Miracles in Jena – Pastor to share testimony of 9-week revival
Bill Robertson, director of pastoral leadership for the Louisiana Baptist Convention, had always hoped to see God move in a powerful way during his lifetime. During the past two months, his prayers have been answered. Big time.
Robertson, serving as interim pastor of Midway Church in Jena, La., was leading the congregation in preparation for a four-day revival to begin Feb. 17. Little did he and his congregants know that God would extend their expectations far beyond that.
That four-day meeting eventually grew into a nine-week spiritual movement that encompassed the entire town and LaSalle Parrish.
“It’s been like a dream, really. It’s the kind of thing that you read about; you hear about it, but you wonder if you’ll ever get to see it in your lifetime,” Robertson said during a recent phone interview. “To see God move the way He moved, and to see the miracles that He did, it was just incredible.”
The revival that also eventually spread into other denominational groups was temporarily halted after the April 17 service.
“It seemed like the people were getting tired,” Robertson said. “We’re thinking of getting some rest and then continuing with either monthly or quarterly evangelism rallies.”
The nine-week revival resulted in 161 professions of faith, three men surrendering to preach, two called to work with youth and children’s ministry and many other decisions of rededication and recommitment.
Robertson said God also worked miracles in other ways besides just extending the revival.
“We saw miracles in marriages being put back together and in people being open to give without any appeal to pass an offering plate. People said I just need to be obedient to God and give and they’d just come down and lay their gifts on the altar table,” he said.
“And then in that atmosphere, there were the people who wanted to be prayed over for healing. We didn’t offer any type of charismatic or healing service or anything like that, but people came and asked for prayer that God would heal this or that, and so we did. We had one lady come who had to be on a walker for her feet, and she never used it again. God just touched her.”
Robertson said the effects of the Jena revival are spreading.
“We had two guys drive over from Amarillo, Texas, and they went back home and shared it in their church, and revival has broken out in their church,” he revealed.
For that reason, Robertson has been invited to come to Oklahoma by Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma Prayer and Spiritual Awakening Specialist Greg Frizzell and share his story.
He will share his testimony with the BGCO staff during the day, May 14, and then at 7 p.m. that evening at Oklahoma City, Portland Avenue. He also will speak at 7 p.m., May 15 at Tulsa, South Tulsa. Both evening events are open to the public.
“I wanted him to come in and let our people hear about a real move of God,” Frizzell said. “I feel led to expose Oklahoma Baptists to every opportunity to see and experience genuine revival. Also, it’s very important, we’re having him here, because throughout history, revivals have spread and have been encouraged by hearing the direct testimonies of those involved. So, that’s really the motivation for having Bill come to Oklahoma.”
Frizzell cautions that all glory for what has happened must go to God.
“In no way am I trying to exalt Bill Robertson or saying that Jena is a special place; it’s really just about hearing what God is doing,” he stressed.
Robertson will return to Oklahoma in the next few weeks to visit other areas of the state.
“We don’t want to leave any area out, and in time, want everyone to hear this man describe a genuine movement of God,” Frizzell said. “It’s not uncommon for people to get very inspired and have a greater faith that God can do it in their place when they hear someone describing something as powerful as this.”
Time is of the essence, he added.
“It’s essential that we do this quickly,” he said. “When God is moving, it’s important that we recognize it and expose ourselves to it. We’re praying this will give us a greater vision and possibility for revival to sweep across our state.
“I would encourage our smaller churches in this, too. This is a great example of not needing a large facility or fancy things, but of the power of God at work. Sometimes, people think you need a big name preacher, too, but you don’t. The essential thing is to focus on God Himself and not think it’s a certain place or person. Our churches need to believe ‘God can dot it here.’
“The lesson of Jena is God can do it in your place if you’ll really pray and really repent and obey Him. He can do it wherever people will let Him.”
Frizzell said participants will be led in a “time of real fervent prayer for God to do the same thing here” after Robertson’s testimony each night.