What if God repeated himself every forty years?

What if God repeated himself every forty years? Then this university campus would be poised on the brink of a mighty spiritual revival! Last week Martin Kim, one of our graduate students, passed along a fascinating story by Beatrice Neal entitled “When God Came Down” (published in the Fall, 2004, edition of Adventists Affirm). In this article Neal, a religion professor at Union College at the time, has carefully pieced together an historical examination of the revival that spread across numerous Christian college campuses in 1970. It began at Asbury Methodist College (Wilmore, Kentucky) in February, 1970. A small group of students had been praying for revival on that campus. Unexpectedly at a 10 a.m. chapel service, a spirit of confession and repentance swept over the gathered student body. “A long line of students came forward to pray and give their testimonies. With tears they acknowledged cheating, theft, prejudice, and jealousy. Some went to individuals in the congregation to ask forgiveness and make restitution. Old enmities were melted with the fervent love of God.” The service continued on into the afternoon leaving the cafeteria empty. “Classes were suspended for the rest of the day.” Prayer and Bible study groups sprang up around the college. College students went to the seminary chapel and testified to the seminarians of their experience. Soon “all classes were officially canceled for the rest of the week,” as seminarians joined undergraduates in “getting right with God and seeking His will.”

The revival spread from Asbury to campuses across the nation. And that fall, 1970, Andrews University was a recipient of God’s reviving power. It began at a Campus Ministry retreat at nearby Camp Michiana October 8-11. Three guest preachers were invited—E. L Minchin, “a beloved youth revivalist;” Mike Stevenson, General Conference Youth Leader; and H. M. S. Richards, Jr, Voice of Prophecy speaker. From early morning to late at night around the camp fire students gathered, asking God “‘to open them up, clean them out, and fill them with His Holy Spirit.’” After a communion service and “a prolonged testimony meeting,” the campus chaplain, Gordon Paxton, and the students with the guest preachers discussed how to share the peace they had found and “‘slosh it over the campus.’” ‘

In 1970 Andrews University was experiencing the “student rebellion” and “wide-scale drug use” that had swept across U.S. campuses. The Student Movement reported “polarization among faculty and student groups.” It was that reality that the “afire for God” retreat students returned to that October Sunday. On Tuesday Chaplain Paxton felt impressed to turn the chapel service over to the students from the retreat who “filled the platform and witnessed to what God had done for them. Then they invited others to come forward.” And with that “a spontaneous testimony service” broke out that continued there at chapel through the lunch hour. At 1:30 150 students were still lined up at the microphone to testify! “Many accepted Christ on the spot.” And when chapel finally disbanded, students moved across campus sharing their testimonies. Some called home, asking their parents’ forgiveness. “They sang praise songs in the cafeteria line and stood up and testified during meals.” The following Sabbath “90% of the Pioneer Memorial Church congregation stood” as Mike Stevenson invited them to surrender their lives to God. Normally the Andrews bookstore sold 300 Bibles annually. In five weeks time 1300 Bibles were ordered. “Thousands more were to follow. ‘What’s going on at Andrews?’ the publishers wanted to know.” A few weeks later God used Morris Venden’s Week of Prayer to fan the flames.

But the revival wasn’t contained on this campus. “Succeeding issues of the Student Movement were full of accounts of student evangelism” in churches throughout Michiana, and to campuses at Mt Vernon Academy (Ohio), Oakwood College (Alabama), Atlantic Union College (Massachusetts), and Columbia Union College (Maryland). Neal’s article chronicles the phenomenal spread of Andrews University students’ witness for Christ up and down the eastern seaboard. Soon General Conference president, Robert Pierson, responded to the student revival in an editorial in the Review and Herald: “May the Holy Spirit revive us all—on campus and off campus!”

When I finished Beatrice Neal’s eleven-page report, I had two reactions. The first was fervent praise to God for such a remarkably divine outpouring of the Spirit upon this campus that I love. I am certain that forty years later we still benefit from the afterglow of that mighty revival. My second reaction was a prayer, Habakkuk’s prayer. For could there be a more timely prayer to be praying—even as we now are immersed in our 40 Days of Prayer on this same campus forty years later? I earnestly invite you to join me in praying this prayer every day until God repeats himself in our midst and we, too, are set ablaze for Christ: “I have heard all about you, LORD, and I am filled with awe by the amazing things you have done. In this time of our deep need, begin again to help us, as you did in years gone by. Show us your power to save us” (Habakkuk 3:2 NLT).

Comments

Praise God I shout!!! Breath on us Holy Spirit, we need thee....I have a question? Growing up in Sunday church's always at the end of the service the pastor opened the invitation to go forward, I have been a member in the Adventist church for several yrs and only once have I witness this at the end of a service and when I did it was powerful how the Holy Spirit moved. Even the Sunday church's have gotten away from this powerful opportunity. We go to church Sabbath hurting and come home hurting because we do not want to offend any one if we go past 12. In 1970 it was a time of freedom, surrendering to what moved us in a powerful way, the church's were more open. Today we have become a stiff neck people not allowing the Holy Spirit to move, we put a cap on it..yes we need structure, we need order, but we need to open up and give opportunity for those who are hurting, those who are so full of shame and sorrow they feel they will explode...We need to pray our church leaders take note of this story, It started with a open invitation to come forward.....

There is a small group on the West coast joining you in prayer 40 Days. No better time than now.

Adventists Affirm, Vol. 18, No. 3 (Fall 2004). The Holy Spirit: why we need Him; the promise of; the fruits of; Pentecost; and modern revival. Contents Editorial Jerry A. Stevens The Holy Spirit Doug Batchelor Why We Need the Holy Spirit Ron Clouzet The Promise of the Spirit Helene Thomas The Unknown Truth About Pentecost Samuel Koranteng-Pipim The Fruit of the Spirit Richard O'Ffill The Holy Spirit Shakeela Bennett When God Came Down Beatrice Neall It Changed My Life Laurel Damsteegt A Modern Revival Movement Staci Osterman The Gift of the Spirit Ellen G. White http://www.adventistsaffirm.org/article.php?id=194

Beatrice Neall - Neall with 2 "l"

God bless you brother. You have embarked on a difficult course. But through Him all things impossible, are possible. It won't be long. We are currently in the famine. Your call for prayer is exactly on time - His. After Feb 2011, here are the two signposts. 1. Guided ordinance from Lebanon into Israel (never been done). 2. Petroleum crisis from Mideast Crisis (>$3.50 per gallon, Avg US retail regular) Netanyahu is God's right hand. Ahmedinejad is lucy's left paw. The process will be Passover. Every man to his own house, The Angel of Death passes. Then Palm Sunday! When things are bleakest. The donkey, Israel-all Christians, with the evergreen, fallen angels, under hoof! Praise God! This (That Day) is the Day the Lord has made! We will rejoice! Victory! For His Glory Robert Paul Vidrine tribe of Naphtali LOVE 337-368-2128cell 337-886-7822home 337-824-8248work

To bad Beatrice's article isn't available on the web, especially since it documents the beginning of the most recent Adventist revival. Besides these student movements, I have always believed that the Righteousness by Faith preaching of Morris Venden was also instrumental in the college campus revivals of the early 70s. I saw what happened at SMC in 1970. Still have the multilithed copies of the sermons that were transcribed.

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