The Fifth Great Awakening 1880 Onwards
From 1880 to 1903, as a period of unusual evangelistic, the ministry of Dwight L. Moody, together with a host of other ministries that were also born out of the 1857 revival.
It initially centred around the ministry of D L Moody, whose ministry may be described as “highly successful crusade evangelism interspersed with periodic revivalism”. Moody began his ministry in Chicago and entered full-time Christian work in 1860, concentrating on his Sunday school and YMCA work. He was God’s chosen vessel to take the sparks of the 1857-60 revival to ignite a fresh passion for God and for souls around the world. Moody travelled, with his singing evangelist companion, Ira Sankey, to England a number of times. Spurgeon spoke of the visit of 1873-1875 as “a gracious visitation” and a “very notable ingathering of converts”, especially at Newcastle and Edinburgh. Andrew Bonar, too, refers, in his diary to “the tide of a real revival in Edinburgh” comparing it with his own experience of the revival 35 years earlier.
Moody returned to England in 1881-83 and had an astounding affect on a new breed of evangelists in the U.S., Britain and across the world. His mission in Cambridge, in 1882, marked the beginning of a worldwide interdenominational student missionary movement. Though the YMCA in the States and Christian Unions in the U.K. had their inception during the former revival (1857), Moody’s influence transformed these works into powerful missionary movements. The ‘Cambridge Seven’, including C. T. Studd, were products of Moody’s visit and they went to on evangelising China in 1885. By 1912 Studd founded W.E.C., a missionary movement which had great success in parts of Africa. Wilfred Grenfell, the renowned missionary to Labrador was converted at a tent mission led by Moody in 1885.
Similar results occurred in the US. Thousands of young men volunteered for missionary work and the Anglo-American impetus spread around the world, producing the world’s Student Christian Federation, which, in turn, provided a large proportion of the outstanding Christian leaders of the early 20th Century.
Moody founded the Moody Bible Institute in 1883, with an emphasis on missions. The Christian and Missionary Alliance was formed during this time by A. B. Sampson and the Christian Endeavour Movement was born out of a revival in Portland, Maine, in 1880-1881.
Other evangelists, spurred on by Moody, threw themselves into the harvest. Sam Jones, J. Wilber Chapman and Billy Sunday had extraordinary success in North America. Andrew Murray exercised a powerful ministry in South Africa, as did John McNeil in Australia.
Revival hit Japan in the early 1880’s, increasing the adult membership from 4,000 to 30,000 in five years. The China Inland Mission experienced a large influx of new missionaries. New missions were planted in many evangelised fields and revivals were reported in India, Africa, South Africa, Madagascar, Australia, Central and South America.
The Sixth Great Awakening Onwards
The early years of the 20th century witnessed a number of revivals around the world.
It is impossible to understand these revivals apart from their roots in the Holiness Movement which had developed in the late 19th century. Of course, the issue of ‘holiness’ was not new. John Wesley advocated ‘entire sanctification’ and ‘Christian perfectionism’ in his ‘Plain Account of Christian Perfection.’ The idea that ‘sanctification’ could be instantaneously experienced subsequent to conversion was a Wesleyan norm. Testimonies to ‘experiences of sanctification,’ abounded during the 19th century. For example, James Caughey’s book entitled ‘Methodism in Earnest’ is subtitled ‘…being the history of a great revival in Great Britain; in which 20,000 souls professed faith in Christ, and ten thousand professed sanctification, in about six years, in association with the labours of Rev. James Caughey….’
Phoebe Palmer regularly held meetings for the promotion of holiness and was the first to use the phrase ‘baptism of the Holy Spirit’ to describe the experience of ‘entire sanctification.’ Charles Finney also embraced the Wesleyan doctrine of sanctification and his Oberlin presidency successor, Asa Mahan, begin to teach the baptism of the Holy Spirit as a baptism of holiness.
The Holiness Movement was nurtured and matured by a variety of ministries so that, by the turn of the century, America (especially) was awash with hundreds of holiness groups. During 1893 and 1900, twenty-three new denominations arose out of this movement. A passion for more power, more holiness, more evangelistic success and a greater outpouring of the Spirit took a hold of the church.
