You may have heard by now of reports of revival spreading throughout the southern portion of West Virginia and parts of Kentucky. The reports are that people are coming to Christ by the hundreds and the movement is still going after five weeks (give or take) of its first sighting.
Here are six things you may not have heard about this revival.
1. The revival started in the schools.
According to Katie Endicott, the Prayer Club sponsor at Mingo Central High School in West Virginia, this revival started when Skyler Miller, a student at Logan High, started preaching in the halls of his school in late March, 2016. However, according to an article by PE News, Endicott is quick not to give credit for the revival to any one person or church. She says, “Awakening is larger than any one person, school, church or denomination and reflects decades of prayer and sowing seed.” From its beginning, this stirring in W.V. has seen an amazing number of young people come to Christ. Some of the meetings were even held at school football fields and organized by students.
2. The revival moved on to the Regional Church of God in Delbarton, W.V.
On April 10, Matt Hartley, an evangelist from Tennessee, starting preaching at the church just a day after they hosted a live streaming of the Azusa Now event in Los Angeles. The Azusa Now event drew attention for its incredible 70,000 people in attendance, claims of healings and revival. Some say the fires of revival spread through that streaming of the Azusa Now event into the Regional Church of God. Hartley and the pastor of Regional, Mitchell Bias, continued to preach and host events throughout the surrounding towns. Pastor Bias is quoted as saying, “I believe the revival will just continue to spread from county to county.”
3. The revival has received attention from secular media.
The W.V. revival made so much noise that WCHS, a W.V. News Channel, took the time to cover one of the gatherings and interview some attendees. Endicott is featured in the video and says, “Probably six schools have had kids getting saved left and right and that’s been going on for two weeks. In the past three days, 1,500 kids have given their lives to Jesus through this movement.” You can hear more testimonies in this video.
4. The revival is happening in an area of the country that has seen economic hardships recently.
One article about the revival, written by Ralph and Elizabeth Pysczkowski, points to the fact that in southern W.V. “there have been feelings of hopelessness with a declining economy and many families destroyed by drugs. Coal Country is ripe for revival and our only hope is in God.”
5. Hillary Clinton was invited to attend one of the meetings.
Bo Copley, an unemployed coal miner, was asked to participate in a panel discussion with Mrs. Clinton during her recent visit to Williamson, W.V. Copley felt led to invite her to a revival meeting that would be held after the panel discussion. Mrs. Clinton respectfully declined due to a previous obligation in another city.
6. Mingo County Schools is drawing criticism.
The school district is has received a letter from the secular group The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), which criticizes the school district for allowing Matt Hartley to preach on their campuses. FFRF called the revival meeting a “serious unconstitutional violation.” It appears the school district was able to sidestep the issue by explaining they did not know the meeting was taking place.
Let’s thank God for the ways he continues to draw people to himself.