There has never been a time when local or regional revivals were not occurring somewhere in America. However, to be designated a “Great Awakening,” a revival should have the following 3 characteristics.      

1.    It is an obvious sovereign work of God in that it has arisen apart from any identifiable human plan, strategy, or design.

2.     It is non-sectarian and touches people of all sects and denominations. No one group, or church, can “own” the revival.

3.  It is not localized or regional but has an obvious national impact on the nation and its culture.

I have become convinced that there have been at least four "Great Awakenings" in America's history. Each came at a crucial time in the nation's history and saved her from moral and social ruin. Indeed, the history of America has startling similarites to that of Israel in the time of the Judges--periods of backsliding and apostasy followed by times of repentance, national renewal, and God's mighty deliverance of the nation.

The First Great Awakening (1726-70) transformed Colonial America and prepared her for statehood. The Second Great Awakening (1800-1830) saved the fledgling nation from Deism and the negative influences of the French Revolution. The Third Great Awakening, also known as “The Great Prayer Awakening of 1857-58,” swept many thousands into the kingdom and released the spiritual and moral resources necessary to carry the nation through a horrible Civil War.

The Charismatic Renewal/Jesus Revival (1967-80), which this author witnessed, was America’s Fourth Great Awakening. This revival was two-pronged with two distinct streams flowing side-by-side and often overlapping. The Charismatic Renewal impacted and revived the churches of America while the Jesus Revival impacted the youth/hippie culture, bringing many thousands to Christ.

America's Fourth Great Awakening

The 1960s were a tine of moral decline and social upheaval. In 1963, the U.S. Supreme Court, in two separate rulings, banned school sponsored Bible reading and prayer in the public schools of America. Many were shocked for prayer and Bible reading had been a part of American schools since its founding.

Then on November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. His assassination was followed by the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in April of 1968, and Kennedy’s brother, Robert F. Kennedy, in June of 1968. Race riots broke out in major cities across America. Protests erupted across the country against the Viet Nam War and often turned violent.

Disillusioned with church and American culture, an entire generation of youth rejected the values of their parents and traditional religion. Their mantra was “turn on” and “tune out.” “Turn on” with drugs and sex and “tune out” the old establishment. Out of this mindset the hippie movement was born, characterized by drugs, sex, rock music, horn-rimmed glasses, and a simplified lifestyle.

Somebody, however, must have prayed and touched heaven, for in the midst of the chaos, revival broke forth in the churches of America and among the youth of America.

Charismatic Renewal

There had been a powerful Pentecostal Revival at the turn of the century, but it had been rejected by the mainline, traditional churches. This had resulted in the forming of thousands of new Pentecostal churches and denominations.

Now, however, a Pentecostal-type revival broke out in Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Episcopal, and Catholic churches. Like a prairie fire fanned by the wind, this revival spread rapidly, penetrating most of the historic Protestant denominations and Roman Catholicism.

This revival in the churches came to be called the “Charismatic Renewal.” The name is derived from the Greek word for spiritual gift, which is charisma, and in its plural form, charismata.

Charismatic prayer groups sprang up across the country. In these informal gatherings, participants sang praises, prayed spontaneously, and unashamedly spoke and sang in tongues. Much fellowship occurred across denominational lines under the banner of “Jesus is Lord” and the common experience of being “filled with the Holy Spirit.” 

Massive interdenominational conferences were the order of the day. In 1977, 55,000 charismatics gathered in Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Kansas under the banner, “Jesus is Lord.” Roman Catholics, Episcopalians, Baptists, Mennonites, Methodists, Pentecostals, Messianic Jews, and others sang praises to God and listened to speakers from various Christian denominations and traditions.

At one point, Roman Catholic Cardinal Leon Josef Suenens of Brussels sat on the platform with Tom Zimmerman, General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God, a white Pentecostal denomination; J.O. Patterson, Presiding Bishop of the Church of the God in Christ, a black Pentecostal denomination, and other denominational leaders. It was an amazing demonstration of unity in the Spirit and under the Lordship of Christ.

For decades, the World Council of Churches had been seeking to bring the various churches together in a show of unity with little success. Now, through the power of the Holy Spirit, it was happening in a brief period of time. Cardinal Suenens referred to this Kansas City gathering as “the most impressive ecumenical manifestation of our time” and declared it to be “epoch making, the realization of an ‘impossible dream” (Hyatt, America's Revival Heritage, 105.

