When the 1857-8 revival swept across the northeastern United States and much of the South, Louisiana missed it.
PINEVILLE – When
the 1857-8 revival swept across the northeastern United
States and much of the South, Louisiana missed it.
There may have
been the preaching of the Gospel in the state but the spiritual awakening
experienced in many parts of the country did not occur, records indicate.
“Our prayer is
that when God sends revival to America,
Louisiana Baptists not miss it this time,” said Wayne Jenkins, director of
evangelism for the Louisiana Baptist Convention.
About 350 pastors
and lay persons met March 22-23 at
Kingsville Baptist Church of Pineville to not only hear and sing, but
most importantly to humble themselves and pray.
and corporate prayer punctuated the schedule, three speakers addressed the
conference: John Avant, vice president for evangelism at the North American
Mission Board; Roy Fish, professor of evangelism, retired, from Southwestern
Baptist Theological Seminary, and Sammy Tippit, international evangelist.
“We tasted what
He would have us eat everyday,” said Dick Debusk, LBC prayer and spiritual
awakening strategist. “The Lord desires our presence. It will be amazing what
God will do with a few people who genuinely seek His face on His terms.”
dissertation was on the
Fulton StreetRevival. According to Fish’s research, the revival
began with one man, Jeremiah Lamphier. The cultural factors of immorality and
rejection of God loomed as large in the days of Lamphier as they do now.
the sadness in the faces of the businessmen of New York City, Fish said. In response, he
organized a prayer meeting at a church on
circulated 20,000 leaflets announcing a prayer meeting, he prayed alone until
finally, five men joined him at the close of the hour. The next week there were
months, the building was full at the noon hour. Within six months there was
such a compulsion for prayer that there were more than 50,000 businessmen and
women praying during the noon hour in New
puncture heaven with prayer from that many people and God not move in an
extraordinary way,” Fish said. Hundreds, then thousands, began to experience
“New York City has never experienced anything
like it in its colorful history,” Fish said.
When Frank Page,
president of the Southern Baptist Convention, heard of the prayer and spiritual
awakening event in central Louisiana,
he affirmed not only the event but also its potential outcomes.
Baptists this is the kind of revival fire that we desperately need,” wrote Page
in one of his columns. “This past year, I have traveled across our great
Convention and I have heard the heart cry from many of our people in the pulpit
and the pew. Unless we have a genuine movement of God in our midst, we are
doomed to the outcomes of the status quo. God wants to do more than that with
LBC executive director, addressed prayer participants.
become desperate enough and have no other recourse, they are motivated to fall
on their faces, open up their hearts and cry out to the Lord. That is the
pattern of revival in Scripture and history,” Hankins said. “We believe Louisiana is fertile
ground for a movement of God. In the past 18 months there has been so much
disruption in so many lives, there is a turning to God who is our resource, our
strength and our hope. He definitely has our attention and He desires to do a
work in the lives of people and our churches.”
Avant of NAMB
shared with prayer participants that God answers “big” praying. He told about
the challenges of his father-in-law, who was the target of the prayers of God’s
people. Avant called him the worst man who ever lived. Then he was saved and in
the transformation of his life, the worst man became the best man Avant said he
had ever known.
“God’s work was so transformational that He
took away the man’s shame, and he was free to worship and to witness,” Avant
told the conference.
Avant told the
history of the special work of God in the Coggin
Church, Brownwood, TX.
Avant reported that the church was a messed up, divided church. He was asked,
“How long the revival lasted?” Avant reported, “About 12 years. However, you
don’t want the phenomenon to continue. You are talking about repentance and
grieving over sin. Yet the revival continues in the lives of people “sold out”
to the Lord. Some are missionaries. One man who was the fire chief is now a
Avant, a movement of God today would not look like the spiritual awakenings of
the past. “One suspicion I have is that a post-Christian revival in North
America might begin with the church falling on its knees and repenting and God
saying, “Get out of this church building because we can’t keep the movement of
God in this building.”
Sammy Tippit told
how prayer will penetrate the darkest places on the earth. He gave several
examples of national boarders being a barrier to the Gospel. However, “God’s
people praying goes beyond national borders and touches the lives of people”
said Tippit. With example after example Tippit told how the faithful
intercession of one brought the light of the Gospel to places where no Gospel
witness was allowed.
During the Friday
afternoon session, participants were involved in a concert of prayer. The
concert involved Scripture reading, worship songs and prayer for repentance,
reconciliation and worship. Leadership for the prayer concert involved several
pastors, convention missionaries, and state agency leaders.
messages will be available for audio download after April 1 at www.LBC.org.