The “Awakening” movement was a revival that took place amongst Adventism in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, spearheaded by Robert and John Brinsmead, two brothers from Australia. The church I belong to also began around that time, and for a while was closely associated with the Awakening message. That message re-emphasized the important truths brought out by two Adventist ministers in 1888, E.J. Waggoner and A.T. Jones. It was a revival of that distinctly Adventist gospel message. This is the songbook used by those folk.

There is also a collection of MIDI files with the music of each song. Click here to download that file.

For more material on the Awakening message, including audio sermons, and scanned copies of books and booklets, visit this website:
The Awakening (

A deeper look into this songbook uncovered some hidden gems that warranted preservation: some of them for their direct and clear message (to which new music was composed), and some for both message and original music. I present these selections here:

3 Comments on 1969: Awake and Sing

  1. Nathan says:

    What was the essence of separation between the two groups in those days then brother Frank?

  2. pp2300 says:

    This is a very good question. I will supply a few quotes from a history of that time by Fred Wright. First, he gives a general outline:

    “Those were fascinating times. I had no intention of getting involved in the mounting controversy, nor even of telling others of my new experience, but there were those who, in their longing for deliverance, sensed that I had found what they needed, and, accordingly, came to me with questions, which I dared not refuse to answer. I soon became known as the one who believed in living righteously, while the church leaders declared that perfection was impossible. At this time, 1958 or thereabouts, I was still teaching manual arts subjects at the New Zealand Missionary College.”

    “In Australia, two brothers, Robert and John Brinsmead were involved in a very active campaign calling the people to accept the messages of Waggoner and Jones. Feelings became intense, the church disfellowshipped a number of people, myself included, and the church became divided over the issues involved. For a time we worked with the Brinsmead brothers, but in 1962, we split from them due to their clinging to errors which had developed among them, such as their theory that the judgment of the living takes place before the latter rain can fall, and their rejection of the message of deliverance from all sin. They claimed that Romans 7 described the experience of a converted man, and more and more advocated a return to membership in the SDA church where the same theory awaited them.”

    Then later, after outlining how God called him to ministry, he gives a bit more detail on the building up of the work:

    “That was back in 1961, a total of 32 years, during which time I have faithfully maintained my side of that covenant even as God has kept His. Having made the contract to work together in that way, I found the calls to preach the message coming in under a frequency which kept me travelling throughout the North Island of New Zealand.

    “This went on until about the following March, 1962. Then things began happening rapidity. Firstly, I was in constant contact with the believers in Australia, through Ray Martin who was the full time worker for Bob and John Brinsmead. At that time they were campaigning throughout the United States of America where they were drawing fairly large crowds of people from the SDA Church. Through letters received from them, we were able to keep pace with what was going on over there

    “Their sponsor was Al Hudson, of Baker, Oregon, who maintained a small printshop in that town by way of earning a living. He produced a number of publications supporting the Awakening. as it came to be called. He appealed to the General Conference to fully investigate and support the movement. His was a powerful presentation, though it, along with the Brinsmead position, was flawed with certain errors. We found for our part however, that we could justifiably join with them on the following basis.

    “Firstly, it was time to call all believers to gather at the door to the most holy place, for deep searching of heart, and the putting away of all sin and sinning;

    “Secondly, that the loud cry will be the ministry of the fourth angel;

    “Thirdly, that Christ came to this earth in the same fallen, mortal, sinful, flesh and blood as His brethren.

    “Fourthly, they believed in all the fundamentals of Adventism or at the least, we assumed they did. We were all so caught up in the inspiration of the hour, that we were quite confident that all was well at home base. That feeling of security was to prove to be without a sure foundation in the sad cases of many.

    “In the meantime, we were vigorously promoting the message called From Bondage to Freedom up and down the length and breadth of the North Island of New Zealand with special emphasis on successfully leading the listener into a very definite personal experience of deliverance from bondage. A great deal of hard work had gone into establishing the believers into a united movement, so far as the New Zealand group was concerned, with the expectation of our working in that country well into the remaining years of our lives.”

    After outlining how God called him to move to Australia, he continues the history:

    “Upon our arrival there, we took up residence in North New South Wales, near the town, Murwillumbah. The news that we were coming back was spread from Victoria in the south, to Queensland in the north. People congregated from this area to give us a welcome and to hear what I had to say. To these ends, about seventy members of the Awakening assembled at the home of Bob Brinsmead’s parents on a Sabbath afternoon in March or April 1962. The interest was keen,and much was expected of me and I had much to give.

