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Unanticipated revival stirs Arkansas church to commitment

JONESBORO, Ark. (BP)–What began as a traditional Sunday worship service at North Main Church in Jonesboro ended with 21 church members making a profession of faith.
“It was like the top came off the church and God came in,” said Shelia Woznick, who was among those who committed their life to Christ in that service.
The service on Sunday, July 25, was not centered on a special emphasis, nor did it feature a guest speaker. According to Tommy Stacey, pastor of the church, the revival experience was simply an “out pouring of the Holy Spirit.
“The flood gates of heaven opened,” said Stacey. “There was never a dull moment. There was no begging or pleading. People just came.”
The people that came, however, were not unchurched people. It was the sound technician, the organist, the nursery workers and the Sunday school teachers.
Many of the more than 30 people that have been saved in the past few Sundays were long-standing church members.
Stacey explained the church had seen “showers of blessings” before as a few church members were saved. On this Sunday, however, “the whole rain” came on the congregation.
This revival among church members began with a profession of faith from Dorothy Hinson.
Hinson, a former church secretary and now a nursery worker, came to know the Lord in her home the Sunday night one week prior to the unexpected revival service.
The elderly Hinson explained she had grown up in church and had always thought she was saved at a young age; however, for the past three months, Hinson had serious doubts about her relationship with God, but now those doubts are gone.
When Hinson shared her salvation experience with Stacey, he asked that she give her testimony during Sunday’s worship service. That testimony combined with a simple salvation message promoted others who had doubts about their salvation.
Hinson said she had no idea her salvation would be the catalyst for a revival.
Hinson said, “The people being saved shocked me as much as I shocked them.”
Among those shocking salvations was Ida Dacus, the church organist. Dacus explained she had known for quite sometime that she did not have a real relationship with God, but she did not share that fear with anyone.
“What difference will it make if I am not saved — no one knows and no one cares,” said Dacus when describing how she wrestled with the decision to be saved. Now, as a new Christian, Dacus said she now realizes that salvation makes a big difference.
This difference has also been felt by the entire church. Stacey explained people come to church each Sunday “anticipating what God will do next.”
The pastor further explained he saw this revival as an affirmation of work the church has done and as preparation for the ministry God has given them.
Stacey and the congregation see their God-given ministry as a community outreach. As Stacey explains it, North Main Church is on the “other side of the railroad tracks” from many of the other churches in town. This location allows them to reach an unchurched area.
Just one day prior to the spontaneous revival, the church had completed the building of a new home for Marvie Dunlap, an elderly lady in the area. Dunlap’s house had become too run down to live in so the church had a house they owned moved to her land.
This is just one outreach in which the church is involved. The congregation also assists in a crime prevention program with local police and is continually making a difference in their community.
“We’re trying not only to preach the Gospel but to live the Gospel,” explained Stacey.

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  • Rachel Raines