HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. (KT) - Five Christian County pastors will be preaching from their pulpits in an online Revival in the City, presented by the Christian County Baptist Association.
The revival begins Monday and continues nightly through May 1. Services begin at 6:30 p.m. with preaching and music.
Jody Kilburn, CCBA director of missions, said there were several churches in the area which were planning in-person revivals this spring, but the COVID-19 outbreak altered those plans.
“When you plan a revival you are addressing the fact that there is a spiritual need within the church today,” Kilburn said. “We can do this with the platform that we have with social media and the internet. We want to be able to encourage the church and challenge them to live in a manner that’s consistent with God’s word and to use this time of the pandemic to be the light in the darkness.”
Revival in the City pastors include Darrell Crawford, Living Hope Baptist Church, on Monday; the Rev. Dr. Joe Bufford, Hillcrest Baptist Church, on Tuesday; Jesse Brown, Casky Baptist Church, on Wednesday; Andy Haley, Pembroke Baptist Church, on April 30; and Dr. Tim Jernigan, First Baptist Church, Hopkinsville on May 1.
Kilburn said he had been discussing revivals with several pastors before making plans for the online event.
“When these five pastors were selected, as I was the one organizing it, those were the names the Lord laid on my heart,” Kilburn said.
Each pastor, along with praise teams, will broadcast online from their home churches, maintaining all of the social guidelines as outlined by Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear.
Crawford said Revival in the City is an opportunity to preach the gospel to a world in need.
“Jesus Christ is ultimately the only hope for the world and what a better time to make sure that people know than at a time where people are feeling a little hopeless, perhaps. There is hope in Christ. We want to make that known,” he said. “Hopefully, we’ll see many people in Hopkinsville hear the hope that’s in Christ and place their trust in Christ.”
Jernigan said the COVID-19 health crisis has posed an opportunity to share the gospel with people who need hope.
We’ve been praying for peoples’ health, first responders and front line workers in our hospitals and medical profession,” Jernigan said. “The thing that I have been praying for is that God would renew and deepen and … revive the church. This is a time when people need hope. It’s when they need encouragement and when they need faith that God is going to take us through this time. We don’t know when this is going to end. But we do know it will end.”
Jernigan said he sees the online revival as one of the ways that pastors can be used by the Lord to help the church through a difficult time.
“(We can) be used by the Lord to encourage the church to dig a little deeper in their walk with the Lord,” Jernigan said. “So when they come back, it really is a renewed and revived person who comes back to public worship. What it will result in is a positive change in our churches and ultimately a positive change in our society.”
Kilburn said the broadcasts have the potential to reach thousands of people.
“Hopkinsville, Christian County is our target audience,” Kilburn said, noting that about 14,000 people are represented by the association from the churches that make up the association.
“It’s an opportunity for 14,000 people to watch that and to share with their friends and family. Who knows what the ultimate number will be … but it far exceeds any church we have in our county ability to hold physical people.”
The community can tune into each broadcast by visiting the CCBA website and Facebook page each evening. There, they click on the link to the host church to join the service.
“We encourage everybody to check it out,” Kilburn said. “Maybe they can’t watch every evening, but this way they’ll be able to watch some.”
Crawford said he hopes the community watches and participates in the worship services.
“We want to encourage people to join along in singing and worship from home,” Crawford said. “We want people to set their sights on things that are above.”