The Great Flint Revival

During the process of becoming the Pastor of CenterPoint Church I was invited by the elders to speak on the Day of Pentecost in the year 2020. While worshiping I heard the Holy Spirit speak to me and say, “The Great Flint Revival.” As I shared with those in attendance what the Lord had spoken to me, I felt the Holy Spirit prompt me to declare “this Revival will not be facilitated by a specific person but rather by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.” As time has gone on, I have become more and more convinced that the Flint Michigan Region has a prophetic mandate for revival. For us to see this become a reality we need to tackle the subject of revival in general, as well as some Biblical principles for revival that every local church can implement to see this Scriptural reality brought to bear in our city.

So, what does it mean for the Flint Michigan Region to have “a prophetic mandate for revival?” Put simply, it means that God has highlighted our area as a region that He wants to birth a movement from! This is how God often operates in the world, even during Biblical times. The history of Revival in both the Bible and in the United States reveals that God often expresses His Manifest Presence at certain places, during certain times, and in certain unique ways. For example, we find Outpourings of the Holy Spirit which were geographical and strategic all throughout the New Testament starting from the ultimate fountain that began flowing in the Upper Room on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2). For individuals who may doubt the concept of Geographical Outpourings, it becomes necessary for them to account for this foundational event in Christian history: the birth of the Church in the city of Jerusalem 2,000 years ago. This historical occurrence serves as a significant pattern found in the New Testament, demonstrating that God indeed selects particular locations for abundant outpourings of His Spirit.

Let’s take a look at a few more New Testament examples of Holy Spirit Outpourings, for example in Acts 4:31 it says, “and when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.” Notice that this scripture says, “the place in which they were gathered together was shaken.” God wants to shake places and fill His disciples afresh with boldness from Heaven!

In Acts 8:15-18 it says, “when they arrived, they prayed for the new believers there that they might receive the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any.” Here, we see the preaching of the gospel in Samaria, resulting in the emergence of numerous new believers. Yet, God’s divine plan involved the outpouring of His Spirit upon these fresh converts through the act of the Apostles laying hands upon them. This helps us to see that just because someone has believed the gospel, it does not guarantee that they have experienced the Outpouring of the Spirit in their lives, these believers in Samaria were born again, but they still needed to be established in the fullness of the Holy Spirit’s work in their lives. The Geographical region of Samaria was forever changed by this mighty move of the Spirit in their midst!

In Acts 10:44-46 it says, “while Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.” This is yet another New Testament example of God pouring out His Spirit in a strategic geographical location, in this case it was Caesarea Maritima where the Romans were headquartered in the ancient land of Israel. This Outpouring led to the full inclusion of non-Jewish people into the Christian faith and became the open door for billions of Gentile souls to be saved in the coming centuries!

I could provide many more instances from the New Testament that underscore God’s intention to pour out His Spirit, as evident in passages like Acts 16:25-26, Acts 19:6, 1 Corinthians 2:4, Titus 3:6, Ephesians 5:18-19, and Romans 5:5. It becomes increasingly apparent that Revival isn’t confined solely to the personal experience of individual believers but also occurs at specific times and locations according to the will of the Lord. The Bible sets forth a clear doctrine of geographical revival that provides a blueprint for what He desires to do in the entire Flint Michigan Region!

The idea of God pouring out His Spirit upon a specific American city is nothing foreign to what history reveals over the past few hundred years in the United States. We have documented evidence of various and significant Outpourings of the Spirit that had a relationship to a specific location where prayer, fasting, worship and preaching was occurring. These include but are not limited to:

  • North Hampton, Massachusetts 1734
  • Logan County, Kentucky 1800
  • Rochester, New York 1824
  • North Dutch Church, NYC 1857
  • Brooklyn, Michigan, Denver, Schenectady, Nebraska, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Taylor University, Yale University, and Asbury College in Wilmore, Kentucky 1905
  • Azusa Street Revival, Los Angeles 1906
  • Wheaton College Revival of 1950
  • The Jesus Movement, USA 1960s and 1970s
  • Asbury College, 1970
  • Toronto Canada 1994
  • Pensacola, Florida 1995

A common characteristic of these revivals is that they would spread to hundreds if not thousands of other places! These meetings were not founded upon setting up a “cool entertainment venue” or seeking to attract people to attend through gimmicks and so forth. They were founded upon a strong emphasis of prayer, fasting, repentance, confession, and discipleship. Here are some noteworthy examples of individuals and methods employed throughout American history to ignite revival through sincere and passionate seeking of God’s presence:

First Great Awakening-

Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758): Jonathan Edwards, a Congregationalist preacher, delivered the famous sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” during the First Great Awakening. His preaching was characterized by a strong focus on sin, repentance, and the sovereignty of God. Edwards personally engaged in fasting and prayer, seeking God’s presence and revival in his congregation in Northampton, Massachusetts.

