TRUTHS from AZUSA STREET REVIVAL by Frank Bartleman

January 30, 2024 by  
Filed under Featured, Missions, News

“A revival almost always begins among the laity. The ecclesiastical leaders seldom welcome reformation.”

One reason for the depth of the work at “Azusa” was the fact that
the workers were not novices. They were largely called and prepared
for years, from the Holiness ranks, and from the mission field, etc.
They had been burnt out, tried and proven. They were largely
seasoned veterans. They had walked with God and learned deeply
of His Spirit. These were pioneers, “shock troops,” the Gideon´s
three hundred, to spread the fire around the world. Just as the
disciples had been prepared by Jesus.

We have now taken on a “mixed multitude.” And the seeds of
apostacy have had time to work. “First love” has been also
largely lost. The dog has “returned to his vomit” in many cases,
to Babylonic doctrines and practices. An enfeebled mother can
hardly be expected to bring forth healthy children.

The very truths that gave birth to the Pentecostal movement are
today generally rejected as too strong.

A revival almost always begins among the laity. The ecclesiastical
leaders seldom welcome reformation. History repeats itself. The
present leaders are too comfortably situated as a rule to desire
innovation that might require sacrifice on their part. And God’s
fire only falls on sacrifice. An empty altar receives no fire!

God has always sought a humble people. He can use no other…
There is always much need of heart preperation, in humility and
separation, before God can consistently come. The depth of
any revival will be determined exactly by the spirit of repentance
that is obtained. In fact, this is key to every true revival born of God.

Men’s hearts are being searched…it is a tremendous sifting time,
not only of actions but of inner motives. Nothing can escape the
all-searching eye of God.

Polk Revival Two Months and Going Strong

November 30, 2023 by  
Filed under Featured, Missions, News

When we wrote back in March and again last month, we could hardly imagine what God had in store for our area. After eight full weeks of revival in Polk County more revivals are on our schedule this month. Swept by the wave of the Spirit, several independent churches have joined in with parallel meetings, thus multiplying the expected attendance exponentially.

Initially 7, now 8 churches and multiple ministries across Polk County, TN have set to seek after the will of God for revival in their area after the pandemic. The revival has gone on now two months each week changing to another of the original seven church locations. Thousands have attended in the past eight weeks alone with multiple saved, recommitted and called to the ministry in the past month. Churches from the greater Conasauga, Reliance, Ocoee, Old Fort, Benton, and Delano communities along with the two oldest Polk County congregations at Cookson Creek and Friendship Baptist, are joining piece by piece the original vision God has given to many ministers for this area of East Tennessee. As Polk Revival continues strong, the participants are requesting prayer from all who love the Lord and have awaited His renewal of the land and His people. https://polkrevival.com/

Polk Revival Announces Community Communion before Thanksgiving

November 20, 2023 by  
Filed under Featured, Missions, News, Publication

After some two months in services, Polk Revival has announced a Community Communion before Thanksgiving.  Initially 7, now 8 churches and multiple ministries across Polk County, TN have set to seek after the will of God for revival in their area after the pandemic. The revival has gone on now two months each week changing to another of the original seven church locations within the greater Conasauga, Reliance, Ocoee, Old Fort, Benton, and Delano communities along with the two oldest Polk County congregations at Cookson Creek and Friendship Baptist. A “True Halloween Alternative Revival” and “Polk Camp Meeting” were also completed during this time by faithful friends and partnering ministers.

Exactly 20 years ago in his book “A Call to Righteousness: Impending Judgment,” Dr. David Franklin outlined the cycle of repentance for a nation’s revival as following:

  • When a nation persists in violence, the Sovereign Lord confronts and holds responsible,
  • When a nation forgets God, He allows for times of repentance,
  • If repentance is ignored, God will expose and execute judgment on an unfaithful nation.

That God is at work is not even in question here, but what about the Church? Over 50 back-to-back services can truly change one’s perspective on last day global ecclesiology. Piece by piece the original vision God has given to many ministers for this area of East Tennessee is coming together. As Polk Revival continues strong, the participants are requesting prayer from all who love the Lord and have awaited His renewal of the land and His people. https://polkrevival.com/

Polk Revival Going on for a Month

October 15, 2023 by  
Filed under Featured, Missions, News, Research

Initially 7, now 8 churches and multiple ministries across Polk County, TN have set to seek after the will of God for revival in their area after the pandemic. The revival has gone on now over a month each week changing to another of the original seven church locations. Over a thousand have attended in total during September alone with multiple saved, recommitted and called to the ministry in the past month. Though Fridays were set as days for prayer and reflection, on several occasions services continued well through the weekend into the next church.

