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Evangelists, father of Columbine victim envision revival

ATLANTA (BP)–The call for revival in America reverberated throughout Centennial Olympic Park June 13 as evangelists and the father of Columbine High shooting victim Rachel Scott challenged several hundred people gathered for a morning worship service to go to God in “desperate” prayer.
In a park dedicated to the thousands of “heroes” who helped build it for the 1996 Olympic Games, Rachel Scott and other Christians who died in the April 20 shooting in Littleton, Colo., were hailed as Christian martyrs and heroes for their Christian witness. And as God used the martyrdom of believers to strengthen the early church, the speakers at the service said they believe the Colorado tragedy will spark a revival in the churches of America.
“I believe with all my heart that Columbine was a spiritual event,” said Darrell Scott, Rachel’s father. “It was not just a tragedy with kids losing their lives. It was a signpost that God has allowed to wake up our nation.”
“We’re going to see a tremendous change take place in this country over the summer,” he predicted, “and when kids go back to school in September, I’m believing with all my heart for a revival to begin a surge in our schools and our universities and our colleges.”
Jerry Drace, president of the Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists, said he found it ironic that Rachel’s funeral was the most-watched television program in CNN history.
“The reason it is ironic is because if those 12 students had been aborted as babies, they would never have received so much as a one-line obituary in their hometown paper,” he said.
“We are a nation which has been so foolish as to sow the seeds of violence and immorality and rebellion and hypocrisy and, ladies and gentlemen, the crops are now being harvested,” Drace said.
The worship service, sponsored by the Southern Baptist North American Mission Board and the Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists, included a presentation of the 13 crosses built for the victims of the shooting. The crosses were flown to Atlanta by Greg Zanis, of Aurora, Ill., who built the crosses. They also were displayed the evening before at a contemporary Christian music concert for teenagers.
Glenn Sheppard, an evangelist from Conyers, Ga., echoed the plea for revival with an impassioned call for Christians of all denominations to pray.
“I believe what the devil played his hand with in Columbine just a few months ago was the beginning of the igniting of a fire,” Sheppard said.
The fire, Sheppard said, will sweep through “a whole generation of young people” who will not listen to “talking heads behind pulpits,” but will respond to “the glory of God that breaks into services with such supernatural manifestations until nobody can get credit, whether it’s Baptist, Methodist, evangelical or charismatic.”
“And they’ll come running to the altar and it will not be the Columbine crosses they run to. They will be running to Jesus Christ,” he said.
The lessons of Columbine still motivate those closest to the tragedy.
Craig Scott, Rachel’s oldest brother who was in the school library where Rachel was shot, said he doesn’t know why he was spared but he knows the experience has “deepened his faith.”
His father, Darrell, said he felt God calling him to stop being a “look-atter” and to become a “see-througher,” who sees what God can do through a situation rather than focusing on the situation itself.
“I’m here today to challenge your hearts to believe that God is going to take the blood of those 13 children and not let it be shed in vain,” he said. “My daughter’s death is not in vain, and I challenge you to be a see-througher this morning, to look through the circumstances in your own life … to him who is invisible.”
Scott said true revival will result from Satan’s work at Columbine.
“On April 20, 1999, the bully picked on the wrong father,” Scott said. “He picked on the wrong family and he picked on a number of families that were the wrong ones to pick on because every time Satan has bitten into something — every time he’s bitten into the purposes of God — he’s gotten a mouth full of dust.
“God has placed something in our hearts not to let this tragedy just be a tragedy. It is going to end in triumph,” Scott said.

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