By Steve Warren
Revival is taking place in Tennessee after churches from various denominations partnered together in prayer and fasting, igniting a move of God’s Spirit that has transformed lives across the region.
CBN News has learned more about the revival that’s underway in Tennessee involving 1,000 churches across the Volunteer State. It’s a part of “Awaken Tennessee”, a 30-day prayer and fasting initiative that launched on Jan. 26 and will run through Feb. 23.
As CBN News reported on Monday, churches across Tennessee are fasting and praying for unity, according to Sheldon Livesay, the coordinator for Awaken Tennessee.
The event is not about any one church or denomination. It’s been described by Pastor John Butler of the East Rogersville Baptist Church in Rogersville as a concentrated prayer effort across the state for true revival in our churches that triggers an awakening in local communities, the state, and the nation.
The initiative started last year when Pastor Dave Clayton of Nashville’s Ethos Church was successful in getting 400 churches to come together to pray for every single resident of the city. Awaken Nashville was a huge success, so this year Clayton and other organizers decided to invite churches in the entire state to participate.
According to Livesay, Dove Award-winning singer/songwriters Terry and Barbi Franklin took the idea through their prayer network and also contacted churches across the state to take part in the initiative.
Pastors are reporting their services are exploding with revival services as a result of the Holy Spirit showing up and taking over.
Butler told CBN News in an email that his church decided to join the Awaken Tennessee event and was preparing to host a revival conference with guest revivalist John Avant, president of Life Action Ministries. The Franklins would serve as worship leaders.
The East Rogersville Church launched Awaken TN with multiple churches gathering for a night of praise, prayer, and worship on Sunday, Jan. 26 and then the revival conference was to start the next Sunday morning Feb. 2.
“The week between these two Sundays was filled with prayer in our church. Each weeknight people gathered in homes to pray. It was an intense week of prayer for many of our people. God had been quietly working in many lives, but we had no idea of what He was about to do,” Butler wrote.
‘Wave After Wave…’
Then Sunday morning came and what happened next astounded everyone, including the pastor.
As the Franklins led the song “10,000 Reasons,” “One man sitting on the back row made his way to the altar and began to weep and pray. A host of other men gathered around him and prayed. Before the end of the song, the altar was filled with people. Slowly the altar began to empty, then it would fill again. Wave after wave of people broken before the Lord. Jesus had walked into our midst that morning and set up His throne and He has been here ever since,” Butler told CBN News.
The pastor said it was almost an hour before Avant made it to the pulpit.
“The first words from his mouth were that he felt the need to be very careful about what was said at this moment because this was a special moment. John was the pastor of Coggin Avenue Baptist Church in Brownwood, TX in 1995 when revival broke out in that church and several other churches in the city simultaneously as well as on the campus of Howard Payne University. John stated that he had never witnessed this type of movement within a church since those days. We had coordinated our revival conference to coincide with the 50 year anniversary of the Asbury Revival of 1970 and the 25th anniversary of the Brownwood revival of 1995 and now revival had come to East Rogersville Baptist Church that Sunday morning February 2, 2020 in Rogersville, TN,” he says.
Butler reports that every meeting at the conference was touched by a move of God.
“Every service for the planned conference was filled with God’s presence. People were getting serious about dealing with personal sin and people were coming to Christ for salvation. Thirty-year feuds were made right, relationships have been restored, and many masks had been removed. People made public confessions of sin, bitterness, and laziness about their involvement in God’s kingdom activity,” the pastor said.
A Move of the Spirit in Multiple Churches
Butler also said the revival didn’t just happen in his church.
“As many as six other churches have been faithful in participating in these services. There are Baptists, Methodists, non-denominational churches as well as Pentecostal and Charismatic churches involved. Several pastors have been faithfully supporting these services and we are seeing God begin to move in those churches as well,” he noted.
“To date, we have seen around 20 people saved and many of them baptized in one of our services. God is doing a special work among the students of our community,” he continued.
Then people told Butler they wanted the meetings to continue, and so they did.
“The conference was supposed to be over Wednesday, February 5, however, the people on that night said ‘we need to keep meeting’. So we have kept meeting. We have now entered into our third week of services and based upon last night we are expecting to run at the very least through the end of this week,” the pastor said.
“Know that God seems to move in waves. This has proven to be ever so helpful as we progress through these days of revival. We have witnessed these waves. All of the services have been Spirit-filled yet some are just overpowering and that is what we are seeing,” Butler told CBN News.
“It’s all God! As was stated in the beginning, we are most blessed to be experiencing revival. We pray that revival begins to spread rapidly across our state and nation,” he said.
Livesay noted it seems all East Tennessee is seeing unusual moves of God in their services.
“There has been a 50-year history of intense prayer across our region and the last two years we’ve seen God lead cities of churches together to do prayer walks, crusades, and tent revivals,” he told CBN News. “Awaken Tennessee seems it has brought that extra Holy Spirit presence through prayer and fasting that we see exploding in church after church.”