By Bill Federer, staff writer
The largest town in Kentucky had less than 2,000 people, yet 25,000 came to Cane Ridge, Kentucky, AUGUST 7, 1801, from as far away as Ohio and Tennessee, to hear Barton W. Stone and other Baptist, Methodist and Presbyterian ministers.
Part of the Second Great Awakening, these “camp meetings” were described by Rev. Moses Hodge:
“Nothing that imagination can paint can make a stronger impression…
Sinners dropping down on every hand, professors praying, others in raptures of joy!…
There can be no question but it is of God, as the subjects…can give a clear and rational account of their conversion.”
The revival began in the lawless Kentucky frontier in 1797 when James McGready and his small church agreed to:
“Therefore, we bind ourselves to observe the third Saturday of each month for one year as a day of fasting and prayer for the conversion of sinners in Logan County and throughout the world.
We also engage to spend one half hour every Saturday evening, beginning at the setting of the sun, and one half hour every Sabbath morning at the rising of the sun in pleading with God to revive His work.”
Previously, in June of 1800, 500 gathered at the Red River and later 8,000 met at the Gaspar River, some from 100 miles away.
“The power of God seemed to shake the whole assembly…the cries of the distressed arose…No person seemed to wish to go home.”
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