4. Mid-twentieth Century
1949 - Hebrides Islands, Scotland (Duncan Campbell)
1951 - Monday 4 June - City Bell, Argentina (Ed Miller)
1965 - Sunday 26 September - Soe, Timor (Mel Tari)
1970 - Tuesday 3 February - Wilmore, Kentucky (Asbury College)
1970 - July-August - Solomon Islands (Muri Thompson)
1971 - Wednesday 13 October - Saskatoon, Canada (Bill McCleod)
1973 - September - Phnom Penh, Cambodia (Todd Burke)
1973 - Sunday 16 September - Enga District, Papua New Guinea
Hebrides Islands, Scotland (Duncan Campbell)
Following the trauma of World War II, spiritual life was at a
low ebb in the Scottish Hebrides. By 1949 Peggy and Christine
Smith (84 and 82) had prayed constantly for revival in their cottage
near Barvas village on the Isle of Lewis, the largest of the Hebrides
Islands in the bleak north west of Scotland. God showed Peggy
in a dream that revival was coming. Months later, early one winter's
morning as the sisters were praying, God give them an unshakeable
conviction that revival was near.
Peggy asked her minister James Murray Mackay to call the church
leaders to prayer. Three nights a week the leaders prayed together
for months. One night, having begun to pray at 10 p.m., a young
deacon from the Free Church read Psalm 24 and challenged everyone
to be clean before God. As they waited on God his awesome presence
swept over them in the barn at 4 a.m.
Mackay invited Duncan Campbell to come and lead meetings. Within
two weeks he came. God had intervened and changed Duncan's plans
and commitments. At the close of his first meeting in the Presbyterian
church in Barvas the travel weary preacher was invited to join
an all night prayer meeting! Thirty people gathered for prayer
in a nearby cottage. Duncan Campbell described it:
'God was beginning to move, the heavens were opening, we were
there on our faces before God. Three o'clock in the morning came,
and GOD SWEPT IN. About a dozen men and women lay prostrate on
the floor, speechless. Something had happened; we knew that the
forces of darkness were going to be driven back, and men were
going to be delivered. We left the cottage at 3 am to discover
men and women seeking God. I walked along a country road, and
found three men on their faces, crying to God for mercy. There
was a light in every home, no one seemed to think of sleep (Whittaker
When Duncan and his friends arrived at the church that morning
it was already crowded. People had gathered from all over the
island, some coming in buses and vans. No one discovered who
told them to come. God led them. Large numbers were converted
as God's Spirit convicted multitudes of sin, many lying prostrate,
many weeping. After that amazing day in the church, Duncan pronounced
the benediction, but then a young man began to pray aloud. He
prayed for 45 minutes. Again the church filled with people repenting
and the service continued till 4 am the next morning before Duncan
could pronounce the benediction again.
'Even then he was unable to go home to bed. As he was leaving
the church a messenger told him, "Mr. Campbell, people are
gathered at the police station, from the other end of the parish;
they are in great spiritual distress. Can anyone here come along
and pray with them?"
Campbell went and what a sight met him. Under the still starlit
sky he found men and women on the road, others by the side of
a cottage, and some behind a peat stack all crying to God
for mercy. The revival had come.
'That went on for five weeks with services from early morning until late at night or into the early hours of the morning. Then it spread to the neighbouring parishes. What had happened
in Barvas was repeated over and over again. Duncan Campbell said
that a feature of the revival was the overwhelming sense of the
presence of God. His sacred presence was everywhere' (Whittaker
That move of God in answer to prevailing prayer continued in the
area into the fifties and peaked again on the previously resistant
island of North Uist in 1957. Meetings were again crowded and
night after night people cried out to God for salvation.
Monday 4 June - City Bell, Argentina (Ed Miller)
A young man, Alexander, and his band of rebels sat in the front
row of a revival meeting in Buenos Aires aiming to disrupt it.
God convicted him and he repented. His gang began to leave but
fell under the Spirit on the way out. All were converted. Two
of them later went to Bible School.