Churches from the greater Conasauga, Reliance, Ocoee, Old Fort, Benton, and Delano communities along with the two oldest Polk County congregations at Cookson Creek and Friendship Baptist, are joining piece by piece the original vision God has given to many ministers for this area of East Tennessee. While a few have seen it as continuation of the Lee University student revival, most have found it as restoring the original Appalachian/Cherokee holiness outpouring, which took place among L&N Depot and Hiwassee River Rail Loop workers in the old Methodist church across from Etowah‘s chamber of commerce. As Polk Revival continues strong, the participants are requesting prayer from all who love the Lord and have awaited His renewal of the land and His people. https://polkrevival.com/

Revival in Progress

October 1, 2023 by  
Filed under Events, Featured, Missions, News

When we wrote back in March and again last month, we could hardly imagine what God had in store for our area. After three full weeks of revival with the Ballplay (9/17-22), Friendship (9/25-30) and Conasauga (10/2-5) churches, three more revivals are on our schedule this month. Swept by the wave of the Spirit, several independent churches have joined in with parallel meetings, thus multiplying the expected attendance exponentially. Impressed to extend the revival through November, our next 20+ consecutive meetings will be in revival tents by the highway. Meanwhile all across the country of Bulgaria:

  • Pandemic has grown to the level of “mandatory” mask mandate across the country
  • Importing Ukrainian “war grain” sparked multiple anti-government protests in Bulgaria
  • As a result, the 5th government elections in Bulgaria since the pandemic will be in October
  • A new NATO base (est. $55 mil.) will be built within the next few months next to my hometown of Yambol, which is bringing new attention to our Chaplaincy program there.

We appreciate your prayers and support at all times. We remain grateful for your commitment and partnership with our work for the Kingdom here in the States, Europe and beyond.

Polk Revival to Commence after Months of Prayer

September 1, 2023 by  
Filed under Events, Featured, Missions, News, Video

Initially 7, now 8 churches and multiple ministries across the biggest Tennessee county, have set their hearts to seek after the will of God for revival in their area after the pandemic. The meetings are set to move from one church location to another each week of the original seven consecutive week schedule. While Fridays are set as days for prayer and reflection, many already anticipate service will continue through the weekend into the next week’s revival location. As participants have been praying for God’s fresh fire in East Tennessee, many have recalled previous revivals and prophetic words from some hundred years ago to the spontaneous student revival at Lee University this past spring. As new revival outpouring has been long prophesied for the area, the churches have agreed to wait upon the Lord until he moves in their midst again. Prayer is requested from all who love the Lord and have awaited His renewal of the land and His people.

Perry Stone Ministries 2016 THE PROPHECY: In August, over a year ago the Holy Spirit spoke of a “Rural Awakening.” I am certain the primary meaning is that God will spiritually awaken the people in rural areas. However, it was just reported that the RURAL VOTE from the small towns of America, is what won the election for Donald Trump. In the same word, The Holy Spirit has also said the cities will become dangerous with mobs and people would begin leaving the cities to return to the more rural areas in AMerica. George Soros is planning major city disruptions for months or perhaps years to come, and now sadly, there are numerous gangs of black youths in the inner cities that are physically attacking, for no reason, older white men and women; a few even calling for the death of all whites. I regret to say, violence will become more common (days of Noah) and people will slowly begin to leave major cities (violent zones) to move away from the hate and crime in those areas. Those of us in the Body of Christ, White, Black and HIspanic, must not fall into this demonic hatred and deception, but must stand in the unity of our faith in Christ, as one body and one family. Many people who truly love the Lord live in these cities and these gangs and thugs do not represent them or their ethnic group. JESUS IS KING.

