in Aberdeenshire c. 1776.

 

Jock’s mother, Harriet Ross, was born on the 15th of April, 1871 in Spey Bay, Moray, Scotland to Gray Ross Jnr. [Farm Manager] (born on the 1st of September, 1835 in Keith, Banff, Scotland to Gray Ross Snr. [Farm Servant] and Margaret Tough), and Ann Paul (born on the 18th of May, 1838 in Auldearn, Nairn, Scotland to David Paul [Colporteur] and Harriet McKenzie). Tragically Gray Ross Jnr. died of typhoid fever, aged 40 years, on the 9th May 1876 in Garmouth; and his widow Ann died of cancer, aged 51 years as a pauper, on the 26th of August, 1889 in Garmouth. Harriet was fortunate in her early years to gain admission to the Anderson Institute in Elgin, an institution funded by Lt. General Andrew Anderson in 1824 to provide for the welfare of elderly poor people and for the education of orphaned children in Elgin.

 

The 1901 Census for the Troup family of Harry and Harriet shows that they, and their then three children, Elizabeth (6), John ‘Jock’ (4) and Harry Jnr. (2), are residing at Fife Mills Station Cottage, Mortlach, Banffshire where Harry Snr. is a Railway Agent.

 

The life-story of ‘Jock’ begins to emerge on the 13th of February, 1913 when he joins the Territorial Force Service for four years with the 5th Battalion of the Seaforth Highlanders. At that point in time he has been living at 40 Burn Street, Wick, and is employed as a Cooper.

Jock’s initial Military History Service sheet indicates that his father is Henry C. Troup of 40 Burn Street, Wick.

Jock’s Medical Inspection Report on the 13th of February, 1913 shows his approximate age, physical dimensions and fitness for service, plus final approval of his fitness on the 1st of January, 1914

Then, on the 29th of August, 1914, Jock signs an agreement ‘to subject himself to liability to serve in any place outside the United Kingdom in the event of National emergency’.

However, on the 29th of December,1914, the Statement of Services of Private John Troup, No. 2902, includes 'a sting in the tail’. He is to be discharged forthwith because of ‘Flat Foot’ after only one year and three hundred and nineteen days service.

Thereafter, as war is declared with Germany, Jock is called to join the Royal Naval Patrol Service where he becomes a crew member of the steam drifter ‘Strombo’ based in Kingston near Dublin. Subsequent events in Jock’s wartime life, and in relation to his later evangelical endeavours, are covered in Jackie Ritchie’s 1983 book, ‘Floods Upon The Dry Ground’ at, http://www.bibleteachingprogram.com/floods/floodsindex.htm and particularly in Chapter 15 at http://www.bibleteachingprogram.com/floods/15jocktroup.htm .

 

Mr Ritchie writes that the ‘Strombo’ crew was made up of godless men who spent much time gambling. …. “When ashore, Jock attended Gospel meetings on a Sunday night in Dublin Y.M.C.A. where a Mr. & Mrs. West were in charge who were keen soul winners for Jesus. One Sunday night after Mr. West preached Jock said, "I think I'll get converted and be done with it" Although this was spoken in a light manner, the prayers 'of some friends in Wick were being answered. The old fashioned conviction of sin was heavy upon Jock. He stopped swearing, smoking and tried to turn over a new leaf. During the long days on patrol he was restless, his darkened soul could find no peace, so he made up his mind to go and see Mrs. West when he got ashore. By this time the conviction of sin was so heavy that he was afraid to sleep lest he wake up in hell. True to his resolve, when his patrol was finished, he went to see Mrs. West, .who dealt with him from the Word of God. This seeking soul could not grasp the truth of free salvation. While he made his way back to the ship the Devil told him that he was one of the damned. Instead of going to the cabin, Jock went into the wheelhouse and prayed to God for salvation. Immediately the transaction took place and he found "A Saviour, Christ the Lord". God had got His man who was to be "a sharp instrument having teeth" in the days to come. Jock took his stand for Christ right away. After the incident in the wheelhouse he went to the cabin where the crew were playing cards and boldly testified to salvation. Some of the crew mocked, but the One Who had saved him, stood by him. That night he went across to another ship called the "Sparkling Star" which was on the same patrol. A stalwart for Christ named Andy Duthie was her skipper and he was asleep. The new convert woke him up and told what had happened. This wise Christian replied, ‘Son, you've made the greatest and finest decision any­one can make. You have a friend in me always.’ Wherever he went the transformed man testified and sweetly sang the "Songs of Zion". “In 1919 Jock returned to his trade in Wick. As he made barrels for the herring industry, the locals realised that a great change had come into his life. He lived in the reality of 2 Corinthians chapter 5, verse 11, "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away: behold, all things are become new". Jock attached himself to the Salvation Army and bore a bright testimony for God in Wick.”