Ed Miller taught at the Bible Training Institute in the little
town of City Bell, just outside Buenos Aires. In June he was
led to cancel lectures so the whole Bible School could pray every
day. He announced this on the first Sunday in June.
Alexander, the former rebel, 'a teenager of Polish descent, was
still in prayer long after midnight when he sensed a strange feeling
of something pressing down upon him, an intense great light surrounding
him and a heavenly being enfolding him. The boy was terrified
and fled back to the Institute.
'The heavenly visitor entered the Institute with him, and in a
few moments all the students were awake with the fear of God upon
them. They began to cry out in repentance as God by his Spirit
dealt with them. The next day the Spirit of God came again upon
Alexander as he was given prophecies of God's moving in far off
countries. The following day Alexander again saw the Lord in
the Spirit, but this time he began to speak slowly and distinctly
the words he heard from the angel of God. No one could understand
what he was saying, however, until another lad named Celsio (with
even less education than Alexander), overcome with the Spirit
of God markedly upon him, began to interpret.. These communications
(written because he choked up when he tried to talk) were a challenge
from God to pray and indeed the Institute became a centre of prayer
till the vacation time, when teams went out to preach the kingdom.
It was the beginning of new stirrings of the Spirit across the
land' (Pytches 1989:4951).
The Bible Institute continued in prayer for four months, 810
hours a day, with constant weeping. Bricks became saturated with
tears. One student prayed against a plaster wall daily, weeping.
After six hours his tear stains reached floor. After eight hours
his tears began to form a puddle on floor.
Two students went to a town, wept and prayed for three to four
weeks. Then the Holy Spirit led them to hold tent meetings which
filled the tent. The Lord moved on the crowds powerfully.
Prophecies given to the Bible School told of God filling the largest
auditoriums and stadiums. That happened within three years with
the visit of Tommy Hicks. Crowds of 25,000, then 180,000 gathered
at his meetings.
Tommy Hicks was conducting a series of meetings in California
in 1952 when God showed him a vision. While he was praying he
saw a map of South America covered with a vast field of golden
wheat ripe for harvesting. The wheat turned into human beings
calling him to come and help them.
He wrote in his Bible a prophecy he received about going by air
to that land before two summers passed. Three months later, after
an evangelistic crusade, a pastor's wife in California gave that
same prophecy to him that he had written down. He was invited
to Argentina in 1954 and had enough money to buy a one way air
ticket to Buenos Aires.
On his way there after meetings in Chile, the word Peron came
to his mind. He asked the air stewardess if she knew what it
meant. She told him Peron was the President of Argentina. After
he made an appointment with the Minister of Religion, wanting
to see the President, he prayed for the Minister's secretary who
was limping. He was healed. So the Minister made an appointment
for Hicks to see the President. Through prayer the President
was healed of an ugly eczema and gave Hicks the use of a stadium
and free access to the state radio and press. The crusade was
a spiritual breakthrough and led to a period of very rapid church
growth in Argentina.
Sunday 26 September - Soe, Timor (Mel Tari)
A rebellious young man had received a vision of the Lord who commanded him to repent, burn his fetishes, and confess his sins in church in Soe, Timor. He did. He challenged others to do the same. Hundreds did. He chose 23 young people who formed an evangelistic team, Team 1. They gave themselves full time to visiting churches and villages and saw thousands converted with multitudes healed and delivered. In one town alone they saw 9,000 people converted in two weeks.
Another young man, Mel Tari witnessed this visitation of God and
later became part of Team 42. He attended the Reformed Church
in Soe, a mountain town of about 5,000 people, when the revival
broke out there on Sunday 26 September 1965. That night, as at
Pentecost, people heard the sound of a tornado wind and flames
on the church building prompted police to set off the fire alarm
to summon the volunteer fire fighters. Many were converted that
night, many filled with the Spirit including speaking in tongues,
including English. By midnight teams of lay people had been organised
to begin spreading the gospel the next day. Eventually, about
90 evangelistic teams were formed which functioned powerfully
with spiritual gifts. Healings and evangelism increased dramatically.
