What started out as a simple question, has turned into a summer community event that has been embraced by the greater Defiance community.
St. Paul Lutheran Church in Defiance will host its fifth annual Old-Fashioned Tent Revival July25-29, featuring worship, prayer, and music in front of the church, located at 671 Clinton St.
When asked by congregation member Nancy Nagel if the church could do a tent revival, Pastor Dave Brobston of St. Paul Lutheran thought that was a great idea. Brobston explained that this year’s theme for the revival and the messages that will be shared, are needed now, maybe more than ever.
“Our theme this year is faith, hope and love, and we’ll wrap it up on Sunday with grace,” said Brobston. “When we look around, I don’t see a lot of faith in God, government or humanity; I don’t see a lot of hope, there is a whole lot of ‘The sky is falling’ mentality; and quite honestly, where is the love? In the 24-hour news cycle we live in, bad news sells. Quite honestly, the only place you’ll find some good news is in your local newspaper, that’s the reality.
“The truth is, this is not new, from the days of Adam and Eve, Moses, Noah ... it’s all about the human condition,” continued Brobston. “But, throughout history the only message that has been consistent and effective, is God’s hope and love for creation and for humanity. That message has proven results, and we have thousands of years of history to show that. The church hasn’t always been perfect, but God’s message has always been perfect.”
On Thursday at 6:30 p.m., Pastor Mark Diemer of Grace of God Lutheran Church in Columbus, will be the featured speaker. Diemer, an Ayersville graduate, will feature a message of faith. Tuned In Barbershop Quartet will perform the music that evening.
On Friday at 6:30 p.m., Pastor Tim Lucas of First Apostolic Church in Defiance, and Pastor Brad North of South Scipio Church in Harlan, Ind., will deliver a message of hope, and feature healing prayer and anointing. Music will be provided by the St. Paul Lutheran Church choir. An ice cream social will follow at the conclusion of worship.
The revival gets underway Saturday at 4:30 p.m., with Brobston delivering a message of love. Steve Scott & The Scott Brothers Bluegrass band will perform special music that evening. Following the revival, the annual barbecue dinner prepared by Jason Frederick and Chuck Campbell will be served.
On Sunday morning, worship at St. Paul Lutheran will be held under the tent beginning at 9:30 a.m., with Brobston delivering a message of grace. There will be special music and open communion.
“For anyone out there who is feeling discouraged, this tent revival will be a great place to come and hear those messages,” said Julie Sasseen, director of youth and family at St. Paul Lutheran. “If you want to see your faith redeemed, come and worship with people of many different faith backgrounds, and people who don’t have a faith background.
“What I’m looking forward to, is people coming to the understanding that the church is very capable of showing faith, hope and love,” continued Sasseen. “For anyone feeling alone, the big tent in downtown Defiance is the place to come. It’s a place where many people start as strangers, but leave with many new friends. It’s amazing when you see people’s lives transformed over the course of a weekend.”
For anyone who hasn’t attended the tent revival in the past, Brobston hopes everyone comes out to see what it’s all about.
“For people expecting fire and brimstone, that’s not what this tent revival is about,” said Brobston. “This revival is about praying, music, and preaching about love, grace and mercy. It truly is about sharing the good news of Christ, in a loving way. So please, come by and join us to see the church at work.
“I’ve watched people come by Thursday and sit in the park on the benches, come back Friday night and sit at the edge of the tent, and on Saturday sit in the middle of the tent,” added Brobston. “The next year, these same people stop by the church and ask, ‘How can I help out this year?’ It truly is fascinating.”
For more information about the revival, call 419-782-5771 or go to stpauldefiance.com.