The Story of the 1896 Shearer Schoolhouse Revival at Barney Creek

August 20, 2023 by  
Filed under Featured, Media, Missions, News

Schearer Schoolhouse revival

In 1896, a revival was begun in a little schoolhouse near Murphy, North Carolina.  Strong opposition to it arose almost immediately. When opponents of the revival tried to stop it violently, the people who lived in the humble home shown below, gave it protection.  They  had no way of knowing  that the  revival  they protected,  would  bear the fruit of 15,000 churches being started around the world in the 100 years that followed.

When unknown & unheralded preachers, connected to the Fire-Baptized Holiness Association, William Martin, a Methodist preacher, Joe  M. Tipton and Milton McNabb, members  of the  Baptist  church,  walked  from  their  homes  in   Monroe  County, TN  to begin a revival at the Schearer Schoolhouse in Murphy County, North Carolina, they had no way of knowing that  what  would happen there would still be blessing people a hundred years later.  Possibly as you read this true story, you may labor in a place that seems  isolated  or  far  removed  from  the  light   of recognition  and popularity, but what you do faithfully day by day, is planting seed now that will rise up  as blessings throughout  the years  to come. As the song says, “Little is much when God is in it.” Martin, Tipton and McNabb (to our knowledge there are no photos of  them)  began  the  revival  with  one  motive,   to share Christ with anyone who would listen so  their neighbors to spend eternity in hell.

Though they preached simple   sermons about  Christ and living a holy life, all during the spring of 1896 and on into the summer, amazing and  phenomenal Holy  Spirit  motivated events  took   place at the Schoolhouse revival. If someone had asked them what a “Pentecostal” was or how to be one, probably  nobody there  could have  answered  the question. They were Baptists, Methodists and  prossibly a few  Presbyterians attending  the schoolhouse revival meetings. Once again, the Holy Spirit  demonstrated that He moves where He  wants  upon  the  hearts  that   He  chooses, regardless  the person’s denominational membership or background.


DENOMINATIONAL MEN OPPOSED THEM


This is   not  intended  to be  against  denominations.   Much can be accomplished when  people unite their efforts for spreading  the Gospel.  We should remember that what happened at the Schearer Schoolhouse, put  them in direct  conflict with  their denominations. It was denominational  men who opposed them. The  disciples also had that conflict when they were before their organization’s Council, they said, ‘”We would obey God rather than man.”

Charles W. Conn, Church Historian for the Church of God  and   author  of “Like A Mighty Army,” says that over   100  people received what is now referred to as “The Baptism of the Holy Spirit” at the Schearer Schoolhouse revival. That’s a big crowd when  one considers the population was very  sparse (it’s not too crowded in that area even today). Conn’s  historical   account says, “They  laughed  (interesting), rejoiced, praised, spoke in tongues and danced for joy.”

It is believed  the Schearer Schoolhouse revival was  the first time a group of people had received  such blessings  anywhere on this side of the Atlantic ocean.  There had  been scattered reports of individuals, some in  the NY  meetings held by Phoebe  Palmer, that had experienced what people now call “speaking in tongues.”

C.T. Davidson,  author   of  “Upon This Rock,”  wrote  this description.  “In buggies  and wagons, by  horseback and walking, people  came  from miles around.  The  lives  of   hardhearted men and women were changed and sinners were constrained  to make restitution as they sought forgiveness.”  Davidson continued, “While many were blessed, others rejected the revival   because  it  conflicted with  their  rituals,   creeds  and ecclesiasticism.  Many   faithful  members  were  persecuted   and excommunicated. One church excommunicated 30 of them at one meeting.”

Persecution became so intense  until  the revival  was moved  a  short distance  to a  more  secure  log   building.  Some accounts  say  the  sheriff, local ministers who opposed the revival and a mob  of supporters,  tore the building  down log by log, piled them up and burned them. Without a place to worship, the meetings were finally moved to the tiny  home of  W.F. Bryant, a respected Christian leader in the community. Opponents came to his house and demanded that the meetings stop.   They showered the home with  stones and bullets but  W.F. Bryant wouldn’t back down. Those who had received the blessings at the revival, began to believe  then,  as  most  Pentecostals  do today,  that   what  was happening among  them first occurred  in the Upper Room on the day of Pentecost and was a continuation of what happened there (The fifth book of the New Testament; Acts, Chapters 1 & 2).

