Dreams from the LORD 2003-2006
4 March 2005
Christian History & Biography
Page 11: “The Spark that lit the Welsh Revival”
By Jennifer Trafton
“Thursday, September 29, 1904. The stirrings of a spiritual awakening had already begun among the youth in several towns of South Wales when Evan Roberts, a 26-year-old ex-coalminer training for the Calvinistic Methodist ministry, attended a mission conference led by the evangelist Seth Joshua. For years, Roberts had been longing for the Holy Spirit to set his heart on fire. Joshua, meanwhile, had been praying that God would raise up a man from the coal mines or fields to bring revival to the churches. Both men found answers to their prayers that morning in Blaenannerch.
“In the months that followed this dramatic ‘baptism of the Holy Spirit,’ Evan Roberts carried his message throughout Wales with a youthful, unconventional zeal that vaulted him to celebrity status. He soon became the controversial hero of a rapidly spreading revival characterized by spontaneity rather than liturgical order, open prayer and confession rather than formal preaching, and obedience to the promptings of the Spirit rather than human direction. The revival brought an estimated 100,000 new converts into the churches and sent shock waves throughout Britain and beyond—even as far as Los Angeles, where reports of the Welsh awakening contributed to the birth of Pentecostalism in 1906. Evan Roberts’ simple prayer, ‘Oh, Lord, bend me,’ blossomed into the theme of the revival: ‘Bend the Church and save the world.’”