Geoff Waugh

 

My interest in revivals began when I was a young lad. I grew up in a loving family as the son of a Baptist pastor, and my earliest memories include drifting off to sleep under a blanket on the pew while my Mum played the piano in church and listening to the young people sing around our piano in our home at my bedtime. My parents dedicated me to God before I was born, as they did for all their children. (I’m the eldest of nine children—including three after our Mum died and we welcomed a new Mum into our family. All my siblings are now Christians with extended Christian families.) My parents encouraged us to have a love for the Bible and for the heroes of the faith, and I devoured Sunday School books and stories of John Bunyan, John Wesley, John Newton, William Carey, Florence Nightingale, David Livingstone, Mary Slessor, Hudson Taylor, and scores more.

I’m very thankful for that grounding in evangelical faith, especially in the truth of the Bible, which I believe now more strongly than ever. However, when I later served the Lord as a Baptist minister in Australia and in Papua New Guinea, I soon learned that our way of being the Church carries a lot of cultural baggage. That may be not wrong—just limited. I could see the Church in the Pacific, alive with fresh faith, grappling with cultural and personal transformation, and dealing with the typical challenges of human relationships, which are part of church life in any culture.

Then the opportunity opened for me to work in the Queensland Methodist and the Uniting Church. There I met many compassionate friends who encompassed and encouraged a wide range of views. I am grateful for the experience I gained there, mainly in innovative Christian Education ministries and creative theological college ventures, including studying fearless missiology with Fuller Theological Seminary.

In the 1970’s, we encountered—or rather, were encountered by—the wave of renewal and revival. So, I started to gather reports on revivals. The church publishers produced a series of my study books, including Living in the Spirit and Church on Fire, which examine these vibrant, explosive developments.

Our home church, Gateway Baptist in Brisbane, continues to be part of that progressive and tumultuous story. The senior pastors and leadership team guided that church into significant ministries where we saw attendance grow from around 200 to over 1,200 in a decade. We’ve been pleased to pass on that heritage of dynamic church life to our children, now adults.

Working with various church traditions gave me great scope for renewal ministry. Part of that ministry has been through leading the interdenominational Renewal Fellowship in Brisbane. I deeply appreciate the support and encouragement of that group, especially during our adventures in traveling as teams to various churches and to other countries. I’ll always remember the June monsoon rains in Ghana that ceased on the first night of our open-air, combined-churches crusade there and began again the day after our last meeting; teaching inaugural courses on the History of Revivals and on Signs and Wonders at the warmly hospitable Asian Theological Seminary in Manila in the Philippines in their hot summer schools; and trekking to dedicated little churches in the cities and villages of Nepal and Sri Lanka. The bewildering array of faith-filled Bible Schools—ranging from small local church Bible Schools in Nepal and Sri Lanka to the 600-student campus of the indigenous Indian Inland Mission near New Delhi in India— inspired us all.

In 1993 I began editing the interdenominational Renewal Journal, collecting testimonies of the marvelous and mysterious work of God around the world. It’s published on the Internet at www.pastornet.net.au/renewal with periodical updates. I first gathered much of the material in the book – Flashpoints of Revival – for various journal articles, and I appreciate the staff of Destiny Image Publishers for their suggestions on improving the drafts of that material for that book.

My current teaching position with the innovative Brisbane Christian Outreach Centre School of Ministries (including Distance Education on 100401.57@compuserve.com), a school of Christian Heritage College, helps me further explore the dynamic Pentecostal/Charismatic explosion now transforming   individual lives and the life of the Church. I am grateful to the leadership at the Centre and the staff of the School of Ministries for allowing me to be involved with them in fulfilling the mission of the one and only Church of Jesus Christ in the world today.

We are one in Christ and shall be forever. Our perceptions remain limited and partial. We see only the blurred image of the great glory of God, revealed fully in Jesus, who loves us all, gave His life for us all, reigns over us all, and lives in us in His Spirit, the Spirit of God.

The pattern in Jesus’ life and ministry and in the early Church is normative for the Church, but we have fallen far short of it. We need to humble ourselves, pray, seek God, and turn from our sin. God promises to hear, forgive, and heal when we do (see 2 Chron. 7:14).

The fire of the Holy Spirit fell on Jesus when He was 30; on Mary, Peter, James, John, and others at Pentecost; on the Samaritans when Peter and John prayed for them; on Saul, the zealous persecutor of Christians, when Ananias prayed for him; and during Peter’s preaching in the home of Cornelius. Now countless millions tell the same story.

Editor: The testimonies on this site, written by Geoff Waugh and included here with his permission, give readers brief glimpses of the Spirit of God touching and transforming ordinary people’s lives. We pray that you to experience the same transforming power and become powerful testimonies to the Saviour’s love and grace.

© Geoff Waugh. Used by permission.

Geoff Waugh

Introductions

18th Century Revivals

19th Century Revivals

Early 20th Century Revivals

Mid-20th Century Revivals

Last Decade 20th Century Revivals

21st Century Revivals

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