By Sherrie Norris
When Victory Baptist Church in Newland began its week-long mountain-top tent revival on Monday, August 23, no one could’ve known that four weeks later, the meeting would still be going on.
For weeks prior to its beginning, the host church and all who supported it were eagerly anticipating great things to happen during the revival, but what has happened has left many in awe of the life-changing experiences they have personally encountered and witnessed in others.
In an interview with church pastor, Ethan Greene, before the revival began, we were told, “Only God knows what next week will be like, but if the interest of people I have spoken with is any indication, then it will be beyond amazing.” And, amazing it has been, he said.
At that time, Greene said, It was the hope and prayer of his church, that many lives would be impacted for Christ during the revival. “Churches from all around the area have expressed interest in the meeting, and many have made definite plans to attend,” he said. “This is a free event and open to everyone.”
Fast-forward to September 15, when again, High Country Press spoke with Greene.
“I have never experienced anything quite like this before,” he said. “I have heard about meetings like this that took place many years ago, and even back then, they were few and far between. This meeting is, as one pastor told me, ‘sovereign, supernatural and sudden.’”
Greene explained, “It’s sovereign in the sense that this is truly God’s meeting and He is doing what He wants to do. As (Evangelist) Heath Williams has often said in this meeting, ‘We are more than willing to get out the way and let God get in the way of our plans.’”
It’s supernatural, Greene added, “Because of the countless lives that are being changed and the drawing effect the meeting has on people. People have been coming from Indiana, West Virginia, Virginia, South Carolina, Mississippi, Tennessee and all over North Carolina. People are hungry for God and it is a blessing to watch them come to the tent and to watch what God has done and is continuing to do in their lives.”
Greene confirmed that attendance has been “more than 400 on a nightly basis with some nights being over 500.” And, that’s not counting the many who are watching online.
When asked about specifics, related to lives being changed, etc., Greene responded, “We don’t have an exact number of salvations in this meeting, but we know that there have been dozens testify that they have received Jesus Christ into their heart as their personal Savior. Five young men have committed their lives to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and many pastors and churches have seen their people encouraged and the hope of revival renewed! “
When asked how and why they were continuing the revival meetings, now into the fourth week, Greene said when Fridays came each week, they do what they feel impressed in their hearts to do.
“I keep reminding the people that we ought to work to bring others, and to pray for them as though each night is the last night of the meeting. I don’t want to look back with any regret on this meeting and I know that many others feel the same way. If there has ever been a time to go all in for Jesus, it is now!”
And, along those same lines, we asked, (on Wednesday) if they anticipated going into another week when this one was over.
“None of us have any idea how long the meeting will go, but whatever God leads us to do, we are committed to following Him. It may end this week or it could be a little further down the road. Our prayer is that people will not procrastinate, thinking that the meeting will continue right on and they will join in when they can. This meeting is very special and we want as many people to receive help from the Lord in it as we can!”
For many who attend, or watch the revival via livestream on their phones and computers, it has been nothing like the area has ever known, or at least not in many decades. It is very much reminiscent of “the good old days,” with preaching, singing and praying atop Mount Victory, an 81-acre tract of land purchased by the church last December.
Mount Victory is located at 507 Mill Timber Creek Road, Newland, in the Pineola area. Services begin at 7 p.m. each night with an open invitation for all who will, young and old alike, to attend.
For more information, call or text 828-964-5763, visit the church website at www.victorybaptistnewland.com, find it on Facebook or on Instagram at victorybaptistnewland.