George Whitefield (1714-1770): George Whitefield, an English Anglican cleric and itinerant preacher, was a prominent figure during the First Great Awakening. He often engaged in periods of fasting and prayer and encouraged his listeners to do the same as a means of seeking spiritual awakening. His powerful sermons drew large crowds and contributed to the revival’s spread.

The Second Great Awakening-

Charles Finney (1792-1875): Charles Finney was a leading evangelist during the Second Great Awakening. He believed that revival was not a random event but could be brought about through specific means, including prayer and fasting. Finney himself practiced fasting and called for prayer meetings to prepare for revival services. His “protracted meetings” led to numerous conversions and revivals.

Lyman Beecher (1775-1863): Lyman Beecher, a Presbyterian minister, was another significant figure during the Second Great Awakening. He advocated for prayer and fasting as a means of seeking revival and reform. Beecher played a crucial role in promoting prayer meetings and revivals, particularly in the western frontier areas of the United States.

Camp Meetings: During the Second Great Awakening, large outdoor camp meetings became a common gathering place for revivalists and the newly converted. These meetings often involved extended periods of prayer, worship, and preaching, with participants sometimes fasting as part of their spiritual preparation.

Early 1900s-

Azusa Street Revival (1906-1909): The Azusa Street Revival, led by William J. Seymour in Los Angeles, was a pivotal event in the Pentecostal movement. Seymour and others engaged in prayer and fasting as they sought a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit. This revival is considered one of the birthplaces of modern Pentecostalism.

Mid-1900s-

Billy Graham (1918-2018): Billy Graham, a renowned evangelist, often called for prayer and fasting as part of his evangelistic crusades. His “canvas cathedrals” would often be sites of prayer gatherings before and during the crusades, with fasting being encouraged to seek God’s presence and conversions.

William Branham (1909-1965): William Branham, a key figure in the Latter Rain movement, often emphasized the importance of prayer and fasting in his ministry. He believed that fasting and consecration were essential for receiving spiritual gifts and experiencing revival. His ministry was marked by miraculous healings and prophetic utterances.

Fasting and Prophetic Outpouring: The Latter Rain movement, which emerged in the late 1940s, promoted the idea of fasting and consecration to prepare for a “latter rain” outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Believers engaged in extended periods of fasting and prayer in anticipation of spiritual revival and the restoration of spiritual gifts in the church.

Late 1900s –

The Jesus Movement (1960s-1970s): The Jesus Movement, which saw a surge of young people coming to faith in Jesus Christ, often involved communal living and prayer, including times of fasting. This movement was marked by a deep spiritual hunger and a desire for personal and societal transformation.

Dennis Bennett (1917-1991): Dennis Bennett, an Episcopal priest, played a significant role in the early Charismatic Renewal movement. He emphasized the need for believers to seek the Holy Spirit through prayer and fasting as a means of experiencing the charismatic gifts, including speaking in tongues and prophecy.

Renewal Retreats: Charismatic Renewal retreats and conferences often incorporate times of prayer and fasting. These events provide opportunities for believers to gather for extended periods of seeking God’s presence, receiving spiritual gifts, and experiencing personal revival.

These examples demonstrate that the practice of prayer and fasting remains significant in contemporary revival movements, both within the United States and around the world. Furthermore, it’s essential to recognize that even when God imparts a prophetic mandate for revival in a particular area, this alone doesn’t guarantee that revival will spontaneously occur; often, there is a need for a catalyst through which the revival can manifest. If the Church responds in faith and obedience, with prayer, fasting, confession and repentance then revival will come. But if the Church responds with apathy, division, resistance, and carnality- continuing to host entertainment venues instead of Biblical New Testament centers of worship and equipping, revival will be postponed to another generation.

That being said, God does not need every single church in Genesee County to respond properly to this call for a Great Flint Revival, He only needs a remnant. This has been the case throughout all of Biblical History. The majority rejected the Word of the Lord, but God preserved His purposes through a remnant of obedient ones. I believe that God is calling each and every church in our area to join His Remnant of Revival, setting their faces like Flint to pray, fast, repent, and believe for a mighty Outpouring of His Spirit in our region. We must set aside personal agendas, territorialism, non-essential doctrinal differences, church growth gimmicks, and political ambitions to seek the face of God in humility, faith, and love. When we do this, God is going to spark a “Flint Fire” and touch the Nations with His glory, and the best part is, only Jesus will receive the credit!!

Written by: Pastor Kyle Bailey, CenterPoint Church- Burton, MI. 10/02/2023