Described by Charles W. Conn as pivotal to Church of God formation, a 1896 revival in Cherokee County, North Carolina provoked charismatic phenomena now familiar in pentecostal circles. (1) It is known that the primary evangelists–Martin, Tipton, and McNabb–were connected to the Fire-Baptized Holiness Association. In view of the imposing number of instances of tongues-speech spread throughout nineteenth century North America, (2) the well-traveled reports of such activities in certain circles and especially the presence of Daniel Awrey at Beniah, Tennessee, it seems reasonable to suggest the possibility that William Martin, Joe Tipton, and/or Milton McNabb were exposed to at least stories about tongues-speech before the 1896 revival. (3)

1. Charles W. Conn, Our First 100 Years: 1886-1986 (Cleveland: Pathway Press, 1986) 17, goes on to ascribe importance to the event because it “prepared the way for the universal outpouring that followed ten years later.” This is a welcome appraisal in light of an earlier judgment often bound up in the North American church’s self-perception, namely [Charles W. Conn, Like A Mighty Army (Cleveland: Pathway Press, 1977) 25]: “… this was the first general outpouring that would continue unabated until it encompassed the Christian world.” Cf. Charles W. Conn, Like A Mighty Army: A History of the Church of God: Definitive Edition, 1886-1995 (Cleveland: Pathway Press, 1996) 29-31. The re-evaluation process can be followed in Charles W. Conn, Cradle of Pentecost (Cleveland: Pathway, 1981) 17, “If it was not the beginning of the modern Pentecostal Awakening, it was certainly the greatest prelude to it.” Then “Church of God” by Charles W. Conn in Encyclopedia of Religion in the South, ed. by Samuel S. Hill (Macon: Mercer University Press, 1984) 160, calls this an “extraordinary event” “without precedent in the region.” On the other hand, Conn’s entry in the same volume on “A.J. Tomlinson,” repeats the older view espoused in Army. Conn’s piece on the revival in DPCM, 161, says the group “formulated no doctrine about it. They simply thanked God for the ‘blessing’ …” He opens the article by calling this “one of the earliest known outpourings of the Holy Spirit in America” in contrast to the closing statement that the “universal outpouring would begin ten years later, 1906, in far away California.” cf. E.L. Simmons, History of the Church of God (Cleveland: Church of God Publishing House, 1938) 11f; Crews, The Church of God, 10.

The official Church of God position seems entrenched in the earlier Conn view. During the 1995 Pentecostal World Conference in Jerusalem, Church of God started a celebration of their 100 years of pentecostal revival. This was to have culminated in the 1996 General Assembly of the Church of God. Meanwhile, this viewpoint continued to play a factor in the view expressed in the 1990’s Church of God web page (http://www.mindspring.com/~cog/cog.html) which originally trumpeted “America’s Oldest Pentecostal Church” then replaced with the equally loud “America’s First Pentecostal Church.”

Contrast this to the 2001 celebration in Los Angles of the birth of Pentecostism hosted by the Pentecostal World Conference, noting the planning began while the PWC was led by Dr. Ray H. Hughes of the Church of God. The Pentecostal Charismatic Churches of North America (PCCNA) signed on as partners and the North American Renewal Service Committee (NARSC) endorsed the event as an effort to celebrate all the offspring of the pentecostal revival.

2. Assemblies of God Heritage has analyzed several such examples like that of W. Jethro Walthall. See Glenn Gohr, “William Jethro Walthall and the Holiness Baptist Churches of Southwestern Arkansas,” Assemblies of God Heritage 12:3 (Fall 1992) 19f. Also: Mary Woodworth Etter, Signs and Wonders God Wrought in the Ministry for Forty Years (Indianapolis, 1916) 117; Wayne E. Warner, The Woman Evangelist (Metuchen: Scarecrow, 1986) 70n33; Brumback, Suddenly, 13; Kendrick, Promise, 35; Frodsham, Signs, 11-17; Cyril Williams, Tongues, 50; Bresson, Ecstasy, 109; Worsfold, Charismatic, 82; Lewi Pethrus, A Spiritual Memoir (Plainfield: Logos, 1973) 20; Aimee Semple McPherson, Lost and Restored as cited by Robert Cornwall, “Primitivism and the Redefinition of Dispensationalism in the Theology of Aimee Semple McPherson,” Pneuma 14:1 (Spring 1992) 37; A.M. Kiergan, Historical Sketches of the Revival of True Holiness and Local Church Polity from 1865-1916 (Fort Scott: Church Advocate and Good Way, 1971) 31; Davidson, Rock 1:298; C.E. Jones, “Tongues-Speaking and The Wesleyan-Holiness Question for Assurance of Sanctification,” Wesleyan Theological Journal 22:2 (Fall 1989) 120.

