More than 120 people turned out each evening during an exciting eight-day revival this summer in Hastings, Neb., that was spearheaded by The Salvation Army. The Community Awakening incorporated 13 denominations and featured a variety of inspiring preachers and musicians including award-winning Nashville-based Christian country band Mark209.
The event was the brainchild of Hastings, Neb., Corps Officer Major Dale Brandenburg and Pastor John Whitsett from Hastings Community Church who hoped it would inspire local churches to come together in unity to reach people for Christ and to affect change in the community.
“We suggested the idea of hosting a Community Awakening to pull the congregations of the community together,” said the major. “We decided to take steps to see if the Lord opened doors along the way. And He did, raising up more than a dozen people and businesses that agreed to help underwrite expenses and promotional efforts to convey the vision to other pastors and church leaders in town.”
In addition, local land and business owners gave The Salvation Army and participating churches permission to use a strip of land and a parking lot near the town’s main street as the location for the revival.
“We wanted the event to impact lives, break down denominational walls and come together under the Lordship of Jesus as many congregations but one Church,” said the major. With this in mind, a Nazarene evangelist, a Lutheran pastor and a Presbyterian pastor joined Major Brandenburg and Pastor Whitsett as preachers for the revival.
The major concluded, “Our hope is that as a result of this event, a culture of cooperation between congregations will emerge, replacing the skepticism and suspicion that has plagued this community and the cause of Christ for far too long.”