No one could have anticipated how God would move when Frontline Biker Church in Kershaw approached five pastors from the area to preach during their summer revival. Each week the experience picked up steam, changed locations, and moved into the pastors’ churches. In all, the community revival lasted nine weeks and saw more than 750 total salvations.
Last July, the biker church approached pastor Trent McLaughlin to use his church’s facilities at Antioch Baptist Church in Lancaster. They planned a five-day event starting July 17 and asked a different pastor to preach each night. The Spirit moved, the people came, and so many lives were changed that a second week of services was planned.
Salvations occurred each night of the second week of the revival, and McLaughlin says services were moved to a tent because it would provide more space for the growing number of people. Into the third week they continued to see salvations, and churches as far away as West Virginia were coming to be a part of the revival services. Soon the tent was at capacity. The original five church partners also began to see revivals happening in their congregations.
“The churches that came to the revivals started having a revival break out in their churches. In Antioch Baptist, we were having 10-15 salvations per service. This was happening while the revival in the tent continued,” McLaughlin says.
Some Antioch Baptist Church key lay leaders made professions of faith during this time. McLaughlin says one member called him at 6:15 a.m. to confess that they were not the same person at home and work that they professed to be at church, and said they needed to be saved. McLaughlin says he began to struggle with being sure that all of the dramatic conversions happening around him were actually real, and not just a result of emotions. Then he realized that those who were attending the Antioch Church revival services were not involved with the tent revival services and, in fact, God was powerfully moving in both places separately.
The stories of changed lives from across the community continued. One woman was scheduled to have an abortion within days, but, because she got saved at the revival services, cancelled her appointment. A young man said he planned to commit suicide the very night he prayed to receive Christ and instead received new life.
Antioch Church baptized a total of 63 people during the summer revival, which was almost twice the total number the church baptized the previous year. At the advice of his pastor friends, McLaughlin says he simply began to share the plan of salvation and invited people to follow Jesus during the Antioch Church revival services — no singing, storytelling or preaching was needed. That Sunday night, another 14 came forward to be saved.
After more than five weeks had passed, the tent revival services moved to Cedar Creek Baptist Church in Hartsville. McLaughlin says that revival continued meeting for another five weeks.
“This was indeed something special, and it is really hard to put into words. But all I know is, I saw God move for about two months, non-stop. We are still seeing things happening,” McLaughlin says.
Several of the original partnering churches went in together to purchase a bulk-supply of the book “What Every Christian Ought to Know,” by Adrian Rogers, and distributed more than 1,000 copies in the community. McLaughlin says each of the churches performed their own baptisms, and all have been careful to follow up with each decision made during the services. If the individual did not have a home church, they were invited to connect with the church closest to them.
For his part, evangelism team leader Lee Clamp with the South Carolina Baptist Convention says he’s encouraged by this example of churches working together to see every life in South Carolina saturated and transformed by the hope of the gospel.
“God is in the business of taking the most unlikely of individuals and ordinary courageous men and doing extraordinary things to show off His glory. I am so encouraged by the risk-taking attitude and faithfulness these churches had to continue to meet when God began to work. These churches laid aside their differences and unified around sharing the hope of the gospel. Then God did the rest,” Clamp said.