In order to place an Arkansas city of about 3,500 on the map, God used a revival.
Although a revival was scheduled for Feb. 6, those of First Assembly of God in Paris, Ark., craved revival at the turn of the new year. For the last several years, a time of prayer and fasting kicks off the new year for the church. But as 2011 rolled around, Senior Pastor Ken Maness says a unique intensity developed and he knew God was about to do something big.
“The Lord just began to move. People were just getting healed. We were just having tremendous services; people getting saved,” Maness explains.
Then revival time came. The healings and salvations continued.
People of various denominations drove from Oklahoma and all over Arkansas to experience the outpouring, many bringing folks that were sick to receive healing.
Maness attempts to describe the amazing conviction his church experienced. “In modern times I have not witnessed people literally being under so much conviction that they would get up and run to the altar. But we saw that time and time again. Just run, just desperate to get to the altar to give their hearts to God. That was just tremendous.”
God was moving in such a mighty way that revival leader and evangelist Patrick Kimberland, in an effort to stay, found himself calling pastors to reschedule other planned revivals.
At times, gatherings were held at midnight because during the revival, there was never a formal dismissal.“We never got up and said, 'Okay, we're going to dismiss in prayer.' We don't do that. We never have here cause I never wanted to hinder anyone from seeking God.”
After 11 weeks, 155 salvations and 114 baptisms in the Holy Spirit, Maness says the intensity began to wane. “That convicting power was just not there like it was.”
Paris closed out of revival on April 20. Maness believes there was just a season to this particular outpouring.
The revival came to an end, but the Lord continues to move in Paris. “[The Lord] has brought us, I think, into a time of taking care of the harvest and taking care of the fruit from our revival … I really felt like He spoke to my heart and said and encouraged us as a church … to take care of the fruit of this revival so He can trust us for another outpouring—for future outpourings.”
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