Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Revival on a Mountaintop in West Virginia

Revival On a Mountaintop In West Virginia

by Michael Edds

The year was 1956.  Spiritual deadness seemed to cover the land.  A Baptist Church at Mt. Cove, in Fayette County, West Virginia was struggling.  Its survival was in doubt.  An elderly minister, Rev. William Fain, was invited to hold a revival meeting at the church.  The elders of the church told the man of God that they felt that he could bring the church out of its decline.  He responded by saying, "It may be so far down that it will take God to bring it out."

The faithful few of the little church began to intensely pray and intercede for the salvation of lost neighbors, families, and friends.  The meeting slowly progressed.  Every force and power of hell seemed to resist with all of the wicked strength available.  One night, a woman of God, Sister Helen Stone began to pray and ask God for a breakthrough that evening.  The church was packed with the lost.  The altar call was given.  Resistance was great to the call of God.  Everyone remained steadfastly in their seats.  Sister Stone prayed that much harder.  She prayed that someone would make a move.  About that time, a dear Christian brother stood and started to make his way to the altar.  All of a sudden, the dam broke.  Resistance shattered.  People poured out of the pews knocking him aside.  All he could do was shout and praise God.  SIXTY-FIVE lost souls fell at the altar that night and found the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.  The revival exploded!  In one night, the church was turned around.  Revival fire spread throughout the community. GOD HAD COME DOWN!
God responds to the prayers of His people.  "IF MY PEOPLE SHALL WHO ARE CALLED BY MY NAME SHALL HUMBLE THEMSELVES AND PRAY, SEEK MY FACE, TURN FROM THEIR WICKED WAYS, I WILL HEAR FROM HEAVEN AND HEAL THEIR LAND."  God has NOT changed.  Oh, may we hurriedly obey this command so that God will move in our day!   Oh Lord, rend the heavens and come down!

Friday, January 08, 2010

Amanda Berry Smith, God's Image in Ebony

Many heroes and heroines of the Christian Faith have been forgotten by the church today. Amanda Berry Smith, one of those heroines, rose above slavery, poverty, prejudice, loss and impossibilities to mightily impact three continents for God. 

Amanda Berry Smith was born as a slave in Long Green, Maryland near Baltimore in 1837. She was the oldest of thirteen children. To save her from being sold away from her family, her father worked many long late hours to buy her freedom. Amanda's life was marked by loss and tragedy. Amanda's first husband died during the Civil War, while serving in an African American military unit. She lost her second husband and all of her children except one to death. To survive, Amanda worked long hours into the night washing and ironing clothes. She had a passion to truly know God. She locked herself in her basement and told those close to her to not open the door. She was determined to know God or die. She came out of that basement shouting and with her heart's desire. Amanda had little education, however God blessed her with an incredible singing voice and a powerfully anointed preaching ability. She became well known in camp meetings throughout the nation. They called her "the Singing Pilgrim" and "God's Image Carved in Ebony." During her early thirties, Amanda began in preaching in the New York City area, receiving inspiration at a local African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church. She became a charter member of the Women's Christian Temperance Union in 1875, and was associated with the African American Women's Clubs. Before 1880, Amanda embarked on a twelve-year missionary trip through Europe, Asia, and Africa. Her faith was incredible. She went to the port in New York with her bags packed to leave for England as God had directed her. However, she had no money for the fare. As she stood there, a white Christian brother recognized her. He walked up to her and told her that God had directed him to give her something. He placed into her hands the exact amount needed for the passage to England! She had told no one but God of her need!! She spent eight years in Liberia and West Africa, establishing churches and temperance societies. She awed the nobility and populace of Great Britain with her incredible singing and powerful preaching. In India, she stopped a vicious mob attack by Hindus on Christian missionaries by dropping to her knees in the midst of the riot, lifting up her hands toward heaven and praying. The mob instantly became silent, dropped their clubs and weapons and left. She moved to Chicago in the late 1890's. Amanda raised a large amount of funds to open one of the first orphan homes for African American children in America. During this time, Harvey, Illinois, was being developed and marketed by business friends of Dwight L. Moody as a community with high moral, religious, and temperance character. Smith's purchased property there in 1895. Her orphan's home opened in Harvey in 1899 and has the great honor of being Illinois' first orphanage for African American children. Her ability to raise the necessary finances permitted the school and home to operate without government funding. Amanda died in Florida in 1915. Christian businessmen and leaders had her body transported by train back to Chicago. One of the largest gatherings for a funeral in Chicago's history was when the masses gathered to meet the arrival of her body back to Chicago. What an incredible life she lived!! She rose from slavery, poverty, rejection, loss, sorrow, hunger and loneliness to shake America, Great Britain, Liberia, and India for God. She was buried in Harvey, Illinois. The great mantle of ministry that she carried was not buried with her. It was only placed on hold until a generation would be born that could relate to and pick up that mantle of ministry. That generation now exists today. That mantle is about to be picked up and placed upon chosen servants of God today to finish what Amanda started long ago!!!