3. “History of Pentecost,” The Faithful Standard 1:6 (September 1922) 6, noted William Hamby as the fourth evangelist. Also Nettie Bryant, Interview p. 2, and W.F. Bryant, Interview p. 2. R.G. Spurling, Jr., married Barbara Hamby in 1876. So McCauley, “Appalachian Mountain Religion,” 360.

1896 Shearer Schoolhouse Revival

August 10, 2023 by  
Filed under Featured, Missions, News, Publication, Research

1896 Shearer Schoolhouse Revival

Location: Camp Creek, North Carolina


Introduction
Before the 1901 Topeka Outpouring, and before the 1906 Azusa Street Revival, there was the 1896 Shearer Schoolhouse Revival.

Several of the largest Pentecostal denominations trace their roots back to an event that took place at the Shearer Schoolhouse located in Camp Creek, North Carolina.

Richard G. Spurling Sr. (1810-1891)

The chain of events that led up to that momentous occasion began in 1884 when 72-year-old Richard G. Spurling (1810-1891), a Baptist preacher, and a few of his friends had grown weary with the spiritual condition in the mountains. They spent several years trying to bring renewal and reform within the churches, but all their efforts failed.

Together with his 27-year-old son, who was also a licensed Baptist preacher (R.G. Spurling Jr., 1857-1935), Spurling called for a gathering to be held on Thursday, August 19, 1886, to see if there was sufficient interest to start a new church.

Gathered that August day were those from Baptist, Methodist, and Presbyterian churches. They assembled in the Spurling family’s grist mill on the banks of Barney Creek, Tennessee. (Some have referred to that grist mill as the “Barney Creek Meetinghouse.”)

During the meeting, Richard G. Spurling Sr. asked those assembled:

As many Christians as are here present that are desirous to be free from all man-made creeds and traditions, and are willing to take the New Testament, or law of Christ, for your only rule of faith and practice; giving each other equal rights and privilege to read and interpret for yourselves as your conscience may dictate, and are willing to sit together as the Church of God to transact business as the same, come forward.

Location of the revival’s beginning in relation to other major cities in the area.

Painting of what the Spurling grist mill on Barney Creek could have looked like. This mill has also been called the Barney Creek Meetinghouse.

Eight out of the group came forward, and with those few they began the church that was named “Christian Union.”

On September 2, 1886, R.G. Spurling Jr., was installed as the pastor of this new church. A few years later, at age 74, the elder Spurling died, never having had the opportunity to see the budding of the great movement he launched.

R.G. Spurling Jr. preached across the mountains for the next ten years, starting churches in different locations, the last one being in Turtletown, Tennessee, only four miles from the Camp Creek church which Bryant had recently started. It was in Camp Creek that God brought an extraordinary revival of holiness to the mountains.

In 1892, William F. Bryant, a Baptist lay preacher licensed through Liberty Baptist Church, began prayer meetings in his home in Camp Creek, North Carolina. His home was located about 12 miles from the Christian Union congregation in Barney Creek. Bryant and Spurling ultimately became good friends and developed a strong working relationship.

R.G. Spurling Jr. and wife Barbara (earlier picture)

Spurling Family


Extraordinary Prayer & Preparation for Revival
Through W.F. Bryant’s relationship with Spurling, Bryant started a church and Sunday School in Camp Creek, under the Christian Union umbrella. Spurling led his congregation in Turtletown, Tennessee, to merge with Bryant’s congregation, which was located 4 miles away across the state border. This new unity and freedom led the people in the mountains to give themselves fully to prayer and fasting, anticipating God to save many souls.

This highly focused prayer led to a ten-day revival that was conducted in the summer of 1896 by four lay evangelists. These revival services were held in the Shearer Schoolhouse in Camp Creek, North Carolina. People came to this revival from many parts of the mountains.