Jesus Revival Among American Youth

At the same time that the Charismatic Renewal was reviving the churches of America and the world, revival was breaking out among the hippies of America. This became known as “The Jesus Revival.” Tens of thousands turned to Christ and became bold witnesses for Him everywhere they went. Their mantra was now, “One Way, Jesus!”

In 1971, thousands of Christian youth and converted hippies converged on Dallas, Texas, for an entire week of witnessing, fellowship, prayer, and praise. During the day, thousands witnessed on the streets, in restaurants, and in places of business. Each night 80,000 filled the Cotton Bowl to pray and listen to a line-up of speakers, including Billy Graham. The closing event of the week was a Christian concert that drew 150,000 to a cleared freeway site near downtown Dallas (Hyatt, America's Revival Heritage, 106).

Life Magazine featured the event on its cover, describing it as “a solid week of shouting, singing, praying and praising His name in a mammoth burst of Christian zeal.”

It was during this revival that this author gave his life to Christ, was baptized in the Holy Spirit, and called into the ministry.

The Course of the Nation Is Altered

Perhaps the crowing event of this Awakening was “Washington for Jesus,” an all-day prayer gathering on the National Mall in Washington D.C. Held on April 29, 1980, “Washington for Jesus” was the vision of John Gimenez, a former drug addict, who along with his wife, Anne, founded and pastored the Rock Church in Virginia Beach, VA.

Gimenez said that God showed him that going to Washington D.C. to pray for the nation would be like David striking Goliath a fatal blow in the forehead with a stone. When Gimenez shared the vision with Pat Robertson of CBN, Robertson wondered aloud how they would feed such a crowd. Gimenez replied, “That is easy. We will fast.”

According to Anne Gimenez, 600,000 gathered that day on the Washington Mall to fast and pray for America. Interestingly, the race riots abated, the protests faded, Ronald Reagan was elected the nation’s 38th president that fall, and the nation entered a new era of peace and prosperity.

Will We See Another Great Awakening?

Since that Fourth Great Awakening, America has seen radical moral and social decline, and by 2010 I had given up hope of America ever seeing another Great Awakening that would alter the course of the nation. However, that all changed one summer day when, for 7 hours in a once-in-a-lifetime visitation, God flooded my heart and mind with throughts of hope and faith that America "could" see another great, national spiritual awakening.  

The word "could" was highlighted, to emphasize our responsibility. There are eternal principles and conditions that must be adhered to and met. God does not change. Styles change. Politicians change. Fads come and go. God, however, does not change.

The principles that brought about former Great Awakenings are the same principles that will bring another Awakening in 2022. There are no shortcuts. We can fake it, but we can't make it. Another Great Awakening will only come when a remnant of believers fulfill the Divine conditions that God Himself has laid before us.

If My people, who are called by My name,
Will humble themselves and pray,
And seek My face and turn from their wicked ways,
Then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

This article is derived from Dr. Eddie Hyatt's latest book, America's Revival Heritage (Second Edition) available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com.



I love the Christmas season. I love the lights, the Christmas trees, the nativity scenes, and the beautiful Christmas hymns glorifying Jesus that you sometimes hear even at Walmart.

But this past week I talked with a Christian brother who informed me that he and his church do not celebrate Christmas. The reason he gave was that December 25 was originally an ancient pagan holiday.

I consider this a lame excuse and one that does not recognize the redeeming power of our Lord. Does not Jesus take poor hell-bound sinners, redeem their lives, and make them His witnesses and instruments of his grace? Can He not do the same with a pagan holiday?

Indeed, when church officials at the end of the 3rd century settled on December 25th as the date to celebrate Christ’s birth (the exact day is not known), they probably chose that date to confront and redeem pagan holidays that on that day honored Saturn, the Roman god of agriculture, and Mithra, the Persian god of light.

I have a Gibson Dove guitar that was bought by a friend in a yard sale. It was a pitiful sight with a broken neck and strings broken and twisted. Who knows? Maybe it was owned by a drug-infested, hard rock group and got broken in a barroom brawl.

