The much-publicized reports of revival that have taken place on college campuses around the country may be spreading into Mississippi.
Crossgates Baptist Church, Brandon, baptized 107 new believers during a five-hour worship service Feb. 19, and on the same day First Baptist Church Flora reported 57 baptisms in a three-hour worship service.
The Flora baptisms started around the church’s Disciple Now event for students Feb. 18–20.
“Going into the weekend, our hearts were that the Spirit would show up,” said Michael Nanney, minister of students and single adults.
“With any youth event, there’s a schedule that you’re going to try to follow, and I told them from the very beginning, ‘Look, if the Holy Spirit is moving within you guys, don’t worry about time. We don’t want to get in the way of what the Lord is doing.’”
A morning worship service on that Saturday went about 30 minutes over its scheduled time. The day’s agenda included missions projects, various activities and a scavenger hunt around town.
Dinner was served at the church that evening, and Nanney said before the evening service began he repeated to the leadership, “Don’t worry about the time. If you think we need to keep singing, keep singing.”
Isaac Pittman of Nashville was worship leader for the weekend.
“He’s been a good friend and mentor to me,” Nanney said of Pittman, who has been leading worship since he was 18.
Pittman sensed the Lord moving during the worship service, as students began to gather at the altar after a couple of songs and pray.
“I told the students that this was what worship is, shaping the worth of someone or something in your life,” Nanney said. “That might look like sitting down, praying with friends, kneeling and listening silently and whatever that looks like, do that.”
During Pittman’s opening song a student came forward and sought out senior pastor Jon Daniels.
“I need to get saved,” Daniels said the student told him.
He walked to the stage and whispered in Pittman’s ear, “We’ve got something we want to announce real quick.”
Pittman paused the music and the young man shared with the crowd that he’d just accepted Christ as Savior.
“There was an uproar,” Nanney recounted. “Everyone was excited. One of our college leaders, who was the Bible study leader for the senior boys, said, ‘Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could baptize him right now?’
“It just so happened that we were going to be baptizing Sunday anyway,” Nanney said, and the baptistry was already filled.
The group of 200 walked across the campus to the worship center and the student was baptized.
“We had another guy get saved on the walk over there, so he got in the water, too,” Nanney recalled.
He asked the group if there was anything the Lord was telling them.
“‘We’re here, and if the Lord is telling you to be obedient — to get saved, to get baptized, whatever that looks like for you — we just want to facilitate the moment,” Nanney said.
“Kids wanted to rededicate their lives to Christ. That just began a chain of events. Obviously, we didn’t plan for this. We had students rededicate their lives, get their baptism on the ‘right’ side of their salvation, getting things in the right order. We just wanted to get out of the way.”
Brian Crawford, lead pastor of City Light Church Vicksburg, was pastor for the weekend.
“His prayer for the weekend was that we would get out of the way so the Spirit could move,” Nanney related.
“Unbeknown to him, the worship leader’s prayer was that we would get out of the way. For months leading up to this, this was the prayer among us at the church. We got together Friday and realized we’d all been saying the same thing — if this was our prayer, then we needed to pay attention to what God was saying.”
Daniels noted he wrote after the close of the Disciple Now event, “The Spirit of God came down in power and glory in our midst this weekend during our D-Now weekend and our Sunday services. When all was said and done (at least for yesterday), 53 students had declared their faith in Christ and were baptized — 52 students on Saturday night and one student on Sunday morning.
“We also baptized four adults Sunday morning who were already coming for baptism. Our 11am service lasted for over three hours with tons of students giving testimonies of the change God had wrought in their hearts and lives.
“The theme for the D-Now was, ‘Upended,’ and that’s exactly what the Holy Spirit did in our lives — He upended us! To God alone be the glory!”
EDITOR’S NOTE — This story was written by Tony Martin and originally published by the Baptist Record.