Revival Hits North Carolina Methodists

by | Sep 30, 2000 | Charisma Archive


A wave of miracles hit a Methodist church in New Bern, N.C.–a headquarters for occultism


The city of New Bern, N.C., has long been a center of spiritual activity–but not the Christian variety. Once a major headquarters for followers of Wicca, a neo-pagan religion, the sleepy seashore town is being stirred by visiting evangelists.


Revival services with sightings of heavenly “gold dust” and other unusual phenomena are occurring at two New Bern churches, including a United Methodist congregation that normally is not associated with revival miracles. Ralph Brown, pastor of Faith Methodist Church, says the gold dust and miracles are “blessed addendums” but not the priority at his church.


“That’s not the major joy–the major joy is the changed lives,” Brown told Charisma. “We’re seeing people saved and healed and delivered and made whole. We’re not concentrating on signs and wonders–we’re concentrating on King Jesus.”


Living Word Church in New Bern, pastored by Glenn Garland, has also experienced gold dust, and members also say they have seen feathers and even small diamonds fall from midair during worship services.


Living Word, which meets on the sixth floor of the local Days Inn, began in 1997 with just four members. Although it is still small, as many as 300 have attended their conferences. The occasional attendance by local witches does not intimidate the Garlands. “We believe we’re going to win this city, and we believe it’s going to begin with the witches,” said Garland’s wife, Davene.


New Bern, Brown said, was headquarters for Blackbeard the Pirate and later a central depot for slave traders. The town has always been considered as a strong seat of demonic activity, he noted.


Gavin and Yvonne Frost, authors of The Witches Bible, opened the Church of Wicca in New

Bern in the early 1970s. But as the Holy Spirit has moved in with signs and wonders, it seems the Wiccan presence has receded, pastors say. There are still witches in New Bern but the Frosts no longer live there.


Brown said he grew up in the Pentecostal Free Will Baptist Church, “but it did not take.” After going to college and leaving church, he became a Christian in 1976. He got involved in a Methodist church in Greenville, N.C., which he later pastored. Brown attended Oral Roberts University and felt called to be an “evangelist of the Holy Spirit” in the United Methodist Church.


“That was amazing to me because I knew so little about the Holy Spirit and was not baptized in the Holy Spirit,” he said. Brown said not only was he not interested in the baptism of the Holy Spirit, he “outright shunned it.” That changed in 1986 when his son Phillip, then 2 years old, fell into a septic tank. The doctor told Brown and his wife, Jeannie, that Phillip was expected to die that night.


Brown cried out to God for help. The Holy Spirit that Brown had rejected now filled him, and he began to pray in tongues for the first time. The next morning, the doctor came in and said the child’s lungs were “as clear as mine and there’s no explanation for it,” Brown said.


They were later told that through the years, 12 children had fallen into septic tanks and every one had died. Phillip never even developed a symptom. From then on, Brown began preaching about the Holy Spirit’s power and developed greater spiritual hunger.


When Brown began pastoring Faith Methodist in 1995, he thought he was stepping into

a healthy situation. But he found a church that struggled financially and spiritually because its congregation was divided.


“Nobody trusted the committees, the boards. They didn’t trust one another and least of all they didn’t trust the pastor,” he said. As manifestations of the Holy Spirit began to occur, some church members became disgruntled. “There was one precious brother who made the public statement that there was no place for the Holy Spirit in a worship service,” Brown said.


But as some people left, others came and the Holy Spirit continued to move. Last November, Brown went to France with Virginia-based revivalist Ruth Ward Heflin. That was the first time he saw flecks of gold dust–a phenomenon that is often reported in her meetings.


“I believe that the closer we get to the coming of Christ, the more signs and wonders we will see,” Brown said. “The gold dust was not such a huge shock to me. In the Old Testament, the bridegroom would adorn the bride with gold right before the wedding. It could just be the Lord is doing this as a sign to His bride right before the rapture.”


Although his congregation had already experienced “holy laughter,” some members weren’t sure what to think of the gold dust. While attending a meeting with Brazilian revivalist Silvania Machado, Brown’s minister of music “just got up with her husband and ran out of the meeting, she was just so overwhelmed.” Later at Faith Church, gold dust began appearing on the music leader when she began worship. She would wash it off, but it would come back when she began worshiping God, he said.


