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Baptists pray for continuing revivalcomment (0)

October 21, 2004

By Johnie Sentell

Cedar Grove Baptist Church in Bibb County held an old-time brush arbor meeting last month. Pastor Ron Davis said the week-long revival was “wonderful,” averaging 45–60 per night. “God brought families back together that had been having troubles. We had six people saved, and a lot of people came back to the Lord,” he said.

The church has gone from having an average of 15–18 on Sunday to averaging 25–30 now. This is Bro. Davis’ first church, and he has served there about four months. His mother, Betty Reach, is the church’s pianist. She also sings specials.

Brother Davis said the arbor, built next to the church and supported by four-by-four beams, will be permanent. “We are planning on having two brush arbor meetings each year — one the third week in May and another the third week in September,” he said. But he added the arbor is “a place where anyone can come and pray anytime.”

The pastor said revival was actually starting before the brush arbor meeting. “We got down and prayed and asked God for revival. And the Lord is sending true revival,” he said. “It is an ongoing thing. We are praying that it will keep on going.”

One hundred years ago, a revival began in Wales that spread throughout the world.

Brother Hugh Richardson, pastor of Lanett First Baptist Church, departed recently on a preaching mission to Wales with 25 other pastors hoping to get a revival going similar to the great revival of 1904.

That revival began in a small village but eventually led to results around the world. Brother Richardson asked church members to pray that the Lord would “do it again.”

“We would love to see revival begin, with church people being restored to fellowship and righteous living and nonbelievers coming to faith.” He said he hopes to see churches being filled “not only in Wales but all over the world.”

Brother Richardson noted that before the 1904 revival churches were empty, and people were indifferent toward morality. He sees definite parallels with conditions today.

“Their sweeping revival transformed their society and the revival was sustained,” he said, noting pubs went out of business for lack of customers as well as conversion of the pubs’ owners.

The revival spread across the world. In 1905 and 1906 baptisms increased in the United States.

“Each generation needs to experience revival anew,” he said. “We want to see that happen again.”

Members of Fultondale First Baptist Church were greatly encouraged this summer by how well 15 young folks did their part in a missions trip to south Alabama.

After the Fultondale church finished its own Vacation Bible School, a team took VBS materials to help two churches in Geneva County. The group held VBS at one church in the mornings and at another in the evenings. It was the first missions trip for Craig Newton since he came as their youth minister.

Sue Reeves, one of four adult members accompanying the youth group, said after Bro. Newton preached and people came forward, the young team members witnessed to them and led them to Christ.

Having three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, she was delighted to see the young people’s dedication. “We had 125 conversions. We were on cloud nine.”

The effects of the trip continue. One of the Geneva churches had been averaging 17 on Sundays, but after the team’s ministry 65 people showed up the next Sunday.

Westside Baptist Church in Jasper has more than doubled in attendance since Bro. Fred Lackey began as pastor in 1998. This is his second time to serve at Westside. He retired following 25 years as pastor of Athens First Baptist Church. His first week back at Westside, there were 76 in Sunday School. Now they average 175–180.

Brother Lackey also directs church and denominational relations for the University of Mobile.

He and his wife, the former Sue Bentley, will celebrate their 50th anniversary Saturday, Oct. 23, when the church will honor them with a reception at 2 p.m. He calls his wife “a great companion, a great preacher’s wife, mother and grandmother and my best asset in the ministry. She is the best person I’ve ever known,” he said. “I married way above myself.”
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