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Could the next spiritual Awakening begin in East Tennessee? – Therogersvillereview

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Sheldon Livesay

Sheldon Livesay
Today, I want to direct our focus to an unusual revival breaking out across East TN, but over the next week or two further break down what is happening?
Dean Haun, pastor of First Baptist Morristown, was responsible in early 2019 for spearheading a Rick Gage, “Go Tell” Lakeway Crusade with about 800 people coming to Christ. In an interview with Pastor Haun at that time, he said he had identified nearly 2 dozen families that during their prayer time, felt God say to them, the next great awakening would begin in East Tennessee and God wanted to invite them to move here to take part in it when it comes. As a result, families moved here from California to New York.
For me and some of my friends, who have passionately prayed for revival for the last 40 years, that is certainly encouraging news.
The majority of prayer and faith leaders around the nation believe God is wrapping things up on earth, but they believe, he won’t end things without one last great awakening which spans the globe.
If an Awakening began, there are several big questions, Why East Tennessee? And if East Tennessee, what would it look like?
Those are good questions. The first reason according to Barna’s most Bible minded cities, is that we find between Chattanooga and Bristol lies a corridor of the top most Bible minded areas in America, the literal “belt-buckle” of the Bible belt.
A second reason is in our region, we should find a history of prayer movements which virtually all proponents of revival and awakening say will precede revival. I felt God directed me a few years ago to actually travel to areas where God was or is moving and document both prayer movements and revival efforts to track what God is doing. In doing so we have been able to track 51 years of prayer and revival efforts preparing the way for what many say, is the big “next” God is about to release in America.
I have bullet pointed the primary list of these events that anyone interested can contact the Shepherd’s Center and be emailed the list along with links to photo albums. (ofoneaccord@yahoo.com)
Most every long term resident in our community remembers the massive prayer walk on November 2012 which involved 5,000 people in Rogersville. Then we fast forward to spring of 2018. In Johnson City a 3 day Will Graham Crusade was held in Freedom Hall, while at the same time an 8 week CT Townsend Tent Revival took place in Bristol and a 30 week, DR Harrison Tent Revival in a cow pasture in Greeneville. A fourth overlapping revival started on Pentecost Sunday in Paris Kentucky that has now spanned some thirty counties and is still going on called the Kentucky Mosiac with Rick Curry. Some 3,000 salvations resulted from these efforts just in 2018.
In 2019, 400 churches in middle Tennessee joined in 30 days of prayer and fasting called Awaken Nashville for Awakening. In April was the 3 day Lakeway, Rick Gage Crusade. Then in Rogersville DR Harrison brought his tent for 14 weeks partnering with Henards Chapel and in August, Kingsport had the largest prayer walk in their history. The year ended with a young man Thomas Cook drawing thousands to ETSU’s mini-dome with a worship and prayer event called Adoration.
Rolling over into 2020, Awaken Nashville became Awaken Tennessee with well over 1,000 churches across the state joining in prayer and fasting.
East Rogersville Baptist here in Rogersville was going to offer a kickoff for our area with several local churches joining them. Pastor John Butler invited Terry and Barbi Franklin to lead worship for three days and John Avant, who had experienced a real revival in Brownwood Tx.
The first morning, God showed up and three days turned into 30 straight days of revival.
From early in the morning, the church was rarely empty with people praying. East Rogersville was making national news with people visiting Rogersville from around the country just to witness what was going on.
Then COVID hit, but by fall, Thomas Cook, Jeff Oakes and a group of churches from Johnson City began to met at the farmers market to pray in an effort that extended 7 months without missing a night.
In late 2020 and now through 2021, God is beginning to draw people who have not been in church to make their way, give their lives to Christ and churches that have not seen a salvation in several years are seeing salvations every other week or so, baptizing this summer in streams, in lakes and rivers and even taking cattle troughs in their churches. This is literally happening across East Tennessee.
Watch next week as we continue this unfolding story of Revival.
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