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GREAT FALLS – The Rev. Zack Williams is energized.
He compares his excitement to that of the biblical prophet Jeremiah.
“But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones,” Jeremiah 20:9 states.
That’s because tonight will mark the 39th service of a revival that Second Baptist Church of Great Fall originally scheduled for seven days. Williams said God is on fire and moving in the midst of the tight-knit community.
“The church normally holds revival in May, but I got here so late that we were not sure we would hold a revival,” Williams said.
Even with the delay in Williams’ arrival in Great Falls, the church leadership decided to schedule a revival beginning June 26.
“Most churches go three or four days,” Williams said. “We decided to go a week.”
The results of the first week were so overwhelming the church decided to continue revival services for a second week.
The second week led to a third week, the third week to a fourth week and weekend revival services at Great Falls High School stadium.
“It has been amazing,” Williams said. “We are in the middle of an awakening in Great Falls. The only way to explain it is God.”
Williams said a senior church member, Mary White, had a vision of a large crowd attending the revival.
“So we are praying big,” he said.
Williams, 28, is from York. He was attending Fruitland Baptist Bible Institute in Hendersonville, N.C., when accepted the call to Second Baptist about 12 weeks ago.
“I got one year in and, for whatever reason, God decided to give me something else to do,” Williams said.
Once the church decided to hold a revival, Williams said people began to pray. A group gathered for midnight prayer and joined in supplication for other people, churches in the area, the town and the nation.
Williams said 12 to 15 people show up nightly at midnight to cry out to the Lord.
As many as 27 people have attended the prayer vigils, Williams said.
“All we did was pray,” he said. “Then we just stood back and let God take control. It has been amazing.”
The heartfelt petitions to the Lord, the pastors agree, have been the key that was needed to unlock the moving of the God’s spirit during the revival.
The Christian joy showed in the minister’s facial expressions as he proclaimed that 35 people made professions of faith after the 25th service.
“We’ve seen 35 saved and I feel that’s a small number compared to what he’s doing. I believe this is going to spread out,” Williams said.
Williams said one man who hasn’t been to church since 1953 gave his heart to the Lord.
Sharing in his colleague’s excitement, Trinity Baptist Church Pastor Patrick Blackmon has attended every night of the revival. He joined in the midnight prayer vigils and he and Williams have gone visiting together.
“It’s not about a show; it’s about God,” Blackmon said. “It’s not about us. It’s all about Jesus. We are just trying to be obedient to him.”
Members of Trinity Baptist have also supported the revival at Second Baptist.
“We are the body of Christ. We often get caught up in ‘we are Second Baptist’ or ‘we are Trinity,’ but we should all come together. I believe that when God is moving, we should be a part,” Blackmon added.
Williams likened Blackmon, 30, and himself to Peter and John in the Scriptures.
“We are bold,” he laughed.
“It’s not about us. It’s all about Jesus. We’re just trying to be obedient to him,” Blackmon said.
Attendance at the month-long revival averages about 200 people each night. Singers from other churches and denominations have shared their musical abilities. A man from Germany sang one night.
“We want it to be non-denominational. It is for Christians. It is not a religious event,” Blackmon said.
Williams and Blackmon, along with 19-year-old Tanner Mundy of Taylorsville, N.C., and 25-year-old Chase Catledge of Rock Hill, have delivered God’s word at revival services.
The revival continues at 7 p.m. tonight at Great Falls Second Baptist Church, 40 Center St., and will run at least through this weekend.
However, Blackmon said that could change.
How long the revival will go on, the pastors agree, is up to the Lord.
“When God starts moving and the spirit moves, you get out of the way and let him work,” Blackmon said. “We will go all the way through Sunday and will go on as the Lord leads us.
“If the Lord is still moving the way he has, we will keep on,” Williams said.