Monday, September 24, 2007

150 Years Since the Fulton Street Revival

Good Morning. A friend of mine passed this on to me. It was written by Ed Stetzer and can be read on his blog site:

One of the forgotten "spiritual awakenings" is the Fulton Street Revival. Today is the 150th anniversary of that start of that outpouring.

If I am doing the math correctly, about 3% of the population became Christ followers during this awakening. That would be the equivalent of 10 million people becoming followers of Jesus today.

The North American Mission Board has a video about Fulton Street here.

You can find info about the revival here.

One of the great resources on "awakenings" is on the website of J. Edwin Orr. If you don't know of J. Edwin Orr, Billy Graham considered him "one of the greatest authorities on the history of religious revivals in the Protestant world."

Orr did a lecture series at Church on the Way that includes a presentation on the Fulton Street revival. I would encourage you to watch the lecture-- in some ways, we are in a similar pre-revival situation today.

There is a big celebration in New York today. I was asked to speak at the church planting track that met yesterday. I was VERY conflicted that I was already committed to the SEBTS Convergent Conference. I tried to get a flight to do both, but we all agreed it was too close. Sigh.

The conference web site explains about the awakening:

In 1857 there were 30,000 men idle on the streets of New York. Drunkenness was rampant, and the nation was divided by slavery. God raised up a praying businessman, Jeremiah Lanphier. On September 23, 1857 he began a noontime prayer meeting on Fulton Street in the Financial District of Manhattan. Out of a city of 1 million people, six people showed up a half hour late.

The group decided to meet the next week and there were 14. The next week there were 23. The following week there were 40. Within weeks there were thousands of business leaders meeting daily. God moved so powerfully that the prayer meeting spread across the nation. It is estimated that nearly 1 million people were converted out of a national population of 35 million, including 10,000 weekly conversions in New York City for a season.

Between 1860 and 1920, as answers to the prayer, the Evangelical Social Movement was birthed including the Bowery Mission, the McCauley Street Mission, Salvation Army (begun in London), and the Student Volunteer Movement. Between 1865 and 1900 more African Americans came to Christ than any other ethnic group in North American history. This is our heritage. This is the legacy we hope will infuse the hearts and imaginations of Christs’ followers for decades to come!

God, please send your Holy Spirit on your broken, confused, and imperfect people. We are helpless and hopeless without you. We need your grace and guidance. Refocus us on the cross, the mission, and send us anew into the world. Help us to pray like Jeremiah Lanphier.

Posted on September 23, 2007 1:38 PM | Permalink

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