Monday, November 26, 2007

Background to the 1904 Revival in Wales

Good morning. As we continue to pray for revival, we can be encouraged that in the past, God has answered the pleas of his people for spiritual renewal. One notable example of this is the revival in Wales a little over a century ago...

A century ago Wales experienced the last National Religious Revival, a revival that brought in an extra 100,000 new converts according to the estimates of the time, and a movement that quickly spread to the 4 corners of the World. Yet that great move of the Spirit had very small beginnings. Beginnings that didn’t always involve the great preachers of the day – erudite and educated as they were, but instead included, for instance a young teenager from New Quay, Cardigan – Florrie Evans – who in a youth meeting in February 1904 declared publicly that she loved the Lord Jesus with all her heart. With these words the Spirit seemed to fall on the meeting and the fire quickly spread to other young people in the Cardiganshire area.

In September of the same year, an Evangelist Seth Joshua was addressing a Convention which included these young people at Blaenanerch just 5 miles north of Cardigan. Seth himself had been praying for years that God would raise up a young man from the pits to revive the churches – little did he know that on Thursday September 29th 1904 his prayer was to be answered in a life changing experience for one 26 year old student, Evan Roberts.

For years Evan had been a faithful member of Moriah Calvinistic Methodist church at Loughor, he was a Sunday School Superintendent, a consciencious reader of the main theological works of his day, and more than that he had been praying for revival for over 11 years. Having been converted as a young teenager, he continued to pray regularly that God would visit again the nation in Revival Power. Determined to do his part, he felt compelled to go into the Calvinistic Methodist Ministry and on September 13th 1904 he became a pupil of the Newcastle Emlyn Grammar School to prepare for Trefecca Theological College

It was only 2½ weeks after arriving that he found himself at Blaenanerch – and at a crossroads in his spiritual experience. A spiritual experience which would lead him back to the young people of his own church Moriah Loughor where he shared his experience and encouraged them to be open to God’s Spirit. Within two weeks the Welsh Revival was national news and before long, Evan Roberts and his brother Dan and his best friend Sidney were traveling the country conducting Revival Meetings and they were meetings with a difference. Meetings which broke the conventional and bi-passed the traditional – often the ministers just sat down unable to preach or even to understand what storm had arrived in their usually sedate temples.

This was a Revival with youth on fire – young men, yes and women. After the first stirrings amongst the young women of New Quay, young women continued to play a part in the Revival work – young Florrie went on a team to North Wales with her friend Maud – others used their voices as instruments of God’s message and amongst the most well known was Annie Davies Maesteg who accpomanied Evan Roberts on his missions.

Yes a storm had hit the churches yet for so many it was a storm of love and power which completely transformed their lives.


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