Ms. Lorraine Orenchuk
30 May 2013
Ministers of “The Second Great Awakening”
There was a time in history when the community would come together for an outdoor awakening, sending the message of the need to get back in church. In the 1700s to the 1800s, the setting was purely outside. It was known for the people attending to set up camp and correlate a gathering called "campmeeting." As time and technology progressed, canopy tents covered the area where the people were assembled and it was common to find sawdust and pews set up under the tent. The main purpose for a revival is to hold an event that is centered on reflection and rededication to the Christian faith. These meetings come in many forms and through many denominations. They have been identified with many different names over the centuries. Throughout this essay they will be referred to as “revivals." A revival is a specific time of increased spiritual interest or renewal in the life of a congregation of many churches. The root of these gatherings begins at the heart of the Christian faith, The Holy Bible. Nehemiah wrote in the Old Testament, “And he read from it facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and those who could understand. And the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law” (English Standard Version, Neh. 8.3). The Water Gate is located in Jerusalem beside of the street and outside of the temple. Revival was needed because of the turmoil from intermarriage and immorality and the need for returning to their faith in the one true God. “Ezra had authorization from the Persian government to reestablish proper modes of YHWH worship and adherence to the Torah of Moses” (Bandstra 466). The government saw enough benefit to allow this revival to happen. In the New Testament of The Bible, the first gathering took place after Jesus ascended to Heaven. “When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place” (Acts 2.1). This awakening was among the Jews. Luke, the author of the book of Acts, wrote, “Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven” (Acts 2.5). The significance of this was its outdoor location rather than inside the temple. The Pharisees and Sadducees would have never allowed this event to happen in the temple because it was in worship of a man that they had crucified. The Jews were promised first to be able to experience “The Spirit” after Jesus left earth from His physical body. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile” (New International Version, Romans 1.16). The outcome of the revival and receiving of the Spirit was “the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved” (King James Version, Acts 2.47). There was a lasting impact that reached out to all who heard about what was happening and it only grew. Over the next 1600 years, there was not a lot of activity outside the four walls of a church aside from exploring the world and bringing the church with them. In the late 1700s a message was displayed that “individuals must readmit God and Christ into their daily lives, must embrace a fervent, active piety, and must reject the skeptical rationalism that threatened traditional beliefs (Brinkley 190)." This message carried through the Second Great Awakening. The awakening began around 1790 and peaked by the 1840s. The effect of awakening differed in the North and South. “Highly emotional camp meetings, organized usually by Methodists or Baptists but sometimes by Presbyterians, became a regular feature of religious life in the South and the lower Midwest” (Divine 282). In the North, “evangelists formed societies devoted to the redemption of the human race in general and American society in particular” (Divine 282). There were many...
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