Winstead United Methodist Church plans tent revival

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Winstead United Methodist Church of Wilson is holding an old-fashioned tent revival to celebrate God’s love and to challenge the Wilson community to respond with love of God and neighbor.

The revival is Sunday morning, April 29, at 11 a.m., and Monday and Tuesday evenings, April 30 and May 1, at 7 p.m. and will be held at Winstead’s new church property, 1851 Airport Blvd.. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend.

The Sunday morning service will feature traditional hymns, with sing-alongs led by Winstead’s choir and Psalm 150, the church’s praise band. The guest preacher for the Monday and Tuesday night services is the Rev. Marty Cauley, a United Methodist pastor and director of content and coaching for the Office of New Faith Communities of the N.C. Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Cauley has worked with orphans in Africa and raised tens of thousands of dollars to help empower them. He volunteers to help build homes, and community, through Habitat for Humanity. And he works closely with a local school in an economically challenged neighborhood.

“Outdoor praise and worship is deep within United Methodist tradition,” said Winstead’s pastor, the Rev. George Loveland. “In the latter part of the 18th century, the Anglican cleric John Wesley, founder of the Methodist movement, felt that the Church of England had become isolated from the masses. So he took the Gospel message to the meadows and fields of rural England, sharing the Good News with gatherings that numbered in the thousands. When Wesley was accused of encroaching on the parishes of other clergy, he famously responded ‘The world is my parish!’ Wesley even had a portable pulpit that could be folded, loaded onto a wagon and pulled by horses to the next outdoor gathering.

“It is this exuberant, evangelical response to God’s grace that Winstead hopes to reignite. Wesley believed that ‘personal piety,’ things like prayer, study of scripture and communal worship, were essential to our growth as Christians. But he also stressed that a truly faithful response to God’s love and grace must include ‘social holiness.’ Challenging social injustice, and standing up for all of God’s children, is a ‘witness’ that Christ calls us to. This is one reason Wesley was so on fire to preach the Gospel outdoors, rather than just in high church settings.”

Loveland said Winstead United Methodist hopes to bring together God’s children from all social backgrounds, faiths, nationalities, races and classes for these three days of praise and response.