The Start of Modern-Day Pentecost
|Moriah Chapel in Loughor, Wales, where the Pentecostal revival started in 1904|
By Jacob Bock, AGWM missionary to Spain
This week I went to Loughor, in southern Wales.
Loughor is the town where God sent an amazing revival in 1904-1905 where more than 100,000 souls were radically saved from all over Wales. God used a 27-year-old man by the name of Evan Roberts. He lived in a small house on the edge of town and attended the Calvinistic Methodist Chapel.
It started one night when he was awakened in his bedroom by the Holy Spirit at 1 a.m. For three hours he was taken into the presence of God. This happened every night for more than three months.
Within a few weeks Evan was baptized in the Holy Spirit and revival broke out in the chapel he attended. People started coming from everywhere. Services would sometimes last eight hours.
I STAYED IN EVAN ROBERT’S ROOM
The house where Roberts grew up and had his visitations from God still stands today. Six years ago the owners opened up the home for a Bed and Breakfast. I stayed in what used to be Evan’s room.
I wanted to see the chapel and was informed I needed to get an appointment. They told me that same evening they were having their once-a-month prayer meeting. When I arrived at 6:33 p.m. an old Welsh gentleman showed me around the church, pointed out the grave of Roberts and took me into the chapel where it all started.
They had the prayer meeting in the chapel. Nothing had changed: they used the same old wooden pews and walked on the same wooden floors. Presently there are only 15 church members, the youngest being 53. Thirteen elderly people showed up for prayer. They were excited to have a visitor and I was treated with special honor.
When they found out I was a missionary, the old pastor asked if I would share for five minutes.
I SPOKE IN THE CHAPEL WHERE THE REVIVAL STARTED
An amazing feeling came over me as I stood in that chapel where Evan Roberts stood 108 years earlier. I looked out over a remnant of intercessors and encouraged them to pray for revival. I told them God was on the move, awakening His Church and that the Spirit could revive again.
After I spoke the two pastors came to me immediately and had me sit in a chair. They placed their hands on my head and prayed for me and our ministry. They prayed for greater anointing and a move of the Spirit. Then they asked me to pray for them. I did.
I sat down in the old pew trembling. How my heart ached for a fresh revival — could it be God would send a new Pentecost? These old intercessors knew God. After their prayer they asked me to pray again. Then they stood and dedicated a song to me; the old revival song made famous in the 1904 revival.
The next day I went back to Moriah Chapel to learn more. The old Welshman that showed me around is one of the last living folks to have a connection to the revival. His uncle sang with Evan Roberts. He then proceeded to pull out an envelope with his uncle’s journals of the revival, original items from Evan Roberts and a library of revival books, magazines, and other materials. Evan Roberts visited this man’s uncle for the reminder of his life. So my new friend as a little boy actually got to meet Roberts.
I asked him if he knew the famous “Love Hymn in Welsh” that they would sing at every meeting. He did, and looked it up in a Welsh hymnbook. He sang it and I made a recording of it.
The revival started on October 31, 1904, and ended seven months later in June of 1905. At that time Roberts had a massive physical and emotional breakdown. He never took time to rest and many nights only got one hour of sleep. He was unable to get out of bed for an entire year.
LORD, SEND REVIVAL
During those seven months, 100,000 people were saved. Other revivals started spontaneously in other parts of Wales at the very same time that had no connection to Roberts.
The revival spread. From the short seven months’ revival in Wales the Pentecostal movement as we know it today was born. For example, Joseph Smale, a man from California, heard of the revival and went to see it. He was later involved in the Azuza Street revival in Los Angeles that started in 1906.
Today it is estimated there are 500 million Pentecostal believers around the globe. And it all started with the Holy Spirit visiting one man in a country house.
When I got back to Madrid, Spain, where I live and minister, I must tell you, there was a notable breakthrough. The presence of God has been so real in the prayer house and on the streets that we are just amazed!
Lord, send revival!