They put the tent up, and the rain came down.
For folks praying for rain in October, Fairview United Methodist inadvertently figured out a way to encourage a rainstorm: Plan an outdoor revival.
“We had a tent out front and, when we rented it, we were thinking it hadn’t rained in four months,” said Fairview music director Wesley Rouse. “We got in there one night, and it rained the rest of the week. The Lord wanted to send us rain.”
The revival moved inside and still grew more popular each night, said Rouse. “We were glad we moved inside because the crowd was bigger than the tent’s capacity,” he said.
Fairview hosted the community-wide Tent Revival Harvest on the church grounds Oct. 21 - 24.
Tom Toombs was the featured act each evening for the children.
Russell said the younger kids enjoyed Toombs and the programs at Fairview. “The program grew each night. We fed everybody each night so they could have something to munch on before service began. They started out with 65 to 70 kids the first night and the last night, we had 150 kids.
For the adults, Rev. Jim Jackson from Houston delivered the message.
“It was an exciting revival. Jim Jackson did a tremendous job,” Russell said. “Our people really identified with what he had to say. It was great time of renewal and encouragement.”
The adult crowds grew as well, with “probably 400 to 500 people by the end,” Rouse said.
Tent revivals have a long history at Fairview which began with a revival in 1913, Russell explained.