By Brian Blackwell, Message Staff Writer
PINEVILLE – Revival is sweeping across the Louisiana College campus, student Karen Wagley believes.
And a revival March 3-5 was a huge part of that happening.
“It really encouraged my heart to see the openness that the students had to worship the Lord, listen to Him, and share from their hearts whether it was confessing sins or listening to encouragement from students that have walked through and have had victory in Jesus name with those same sins or hardships,” Wagley said. “I believe this is one of the strongest ways the Lord helped bring revival to LC’s students, is when the students themselves are willing to stand up and proclaim God’s glory and how good and faithful He is.”
This Joseph Willis Symposium featured two services each day and focused on the historical Jesus Movement, a substantial movement of Christianity from the late 1960s to the early 1980s, and the backdrop it provided for evangelistic sermons from three pastors who preached during the revival.
Those preaching were John Bisagno, retired pastor of First Baptist Church in Houston; Sammy Tippit, a global evangelist with Sammy Tippit Ministries; and Alvin Reid, a professor of evangelism at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. First Baptist Church in Pineville, His Church in Pineville and Philadelphia Baptist Church in Deville provided music.
Every evening service had its own special emphasis, on athletes, youth and then educators.
Throughout the revival, numerous students came forward to the altar at Guinn Auditorium to either pray or make personal decisions, including at least two people who prayed to receive Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.
“My heart was overwhelmed to witness students confessing, comforting and encouraging each other,” said Philip Caples, vice-president of integration of faith and learning at LC.
During the final evening of the revival, incoming LC President Rick Brewer attended. An accomplished pianist, Brewer played on the instrument the songs “Bless the Lord O My Soul” and “Amazing Grace.”
Later, students surrounded Brewer and his wife, Cathy, and laid hands on the couple to pray for them as they begin their new chapter in life.
“The announcement of Dr. Brewer as our new president added a great dimension to the revival and his singing was a blessing to all who attended,” Caples said. “To see the student body gather around him as we prayed over him and for his new ministry opportunity humbled me greatly.”
The three-day revival is just one example of how Christ is moving across the campus.
Keith Manuel, evangelism associate for Louisiana Baptists, has seen several students come to faith in Christ in the New Testament survey classes he teaches. He and other faculty and coaches are sharing the gospel faithfully, as not every student has a personal walk with Christ.
“The Lord is using students, faculty, coaches, pastors and guest evangelists to point people to Jesus at Louisiana College,” Manuel said. “Watching students confess sin, seek God and pour out their hearts’ to Him for hours was amazing. I’m praying for a revival that will burn so bright through these students that it will lead all of Louisiana Baptists to catch the revival fires of heaven and beat back the darkness that is stealing the hearts of our sons and daughters in every community.”
Wagley believes revival beyond the three days of revival services on campus will continue.
“I believe it has and will continue in worship,” she said. “I have seen a change among some of the students for following the Lord and having a heart of unity and serving the Lord together, a like mindedness and love for each other, and also our new president, Dr. Brewer and his wife coming. I think it’s a great change for Louisiana College and that him being here has already brought great encouragement and joy to the students to see that change.”