Almost from the start of the meeting, the altars were filled with repentant sinners and seekers for the experience of sanctification. Many skeptics of holiness were convinced, and many more rough-living sinners were converted.  —Charles W. Conn

When the scheduled revival services concluded, the “spirit of revival” continued, and people often met in homes, under brush arbors, or in the Shearer Schoolhouse, as they didn’t yet have a building in which to worship.

Prominent locations involved with the revival. The major city of Chattanooga is given for reference.

R.G. Spurling Jr. founded this second Christian Union Church at Piney Grove in Monroe County, Tennessee, in 1897.


What Happened

All of the heightened focus on God to move in the mountains continued to inspire and move the people to believe for even greater things from God.

And the interest increased until unexpectedly, like a cloud from a clear sky, the Holy Ghost began to fall on the honest, humble, sincere seekers after God. . . . One after another fell under the power of God, and soon quite a number were speaking in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

News of this Holy Spirit outpouring spread to adjoining counties and the people came to witness the phenomenon of Spirit-filled believers speaking in an unknown language. Many sick persons were healed and “hundreds of hard sinners were converted.”

It was a Pentecostal awakening, a recurrence of what happened on the Day of Pentecost. Even though this was a very sparsely populated area in the mountains, “more than 100 persons received the baptism with the Holy Ghost and spoke in tongues.” This was an important event that prepared the way for the universal outpouring that followed ten years later during the 1906 Azusa Street Revival.

The Shearer Schoolhouse in Camp Creek, North Carolina, location of the 1896 holiness revival.

Wording on the Shearer Schoolhouse Monument

Shearer Schoolhouse Monument


Persecution
Beginning in 1899, the Liberty Baptist and Pleasant Hill Baptist churches excommunicated forty of their members for their participation with the Christian Union congregations (house churches) in the area, the reasons being the style of worship and doctrinal differences (R.G. Spurling Jr. was licensed to preach through Pleasant Hill Baptist, and William F. Bryant through Liberty Baptist Church. Both were excommunicated.)

A subsequent act of the Baptist churches was to prevent the Christian Union congregation from using the Shearer Schoolhouse for services. It was then that Dickson Kilpatrick donated land across the road from the schoolhouse on which a log meetinghouse could be constructed. The persecutors responded by first attempting to destroy the building with fire and dynamite–both attempts failed. It was then that 106 leading members of the community dismantled the log meeting house and burned the logs. This mob included ministers and deacons from neighboring churches, one justice of the peace, and one sheriff.

When arrests were finally made for the destruction of the property, and guilty parties were put on trial, Bryant and the Christian Union congregation simply asked the court to forgive them.

Other Types of Persecution Endured
1. Homes where meetings were held were burned.
2. People were whipped.
3. Homes were shot at.
4. Stones were thrown at buildings.
5. Water sources were contaminated.
6. Children were harshly treated by teachers at school, as well as beaten by other children. This required parents to take their children out of school.

These early Pentecostal pioneers suffered for about six years from this type of persecution, yet they had found a new freedom, power, and purpose for their life in this new Pentecostal experience which could not and would not be extinguished by their persecutors.

Monument today where the log church once stood 

Home of William F. Bryant

William F. Bryant (seated left) and family


Governmental Order  (fanaticism & false teachings)
Without any form of government in the Christian Union congregations, false teachings began to emerge, as well as fanaticism. This led Bryant and Spurling to develop a form of government, in conjunction with establishing doctrines, that would unite the believers and at the same time ward off the false teachings.

The restructuring of the Christian Union took place on May 15,1902, in the home of Bryant. This restructuring led to a name change for the churches from “Christian Union” to the “Holiness Church at Camp Creek.”

Following the reorganization, new preachers, deacons, and church members began to be added to the churches. One notable pastor that joined the Holiness Church on June 13, 1903, was the Quaker from Westfield, Indiana, A.J. Tomlinson.


A.J. Tomlinson
Tomlinson had come to the mountains in 1899 to serve as a missionary. He had established a school, an orphanage, and a clothing distribution center to care for and evangelize the poor.

Tomlinson had become acquainted with the Holiness Church in Camp Creek, and on the morning of June 13, 1903, following his morning prayer on the mountain behind Bryant’s home, Tomlinson became convinced that the holiness congregation was “the Church of God of the Bible.” The leadership of the Holiness Church had confidence in Tomlinson and immediately selected him as pastor for the church in Camp Creek.

