Over 1,000 baptisms have happened in four months at Long Hollow Baptist Church in Hendersonville, Tennessee. The church’s senior pastor, Robby Gallaty, said in an interview with Faithwire.com that he has “never seen anything like this before in my life” after seeing 1,051 people baptized over the last 16 weeks.
Out of that number, 201 of those baptisms happened on Easter weekend alone. Many of the baptisms were spontaneous rather than planned. Pastor Gallaty said, “They heard the gospel and responded.”
There has been a steady increase in baptisms at Long Hollow over the last couple of years; 2018 saw approximately 125 baptized and in 2019 about 250. The pastor said, “This is nothing I’ve coordinated or a sermon series has brought about.”
“I’m convinced prayer births revival and revival births prayer.”
Becoming a “Praying Church”
Years ago, Gallaty read a quote from Leonard Ravenhill: “The problem with the American church today is that pastors don’t pray.” Gallaty said he took offense to that and asked, “What do you mean I don’t pray?” That is when the Lord began to convict Gallaty of his personal prayer life. He was convicted that he wasn’t pressing into God for hours at a time.
On top of this call to prayer, Gallaty’s friends Jared Wilson and Darrin Patrick both committed suicide less than a year apart. Gallaty shared that both of them had sat at his dining room table six months prior to their passing. “None of these guys set out to end the ministry that way…both of these guys I would say like some of you right now who are watching you would say, ‘I’m not burnt out..stressed…I’m fine.’ Those are the famous last words before the wheels fall off…and I realized that was me.”
It was then that the Lord told him to press into “silence and solitude.” Twenty minutes turned into forty minutes that turned into two hours a night in prayer before the Lord.
“I want to move from a church that prays to a praying church,” Gallaty said and explained how big the difference is between those types of churches. A church that prays just prays for events, but a praying church couches everything in the church from start to finish in prayer. For example, there is prayer before the sermon, during the sermon, after the sermon, and during the invitation.
Long Hollow set up a 24/7 prayer movement that God used to prepare the church for what He was about to do, Gallaty said.
Gallaty Shares How God Spoke to Him Directly
Gallaty shared the key part for every minister and every Christian. “I went to the porch every night to sit with the Lord thinking that He was going to fix the problems in my church,” he said and was really frustrated. “If this is what Christianity is: running a church, keeping people happy, keeping people from leaving, keeping people not mad, keeping deacons happy, keeping staff happy. I just said there’s got to be more to the Christian ministry than this.”
He wasn’t going to move from his porch. He told ChurchLeaders.com, “Every great movement of God begins without moving. I said God I am not going to move from this porch until You are willing to move.”
“Lord, You fix the problems in my staff…I need You to fix the problems in my church…I need You to fix the deacons…I need You to fix the country,” Gallaty shared. Revealing that two months into his front porch prayer time, he said the Lord told him, “The problem is not with your church…it’s not with your staff…the problem is you.”