The Haystack Revival

Vivid in my memory was the story of the so-called 1806 Haystack Revival at Williams College in Massachusetts. It was so named because the little band of five students who wanted to pray that night were afraid to pray on campus. The hostility toward Christians was so intense that they even kept the minutes of their meetings hidden. So they went off campus to a nearby farm to pray for revival at their school. When a storm broke out, they burrowed under a haystack for protection. But their prayers were answered; revival came to Williams College not long afterward, and with it a powerful world missions movement. The youthful leader of that prayer group, Samuel Mills, would later become one of the founders of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions and the American Bible Society. Today there is a plaque on the site with the inscription: The Birthplace of Foreign Missions.

Used with permission from Deepening Your Conversation With God by Ben Patterson (c)1999 Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Book House Company. All Rights Reserved, p. 11.

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