Spiritual Heritage

Revival! A People Saturated with God

Edwin Orr, one of our greatest authorities on the subject of revival, reported having seen two churches in a town in America both advertising revival meetings. One displayed a board saying, “Revival here every Monday night,” while the other promised: “Revival here every night except Monday!” If nothing else, that reminds us how loosely the word has been used. In America it has often been used in place of the word mission or campaign. It is something a church arranges, men organize, and God may or may not bless it. Revival swallows up all other words as the shark swallows the shrimp. So, historically, what does the word revival refer to? The church historian James Buchanan defined revival as “the imparting of life to those who are dead, and the imparting of health to those who are … [Read more...]

Discovering an Evangelical Heritage

Author: Donald Dayton Review Summary: Kerry L. Skinner Prologue: *This book is a product of the author’s struggle to reconcile the seemingly irreconcilable heritage in his own experience: the Evangelical heritage in which he was reared and values bequeathed him by the student movements of the 1960’s. Though the author writes through his own struggles, the book gives great history of revival movements. Worth the read. *Dayton believed that the Evangelicals of the 1960’s completely missed the point of rightness from the aspect of reformation. *Cut loose from Evangelicalism, I threw myself into the secular education of Columbia University and went to Yale Divinity School, seeking a theological reconstruction that could bring my intellectual world … [Read more...]

Reclaiming the Spiritual Heritage of Connecticut

Following a Reclaiming Our Spiritual Heritage Tour, in October of 2007, one of the participants, Wesley Rowe, publisher of the Torrington (Connecticut) Register Citizen, requested this writer to submit a series of spiritual heritage articles for his newspaper. The articles would run for seven consecutive Sundays, beginning November 5, 2006. Each article would be featured prominently on the first page of the Sunday newspaper. The articles are presented as submitted, however, the titles or headlines were composed by the newspaper staff. Dr. Ed Eastman Spiritual Heritage Series: Part One of Seven, November 5, 2006 Northwestern Connecticut is rich in history and culture. The region’s religious or spiritual heritage, though seldom popularly studied, is a significant part of that history. … [Read more...]

The Pine Grove Camp Meetings

Dr. Ed Eastman Spiritual Heritage Series: Part Seven of Seven, December 17, 2006 The towns and villages sharing the name “Canaan” include East Canaan, North Canaan (unofficially “Canaan”), and South Canaan (officially “Canaan” and otherwise known as “Falls Village”). However confusing their designations may be, these hamlets, like their biblical namesake, have historically been associated with great movements of God and great spiritual leaders. Lemuel Haynes, the great African-American Puritan pastor, revivalist and abolitionist of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, refused a scholarship to Dartmouth College, choosing instead to be mentored for the ministry during the late 1770’s by South Canaan’s scholar-pastor Rev. Daniel Farrand. Henry … [Read more...]

Nettleton Saves Salisbury Church

Dr. Ed Eastman Spiritual Heritage Series: Part Six of Seven, December 10, 2006 As one drives through the town of Salisbury, located in the extreme northwest corner of Connecticut, it is impossible to miss the classic New England white frame church on Main Street, with the whale weathervane on the steeple – a seafaring symbol designed to remind observers of the early efforts of missionaries, inspired in part by Henry Opukahaiah, discussed in last week’s article in this series, to take Christianity to the Pacific. The meetinghouse itself recalls a special movement of God in Salisbury, one associated with the strong spiritual currents that swept through the region in the early nineteenth century. Those currents are known to historians as the Second Great Awakening in America … [Read more...]

Inspiring Believers in New Hartford

Dr. Ed Eastman Spiritual Heritage Series: Part Two of Seven, November 12, 2006 In a letter dated January 20, 1832, Edward Dorr Griffin, then President of Williams College, reflected back on his first pastorate in New Hartford, Connecticut. It had been a pastorate of only six years, but he remembered the tidal wave of spiritual renewal that had swept northwestern Connecticut in 1798-1799, adding many new converts to his church in New Hartford and altering the course of his own life. He wrote, “I saw a continued succession of heavenly sprinklings at New Salem, Farmington, Middlebury, and New Hartford . . . until, in 1799, I could stand at my door in New Hartford, Litchfield County, and number fifty or sixty contiguous congregations laid down in one field of divine wonders, … [Read more...]

In the Ice Box of Connecticut

Dr. Ed Eastman Spiritual Heritage Series: Part Four of Seven, November 26, 2006 While climatologists are sounding increasingly urgent warnings about global warming, recent religious demographic studies suggest that the spiritual climate, at least in our part of the country, is becoming distinctly cooler. With some exceptions, membership in main line and evangelical denominations is either stagnant or falling, even though the overall population of the region continues to grow. This is, however, nothing new. Two hundred years ago, churches in Litchfield County were similarly concerned about lack of growth and diminishing influence in their communities. Their fortunes changed dramatically, however, in the years 1798-1799, as God brought deep spiritual … [Read more...]

God’s Spark for the Haystack Prayer Meeting

Dr. Ed Eastman Spiritual Heritage Series: Part Three of Seven, November 19, 2006 In a few weeks, more than 20,000 college students from all across America will converge on St. Louis, Missouri to attend Urbana ’06, a triennial missionary convention sponsored by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. Many of them will go on to devote their entire lives to serving Christ in large cities and remote villages around the world. That enormous gathering, and the careers in foreign missions that will flow from it, can be traced back 200 years to five students at Williams College, who met to pray in a meadow during a late summer storm in 1806, finding shelter under a haystack. InterVarsity Christian Fellowship rightly claims that it is a part of the legacy of what has come to be known as the Haystack … [Read more...]

Cornwall School Trained Men for Outreach Service

Dr. Ed Eastman Spiritual Heritage Series: Part Five of Seven, December 3, 2006 One of the oldest unspoiled towns in New England is located just 25 minutes west of Torrington. Visitors to Cornwall Village find it takes just a few moments and a little imagination to travel back two hundred years in time. The village is significant, because it was a key staging area for one of the most important results of the 2nd Great Awakening, America’s modern missionary movement that took Christianity to the world. Immediately across from the Village Meeting House on Bolton Hill Road, once stood the Foreign Mission School of Cornwall, the same site on which St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church stands today. This school was the first institution in America, founded to train young people from … [Read more...]

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