By Brian Blackwell, Message Staff Writer
ROBELINE – Evangelist Sam Moore originally planned to preach just 10 days at the revival he led for the First Baptist Church in Robeline.
However, what began with a Disciple Now youth weekend retreat at church on Jan. 18 continued until Feb. 6, an additional nine days after the congregation extended the revival services two times.
Church officials reported 50 people repented and committed to live for Christ and that 38 of the new converts were baptized during the services.
Moore thanked God for sending the Holy Spirit to stir the people’s hearts.
“The altars were full every night as the invitation was extended, and believers prayed for the lost and for themselves,” Moore said. “Many publicly declared they had experienced personal revival in their lives. This church has really been in a state of revival for several years now. This church is very serious and intentional about prayer and outreach. God blessed their efforts and faithfulness.”
Brian Ray, pastor of First Baptist Robeline, said the extended revival was not about the pastor, congregation or who was on the schedule but was all about God’s presence in the services.
“Every ounce of glory goes directly to Him,” Ray said. “It’s not about the church. We can’t save anybody. That light always reflects Him.”
PRAYING FOR REVIVAL
The church made preparations for the revival months in advance.
In October, each member was asked to pray for five lost people by name. Moreover, the congregation faithfully prayed in the following months, asking for wisdom, discernment and revival, as well as to plead that God’s presence fill the worship center during each service.
“Without prayer it is impossible,” Ray said. “We prayed that God would give us clean hearts and then prayed others’ would change their hearts. Calling out names specifically to God is a big part. Many of those names are now names that are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.”
Katherine White was among those who responded to a call of repentance. She turned to Christ during the Jan. 22 revival meeting, and was baptized the following evening.
“At that moment I heard Sam Moore give the invitation, I started crying and struggled to stop,” she said. “I knew he was talking to me. Satan didn’t want me to get up and walk down the aisle, but I realized I needed Jesus, that I needed a relationship with Him.
“So I took that courage that Jesus put in me and walked down the aisle,” she said. “I felt a weight off my shoulder. It was the best thing I have ever experience. I thank Jesus every day for saving me.”
SEEING CONTINUED REVIVAL
First Baptist Robeline’s revival services have concluded, but Ray believes God has much more in store for his church and the community.
“Just because the meeting is over doesn’t mean the revival ended,” Ray said, “and we know we have to be good stewards of it moving forward.
“When we get our hearts as Christians aligned and we get humble and repent of our sins, our hearts begin to match up with the heart of God,” he continued. “We are seeing people not only invite others to church, but see them in the community invite people to follow Jesus on the spot. We are blessed with a church family that consists of a lot of soul-winners. That’s the heart of revival – to have a stirring inside our hearts that others might be saved.”