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Mid-Twentieth Century Revivals

1951 June 4 – City Bell, Argentina – Ed Miller

Edward Miller, a Pentecostal missionary, saw revival break out in Argentina. God had told him to call his small church to pray every night from 8 p.m. to midnight beginning on a Monday. Their little group prayed for three nights, mostly silently except for their missionary, Ed Miller. No one seemed to have any leading, except one lady felt she was told to hit the table, but she wouldn’t do anything so strange.

On the fourth night, Ed Miller led the group in singing around the table, and hit it as they sang. Eventually others did the same. Then the lady did. Immediately the Spirit of God fell. They were baptized powerfully in the Spirit. They heard the sound of strong wind. Their little church filled. People were convicted, weeping, and praying.

By Saturday, teams were going out in powerful evangelism. Two teenage girls were weeping in the street; two doctors mocked them, but listened to their testimonies and were convicted. They knelt there in the street and asked for prayer.

Two church members visited a lady whose mother was paralyzed in bed for five years. They prayed for her, and she got up and drank tea with them. Two elderly people visited a man in a coma. When they prayed for a cripple with a liver damaged from drink, he was healed.

A young man, Alexander, and his band of rebels sat in the front row of a revival meeting, aiming to disrupt it. God convicted him and he repented. His gang began to leave but fell under the power of the Spirit on the way out. All were converted. Two of them later went to the Bible School.

Ed Miller taught at the Bible Training Institute in 1951 in the little town of City Bell, near Buenos Aires. In June he was led to cancel lectures so the whole Bible School could pray every day. He announced this on the first Sunday in June.

That night Alexander, the former rebel leader, a teenager of Polish descent, was praying long after midnight out in the fields when he sensed something pressing down on him, an intense light surrounding him, and a heavenly being enfolding him. Terrified, he ran back to the Institute.

The heavenly visitor entered the Institute with him, and in a few moments all the students were awake with the fear of God upon them. They began to cry out in repentance as God by his Spirit dealt with them. The next day the Spirit of God came again upon Alexander as he was given prophecies of God’s moving in far off countries. The following day Alexander again saw the Lord in the Spirit, but this time he began to speak slowly and distinctly the words he heard from the angel of God. No one could understand what he was saying, however, until another lad named Celsio (with even less education than Alexander), overcome with the Spirit of God markedly upon him, began to interpret…. These communications (written because he choked up when he tried to talk) were a challenge from God to pray and indeed the Institute became a centre of prayer till the vacation time, when teams went out to preach the kingdom. It was the beginning of new stirrings of the Spirit across the land (Pytches 1989, 49–51).

The Bible Institute continued in prayer for four months from that initial outpouring of the glory of God on Monday, June 4. They prayed eight to ten hours a day, with constant weeping. Bricks became saturated with their tears. Weeping, one student prayed against a plaster wall daily. After six hours his tear stains reached the floor. After eight hours his tears began to form a puddle on floor.

Two students went to a nearby town, where they wept and prayed for three to four weeks. Then the Holy Spirit led them to hold tent meetings drawing crowds that filled the tent. The Lord moved on the crowds powerfully. Students gave prophecies at the Bible School about God filling the largest auditoriums and stadiums in Argentina and in other countries.

In 1952 Edwin Orr visited each of the 25 states and territories in neighboring Brazil, seeing powerful moves of the Spirit in his meetings, which were supported by all denominations. The evangelical church council declared that the year of 1952 saw the first of such a general spiritual awakening in the country’s history. Many meetings had to be moved into soccer stadiums, some churches increased in numbers by 50 percent in one week, and the revival movement continued in local churches in Brazil.

Also in 1952 Tommy Hicks was conducting a series of meetings in California when God showed him a vision. While he was praying, he saw a map of South America covered with a vast field of golden wheat ripe for harvesting. The wheat turned into human beings calling him to come and help them.

He wrote a prophecy in his Bible about going by air to that land before two summers would pass. Three months later, after an evangelistic crusade, a pastor’s wife in California gave that same prophecy to him. He was invited to Argentina in 1954 and had enough money to buy a one-way air ticket to Buenos Aires.

On his way there after meetings in Chile, the word Peron came to his mind. He asked the airline stewardess if she knew what it meant. She told him that Peron was the President of Argentina. After he made an appointment with the Minister of Religion, wanting to see the President, he prayed for the Minister’s secretary who was limping, and he was healed. So the Minister made an appointment for Hicks to see the President. Through prayer, the President was healed of an ugly eczema, and gave Hicks the use of a stadium and free access to the state radio and press.

The revival campaign shifted into Argentina’s largest arena, the Hurricane Football Stadium, seating 110,000, which overflowed. During nightly meetings over two months, 300,000 people registered decisions for Christ, and many were healed at every meeting.

© Geoff Waugh. Used by permission.