    “I knew that the Australian believers were not conversant with the deliverance message as we were in the New Zealand field. I knew this because of the absence of what they should have been saying in their letters to me. They dwelt mainly on doctrinal issues such as the theory that the cleansing of the sanctuary is the erasure of the memory. I saw that what they needed was the cleansing of their souls from the spirit of rebellion and that this cleansing is prerequisite to the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary. I knew that in Bob Brinsmead’s own book, God’s Eternal Purpose, the deliverance message was spelled out as clearly as any presentation I have made.

    “I naturally began with a study on the problem of bondage to the sin master and the divine promise to eradicate it there and then. I pointed out that the man of Romans 7 was unsaved. He had merely passed from being a willing sinner to being an unwilling sinner, but he was a sinner still. He had not passed from death unto life.

    “I never finished the presentation, for the principles laid down that afternoon were as totally unacceptable to those who professed to be of the Awakening as ever they could be. A storm of questions and objections terminated my presentation before I was halfway through with it. I countered by quoting from Bob Brinsmead’s book, Gods Eternal Purpose, in which is to be found the exact same message, supported by the same evidences from the same Scriptures, argued in the same way.

    “Thus protected in this entirely unexpected way, my position could not be refuted. The meeting broke up with the problem unresolved. There was no suggestion of parting over this issue but it was clear that relations were being strained to a considerable degree…

    “At the time when I returned to Australia, there were two concentrations of believers in Australia. One was in Brisbane under the leadership of Hope Taylor and her husband Lionel. She was the sister in the Brinsmead family and exerted a powerful influence in the movement.

    “The other group was in the Murwillumbah District and was led by Brother Bill Race. He was quite a good student of the Scriptures and was by no means limited to the Brinsmead positions. As a family we had settled in a small house in a tiny town, called Tumbulgum, just south of Murwillumbah.

    “This meant that we naturally attended the group meetings in our own area from Sabbath to Sabbath and during the week for prayer-meetings. I was usually away from home most of the time giving studies at locations near and far. Occasionally, or if there was a special cause, we all combined, though it meant a considerable journey for some. All that was to change quite dramatically after which the Awakening was never to be the same again. It all happened as follows:

    “As already mentioned, Brother Bill Race of Murwillumbah was an excellent student. He saw in particular, that type must meet antitype and in this area he did a considerable amount of study. He saw that the first, second, and third angels’ messages had to be repeated, both in the message to be given and the resulting effect upon the people. Thus the first angel, who brings the everlasting gospel, therefore comes with the unlimited power of God. His message is the power of God unto salvation from sin no matter when or where it may fall. Once it has fallen on the heart of an individual, that person will never be the same again, for the gospel either softens or it hardens.

    “Rightly received, it separates the soul from sin and from those in the fellowship of sinners who remain in the camp of the enemy. So it was that the second angel inevitably followed the gospel. In turn, the third angel followed the first and the second by his showing the world the full development of their initial rejection of the gospel. No true awakening could ever be generated without the everlasting gospel being present in resurrection power to put life where there had been only death.

    “As we studied these principles in the Murwillumbah group, our hearts and spirits warmed within us, and we knew we were moving in the right direction. We were able to match the present day developments with their divine prophetic predictions. We concluded that Bob Brinsmead in his powerful appeals to the Adventist world to repent and be converted so that they could be fit to face the judgment in peace, was preaching the first angels’ message, and that the message of deliverance from the bondage to sin were complementary to each other. That being so, we could be sure that the second angel would follow the first. Therefore we could be certain that another message would follow the first even though it was not visible as yet.

    “We of the Murwillumbah group had no difficulty in understanding these great truths and began to pray for their appearance. We did not commence an agitation with the purpose of convincing all the believers everywhere that here was great new light with the urge for them all to accept it. As a matter of fact, the Murwillumbah group did not enjoy the closest fellowship with the Brisbane group. There was an unfortunate degree of rivalry which tended to produce a separation, but for the wrong reasons. So it was that a few weeks passed by without any great change taking place in the relationships among the various believers. Then it was that a certain believer in the Awakening message, and who lived in Sydney, Reg Bladwell by name, decided to drive north to pay us a visit. When he arrived, he found me at home that day and not just anywhere up and down the coast.

