Sunday, September 07, 2014

The Second Great Awakening 1800-1820

After the Revolutionary War, spiritual darkness descended over America. Sin and immorality was rampant. Christianity was mocked on college and university campuses so much that the handful of believers were forced to keep their faith secret. But something was about to change. In 1784, a significant chain of events began, which directly contributed to
the Second Great Awakening

Evangelical groups in the US, including the Baptists, began to take up the call to prayer, concerts of prayer each month in the churches to pray for revival and the work of missions. In New England, Long Island, New Jersey, New York, Philadelphia, and Maryland. Revival began to sweep the colleges: Yale, Dartmouth, Bennington, Princeton, Amhurst, Andover, and Williams, where, college student Samuel John Mills and his three Christian friends praying secretly inside a haystack, resolved to commit themselves to global missions, later forming the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions in 1810.

In 1798, revival broke out under the ministry of James McGready at Red River, Kentucky, in a weekend prayer meeting leading up to the Lord’s Supper conclusion. McGready and his congregation had covenanted together for prayer for revival a few years earlier. This revival spread to Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and north Georgia. It began near Mebane, North Carolina, then moved to Randloph County, then the Statesville area, then south to Charlotte, then west to Morganton and Rutherfordton. Then into South Carolina in Lancaster County at the Waxhaws.

In 1801, Bishop Francis Asbury of the Methodist church had come through Spartanburg, South Carolina, telling of the revivals in North Carolina and reading James McGready’s account of the revival in Kentucky. On the Tyger River in Spartanburg County, at Nazareth Presbyterian Church, revival came in July 1802. People came to the camp meeting from Union, Laurens, York, Greenville, Abbeville, Chester, Newberry Counties in South Carolina and Green, Jackson, Elbert, and Franklin counties in GA.[1]

[1] R.E. Davies, I Will Pour Out My Spirit: A History and Theology of Revivals and Evangelical Awakenings (Turnbridge Wells, UK: Monarch, 1992), 113-115, 120-122; Bob Lowman, Jr., The Great Revival in Carolina: How God United His People, Sending Revival and the Second Great Awakening to the Carolinas in 1801-1802 (Charlotte: Metrolina Prayer Network, 2002), 28.