Specific directions from the Lord led the teams into powerful
ministry with thousands becoming Christians. They saw many healings,
miracles such as water being turned to nonalcoholic wine
for communion, some instantaneous healings, deliverance from witchcraft
and demonic powers, and some people raised from death through
Tuesday 3 February - Asbury College, Wilmore,
A revival broke out in Asbury College in Wilmore, Kentucky, on
Tuesday 3 February 1970. The regular morning chapel commencing
at 10 o'clock saw God move on the students in such a way that
many came weeping to the front to kneel in repentance, others
gave testimonies including confession of sin, and all this was
mixed with spontaneous singing. Lectures were cancelled for the
day as the auditorium filled with over 1,000 people. Few left
for meals. By midnight over 500 still remained praying and worshipping.
Several hundred committed their lives to Christ that day. By
6 a.m. next morning 75 students were still praying in the hall,
and through the Wednesday it filled again as all lectures were
again cancelled for the day. The time was filled with praying,
singing, confessions and testimonies.
As they continued in prayer that week many students felt called
to share what was happening with other colleges and churches.
Invitations were coming from around the country as news of the
revival spread. So teams went out from the next weekend to tell
the story and give their testimonies. Almost half the student
body of 1000 was involved in the teams witnessing about the revival.
In the first week after the revival began teams of students
visited 16 states by invitation and saw several thousand conversions
through their witnessing. After six weeks over 1,000 teams had
gone from the college to witness, some of these into Latin America
with finance provided by the home churches of the students.
In addition, the neighbouring Theological Seminary sent out several
hundred teams of their students who had also been caught up in
Those remaining at the college prayed for the teams and gladly heard their reports on their return. The Holy Spirit did similar things wherever they went. So that revival spread. The college remained a centre of the revival with meetings continuing at night and weekends there along with spontaneous prayer groups meeting every day. Hundreds of people kept coming to the college to see this revival and participate in it. They took reports and their own testimonies of changed lives back to their churches or colleges so sharing in the spread of the revival.
Revival also spread among the hippie drop-outs in the early seventies.
Thousands were converted in mass rallies on he beaches and in
halls. They developed their own Jesus People magazines, music
July-August - Solomon Islands (Muri Thompson)
Muri Thompson, a Maori evangelist from New Zealand, visited the
Solomons in July and August 1970 where the church had already
experienced significant renewal and was praying for revival.
Many of these Christians were former warriors and cannibals gradually
won to Christ in spite of initial hostility and the martyrdom
of early missionaries and indigenous evangelists.
Beginning at Honiara, the capital, Muri spent two months visiting
churches and centres on the islands. Initially the national leaders
and missionaries experienced deep conviction and repentance, publicly
acknowledging their wrong attitudes. It was very humbling. A
new unity and harmony transformed their relationships, and little
things which destroyed that unity were openly confessed with forgiveness
sought and given.
Then in the last two weeks of these meetings the Holy Spirit moved
even more powerfully in the meetings with more deep repentance
and weeping, sometimes even before the visiting team arrived.
At one meeting the Spirit of God came upon everyone after the
message in a time of silent prayer when the sound of a gale came
above the gathering of 2000 people.
Multitudes were broken, melted and cleansed, including people
who had been strongly opposed to the Lord. Weeping turned to
joyful singing. Everywhere people were talking about what the
Lord had done to them. Many received healings and deliverance
from bondage to evil spirits. Marriages were restored and young
Everywhere people were praying together every day. They had a
new hunger for God's Word. People were sensitive to the Spirit
and wanted to be transparently honest and open with God and one
Teams from these areas visited other islands, and the revival
caught fire there also. Eventually pastors from the Solomons
were visiting other Pacific countries and seeing similar moves
of God there also.
Wednesday 13 October - Saskatoon, Canada (Bill
Bill McCleod invited the twin evangelists Ralph and Lou Sutera
to speak at his church in Saskatoon. Revival broke out with their
visit which began on Wednesday 13 October 1971. By the weekend
an amazing spirit gripped the people. Many confessed their sins
publicly. The first to do so were the twelve counsellors chosen
to pray with inquirers. Numbers grew rapidly till the meetings
had to be moved to a larger church building and then to the Civic
Auditorium seating 2000.
