Christianity fell away following the American Revolution. A Scotsman traveling through the South saw few religious people. Francis Asbury found not one in a hundred concerned about religion. Alcoholism was rampant, and universalism and deism captivated the infant nation.
But in 1800 scattered revivals erupted like geysers in the back lands of Kentucky. People gathered under makeshift arbors while the gospel was preached, sometimes accompanied by emotional outbursts. Barton Stone, pastor of the Presbyterian Church at Cain Ridge (near Lexington), hearing of the camp meetings, witnessed one for himselfThe scene was passing strange. Many fell down as slain in battle and continued for hours in an apparently motionless statesometimes for a few moments reviving and exhibiting symptoms of life by a deep groan or by a prayer for mercy most fervently uttered.
His church at Cain Ridge immediately planned a camp meeting for the first weekend of August, 1801. The church could hold 500; but workers, fearing an oversized crowd, threw up a large tent. Church families opened homes, barns, and cabins to the expected visitors.
But they didnt expect 20,000! Hordes arrived by horse, carriage, and wagon. Prayer and preaching continued around the clock on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Excitement mounted; cries and screams pierced the hazy summer air; men swooned; women were seized by spasms; children fell into ecstasy; so many fainted that the ground was covered with bodies like a battlefield. Then the jerks broke out. Their heads would jerk back suddenly, frequently causing them to yelp. I have seen their heads fly back and forward so quickly that the hair of females would crack like a whip.
On Monday, August 9, 1801, food and supplies were exhausted, and so were the worshipers. Many left; but others came to take their places. Four more days of singing, preaching, shrieking, and jerking continued before the geyser died down. Between 1,000 and 3,000 had been converted, and the news was the buzz of the region. People across the new nation began discussing the revival of Christianity, and the Cane Ridge Revival is considered one of the most important religious gatherings in American history.
God has indeed begun opening up an ancient well of revival. This particular well of revival is one that is distinctly different than many of the recent moves of the Holy Spirit. God desires to release a move of His Spirit in the highways and the byways, in the small and insignificant places, just like He did in the early 1800s. This will largely be a revival of churches in small towns and rural towns. This revival move of God will become a turning point for America, just as the Cain Ridge Revival was a turning point for America in the early 1800s.
You see, after the revolutionary war, the church just about closed up shop in America. Sin was rampant and there was no concern for the church, leaders were corrupt and many even spoke of how unlikely it would be for the church to turn around in America most figured it was too far gone. Thank God He never feels that way. Through a grass roots revival, God turned the heart of a nation back to Him. I believe that is what the Lord is saying He intends to do again. Praise God for His faithfulness.
I believe something quite like a geyser, a mighty wave, a great flow of revival is about to break out. Lets be praying that His Kingdom comes. Our nation needs it. The Church needs it. We all need it. Many have hungered for a wide reaching move of God that will turn our nation back to Him. He is uncapping this ancient well of revival. Nobody can take credit for any of it. If they do, they are liars and should be warned that God does not like that sort of thing. He is about to usher in a great revival to this area that will not just be birthed here, but will shoot out across America and to the nations as a message saying He is interested in the small insignificant places. For it is in such places that God indeed can receive the glory and the honor and no big names will step in to take it.
A significant result/sign associated with this revival is going to be the establishing of many fathers to equip those touched by it. It wont be dogma, but relationship that will be needed to maintain the simplicity and the power of what God is about to do. The release of many fathers to equip the saints to do the work of the ministry will be an obvious sign of this move of God. True relationship cannot be established by pastors. Pastors and church leaders care for many people, often hundreds. Fathers are related to and care for just a few people, who in turn minister to many others. These Fathers will have specialties as gifts of Christ to the Church. Some apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers will actually equip in their area of Christs anointing. The fear of the Lord will be renewed, as well as a healthy respect and honoring of God and His works. Ecstatic prophecy and acts of deliverance will also be signs associated with this revival, just as was done in the early 1800s.
God is about to do a new thing, using an ancient well. Isnt it like the Lord to do something so good!