All Because Of The Welsh Revival!
EVAN ROBERTS AND HIS PART IN THE REVIVAL IN WALES Evan Roberts was born near Swansea in a town called Loughor in 1878 and by the age of 11, he was working alongside his father in
EVAN ROBERTS AND HIS PART IN THE REVIVAL IN WALES
Evan Roberts was born near Swansea in a town called Loughor in 1878 and by the age of 11, he was working alongside his father in a coalmine. He remained at this profession until he reached his early twenties, at which time he became an apprentice to a blacksmith near Pontarddulais.
Evan’s Early Life
From a very early age, Evan had a zeal and a hunger for the spiritual aspects, often taking his Bible with him into the mine, reading it whenever he could. He was faithful to his church, Moriah Calvinistic Methodist Chapel in Loughor, where he had been converted as a teen. He became Superintendent of the Sunday school as well as a reader of all the theological writings of the day.
However, more than anything, Evan had been praying for revival for more than eleven years. He continued on in that prayer, with regularity, that God would come to Wales in great Revival power.
The Great Beginning of Revival
On New Year’s Eve of 1903, and New Year’s Day of 1904, a minister in New Quay Cardiganshire named Joseph Jenkins held a convention called “Deeper Spiritual Life”. This man played a key part in the upcoming revival and had been sharing testimonies of the Holy Spirit consuming him in a flame.
During a regular Sunday service in Jenkins’ chapel, on February 14, a young lady stood to her feet to make a grand public confession. Florrie Evans stood and stated, “I love the Lord Jesus with all my heart”. When these words were spoken, the Holy Spirit began to fall and many will say that the actual revival began at that very moment.
As a move of God swept through the area, meetings were being held after church in order to seek the presence of God and His empowerment. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit began first in young girls in their teens and into their twenties, but the fire soon spread to many of the young people in the Cardiganshire locale.
Evan also had his own experiences in the early part of 1904. During the spring, he began to wake up at 1:00 AM each day. He would meet with God and pray until at least 5:00 AM on each of those occasions.
September of 1904 found Evangelist Seth Joshua speaking at a Convention at Blaenanerch, where the spirit filled young people from Jenkins’ church were in attendance. It seems Seth had been praying for years that God would raise someone out of the coalmines to preach. He prayed this person would bring revival to churches in the area.
Evan Roberts Takes His Place
Feeling a call on his life to go into Ministry as a Calvinistic Methodist, Evan enrolled in the Newcastle Emlyn Grammar School on September 13, 1904, to prepare for service at the Trefecca Theological College.
About two weeks later, Evan spent time at Blaenanerch where he received the Baptist of the Holy Ghost. He then went back to his own church in Loughor where he went to a prayer meeting. After the meeting, he asked some to stay behind if they were looking for a deeper spiritual life and share with them some of the things that God was doing.
He began to prophesy that within two weeks, a great Revival would break out and told them what they must do to receive the Holy Spirit. First, they would have to confess all their sins to God and allow Jesus to forgive them. Next, they would have to remove anything they were unsure of or doubted from their lives. Then, they should yield completely in obedience to the Holy Ghost. And finally, the need to confess the Lord Jesus publicly.
Continuing Into The Late Night
Evan continued to speak late into the night, quietly and uneventfully, as tears flowed down the faces of those in attendance. Passers by remarked that it was quite unusual for lights to be burning inside the church at full blaze at such a late hour.
But inside, people were beginning to experience strange things. Those who had never spoken openly about anything before were fearlessly speaking testimony. Some bowed low in prayer while others sang old hymns. Well after midnight, both songs of praise and sobs were heard intermingled.
Welsh Revival Makes National News
Those in attendance planned to meet again the very next evening, while all that day, the entire village was talking about the events of the previous night. By evening time, people packed the chapel, many of them only there because they were curious about the goings-on.
Revival broke out with a fervor and in two weeks, the national news was reporting the Welsh Revival. While Evan Roberts was the primary focus, many other had been and were involved in its entirety.
It was soon voiced abroad that many people who had previously resisted the call to salvation for their whole lives, were now being converted. These same people were now making loud declarations of faith and joy, with no fear or shame whatsoever. Rumors began to spread far across the country.
Revival and Youth On Fire
Many young men and women began to make the Revival their life work, as it became apparent that Joel 2 was being fulfilled before their very eyes.
Florrie Evans went to North Wales with a team of young people. Spirit-filled teams led by Joseph Jenkins of New Quay, and Seth Joshua and even Evan Roberts traveled all over Wales, holding revival meetings in many different places.
Many of the meetings carried on for more than ten hours without a break of any kind. Time did not seem to matter and the crowds grew so big that people literally had to squeeze their way inside. It seemed the meetings held no traditional formality. Sometimes the ministers simply sat down because they could no longer preach, and often couldn’t even understand much of what was going on in their normally quiet chapels.
The Revival Had Far Reaching Effects
Suddenly, there was great excitement about things pertaining to eternal life. Public meetings for prayer and family devotions began and would be continued regularly for years to come. Bible sales increased so much that most stores sold old entirely. The urgency to pray and preach was a new spirit and received with warm welcome.
There were no records kept, officially, but it is suspected that more than 150,000 people were converted during this Revival, in only the first six months. Communities were radically turned, depravity saw a turn towards the glorious, crime nearly disappeared and the courts soon found they had no cases to try.
The sale of alcohol fell apart because those who had previously frequented the bars were now in attendance at their local chapel. Families that had once lost their fathers and husbands to the waste of the town were now reunited with him and experienced provision and unity like never before.
It wasn’t just individuals who were changed by this Revival, it was whole communities and even society itself. Wales had once again become a God fearing place.
World Wide Pentecostal Revival
There were unmistakable parallels between the revivals taking places in Wales, England and the United States. For instance, there were testimonies, singing, worship and ministry that was completely led by the spirit. Words of Knowledge, Prophesy and other Spiritual Gifts were frequently exercised. There were many claims by those who received the Baptism of the Holy Ghost and falling under the power of the Holy Spirit, which included manifestations such as fire and wind.
Many attendees spoke in tongues even though it was a huge point of controversy, with many Pentecostals continuing the Revival in new Pentecostal and Apostolic Churches new to the area. Because of this, the Revival in Wales should not be seen as simply a phenomenon that came about and then died down. Rather, it was a huge part of the 20th Century outpouring of the Holy Spirit that actually preceded a great many Pentecostal and Apostolic movements that impacted so many Christians, regardless of denomination.
In fact, the very theme Scripture for the Welsh Revival, Acts 2:38, is etched into the Moriah Memorial monument for Evan Roberts:
“Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost”.
Not to us, O Lord, not to us,
But to Your name be the glory
Because of Your love and your faithfulness!