Tomlinson’s vision to spread the gospel around the world soon led to the establishment of other Holiness Church congregations, the first General Assembly in 1906, and a change of name from the “Holiness Church” to “Church of God” in 1907. What began as a trickling mountain stream at Barney Creek became a surging river of global ministry.

W.F. Bryant and R.G. Spurling Jr., at the home of J.C. and Melissa (Shearer) Murphy, which was the site of the Church of God’s first General Assembly, conducted on January 26-27, 1906, at Camp Creek, North Carolina

Today the Shearer-Murphy House is maintained by the Church of God of Prophecy as a historical landmark. The home is located on River Hill Road not far from Fields of the Wood.

Historical marker sign at the intersection of River Hill Road and North Carolina Route 294


Results of the Revival
Not less than nine denominations emerged from the Shearer Schoolhouse Revival. At least five of those are headquartered in Cleveland, Tennessee. We list two prominent ones here.

Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee)
In December of 1904 the Holiness Church of Camp Creek had its center of activity moved from Camp Creek, North Carolina, to Cleveland, Tennessee. That was when A.J. Tomlinson moved his family there to start the North Cleveland Church of God. That church eventually became the “mother church” for the budding denomination. Cleveland is now where the headquarters for the Church of God is located, and home to Lee University.

On January 11, 1907, the Holiness Church of Camp Creek changed its name to Church of God, and has kept that name since.

In 2018, the total worldwide membership of the Church of God was 7,468,083. Of that total, 1,189,304 members were in the United States and Canada, making the Church of God the 22nd largest Christian denomination in the United States.

North Cleveland Church of God, circa 1906

REVIVAL MUST GO ON…

March 1, 2023 by  
Filed under Featured, Missions, News

March 1, 2023

There is a good reason we signed off our final 2022 newsletter with our slogan of 30+ years: “Revival must go on,” after our Revival Harvest Campaign was extended five times over a four-month period last year.

Revival runs deep in our family roots. During the Great Bulgarian Pentecostal Revival in the 1920s, my grandmother was miraculously healed on her death bed from tuberculosis, saved and filled with the Spirit along with our whole family five generations back.

Exactly 70 years later, I was saved in the post-Communist Revival in Bulgaria prophesied by Danish journalist Johny Noer, who openly challenged the communist authorities with the words: “Let my people go!” I was filled with the Spirit and called to the Ministry within two weeks time. Having never seen anything like this before, without any prior theological training or spiritual experience, I witnessed over 300 students getting saved in the little mountain church where I began preaching.

In 1995, I saw another revival among the Bulgarian immigrants in Chicago, where within one short summer of organizing the Bulgarian Church there, some 100+ were saved and 64 of them became members of the Narragansett Church of God where we held meetings.

I was blessed to preach multiple back-to-back revival meetings again through the summer of 1999 in South Carolina and then again in the early 2017 in Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, the Carolinas and across Europe in the fall of that same year. But all this did not happen until after the 2011 Tennessee tornadoes, when we saw the cloud of His glory over a youth camp we held in the mountains of Bulgaria in a grass-roots student revival that just could not be stopped by the establishment. It was then that we distinctly heard from the Spirit to move to our current location and wait for The Revival. And even after we gave a word at the Regional Church of God exactly nine months before the massive school revival of Delbarton, West Virginia broke out there in 2016, it just didn’t feel this was it.

A little bit over ten long years have now passed in this location of daily prayers for revival and if all the fasting through years was to be added, it will probably amount to a good fifth of that whole time. If we have learned one thing through this long period of fervent waiting, it is that revival cannot be faked. Oh, you can try of course, but you ain’t fooling God with it. Neither can you fake healing – and this word in particular should not be taken lightly in the new reality of our post-covid world.

And if the Spirit is indeed doing a new thing in our day today, it will not be tongues, gifts or offices, but a return to Biblical holiness. For holiness cannot be faked either. It is transparent before both men and God. And just because people do not like the political church run by a corporate business-model any longer, it does not make them a mission field. But it does call for a harvest that no one has gathered yet! And for this reason, REVIVAL MUST GO ON… until the Holiness of God prevail!

