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Final Decade, 20th Century 1995

January 22—Brownwood, Texas (College Revivals)

Brownwood University Students

Brownwood University Students

Richard Riss gathered accounts of revival sweeping colleges across America beginning with Howard Payne University in Brownwood, Texas.

On January 22, 1995, at Coggin Avenue Baptist Church in Brownwood, Texas, two students from Howard Payne University, a Christian institution, stood up and confessed their sins. As a result of this incident, many others started to confess their own sins before the congregation. On January 26, a similar event took place on the campus of Howard Payne. Word quickly spread to other colleges, and Howard Payne students were soon being invited to other college campuses, which experienced similar revivals. From these schools, more students were invited to still other schools, where there were further revivals….

One of the first two students from Howard Payne to confess his sins was Chris Robeson. As he testified about his own life and the spiritual condition of his classmates, “People just started streaming down the aisles” in order to pray, confess their sins, and restore seemingly doomed relationships, according to John Avant, pastor of Coggin Avenue Baptist Church. From this time forward, the church began holding three-and-a-half-hour services. Avant said, “This is not something we’re trying to manufacture. It’s the most wonderful thing we’ve ever experienced.” …

At Howard Payne, revival broke out during a January 26 “celebration” service, as students praised God in song and shared their testimonies. Students then started to schedule all-night prayer meetings in dormitories….

Then, on February 13–15, during five meetings at Howard Payne, Henry Blackaby, a Southern Baptist revival leader ministered at a series of five worship services, attended by guests from up to 200 miles away. On Tuesday, February 14, more than six hundred attended, and students leaders went up to the platform to confess publicly their secret sins. About two hundred stayed afterward to continue praying. One of the students, Andrea Cullins, said, “Once we saw the Spirit move, we didn’t want to leave.” …

After Howard Payne, some of the first schools to be affected were Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, Beeson School of Divinity in Birmingham, Alabama, Olivet Nazarene University in Kankakee, Ill., The Criswell College in Dallas, Moorehead State University in Moorehead, Ky., Murray State University in Murray, Ky., Wheaton College in Wheaton,

Ill., Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, La., Gordon College in Wenham, Mass., and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. In each case, students went forward during long services to repent of pride, lust, bondage to materialism, bitterness, and racism (Riss 1995).

These revivals continued throughout 1995. Details are given i n Accounts of a Campus Revival: Wheaton College 1995, edited by Timothy Beougher and Lyle Dorsett (Wheaton: Harold Shaw Publishers, 1995).

© Geoff Waugh. Used by permission.