As most of you know, I grew up as a PK (that's Preacher's Kid). In latere years Dad served as pastor of several churches in West Virginia and Ohio, but for the most part, his ministry was primarily one of evangelism. When I was a child in the 50's and a teenager in the latter part of the 60's Dad was one of the busiest bi-vocational evangelists in the Tri-State area. He would hold as many as 16-19 revival meetings per year, and they were all of the two week variety back then. Dad would usually leave a week open between scheduled services just in case real revival would break out and the meeting might be extended by an extra week. That was often the case!
Being a pastor, I don't have the opportunity to hold many revival meetings due to ministry constraints here. The church allows me to have two revival meetings per year. The last few years I have usually been able to do that - usually beginning on a Monday night - which allows me to be in the pulpit on Sundays at Westmoreland, which, of course is my primary ministry. My mission work in the Philippines usually causes me to miss one or two Sundays, so I try to keep those Sunday absences to a minimum - even when vacation time comes.
Next week I will have the privilege of preaching in revival services in my native Logan County, West Virginia at the Central Baptist Church (pictured above). The church's official name is the "Central United Baptist Church of Jesus Christ", but ask anyone in Logan and they'll just call it "Central Baptist". Beside that, the term "united Baptist" seems kind of like an oxymoron when you really think about it. (You know, like "jumbo shrimp" or "military intelligence".) But I digress...
I do look forward to preaching again at Central. I had opportunity to preach there a couple of nights in a youth revival back in the early 70's. The last time I was there was ten years ago, when I helped Pastor Glenn White do my Uncle Sammy's funeral service there. That's Pastor Glenn and his wife, Catherine, in the other photo. Here is an amazing fact. Glenn White is only the second pastor in the history of Central Baptist Church. His tenure there began in 1957. I was all of seven years old when Glenn White was called to be Pastor there (and he had been the assistant pastor for the two years prior to his calling!)
One of the special things about going to Central next week is the memories I have of being in that church (and the old building) as a child. Dad held a number of revival meetings there over the years, and I have many memories of those times. One revival meeting there in particular went for three weeks with over 40 people making professions of faith in Jesus Christ, and many others rededicating their lives to Jesus. Now THAT is Revival! Dad and Brother Glenn would be the first to tell you that they had nothing to do with those results. He was only the messenger. The Holy Spirit did the work.
We could only dream of those kind of results today, but God is still the same, and nothing is impossible with Him. Please pray for us Monday through Friday, August 11-15, that God would move in a great way to revive His people, and to draw lost souls to Him, and to the Kingdom of God. I know the church must be publicizing the meetings, because a lady from Logan County called Dad and asked what nights he would be preaching at Central Baptist. He told her it wasn't him, but rather it would be me. She said, "Well, my husband heard it on the radio and we wanted to be sure to come and hear you." We do have the same first name, so there may be others who will also come, thinking they're going to hear the old timer who could "preach the fire down" while saying more in 15 minutes, than most preachers can in 35.
Boy, will they be surprised!