The Good News Brings Great Revival!
NEW ORLEANS – This spring the churches of Southwest Regional Conference in the city of New Orleans, La., did something they had not done in a long time: a city-wide revival! Entitled “The Good News Revival,” six churches, 18 Bible workers, and three area pastors along with the leadership of the Southwest Regional Conference united in faith and worked for the salvation of souls and the growth of our local congregations. While we all agreed that we believed that God was going to do something awesome and miraculous, when it was all said and done, it was the days and weeks in between that made this event a true revival!
Three days a week pastors and Bible workers met for workers meetings. We sang, prayed, taught, and testified to encourage one another as we set out for another day on the “battlefield.” With each meeting, we gained new strength and confirmation that God was with us, and that this revival was right on time. Testimonies included stories of parents reunited with their children, overhearing total strangers talking with excitement about receiving a flyer to the upcoming revival, and the story of one person whom a couple Bible workers had led to accept Christ as their Lord and Savior the day they met him and was excited about coming to the revival. Sadly, he passed away a few days later. We thank God he chose Christ before it was too late!
When the revival began, we had to suddenly change locations. We feared that the change would greatly disrupt all the work we had done leading up to opening night! But praise God, there was a blessing even in changing locations! The new location held more people and was more technologically advanced. Even with the change of the location, the people came in droves! Some were transported on school buses, some caught a ride with friends and some even walked from close by. Almost 500 people attended the revival!
Each night as Carlton P. Byrd, D.Min., preached, it was evident that the truth of God’s Word was resonating with the audience! Each night a new topic brought new light and greater clarity to both visitors and current members who attended. The uniting of the six local churches brought a new sense of energy and gladness among us all as we each did our parts to glorify God with our service during the revival. For 10 nights and 11 days the revival brought about endless smiles and countless hugs shared by those of us who would normally be separated into our own churches.
On April 29, 2023, the “Good News Revival” culminated with a grand baptism! All week long the weather forecasted thunderstorms, which might not have been so bad if the baptism wasn’t scheduled to take place outside! That morning the clouds rolled in and so did the baptism candidates, but no rain. All during church service and as Byrd gave a final and moving appeal, more people decided to accept Christ and be baptized, and still it didn’t rain! Yet, as all the baptismal candidates and church members marched down two blocks to the massive outdoor pool, it began to sprinkle. The crowd gathered around the pool and sang songs while we baptized 7 to 8 people at a time, and it only sprinkled ever so slightly. It wasn’t until the last person got out of the pool that the storm broke and the rain poured down!
God held up the storm and 112 people were baptized, with an additional six more joining the church through profession of faith for a total of 118 people that day!
The revival wasn’t just for the new souls but for every one of us involved! It showed us what we can accomplish when we all come together to fulfill the divine commission our precious Savior has given us! As of this writing, we now have 122 baptisms with more on the way! Please pray that God will continue to rain down showers of blessings upon the work here in New Orleans.
By Timothy Lee