On the 31st of October 1904 a revival began in Moriah Chapel, Loughor. This was the start of a very powerful move of God that dramatically changed life across Wales. It is estimated that as many as a quarter of a million people became followers of Jesus Christ – and that this showed itself in tangible ways in the lives of individuals, and whole communities.

A young working man, Evan Roberts, who had spoken in the meeting at Moriah, became the public face of this event, which was the first major, mass media revival and the newspapers of the day became fascinated, in equal measure, by the man himself, and the amazing things that were happening.

Though it was relatively short-lived in its initial dramatic form (1904-05), it was so powerful that its impact was felt across the world. And it has become known as THE Welsh Revival – but nothing could be further from the truth. Though there have been no subsequent major revivals in this land, there have been so many in the past that Wales could accurately be called the ‘Land of Revivals’.

Though she has experienced God moving over many centuries, her modern history of such events began with the great Evangelical Revival in the middle of the 18th century which swept across the United Kingdom, changing forever the face of this nation – it also affected parts of Europe and America (where it is known as the Great Awakening).

In Wales, men such as Howell Harris, Daniel Rowland, and William Williams saw God moving powerfully as they travelled around preaching the gospel – seeing hundreds of people becoming committed followers of Jesus.

It also saw the founding of Methodism, which became particularly strong in Wales.

For many in those early days, revival was something that was part of their ‘normal’ experience – and localised revivals occurred on a fairly regular basis. It was in this context that, in the early 19th century, the Beddgelert Revival came. What was unusual about this one is that it was not confined to a local area but spread, in a powerful way, across the whole of the northern half of Wales.

Subsequent to that localised outpourings of God’s Spirit continued and, for example, Beddgelert was affected again in 1832.

Then, in 1859, came a mighty move of God that spread across the whole of the United Kingdom.

After this the pattern of regular localised revivals continued in the period leading up to the 1904-05 Revival.

It has been said that Wales has experienced around 14 revivals, but this is probably a significant underestimate.

It is good to be reminded of this because the God who has, over and over again, moved to transform his church, and the communities that they are part of, is the same today as he was then – his power is undiminished. What he has done before he can definitely do again.

This is a very brief summary of this topic. There has been much written on both the Great Evangelical Revival and the 1904-05 Revival – as any Google search will show.

What is Revival? >>>

The Spirit of the Mountains – short story >>>