Throughout the United States, there are pockets of revival happening, revival that is giving believers hope for their future and the future of the church.
And, Pastor Mike Signorelli says, the church can glean from past revivals like the Azusa Street Revival in 1906, the Jesus Movement of the 1970s and the five-year Brownsville Revival in Pensacola, Florida that began in 1995 to spark a potential Third Great Awakening in America that could potentially see millions turn their hearts to Jesus.
Signorelli, the pastor of V1Church in New York City and producer of the new film “The Domino Revival”—which will hit theaters for one night only on Oct. 24—likes to refer to revisiting past revivals as “re-digging old wells.”
He explored many of the past revivals throughout the filming of “The Domino Revival.”
“I think there are two reasons why we have these generals in the faith and that we have these moves of God that happen,” Signorelli told Charisma News for a Beyond the Article video recently. “We learn what to do and we learn what not to do. Each movement is showing us a new way. It’s showing us a new path.”
The Azusa Revival in Los Angeles, sparked by Pastor William Seymour in the early part of the 20th century is a particularly fascinating event to study, Signorelli says, because of the “recreative miracles” that happened there.
“It’s one thing to believe that God can heal you. But it’s another thing to believe that He can help you grow out a leg,” Signorelli says. “The most bizarre, crazy stories came out of Azusa, California.”
Then there is the Toronto Revival, which was a forerunner to the Messianic movement where many Jews accepted Jesus as their Messiah.
“If you know anything about Canada these days, they are definitely a post-Christian culture,” Signorelli says. “And so seeing that outpouring was incredible. Then, when you look at Brownsville, Brownsville was the longest-standing continuous revival in the nation.”
But not all good things came out of Brownsville.
“But with Brownsville, that also decimated that local church [Brownsville Assembly of God] after it was over and they had to go through a rebuilding process because everybody was converging on one place. When everyone left, their finances went with them. The building went into disarray. They had to fix the roof and to go through projects and pay off debt.
“So, every revival gives us a revelation of what’s possible, but then there is also the unintended consequences of revival. The importance of me digging up old wells was basically to say, hey, God did something here, and let’s pull from that. It’s just like a well where water flows from it. The water from that revival is still there, but we have to unearth it.”
Which is exactly what Signorelli did with revivalists like Aimee Semple McPherson, who preached in the early 20th century and used the medium of radio. Nearly 100 years later, he is using women like Jenny Weaver to reach people for Christ through social media.
The Jesus Movement also began in California 50 years ago, but Greg Laurie, one of the main characters in “The Jesus Revolution” movie, is still being used mightily by God as the pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship Church in Riverside, California. That church recently saw thousands of people baptized at Pirate’s Cove, where he and his wife, Cathy, were baptized themselves in the 1970s.
“The Bible is not the story of what happened, it’s the story of what always happens,” Signorelli says. “God used women like Mary Magdalene that he delivered from seven demons and then upon Jesus’ resurrection, she goes and tells people that Christ is resurrected.
“These things echo. That’s the point of the movie Domino Revival is that dominoes drop and one domino hits another. One person’s ‘yes’ becomes a lineage that we have, a heritage, and so sometimes we’ve got to go back and retrace the steps of our heritage.”
In essence, Signorelli says, we must learn from the past to go forward into the future.
Shawn A. Akers is the online editor at Charisma Media.
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