Some call them “bartenders.” They serve “new wine” to desperately dry Christians who fly in from all over the world just to get refilled. John and Carol Arnott simply encourage them to “take another drink.”
Beginning in 1994 when God showed up in power at the Toronto Airport Vineyard Christian Fellowship, the Arnotts have been the face of what became known as the Toronto Blessing. In the early days of the revival when meetings were held nightly, hundreds of thousands of people landed at the nearby Toronto airport and took shuttles across the street where they lined up waiting to get into the church. In particular, burned-out pastors and missionaries came. They “took another drink,” got filled up and took revival back home. Churches and ministries around the world, including Holy Trinity Brompton in England, Bethel Church in Redding, California, and Heidi and Rolland Baker of Iris Ministries, say their revival began in Toronto.
As with all new moves of God, this one was not without doubters.
“I can understand people feeling cautious,” John Arnott wrote in The Father’s Blessing, “because I felt much of that same apprehension at first. But as I saw the fruit, as I understood previous revivals in church history and as I reread certain biblical texts, I became convinced that we were and are in the midst of a powerful move of God. … It is a fire that is ‘gloriously’ beyond our ability to contain.”
Weekly revival services continue, now under the name of Catch the Fire. The Arnotts’ main message—and the one that ignites hearts, is the Father’s love. Literally millions of lives have been changed through encountering the Father’s embrace and His incredible love for them. What else can you say but, “More, Lord”? —Diana Scimone