OWENSBORO, Ky. (KT) – Pleasant Valley Community Church will be having its own throwback event on Friday night with a tent revival in the heart of downtown Owensboro.
Rev. Jamus Edwards said his congregation is excited about the potential that comes with the “Revival on the River” event. They’ve been praying for months and look forward to being set up on the riverfront for preaching and baptizing.
“We’ve been praying for revival all year,” Edwards said.
Twenty-eight came forward in last Sunday’s service to be baptized. Some were followers who had never been baptized and some were new converts. But it sent a spark of excitement through the church, Edwards said.
“We hope it’s a foretaste of what the Lord does here on the riverfront,” he said.
Owensboro’s riverfront is the place to be on a Friday night, Edwards said. “They’ve pumped millions of dollars into it with nice hotels, music and thousands of people in downtown Owensboro (every Friday). It’s the epicenter of our community.”
So why not go where the people are going to be was the church’s reasoning behind the tent revival, a throwback to the tent meetings that were held decades ago.
“The vision is strictly evangelism,” he said. “I told them ‘Don’t go inviting your friends from other churches. We want lost people there.’ Our biggest concern, honestly, is we’re not going to have enough room.”
The church will be setting up a tent that will have seats for 1,000 people behind the Hampton Inn on the riverfront. The tent itself will take eight to nine hours to configure.
The vision is to set up a tent in the heart of the city and have worship. Four cow troughs will be under the tent filled with water and counselors will be available.
“We’ll baptize people, Lord willing, that night if they come to faith in Christ,” Edward said.
The pastor said the city officials have been extremely helpful in making sure they have everything needed.
“Our main contact guy is a believer,” Edward said. “They’ve been accommodating. We filled out an application, but the City has given us no pushback. I told them ‘I’m going to stand up and tell everybody that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven. I am preaching the gospel on City turf are you OK with endorsing that?’ Nobody objected. They are even shutting off streets downtown for us.”
Local firemen are going to fill the baptistry troughs for them, he said.
Tent revivals have long been used as a tool for Christian evangelism. One of the more famous tent revivals occurred in 1949 when Billy Graham held his Los Angeles Crusade under a tent. It was scheduled for three weeks but lasted 52 days and drew more than 350,000 people.
The revival is scheduled for 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday.