Charleston 1858

Fulton Street in New York City is said by most be the beginning of the Prayer Meeting Revival which eventually swept down from the north eastern states all the way into Athens, Georgia and Beaufort, South Carolina. As many as 1 million people were born again within a years time. Denominations of all kinds, especially Baptist and Methodists exploded exponentially. But there were others in the South who were earnestly seeking the Lord, many months before businessman Jeremiah Lanphier initiated the prayer meeting that is now recognized as the beginning of the 1858 outpouring. African American slaves in the South were already seeking and encountering the Lord's manifest presence and seeding the heavenlies with their prayers in what would become the greatest outpouring of God's Spirit within the last 200 years. The first rumblings of what would be called the 1858 Awakening had actually already begun in Charleston South Carolina in the middle of 1857 at Anson Street Presbyterian Church. Before the Civil War many black slaves attended services with mostly white leaders. One of these many congregations was found in Charleston with Dr. John Lafayette Girardeau as its minister. Anson Street Presbyterian church had 48 black members and 12 white members. In 1857 they began a series of prayer meetings seeking God and petitioning Him to send a spiritual awakening. They sought, inquired the Lord, and sought some more. Dr. Girardeau had made a decision not to preach until the Spirit of the Lord had made Himself known. So the prayer meetings continued and the congregation of believers, most of whom were under the yoke of slavery, continued to patiently seek and wait for the Spirit of the Lord. And then it happened! One evening while seeking the Lord in prayer, Girardeau instinctively sensed in his Spirit that something was different about tonight. And then at once he felt as if a surge of electricity struck his head and had gone through his entire body. Immediately aware that he was not alone, he began to sing a hymn of worship. Following the hymn he softly stated, "The Holy Spirit has come, preaching begins tomorrow," and then dismissed the congregation, but no one would leave. Looking around the sanctuary Girardeau witnessed that the Lord's presence had also rested on the congregation. They were worshiping, praying, and weeping for unbelieving loved ones and friends, and immediately Girardeau began exhorting anyone who was lost to accept the Gospel. By the time he was able to dismiss the congregation it was after midnight and every night for the next eight weeks Girardeau preached to crowds of 2,000. The presence of the Lord had descended on the very city which He would soon use to bring judgment on the institution of slavery, both socially and spiritually. Thousands of Charlestonians, both black and white, came and were saved. Congregations of all denominations throughout the city were having to add to their numbers daily. Word of what the Lord was doing reached all the way up the coast into New York, where only a few months later at a local church on Fulton Street six men gathered together to pray. In ultimately what would turn out to be the 1858 Awakening, in which so many people came to know the Lord. Girardeau went on to be known for many things in the ministry, but his life will best be remembered for those few days, when at the age of 30, along with the hearts of a few African American slaves gave everything he had to find the manifest presence of the Lord and spiritually trigger one of the greatest moves of the Spirit of God in American history. It all happened when a few people set out to find the Lord, no matter what.

...know them that labour among you... 1 Thessalonians 5:12 * ...pray for one another... James 5:6 * ...the eye cannot say to the hand I have no need of thee... 1 Corinthians 12:21 * ...there is one Body and one Spirit... Ephesians 4:4 * ...the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth... Ephesians 4:16 * ...I pray that they may be one with us so that the world will believe...John 17:21 * pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity...Psalm 133:1 "The purpose of life is companionship." *** "Worship is that form of companionship where we love on Him in response to His great love for us." *** "The most powerful drive in the human heart is the desire for companionship." *** "We inherited this drive from the One we were patterned after." *** "The difference between manipulation and leadership is motive." *** "Motive is purified and guided in the presence of God: Prayer." *** "Pride is a lifestyle of self-sufficiency, an attitude of self-entitlement and a motive for self-glorification." *** "Pride starts subtly and then turns into the aggressive enemy of real companionship" *** "The Cross and the presence of God brings fellowship (heart to heart), but the world offers only socializing (facade to facade)." *** "Every relationship has a foundation. The pride of public ministry has been a foundation for too many. At some point it consumes" *** "There is a difference between worshipping the idea that we worship God and actually worshipping God." *** "Why do we want to see prayer back in the schools, when it is no longer in our homes or churches?" *** "Corporate prayer around the Throne must return the center of church life if there is to be any hope for the masses." *** "Corporate prayer produces effective preaching, not preaching produces corporate prayer." *** "If we are so in the know, why do we no longer gather together to seek God, navigate through our haughty hearts to get a glimpse of God's heart and then pray in the lost?" *** "Christianity is not an enterprise, venture for self-discovery or political or civic organization. It is a Blood-bought fellowship of prayer focused on One." *** "Prayer-based friendships are the only ones that last." *** "Prayer-bathed friendships are not incidental to ministry, they are foundational." *** "Prayer is not a ministry of the Holy Spirit. It is the ministry" *** "It's one thing to tell somebody what we believe about Jesus, it's quite another to be able to introduce someone to our Best Friend." *** "We are more like Martha than Mary; More like Christian activists, than people of prayer." *** "We need unity in humility found at the foot of the Cross, not prideful uniformity that says: 'Look at us doing God's work'" "There has got to be a practical, excecutable strategy in place for us to dethrone the ministry of Hollywood in our homes and bring families and communities together via corporate prayer inspired by the Spirit. Technology is not the enemy; Our disobedient laziness is the enemy." ***