Revivals in America
Below is a brief overview of the history of Spirit led revivals in the history of America. Of note, four of these six (now seven?) began with college students and moved to all levels of American society. It seems that perhaps we are seeing once again the beginnings of a spiritual awakening. May it be so!
6 Revivals in American History
#1 1730-40 Revival The Great Awakening
- Cotton Mather
#2 1805-06 Revival The 2nd Great Awakening
Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia
- 3 students met in dorm room for prayer and Scripture reading
- Mob gathered outside the door swearing and shouting threats to stop
- President John Blair came to investigate
- Next week the mtg. met in the President’s parlor with ½ the students present
- Revival swept the college and the country
Haystack Prayer Meeting – August 1806
- Samuel Mills and 4 other Williams College students caught in a Sat afternoon rain, stopped to pray at a haystack for foreign missions; committed themselves for service unless God stopped them; American mission movement began with these
- Motto – “We can do it if we will!”
#3 1857-58 Revival The Prayer Revival
NYC noon prayer meeting started by a local pastor burdened to pray for NYC
- began with a noon prayer meeting in his church on Sept. 23, 1857
- Pastor Jeremiah Lanphier and 6 people gathered to pray for the city
- within 6 months 10,000 gathered daily for noonday prayer in NYC
- Horace Greeley sent a reporter on horseback across NYC at noon looking for anyone who was not praying; could find none!
The revival moved from NYC to campuses across America
YMCA expanded into the collegiate ministry in 1858 to 180 campuses in 1884
- YMCA staffed with student leadership dedicated to evangelism
- Carleton College (MN) – 1878 every student in all 4 classes professed Christ!
#4 1905-06 Revival
- “Never in the history of universities have there been so many genuine spiritual awakenings among students.”
- Seeds for this revival were planted at the July 1886 Mt. Hermon student conference for 250 students from 89 campuses with D.L. Moody
- ‘The Princeton Covenant’ – 100 signed at the conference to go to mission field unless God stopped them
- Teams of students went to the campuses that fall encouraging others to sign the covenant
- Over 100,000 signed and over 20,000 made it overseas!
- This was the greatest era of missions sending in the history of the USA — The Student Volunteer Movement
- Motto – “The evangelization of the world in this generation”
- 90% of the students at U of Florida came to evangelistic meetings and every fraternity organized bible studies
- 900 men came to Penn State meetings with hundreds of decisions for Christ
- 2400 of 3600 in one dorm at U of Michigan came to hear the Gospel
- 500 of the graduating class at Yale were converted
- Kansas St. YMCA had 29 Bible studies for 380 men
#5 1949-50 Revival
- 2 students from Los Angeles drove 2,300 miles to Minneapolis to pray with Dr. J. Edwin Orr and Dr. Billy Graham for campus revival
- Orr preached at Bethel College chapel, “there was much prayer in the dormitories, followed by intense conviction of sin among the students in chapel and in classroom…Conviction was relieved only by outright confession, restitution, restoration or conversion to God”
- Oct. 1955 NY Times, “More than 1,200 of the nation’s 1,900 colleges and universities how have a ‘religious emphasis week of some sort.”
#6 1970’s Jesus Movement
- Asbury College in Kentucky
- Revival quickly moved to many state and private campuses
- U.C.- Berkeley (1968)
- Chuck Smith (founder of Calvary Chapel) was witnessing to the hippies and radical students and began to see many converted!
- As many as 250,000 students came to Christ during the next 8-10 years
- February 8, 2023 chapel service at Asbury College
- Seems to be spreading to other campuses – both to Christian colleges and state colleges
- Gen Z (iGen) students leading this movement of the Spirit of God
- Pray for a movement of repentance from sin!
- Pray that believers will be bold in proclaiming Christ!
- Pray for a reaping of many souls into the Kingdom of God!