 

2022: Revival Harvest Campaign 

2021: Revelation Revival at Cookson Creek

2020: Coronavirus Statement

2019: Revival Must Go On… 

2018 Revival Harvest Campaign: REBUILDING the WALLS

2017 Prophetic Revival in Bulgaria: The Search for Holiness Continues

2017 Last Days Great REVIVAL

2016 School Youth Revival Takes Over Delbarton, West Virginia

2016 110 Years ago, the Azusa Street Revival Began with a Fast

2016 Speaking in Tongues in America Prior to the Azusa Street Revival of 1906 (Diamonds in the Rough-N-Ready Series)

2016 The FORGOTTEN ROOTS OF THE AZUSA STREET REVIVAL

2015 Why Revival Came? by Dr. Charles Conn

2015 La France District Revival

2014 25 Year Revival Cycles in Bulgaria’s Protestant History

2014 Revival Harvest Campaign 2014 in Varna and Signing of the Scrolls

2013 End of Days Revival Series

2012 12.12.12. Revival at the End of the World

2012 Revival Harvest Campaign 2012: Revival Must Go On…

2011 WAR ON THE SAINTS: Revival Dawn and the Baptism of the Spirit

2011 On PRAYER for REVIVAL

2011 Historic Pentecostal Revival Tour in Bulgaria Continues

2010 Revival BULGARIA

2009 Fresh Revival Fire

2009 Revival Begins in Chicago

2008 Revival Bulgaria 2 Film Released

2008 Revelation Revival

2007 Deliverance Revival

2007 Revelation Revival Continues

2007 Revival in Bulgaria Again

2007 Healing Revival

2007 Miracle Revival Crusade

2006 Mission Maranatha in Revival

2006 Healing in the Midst of Revival

2006 Revival Harvest Compaign

2005 Revival in Bulgaria Again

2005 Revival Harvest Campaign

2004 Revival Harvest Campaign Results

2004 Is There Revival in Bulgaria?

2003 Postcommunist Protestant Revival in Bulgaria

Revival Harvest Campaign 2003

2002 Revival BULGARIA

2002 REVIVAL

2001 Revival at La France

2000 Celebrating 10 Years in the Ministry

1999 Revivals

Revival continues…

February 25, 2023 by  
Filed under Featured, Missions, News

2018 Revival Harvest Campaign: REBUILDING the WALLS

2017 Prophetic Revival in Bulgaria: The Search for Holiness Continues

2017 Last Days Great REVIVAL

2016 School Youth Revival Takes Over Delbarton, West Virginia

2016 110 Years ago, the Azusa Street Revival Began with a Fast

2016 Speaking in Tongues in America Prior to the Azusa Street Revival of 1906 (Diamonds in the Rough-N-Ready Series)

2016 The FORGOTTEN ROOTS OF THE AZUSA STREET REVIVAL

2015 Why Revival Came? by Dr. Charles Conn

2015 La France District Revival

2014 25 Year Revival Cycles in Bulgaria’s Protestant History

2014 Revival Harvest Campaign 2014 in Varna and Signing of the Scrolls

2013 End of Days Revival Series

2012 12.12.12. Revival at the End of the World

2012 Revival Harvest Campaign 2012: Revival Must Go On…

2011 WAR ON THE SAINTS: Revival Dawn and the Baptism of the Spirit

2011 On PRAYER for REVIVAL

2011 Historic Pentecostal Revival Tour in Bulgaria Continues

2010 Revival BULGARIA

2009 Fresh Revival Fire

2009 Revival Begins in Chicago

2008 Revival Bulgaria 2 Film Released

2008 Revelation Revival

2007 Deliverance Revival

2007 Revelation Revival Continues

2007 Revival in Bulgaria Again

2007 Healing Revival

2007 Miracle Revival Crusade

2006 Mission Maranatha in Revival

2006 Healing in the Midst of Revival

2006 Revival Harvest Compaign

2005 Revival in Bulgaria Again

2005 Revival Harvest Campaign

2004 Revival Harvest Campaign Results

2004 Is There Revival in Bulgaria?

2003 Postcommunist Protestant Revival in Bulgaria

Revival Harvest Campaign 2003

2002 Revival BULGARIA

2002 REVIVAL

2001 Revival at La France

Read also: 25 Years of Miracles

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