    “We enjoyed a good fellowship together in which I told him what was happening in the United States, and also that which was happening in New Zealand, and in the local territory. Seeing neither harm nor danger in doing so, I explained to him our thoughts in regard to a succession of messengers of which the Brinsmeads were one of several. They had been the initiaters, but there would be at least another messenger or more to carry the truth from one stage to the next.

    “I do not think that Reg Bladwell truly understood these principles and their application to our situation. He went his way disbelieving at least to a point. Thus it was that the main burden on his mind when he reached Hope Taylor was this very question. Hope Taylor, as I mentioned earlier in this narrative, is Bob Brinsmead’s sister. As well, she was the driving force in the movement. She was a person of great forcefulness and feared no one.

    “When she heard through Reg Bladwell of the views being developed in the Murwillumbah group, she was hotly indignant, and rose up in defence of her brothers, whom she believed were becoming the victims of a conspiracy to discredit the family and separate the group into two rival factions. That which added fuel to the fire was the rumor which got into circulation at this point of time, that Al Hudson, who it was generally believed had separated from the Adventist Church, had suddenly reversed his thinking and was leading the believers to return to the church. In Hope Taylor’s mind, such a course could only destroy the Awakening. Tensions were running high anything could happen, and the unexpected did.

    “A general meeting was called for on a Sabbath afternoon to be held at Terranora, Public Hall, which is located in the extreme NE corner of New South Wales, or the SE corner of Queensland, Australia. The main issue had become the question of loyalty to the church, or loyalty to the truth. It was impossible to be loyal to both. The entire movement had become separationist, especially in respect to its generally adopted principles of operation. For instance, the members had withdrawn their financial support from the church, held separate meetings in which the church was represented as being in very grave error, paid full time workers to spread what was considered as being present truth. People were baptized, and, in short, behaved as a separate church entity.

    “As we gathered together on that fateful Sabbath afternoon, I felt that the entire future of the Awakening was at stake. But I had this confidence that I knew what I believed, and I knew where the Awakening stood for so far as its relationship to the Church was concerned. I also knew that the Brinsmead family were unpredictable. Once again, I was called upon to present the case in support of separation from the church. This time, the people present listened calmly and attentively as I went over the same material we had all looked to to support the position of separation, and I expected that that meeting would clarify and confirm the position we were in fact then holding.

    “So, I came to the end of my presentation, when Hope Taylor pressed right into my place, and took the opposite point of view. What amazed me was the fact that, in the most spirited manner, and authoritative vehemence, she took the exact opposite view from that which she had previously taught with equal vigor. Nothing was resolved that day as there were too many people present with different views. The best which could be done, it seemed, was for all to go home, and there spend time in prayer and study. Then another meeting could be appointed through which a further attempt could be made to settle the questions facing us. So we all went home wondering just what the future might hold for us. I was happy to abide by these conditions, but they turned out to be too short to be effective. Before Hope Taylor even reached Brisbane, she drafted a letter in which she denounced the same points all over again. She warned the people that I was a most dangerous man whom no one should support.

    “That marked the end of our ever working with the Brinsmeads. They turned back to the church with the argument that separation would mean cutting ourselves off from all access to souls in the fallen churches. Thus, they argued, we would be depriving thousands of the truth which they needed so badly. We countered their argument by stating that it was the Lord who had directed that we separate and that while it might appear that it was a mistake to do so, obedience to God was never a mistake and our separation from the fallen churches would prove that.

    “Not only did we separate from the Seventh-day Adventist Church but those in the various churches including the Roman Catholic Church, separated into our ranks. Also, we departed likewise from the Brinsmead members of the Awakening, never to work with them again.”

    So there you have an account of this little-known history. Primarily it was the deliverance message (bondage to freedom) which was the division point. Strangely, Fred points out that this message was written clearly in Bob’s book, God’s Eternal Purpose, but for some reason, many of the followers did not grasp it. Even Bob seemed to have difficulty understanding what he had written. But I believe Fred’s emphasis was correct. Like John the Baptist’s message, the axe must be laid to the root of the tree. This is the correct foundation to build on.

  3. JEFF TURNER says:

    Thankyou for providing this information. May God richly bless you.

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