Thanks to an excellent article in Decision Magazine (a publication of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association which I highly recommend), I can share with you more details of the move of God that is currently sweeping through a rural area of western West Virginia.
Dubbed the “Appalachian Awakening,” this move of God has swept thousands of (mainly) young people into the Kingdom in an area of the Country remarkably similar to ours.
With high poverty rates, extreme levels of drug abuse, many churches burdened with legalism and division, and more than a little hopelessness, Mingo and Logan Counties could just as easily be Overton and surrounding counties. But while we share the same types of problems, we also share the same igniters for Awakening—so that we can believe with great hope that the Upper-Cumberland Awakening is about to break forth…
As is usually the case, God used a variety of sources—timed perfectly by Him in ways that no human could plan or coordinate—to ignite the Appalachian Awakening.
As described in Decision, Mingo and Logan counties (combined population 63,000) are also home to hundreds of sold-out saints who have been crying out to God for decades for authentic revival that would rescue the perishing and ignite a wave of repentance and renewal. Surely, God could claim the same thing about this area?!
Foundationed on the travailing prayer of a remnant of saints, the awakening broke forth as the Lord used a humble, bold high-school junior named Skyler Miller. As a well-like Leukemia survivor and football player, about 40 students spontaneously gathered to hear him preach impromptu in the hallway of Logan High over lunch hour. God had been stirring in him for weeks to do so, and on March 24th, Skyler preached on Nehemiah and the need for walls in our lives. As he finished and gave an Altar call, about 10 of his classmates gave their hearts to Jesus!
About two weeks later, a young Church of God evangelist from Tennessee, Matt Hartley, began to preach at the Regional Church of God and was invited to speak to High School assembles. This “third spark” really lit the fire, and soon 3000 conversions were recorded…!
As you can imagine, satan quickly responded. The “Freedom from Religion Foundation” sent threatening letters to the local school board, and Hartley was banned from speaking at the schools. But satan and his liberal allies cannot stop on-fire teenagers! The Fire was started, and continues to burn…!
Why not here, why not now? We have been called by the Lord to PRAY—to labor in prayer until an Awakening is birthed! Can we trust Him to rise up a Skylar Miller or two in our area? He already is! Look at the boldness in many in our youth group!
Can God use local churches including ours and special prayer meetings and services to throw fuel on the fire? Of course, and I believe He already is!
Only Almighty God can spark an Awakening, but as a local church, we are wonderfully close to the center of an impending Fire. Blow on the embers in prayer, my beloved co-laborers!!!