By Mark Ellis, Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service
DELBARTON, WEST VIRGINIA (ANS – May 20, 2016) — The day after some 70,000 people jammed the L.A. Coliseum to cry out for revival, God sent the wind of the Holy Spirit many miles away to a humble town of 500 in West Virginia coal mining country.
“We’ve prayed for many years for this,” says Mitchell Bias, pastor of the Regional Church of God in Delbarton, West Virginia. His church had a live stream from the Azusa Now 2016 event on April 9th with their own prayer gathering, but little did he know what would happen, beginning the next day.
It seems Pastor Mitch had invited Matt Hartley, a 31-year-old evangelist from Tennessee, to preach at the church’s “spring revival.”
“I felt impressed of the Lord to connect with him,” he notes. “I knew he was a young evangelist.”
After Hartley checked his schedule, he proposed April 10-13 for their event. “He came and started that Sunday. We had tremendous services the morning and evening on the 10th,” says Pastor Mitch.
The next day Hartley spoke at a chapel service for the church’s Christian school in Williamson, the adjacent town, which Pastor Mitch describes as another “tremendous” gathering.
On the 12th, Hartley spoke at a prayer club meeting at Mingo Central High School at the invitation of the students. The club normally has 30-40 students show up, but everyone was shocked when 450 students arrived – more than half the high school.
“He (Hartley) preached the Gospel, preached against sin,” Pastor Mitch recounts. “I know it’s not popular, but he did. It wasn’t a lengthy sermon.”
At the end of the message Hartley gave an altar call. “He gave an invitation and 150 students responded to receive Christ. There was a lot of emotion. They cried. He prayed for them. They were touched. It was a move of God,” Pastor Mitch says.
“The Lord did it. It was a sovereign move of the Lord.”
Two days later, another prayer club meeting was held at the same high school. About 450 students came, and 150 more students received Christ!
Photo captions: 1) Pastor D. Mitchell Bias with his wife, Regina. 2) Baptism during revival at West Virginia church (Photo: Mackenzie Lester) 3) Matt Hartley speaking April 12th at Regional Church of God. (4) Dan Wooding with Mark Ellis after taping another “Windows on the World” show.
About the writer: Mark Ellis is Senior Correspondent for the ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net), and also founder of www.GodReports.com, a website that shares stories, testimonies and videos from the church
around the world. He is also co-host for “Widows on the World” with ANS Founder, Dan Wooding, which is airred weekly on the Holy Spirit Broadcasting Network (http://hsbn.tv)
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