The Fulton Street revival can happen, again

Jeremiah Lanphier statueA life-sized sculpture of Jeremiah Lanphier has been commissioned from Lincoln Fox.  This bronze sculpture will be revealed at the 2007 Fulton Street Prayer conference and will be placed in various locations in Lower Manhattan.


Take one inexperienced layman, an old dying church, plus a heart for God, and you have the ingredients that sparked the Fulton Street Revival of 1857. 


Jeremiah Lanphier was hired by the Old Dutch North Church in New York City to find enough people to save the old church from going out of business.  Lanphier thought businessmen might take some time at lunch to pray, so he distributed fliers announcing an opportunity for prayer.  At noon on September 23, 1857, Lanphier waited patiently for others to join him for prayer.  Finally, a grand total of six men had gathered, prayed, and agreed to meet again. 

That seemingly insignificant beginning was the start of a revival movement that would spread throughout the United States in the next two years.  As many as one million people would come to Christ, churches would swell in attendance, and lives would be changed.  Only the Civil War would halt the effects of this grassroots revival, begun by a single man with a solitary heart for God. 


A 21st century example of the same spirit is the Whittier Evangelical Methodist Church in Whittier, California.  They have gathered their community — including pastors and other churches — over the past several years for prayer.  These “prayer summits” have lifted spirits and united believers in their area.  Other small churches could do the  same.


A conference on the Fulton Street Noon Prayer Meeting takes place on September 21-23.  Even though you may not be able to attend, surf the site, read the stories, then invite folks to join with you in prayer.  I’m going to set aside time in our service this Sunday to pray.  Your church could do the same.  We could be part of something extraordinary 150-years later!