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Amazing Kentucky Revival part Two

If you read last week's post on this site, you may recall amazing things happened in Kentucky around 1800. Settlers in outlaw-infested Logan County, Kentucky, fasted and prayed for revival, at the urging of Presbyterian circuit-riding preacher James McGready. In answer to those prayers, rawboned, drunken rogues repented and changed into law-abiding citizens.

Rev. Barton Stone of Bourbon County, attended those meetings in Logan County. He witnessed powerful outpourings of God's Spirit and determined to see biblical morality as well as law and order come to his region also. His people began to fast and pray.

Barton's people of Cane Ridge planned for meetings to be held the following summer. Men cleared a large section of woods and erected seven platforms at the edge of the clearing where ministers could preach to the crowd. Stone's congregation fasted, and prayed to the God of heaven, begging for genuine revival.

At the appointed time, settlers of different stripes arrived: curiosity seekers, lonely settlers eager for fellowship--and rowdy, drunken scoffers. The latter group planned to have fun breaking up the meetings.

Who could have guessed that 25,000 people would show up!

As the meetings progressed, hardened criminals fell down and begged God for mercy. Those delivered from sin shouted with joy. People attending that day reported that a thousand people at a time shouted praises to God. The noise could be heard for miles.

What of the scoffers? Many bragged they wouldn't believe any of the emotional outbreaks. Some of the most blasphemous were struck with the awful realization they had offended the God of heaven, even as the words came out of their mouths. Some fell down as though struck by lightning. Many were converted on the spot.

Results were astounding. Settlers returned to their farms and a decided change took place in their frontier culture. Within three years the Baptist church rolls increased by ten thousand members. Methodist churches saw about the same and the Presbyterian membership swelled as well. *(Referenced from the book From Sea to Shining Sea by Peter Marshall and David Manuel, c.1986, Fleming H. Revell)

Neighbors now cooperated in barn-raisings and field clearings. Drunken brawls were replaced by kindness, cooperation, and a much higher level of morality.

Scoffers cropped up almost immediately. Their criticism was put to rest by Dr. George Baxter, of Virginia, who traveled personally to Kentucky to see for himself. His findings in the Connecticut Evangelical Magazine included these words: "I found Kentucky, to appearance, the most moral place I had ever seen. A profane expression was hardly ever heard. A religious awe seemed to pervade the country." *See footnote below.

Could God do it again today? Of course. Perhaps He is waiting for our obedience.

*Information from the book "How to Pastor and Live to Tell About It" by Roberta Sarver.

Also referenced from the book From Sea to Shining Sea by Peter Marshall and David Manuel, c. 1986 by Fleming H. Revell. The book by Marshall and Manuel comes highly recommended; the authors resourced an impressive list of bibliographies.

What are your thoughts on revival? Tell us in the comment box below.


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