Also published in PE News, 28 May 2015
Elizabeth Sisson (1843-1934), a prominent evangelist, church planter, and writer, recalled that she “wept for joy” after reading reports in both secular and religious newspapers about the Welsh Revival of 1904-1905.
Twenty years later, Sisson recounted her memories of the revival in Wales in a Pentecostal Evangel article. She was ministering in San Francisco in 1905 when she first learned about the revival. Friends from London mailed her daily newspaper headlines that carried news of a powerful move of God that filled churches across the small nation located adjacent to England. She wrote that “God had captured the English press” and had “taken possession of the church buildings irrespective of denomination.”
Sisson soon sensed that the Welsh Revival was part of a much larger movement. She recalled, “One day God spoke through my whole being, ‘This is not a Welsh revival; this is the beginning of a world-wide revival.'”
Before the Welsh Revival, Sisson had never before heard of a worldwide revival. In her estimation, previous revivals had been largely regional phenomena. She wrote, “The phrase ‘world-wide revival’ staggered me.”
Sisson opened up an atlas and ran her finger over every country on the maps. She prayed over each nation and felt impressed that she needed to be prepared to take part in the great harvest of souls. She wrote that she sobbed with joy when she realized that she would be privileged to participate in “the immensity of God’s harvest plan of Pentecost.” She anticipated that millions of people would accept Christ in the coming revival.
This prediction came true; the Welsh Revival was one of a series of overlapping revival movements that rapidly spread across the national divides. The revival in Wales helped to spark the Azusa Street Revival (1906-1909) in Los Angeles, which became one of the focal points of the global Pentecostal movement.
Sisson recognized that missions was an essential aspect of this coming revival. How would this great harvest of souls occur? She wrote that “the provision of the fullness of His Spirit” was meant “for all believers,” so that each Christian “might disciple other disciples.”
Sisson went on to become a respected leader in the Pentecostal movement and transferred her ordination to the Assemblies of God in 1917. Her admonition to the readers of the Pentecostal Evangel in 1925 still rings true today: “every blood-washed soul that hears these words” is called to be a part of this “world-wide revival.”
Read Sisson’s entire article, “Reminiscences,” on pages 4-5 of the May 30, 1925, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel. Also featured in this issue:
• “Rising into the Heavenlies,” by Smith Wigglesworth
• “Love Triumphant,” by Violet Schoonmaker
And many more!
Pentecostal Evangel archived editions courtesy of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center.
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