ST. LOUIS–“Conservative resurgence” has not produced revival in the Southern Baptist Convention, evangelist Freddie Gage said at the conclusion of the first session of the SBC annual meeting June 11.
“I can remember in 1979 in Houston, Texas, and we had an all-night prayer meeting,” recalled Gage, a vocational evangelist who prayed the benediction after SBC President James Merritt delivered his presidential address.
One of the SBC conservative leaders, who later became convention president, “said God had used me to introduce the conservative revolution” in the SBC, Gage said.
“I felt we were going to experience a revival, a revival of souls,” he added. “It has not happened.”
He urged messengers to the St. Louis meeting to “ask the Holy Ghost of God to come down on us and for God to send a revival.”
In his prayer, Gage asked God to “give us a passion and set us afire and give us a zeal for souls that the Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses have.”
Apparently referencing homosexual protestors demonstrating in front of the convention center, Gage also prayed “for people outside this building today,” asking God, “May they realize Jesus Christ can set them free.”
Then he turned his attention to the SBC.
“I pray most of all today for Southern Baptists,” Gage said. “Ninety-six percent of Southern Baptists never led a soul to Jesus Christ.
“We had 110,000 teenagers sent to prison while the entire Southern Baptist Convention baptized 81,235 teenagers, and there’s been a steady decline in youth baptisms since 1979.
“God, send the fire, the power upon us in Jesus’ name. Set us free from our personal agendas. Set us free in Jesus’ name from dead orthodoxy, and once again fill us with your Spirit to go out and tell a lost and dying world that Jesus saves.
“May no one leave St. Louis, Mo., until they have led a lost and dying soul to Jesus Christ.”
Marv Knox is editor of the Baptist Standard. This article was used with permission.
Coordinator of Fellowship Southwest, an intentionally ecumenical, multicultural, multiracial Cooperative Baptist Fellowship network, and a member of Good Faith Media’s strategic advisory board for news and opinion.