“It was perplexing to some of the people but as it began to happen to them, it was undeniable,” he said.


Sam Wynn, the United Methodist district superintendent for the area, regularly attends Faith Church. “This is probably the most radical thing that has happened in the Methodist Church in this decade,” Wynn said. “It’s unheard of.”


Both Wynn and Brown point out that the roots of Methodism are also the roots of revival.


“All of the Holiness movements came out of some form of Methodism, and we’ve moved out of that. I believe this is God’s way of bringing us back,” Wynn said.


“I like to think of the Methodists as a barometer,” Brown said. “If you see the Methodists getting happy in the Holy Spirit, you know it’s a move of God.”


–Richard Daigle in New Bern, N.C.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

How Divine Wrestling Changes Our Identity

How Divine Wrestling Changes Our Identity

All of us at some point will hit a place of getting the wind knocked out of us. We all experience unexpected detours and times when there seems to be no way out. But there is One who lives in us, the Lord Jesus Christ, who gives us the strength to overcome obstacles....

Spirit-Filled Pastor: How Does God Lead Us Today?

Spirit-Filled Pastor: How Does God Lead Us Today?

Whether it is the Spirit leading or forbidding in the book of Acts, or the Spirit leading throughout Christian history, it’s clear that the leading of the Spirit is important. In the Old Testament, it appears that the Spirit of God could be withdrawn completely from...

Joyce Meyer: Keys to Winning Your Race in Life

Joyce Meyer: Keys to Winning Your Race in Life

Everyone has a race to run. That just means we all have a life to live. The apostle Paul says in Hebrews 12:1 (NIV), “Therefore...let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for...

Prophetic Word: The Lord Says, ‘I Am the Consuming Fire’

Prophetic Word: The Lord Says, ‘I Am the Consuming Fire’

God says that during this season, He is turning up the heat, finding the gold and bringing His refining fire. Job makes a powerful statement of faith as he says of the Lord, "When he has tried me, I shall come out as gold." God knew Job's heart and Job knew the heart...

What Is ‘The One Thing’ God Wants From You?

What Is ‘The One Thing’ God Wants From You?

In 1971, I was invited to spend one month in Singapore at a new institute that had been started by John Haggai. It was still in the formative stages then—a place where Asian church leaders would be trained and challenged to witness for Christ. Today, more than 40...

37 Prayers for the Suffering Persecuted Church

37 Prayers for the Suffering Persecuted Church

It was a Pentecost bloodbath and most Christians never heard about it. More than 50 Christians were killed in one of the deadliest terror attacks on Nigerians this year. Scores of gunmen rushed in to kill Christians in the midst of worship. All told, over 360 million...

RECENT ARTICLES

Prophecy: A Window of Time Has Opened for Believers to Preach the Truth

I was rejoicing and praising God on Friday, June 24, 2022, for the overturning of Roe v. Wade, knowing that an ungodly decree was overturned and one national curse was broken. I heard by the Holy...
The Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: The People I Saw in Hell

The Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: The People I Saw in Hell

In 1998, God gave me a life-changing vision of hell. I receive many questions about my experience from people all over the world, but one question I'm often asked is, "Who did you see in hell?" There are others who say they've had an experience like mine, and they...

The United States: Birthed in Prophetic Symbolism

The United States: Birthed in Prophetic Symbolism

One of the most amazing facts about the Founding Fathers of our nation is this: The one referred to as the "voice" of the revolution (John Adams) and the one referred to as the "pen" of the revolution (Thomas Jefferson) both died on the same day—July 4, 1826—exactly...

Why Did God Give ‘This’ to Me?

Why Did God Give ‘This’ to Me?

It’s a question I frequently hear. It’s one I’ve asked. And maybe it’s one you’ve asked, too. The question is, “God, why did You give this to me?” This can be any number of issues, from emotional or psychological struggles to symptoms or sicknesses, disabilities or...

No Evil Can Stop What God Has Planned

No Evil Can Stop What God Has Planned

I sense it. And I perceive a growing number of people in massive proportions sense the increasing momentum of power and might worldwide. Something is on the horizon—something more eerie and ominous than what the people of the world have ever before experienced. Even...

Pin It on Pinterest