The meetings lasted many hours. People did not want to leave.
Some stayed on for a later meeting called the Afterglow. Here
people received prayer and counsel from the group as they continued
to worship God and pray together. Humble confession of sin and
reconciliations were common. Many were converted.
Taxi drivers became amazed that people were getting cabs home
from church late into the night or early into the morning. Others
were calling for taxis to take them to church late into the night
as they were convicted by the Lord. Young people featured prominently.
Almost half those converted were young. They gave testimonies
of lives that had been cleaned up by God and how relationships
with their families were restored. The atmosphere in schools
and colleges changed from rebellion and cheating to cooperation
with many Bible study and prayer groups forming in the schools
Criminals were also confessing their sins and giving themselves
up to the police. Restitution was common. People payed long
overdue bills. Some businesses opened new accounts to account
for the conscience money being paid to them. Those who cheated
at restaurants or hotels returned to pay their full bill. Stolen
goods were returned.
Christians found a new radical honesty in their lives. Pride
and jealousies were confessed and transformed into humility and
love. As people prayed for one another with new tenderness and
compassion many experienced healings and deliverance.
Not all welcomed the revival. Some churches remained untouched
by it or hostile to it. This seems common to all revivals.
September - Phnom Penh, Cambodia (Todd Burke)
In September 1973 Todd Burke arrived in Cambodia on a one week
visitor's visa. Just 23 years old, he felt a strong call from
God to minister there, the only charismatic missionary in the
country. Beginning with two English classes a day, conducted
through an interpreter, he taught from the Good News Bible. Those
interested in knowing more about Jesus stayed after class and
he saw daily conversions and people filled with the Spirit and
healed. Revival broke out in the war torn capital of Phnom Penh
and rapidly spread to surrounding areas.
During that September Todd's wife DeAnn joined him, they received
permission to stay in the country, and mounted a three day crusade
in a stadium where thousands attended and hundreds were saved
and healed supernaturally. A powerful church spread through a
network of small house churches. Todd met with the leaders of
these groups at early morning prayer meetings every day at 6 am.
Most pastors were voluntary workers holding normal jobs. Some
cycled in from the country and returned for work each morning.
Healings, miracles and deliverance from demonic powers were regular
events, attracting new converts who in turn were filled with the
power of the Spirit and soon began witnessing and praying for
When the country fell to the communists in 1975 the Burkes had
to leave. They left behind an amazing church anointed by the
power of God before it was buried by going underground to survive.
Sunday 16 September - Enga District, Papua New
Prayer meetings began among pastors, missionaries and Bible College
students in the Baptist mission area among Engas of the Western
Highlands of Papua New Guinea in the early 1970s owing to the
low spiritual state in the churches. This prayer movement spread
to the villages. In some villages people agreed to pray together
everyday until God sent new life to the church.
During September 1973 pastors from the Solomon Islands and Enga
students who were studying at the Christian Leaders Training College
visited the Enga churches. Revival broke out in many villages
on Sunday 16 September. Many hundreds of people, deeply convicted
of sin, repented and were reconciled to God and others with great
Pastors in one area held a retreat from Monday to Wednesday in
a forest which previously had been sacred for animistic spirit
worship. Others joined the pastors there. Healings included
a lame man able to walk, a deaf mute to spoke and heard, and a
mentally deranged girl was restored.
Normal work stopped as people in their thousands hurried to special
meetings. Prayer groups met daily, morning and evening. In the
following months thousands of Christians were restored and thousands
of pagans converted. The church grew in size and maturity.
This was followed in the eighties by tough times. Tribal conflict,
destruction and bloodshed erupted. Revival often precedes hard
(c) Geoff Waugh, Fire Fell: Revival Visitations. Brisbane: Renewal.
PO Box 629, Strathpine, Qld. 4077, Australia.
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