This was the background of the Evangelical and Pentecostal revival movements of the early 20th century.
In 1900 a revival broke out among South African Boer soldiers, who had been captured by the British and transported to various British colonies. At the conclusion of the war, in 1902, they returned to South Africa and the revival returned with them. Gypsy Smith reaped a great harvest there in 1904.
In Japan, during 1900, the church doubled in size as revival swept through many ailing churches.
In 1902, Torrey and Alexander conducted meetings in Melbourne, Australia, resulting in over 8,000 converts. This news spread like wildfire, igniting a passion for prayer and a fresh expectation for God to work in similar ways everywhere.
In 1904, Torrey and Alexandra were in Cardiff, Wales and, in the light of a minimal response to the Gospel, they called for a day of prayer and fasting. Suddenly things changed dramatically and thousands were converted during the next 12 months.
On the day of prayer and fasting (according to Torrey) Evan Roberts received an anointing of the Holy Spirit with great power, in a meeting conducted by Seth Joshua. Here the Welsh Revival began. It was Sept 22nd, 1904.
However, the roots of the revival went back further. Young Evan Roberts had been praying for revival and an outpouring of the Holy Spirit for 11 years. Through a vision he received, Roberts believed that God was going to win 100,000 souls. In response to a further vision, he returned home in Loughor from Newcastle Emlyn where he had been enrolled in a Bible College.
During his first few meetings, the heavens opened. God’s presence seemed to fill the air. Many were prostrated with conviction, others cried for mercy and many were so filled with the Spirit they pleaded with the Lord to stay His hand.
Soon the revival spread to other places in South Wales. Teams of young people assisted preachers like Roberts, Sydney Evans, Seth Joshua, Joseph Jenkins and R. B. Jones. The revival then took hold in North Wales. Within six months 100,000 had come to Christ!
The Welsh Revival was soon the main topic of conversation throughout the Christian world. Wherever the news went it seemed to cause passionate prayer and began to ignite revival fires everywhere. Christians across Great Britain turned to prayer and church membership increased throughout the land.
In Scandinavia, a current revival was fanned into a mighty blaze, as a result of the Welsh Revival. Germany was similarly affected as the flame spread across Europe. Austria, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, the Balkans and Russia experienced awakenings.
The United States felt the aftershock of the Welsh Revival in almost every place. Prayer, conviction and conversion spontaneously occurred, resulting in unusual church growth.
In 1906 the modern Pentecostal Movement was born in Azusa Street, in Los Angeles, after a succession of local revivals through 1905. News of the Welsh Revival encouraged more prayer and suddenly the Holy Spirit descended. Daily meetings were held for the next three years. Visitors flocked there to catch the power of the Spirit and they were not disappointed. No one could have imagined that this was the beginning of the greatest and most effective missionary movement that the world had ever seen. It marked the birth of what was once called ‘the third force in Christendom.’ Some would argue that, 100 years later, it has grown into the largest and most powerful force.
Almost no country in the world was excluded from the effects of this incredible revival. Almost every nation, on each continent, received new power from heaven, a new passion for prayer and for the lost. Hundreds of thousands came to the Lord.
In North India Sadhu Sundar Singh a Sikh boy was visited by Jesus, the move was felt everywhere.
Again and Again, It all comes down to one thing, people came together with only one desire that is to cry out and pray and pray for revival and might move in their land. They prayed with tears, with passion, with fasting, with howling, they prayed with no time limit. They touched the heart of father and Jesus came and visit their land.
We should learn from the history, and today’s churches, pastors of different denomination need to look back and start again Revival prayers for the nations
It’s time for ” Holy ghost fire against Hellfire” It’s time for prayer warriors, intercessors and hungry desperate Men & Women to get together and start praying.
Today’s church has got all the equipment but we need the spark of the Holy Ghost. We are still not serious about Revival. We want the Maximum blessing on Minimum deposit. It is not that JESUS suffered even he sweat blood, he was in deep pain and suffering HE could see the raging war in Spiritual.
This song was written by Charlotte Elliot, she suffered from serious illness, that left here disabled for rest of her life. She wrote 150 hymns. This song was written around 1859.