This present account now presents most of the text of Chapter 15, but with my insertions of my recently discovered photographic images that illustrate parts of Mr Ritchie’s writings.

This Photo was taken at Pickie, Bangor, N.Ireland where open-air meetings were held in the afternoon every summer for children under the auspices of the ‘Bangor Christian Workers Society.

In the evening open-air meetings were held on the promenade for adults and young people.

 

"Jock decided in 1922 that his Bible knowledge was limited so he enrolled at the famous Bible Training Institute in Bothwell Street, Glasgow. At that time the principal was Dr. David McIntyre and God used this intellectual servant of His to mould the young evangelist. Jock would constantly be having prayer meet­ings in his room at all hours of the day and night, and although this created some problems for Dr. McIntyre in his responsibility for the other students, the godly principal used all his wisdom and knowledge in making Jock realise that rules had to be kept. On ons occasion in the middle of the night Dr. McIntyre knocked at the door of Jock's room and said "A little quieter, lads. Some students are trying to get to sleep". Jock's reply was "Keep the Devil out Lord, keep the Devil out!" Students testified that these times of prayer were a tremendous blessing to their souls, and set them an example of how to pray through and claim the blessing from heaven. It was during these days that Jock met another young man who was endued with the power of Christ. When that young man arrived at the Bible Training Institute, he hardly knew how to use a fork and knife. Peter Connolly was born and brought up a Roman Catholic in a poor home in the North of England. From the moment he was saved his life began to speak volumes for the power of salvation. Soon a bond of love, unity and desire to work for Christ grew between these two and they were constantly called upon to conduct campaigns together during college days. Both of them found the discipline. hard at the Institute, yet later on they often paid tribute to the help and encouragement they received. On one occasion Jock and Peter complained about a certain lecturer who had not mentioned Jesus Christ in his lecture. The prin­cipal asked for their notes and they told him that they had disposed of them. He took time and patience to explain to his two over zealous students that the lecture had been on the Children of Israel in the Wilderness. Travelling together in gospel campaigns around Britain, they won many for Christ. They would spend days and nights in prayer, even fasting when the heavens seemed as brass, with no one professing conversion. Tears would be shed as these men bound the enemy of souls, laying hold on the Word of God that declares, ‘Whatsoever ye bind on earth, it shall be bound in heaven.’ The two warriors knew that the secret of blessing was based in powerful praying. In many fishing towns along the Scottish coast there are still those who remember missions being conducted by Peter and Jock. Over the next years they travelled exten­sively. In 1932 Jock was invited to become Assistant Superintendent to Mr. P. T. McRostie at the Tent Hall in Glasgow. The Tent Hall was situated in the Saltmarket, Glasgow. It was built after Moody and Sankey held their campaigns in the city. Since then it had been a centre of evangelism. This new ministry in a more settled sphere provided Jock with a fresh challenge which he met with the help of the Lord.”

 

Jock by this time had found a help-mate who hailed from Wick.” …..

 

He had in fact married Catherine Sinclair Black on 1st June 1928 in the Columba Hotel Inverness according to the forms of the United Free Church of Scotland. Catherine’s parents were John Black [Woollen Mill Proprietor] and Bella Dunnet.

Mr. McRostie died in 1933 and Jock was asked to take full responsibility for the work at the famous Tent Hall. At that time it was one of the largest independent missions in the land. He accepted the challenge and was Superintendent until 1945. During those years Jock fought against every evil that abounded in the city of Glasgow. The war years were used as an opportunity to bring the gospel to the armed forces and supply weary travellers with meals. No doubt Jock's mind would go back to Dublin during the 1914-18 war, when Mr. & Mrs. West provided similar facilities which were instrumental in bringing him to Christ. His open-air services at the Glasgow Cross were blessed times when his tremendous voice could be heard singing and preaching ever Saturday afternoon. He made sure that his meetings were always bright, whether it was out in campaigns or in the more organised atmosphere of the Tent Hall. One of his sayings was, ‘There is no warrant in Scripture to tell us that a gospel service should be conducted like a funeral.’ In Tent Hall days Jock invited many powerful ministers and evangelists to Glasgow for special meetings. Men like the well-known Bible expositor Donald Barnhouse. The evangelist W. P. Nicholson came and his ministry was blessed by the salvation of souls.”

