The revival is the first to grace the stage of the Chautauqua Park bandshell since evangelist and Iowa native Billy Sunday led a revival there in 1931. The event is planned to bring a message of hope to area residents by sharing the word of salvation through God’s son, Jesus Christ.
“About six months ago, during the midst of COVID, God laid it on our heart to start gathering his people outside and worship Jesus with all our heart and soul,” said Michael DeJong of Sioux Center, Iowa, who works with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in northwest Iowa. “We began to visit cities across the Midwest with a message of revival. We come with a group of five to 10 individuals who worship, preach and teach the word of God.
“We are excited to gather in Worthington … and revive God’s church in America,” DeJong added.
Norma Cook and Bev Hansberger, local women who are helping to organize the local events and encourage participation in a pair of virtual events taking place in Washington, D.C., next week, are helping to promote the non-denominational events.
Cook said the revival will feature a group of men in their 20s who are “on fire for the Lord.”
“People can bring their lawn chairs or sit on the benches,” she said, adding that the event will be sensitive to COVID-19 and that masks are encouraged, but not required. “We hope the youths will be drawn to come and listen to these men.”
The revival, which is planned from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3, will include speaker Taylan Seaman, a California native who gave his life to Christ while attending Dordt University in Sioux Center.
Preceding the revival will be a 2 p.m. worship service led by John Nau and a team from Solid Rock Fulda. People of all ages are welcome to attend both the service and revival.
Nearly 100 women have registered thus far for the Women Seeking God Worthington conference, planned from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday at various local sites.
The speaker and programming will also be streamed online for individuals and smaller watch party events. Registrations are still being taken via email at email@example.com, by visiting the event’s Facebook page or by calling Love INC at (507) 727-7290. There is a $7 suggested donation to attend.
“We are so isolated these days, and this is a chance to come together safely in fellowship,” said Gretchen O’Donnell, one of the organizers.
Guest speaker Debbie Griffith will present live from St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Worthington, where one of several watch parties will be based. Groups are also gathering at Living Waters Covenant Church and Journey Ministries inside Phileo’s in Worthington, and Solid Rock in Fulda.
“People can also watch from home, or they could host a watch party in their own home,” O’Donnell said.
Amanda DeYounge will also be a part of the program, though her segment has been pre-recorded.
“We’re excited that we’re able to offer this to the community despite the strangeness of 2020, and we would love for anyone to join us,” O’Donnell added.
Other options for area residents to tune into worship this weekend include Prayer March 2020 with Franklin Graham on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, and a separate revival in Washington, D.C., called “The Return.”
The Prayer March is from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, with marchers in Washington walking a 1.8-mile route from the Lincoln Memorial to the U.S. Capitol, with seven prayer stops in between. The event, organized by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, is neither a protest nor a political rally supporting any candidate or political party. For more details, or to view the livestream beginning at noon Saturday, visit prayermarch2020.com.
Meanwhile, “The Return” — a national and global day of prayer and repentance featuring Jonathan Cahn, Ben Carson, Dr. James Dobson, Pat Roberts, Mike Lindell, Michele Bachmann and others — offers programming from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday at thereturn.org.