Revival Breaks at Nashville-Area Church with 1,000 Baptisms: It’s Only a “Movement of God”
A revival that began in December at a Nashville-area church has now lasted nearly four months, with over 1,000 baptisms and people coming to Christ long after the Sunday morning service ended.
The congregation, Long Hollow Baptist Church in Hendersonville, Tenn., Experienced a movement from God during a baptismal service on December 20, when about a dozen people were due to be baptized, but dozens more – for a total of 99 – followed with baptism that day, according to Baptist press, the information service of the Southern Baptist Convention.
In December, Pastor Robby Gallaty called it a “movement of God that I have never known.”
Not much has changed since December. On April 11, the church has had 1,000 baptisms since December, Baptist Press reported. Gallaty estimates that about 70 to 75 percent of baptisms are first-time confessions of faith.
“It’s completely out of our control and it’s an overwhelming decision of God,” the church’s executive pastor told BP Collin Wood.
Sunday services that once ran like clockwork now include a few more interruptions, including baptisms during song. The altar at the front of the church is always open and baptisms take place as long as 45 minutes after the service.
Gallaty attributes revival to God and prayer.
The revival began after Gallaty became introspective following the deaths of two close friends, Jarrid Wilson and Darren Patrick. Everyone committed suicide.
“These two men preached in Long Hollow within six months of their deaths,” Gallaty Recount Baptist press. “They were both sitting at my dining table. It made me realize that the last person to say it runs out or ministry is difficult is usually the one that runs out. The Lord allowed me to take an introspective look at my own life. I was tired. Tired of trying to keep people happy. Tired of trying to stop them from leaving. I went to my porch to pray to the Lord to fix the problems of our church and our country. God showed me that the problem… was me.
Gallaty began to pray more and to listen to God more.
On December 20 – a week after an infrequently attended service – the church held a baptismal service, with Gallaty asking others to come forward, BP reported. Dozens did.
The following Tuesday, the church held another baptismal service and 81 people came forward.
Just over 200 were baptized at Easter. Gallaty calls this an “authentic act of God”.
By comparison, the church baptized 162 people in 2018 and 222 in 2019.
Revival, he told Baptist Press, can also occur in other churches.
“I truly believe that if all of us, as pastors, begin to hurry and seek the Lord in prayer, calling God to act in our churches, this is a prayer he will answer,” said Gallaty. at Baptist Press. “The biggest obstacle to a movement of the Holy Spirit is formality and structure. If God wanted to come into our service today, we wouldn’t have time for Him. [At Long Hollow] we still have a plan, but it’s alright if god interrupts the service.
Photo courtesy of: © Unsplash / Matt Botsford
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and current affairs for 20 years. His stories have been published in Baptist Press, Christianity today, The Christian Post, the Sheet-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.