Roving revival reaches northern Missouri
TRENTON—Folks in northern Missouri are beginning to know Jesus in a “for sure” way.
The North Grand River Baptist Association “For Sure” Revival, which took place the last two weeks of September, resulted in 54 professions of faith. Evangelist William Blackburn from Fort Smith, Ark., preached in four different locations throughout the association about the importance of being born again, which is precisely what North Grand River Director of Missions E.J. Barnes said is the primary need of many of the pew sitters. That’s why the roving revival was tagged with the “for sure” label.
“Many of us have been convinced that a lot of the people in our churches are really not born again,” Barnes said. “They have religion, they have Churchianity, and they do a lot of religious things, but they really have not been born of the Spirit. They’ve not really repented of their sin. They’ve not really received Christ into their lives. So we’ve been praying that God would have mercy and reveal to people if they really do not know Jesus.”
People in the association have been praying for quite some time for real revival and spiritual awakening, Barnes said. During the revival they saw many eyes and hearts opened. Several other people who were not counted in the statistics also came to know the saving power of Jesus as Blackburn preached boldly, Barnes said.
“Several of our services, he didn’t even offer an invitation,” Barnes said. “He just said, ‘You go home, and you get with God, and if you’re not born again, if the Spirit of God is dealing with you concerning your sin and your lostness, then you cry out to God and ask God for mercy—ask God to come into your life.’ So we’ve had people who have given their lives to the Lord at home and then told people later what happened, and we haven’t even counted those as part of the 54. I’ve just counted the 54 that have come to the altar.”
The roving revival started out in First Baptist Church, Gallatin, before moving to Union Coon Creek Baptist Church and First Baptist Church, Princeton. It finished at First Baptist Church, Trenton.
Top attendance was 431 at First Trenton on Sept. 30, for the very last meeting of the revival. One night at Coon Creek, which is a country church, people filled the gymnasium, which normally can hold 250. The actual count that evening was 317, with people standing in the kitchen and closet areas. The least-attended service during the entire revival was 176, Barnes said.
“The Spirit of God is really moving,” Barnes said. “He’s convicting of sin and judgment and righteousness, and a lot of people are responding.”
Barnes said he has been urging people to pray for five things: real revival in God’s churches; spiritual awakening that would permeate culture; more laborers, particularly as it concerns young people and bi-vocational pastors; that God would make Himself known; and that it would begin with that person.
“God’s answering that prayer,” he said. “And I think this is a part of that.”