Early 20th Century Revivals 1909

July 4 – Valparaiso, Chile – Willis Hoover

Willis Hoover

Willis Hoover

Minnie Abrams, who worked at the Mukti Mission in India during the 1905 revival there, sent an account of it in 1907 to her friends, Willis and Mary Hoover, Methodist missionaries in Chile. They began praying with their congregation for a similar revival in Chile. From February, up to 200 prayed all night every Saturday. Many confessed sins openly and made restitution for wrongs done. That prepared the way for the revival that burst on them on Sunday, July 4, 1909. Willis Hoover wrote:

Saturday night was an all night of prayer, during which four vain young ladies (three of them were in the choir) fell to the floor under the power of the Spirit. One of them, after lying a long time, arose and with remarkable power began to exhort saying, “The Lord is coming soon and commands us to get ready.” The effect produced was indescribable.

The following morning in Sunday School, at ten o’clock, a daze seemed to rest upon the people. Some were unable to rise after the opening prayer which had been like “the sound of many waters,” and all were filled with wonder. … From that time on the atmosphere seemed charged by the Holy Spirit, and people fell on the floor, or broke out speaking in other tongues, or singing in the Spirit, in a way impossible in their natural condition. On one occasion a woman, a young lady, and a girl of twelve were lying on the floor in different parts of the prayer room, with eyes closed and silent. Suddenly, as with one voice, they burst forth into a song in a familiar tune but in unknown tongues, all speaking the same words. After a verse or two they became silent; then again suddenly, another tune, a verse or two, and silence. This was repeated until they had sung ten tunes, always using the same words and keeping in perfect time together as if led by some invisible chorister (Frodsham 1946, 177–178).

Within two months the congregation grew from 300 to 1,000 and the revival spread to other cities. Hostile press publicity and accusations caused Willis Hoover to leave the Methodist denomination, but he established the Pentecostal Methodist Church, which now has over 600,000 members in Chile.

© Geoff Waugh. Used by permission.