Born in 1900 a young James pulled on his boots on the day he left the Braidwater Mill to commence his studies for the ministry. Mr Robald Tilsley a former Superintendent of the Birmingham Branch of the Gideon’s International recalled that in the 1930s the Rev McWhirter was being mightily used in national evangelistic campaigns.
Victor Dunstan, of Megiddo Press Ltd had post-war recollections of this Cullybackey man addressing a crowded Westminster Central Hall in London on an Easter Monday morning. He was one of a select band of men revered throughout Britain who belonged to the “Revival Party.” He was also deeply involved in, and in no small measure a contributor to the revival which swept through Britain after the First World War.
He lived in Jerusalem for many years and in 1986 published the book “A World in a Country” which was heralded as “The Evangical Book of the Year.” A literary editor said, “It brought the accumulated wisdom of a long lifetime to bear on the complex problems of the Middle East and on Israel’s relations with her neighbours.”
In 1986 he and his English born wife celebrated their Golden Wedding anniversary in the Christian Embassy in Jerusalem. To mark the occasion and inappreciation of their services the staff presented them with tickets for a trip home.
The Rev McWhirter died in 1990 and is buried in the Alliance Church International Cemetery, Jerusalem.