 

Jock never lost the urge to travel in order to preach the gospel. He had realised earlier on that he was called to be an evangelist and never lost that sense of call.”

However, the years had taken their toll on his health and after some illness he resigned from the leadership of the Tent Hall in 1945. Many folks speak yet of those days, and there are many who are proud to have been associated with him in the work of the Gospel. He never lost his love for the Salvation Army, indeed that is where he started singing in the open-air. Two old Salvatiion Army Sisters held meetings in the open-air in Wick but few stopped to listen to them. Jock offered to join in with them and when his powerful voice was heard all over Wick, people came to hear who was singing. When the crowds gathered, the Army Sisters were able to testify to the saving power of Jesus Christ. During his frequent visits to Wick he always visited the Corps there. He took great delight in appealing for funds for the Salvation Army picnic for children in Wick. In the open-air at the Camps in Wick he would cry out for all those who could afford to give £1 notes, then for those who were able to give 10/- notes and last of all he would ask for the snow (silver) to cover the paper. When a Wick Salvationist was being interviewed as a candidate for Officership by Commissioner Jeffries he was asked, ‘Do you know a John Troup?’ ‘I know a Jock Troup,’ replied the candidate. ‘Well,’ said the Commissioner, ‘I invited him to become an officer in the Salvation Army, but he felt he could not stand the discipline.’ Jock is reported to have said at least once, ‘If I had my life to live over again, I would be a Salvation Army Officer.’

 

After Jock's health began to improve, he joined the London Missionary Society and started to travel again and conducted missions throughout Britain. He also went several times to the U.S.A., having been invited by the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago who arranged an itinerary for him. He preached in nearly every State and was greatly loved as an old-fashioned Gospel preacher. Many souls were saved in the campaigns he held across that vast continent.”

It was on one of these tours that he received his call to "higher service.”

After being ill for several weeks while visiting friends - Mr. and Mrs Duncan MacRoberts - in Portland, Oregon, his next preaching engagement commenced on Easter Sunday, l954 in Spokane, Washington, in the 1st Presbyterian Church, where he was due to conduct a 6-day mission.

 

At the commencement of the service he taught the congregation one of his favourite choruses:

 

'Just a little longer and the trump of God shall sound,

Just a little longer and we'll all be Glory bound!

Look away to Jesus, your redemption draweth nigh.

Just a little longer and we'll meet Him in the sky."

 

He had just started his message, giving out his text from the Gospel of St. John chapter 3 verse 7. "Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again." – “What else can I say but that ye must be born again?” Thus he passed from time into the immediate presence of the Master he served and loved. From that night in 1918 in the wheelhouse of the drifter Strombo, until he went home to glory on the 18th of April 1954, the Christ Who saved him, kept him in every battle and trial. God took His servant home to heaven with his ‘boots on’, preaching the old Gospel he loved and defended. Often in conversation with his dear wife he had declared that he wished to pass on whilst on active service. Jock was not an old man, but the thirty-six years of Christian experience were packed to capacity in the service of Christ. Truly he could say, ‘I, love my Master, I will not go out free.’ Jock Troup has gone down in the annals of the Evangelical Church as one of the greatest evangelists Scotland has ever produced. It was his responsibility and privilege to be one of the few men entrusted to be at the ‘helm’ in a time of spiritual awakening.

 

His melodious voice has been preserved for posterity on quite a few gramophone records. He sang the old hymns with a tremendous depth of conviction seldom found in modern gospel soloists.”

JockTroup - "He Did Not Die In Vain." CUT to One Verse. wav

 

Many of the renowned evangelical leaders paid tribute to Jock and lamented that a great man and a prince had ‘fallen in Israel’. His lifetime friend Peter Connolly said when he heard of Jock's untimely death, ‘I have lost my dearest friend. He wept long and uncontrollably for the souls of men and women until his eyes were like balls of fire. He taught me how to pray.’ ”

 

Catherine (Katy) Jock’s widow, lived to the grand old age of 96 years before passing on to be with her Lord and Saviour. She was buried in Eastwood Cemetery, East Renfrewshire, Scotland in 1996.


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