What started out as a simple question, has turned into a summer event that has been embraced by the greater Defiance community.
St. Paul Lutheran Church in Defiance, located at 671 Clinton St., will host its sixth annual Tent Revival July 29-Aug. 1, featuring worship, prayer and music.
When asked by congregation member Nancy Nagel if the church could do a tent revival, Rev. Dave Brobston thought it was a great idea. Brobston explained that this year’s theme for the revival, and the messages that will be shared, are meant for everyone who has found themselves away from church due to the COVID-19 pandemic
“Our theme this year is ‘Welcome Home,’” said Brobston. “We will base this year’s revival around the Prodigal Son and all those homecoming texts.”
After cancelling the event last year due to COVID-19, after initially planning on having it with safety protocols, Brobston is pleased the revival is back.
“Watching things that have been going on in our congregation and around town, seeing all these opportunities for people to come together, feels to me, more magnified,” said Brobston. “It’s been a year of isolation, cancellations and everything being remote, and I’m incredibly thankful we had the opportunity to keep church going through live-streaming.
“But I have to tell you, the first time folks were back in the (church) building, it was incredible,” continued Brobston. “I was probably more nervous that Sunday, than any other Sunday in my entire ministry. To see folks coming back together has been so cool, I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like for revival. It will be great to see folks from other congregations, no congregations, or folks just passing by stop in and see what it’s all about.”
On July 29 at 6:30 p.m., Brobston will lead the revival and preach. Returning to perform special music again this year will be Steve Scott & The Scott Brothers Bluegrass Gospel Band.
On July 30, Rev. Kristin Hunsinger, associate pastor of Hope Lutheran Church in Toledo, will preach, with Steve Scott & The Scott Brothers Bluegrass Gospel Band performing special music. An ice cream social, featuring ice cream from Dad’s Dairy Depot, will be held following the revival.
The revival gets underway July 31 at 4 p.m., with Brobston once again leading the way. Steve Scott & The Scott Brothers Bluegrass Gospel 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 Aug.1, worship at St. Paul Lutheran will be held under the tent beginning at 10 a.m.
Each night of the revival will be live streamed on the St. Paul Lutheran Church Facebook page and YouTube feed.
“We’re very happy to welcome Kristin to the revival this year, she is a daughter of the congregation (her father is Rev. Keith Hunsinger, who was pastor at St. Paul prior to Brobston),” said Brobston. “She’s a 1999 graduate of Defiance High School, and I’m looking forward to hearing her message.”
For anyone who hasn’t attended the tent revival in the past, Brobston hopes everyone comes out to see what it’s all about.
“Come for the message, for ice cream, for Bluegrass music or the barbecue,” said Brobston. “I’m excited to see what it’s like for us to be together as a community, and to do things under the tent has become a tradition for us and for all of Defiance. I have people come to me every year and ask if we’re going to be doing the revival again.
“This has become this mid-summer event for the community, we’re past the Fourth of July, but we haven’t reached band camp, football season or the One Step at a Time event ... this fills this lull in the community, which is exciting,” added Brobston. “It’s something that we hope, will bring a sense of normalcy, because goodness knows, there hasn’t been a whole lot of normal.”
For more information about the revival, call 419-782-5771 or go to stpauldefiance.com.