It doesn’t matter! That guitar is now restored, redeemed, and used for the honor and glory of God. Its past has no bearing on its present. Any curse has been swallowed up in God’s redemptive grace.

In the same way, it really doesn’t matter what some pagans did with December 25 centuries ago. What matters is what we as Christians do with December 25 today. 

A greater threat to Christmas is the modern secularization of the holiday that seeks to eliminate the word "Christmas" altogether and make it the "Winter Holiday." Anti-Christian forces are seeking to empty December 25 of all religious content, including the birth of Christ, and transform it into a godless, secular holiday. 

Early Christians redeemed December 25 from paganism and we must redeem it from this modern, woke secularist culture. We do this by making our voices heard, and in all kinds of creative ways reminding this world that Christmas represents the entry of God into this world to redeem fallen humanity. 

Charles Wesley did this in his magnificent hymn, “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” which he was inspired to write by the sound of London church bells while walking to church one Christmas day. He wrote,

Hark the herald angels sing,

Glory to the newborn king.

Peace on earth and mercy mild,

God and sinners reconciled.

Joyful all ye nations rise,

Join the triumph of the skies.

With angelic hosts proclaim,

Christ is born in Bethlehem.

Dr. Eddie Hyatt is an author and ordained minister with over 50 years of ministerial service as a pastor, teacher, revivalist, and professor of theology. His books are available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com.



Of all the Gospels, Luke gives the most detailed account of the Nativity and mentions Mary 12 times, more than any other biblical writer. At the beginning of His Gospel, Luke states that he has “carefully investigated” the things about which he is writing, including the virgin birth.

He also says that he has utilized eyewitness accounts of the events described. Indeed, the detail Luke presents about the virgin birth does indicate that he has derived his information from a primary source, either Mary herself or someone to whom Mary had relayed the intimate details of the event.

An Agnostic Archaeologist is Convinced

Luke's status as a world-class historian, accurate in even the smallest details, was confirmed by the agnostic archaeologist and Oxford professor, Sir William Ramsay. Considered one of the greatest archaeologists of all time, Ramsay thought he would scientifically discredit Luke's accounts by visiting and examining the places mentioned in his account of Paul’s travels in Acts. 

Ramsay was a product of the skeptical, German higher criticism of the 19th century, and he taught that the New Testament is an unreliable religious treatise written in the mid-second century by individuals far removed from the events described. According to his theorizing at the time, Luke’s works could not be trusted.

However, after doing the hard work of scientific investigation, Ramsay completely changed his thinking. After years of retracing Luke's account of Paul's travels and doing archaeological excavations along the way, Ramsay completely reversed his view of the Bible and first-century history.

Ramsay became convinced that Acts was written in the first century by the traditional author, and he acquired a very high regard for Luke as a historian. He discovered that in every case where the critics had said Luke was wrong, Luke turned out to be right. He wrote,

Luke is a historian of the first rank; not merely are his statements of fact trustworthy, he is possessed of the true historic sense; in short, this author should be placed along with the greatest of historians.

In 1896, Ramsay began publishing his discoveries in a book entitled St. Paul the Traveler and the Roman Citizen. The book caused a furor of dismay among the skeptics of the world, for its affirmation of the biblical record was totally unexpected. The evidence was, in fact, so overwhelming that many atheists gave up their atheism and embraced Christianity.

Over the next 20 years, Ramsay published other volumes showing how he discovered Luke to be accurate in the tiniest details of his accounts. In his book, The Bearing of Recent Discovery on the Trustworthiness of the New Testament, he wrote,

You may press the words of Luke in a degree beyond any other historian's and they stand the keenest scrutiny and the hardest treatment.

The famous historian, A.N. Sherwin-White, carefully examined Luke’s references to 32 countries, 54 cities, and nine islands, finding not a single mistake. The noted New Testament scholar, F.F. Bruce, noted that where Luke has been suspected of inaccuracy by modern critics, archaeology has again and again proven Luke to be right and the critics wrong.

Our Faith Confirmed by Facts

The evidence begs the question that if Luke was this careful to get his facts right about names, places, events, and dates, can we not be confident that he was just as careful to get his facts right concerning the more important things about which he reported, such as the virgin birth of Jesus Christ?

Indeed, we are infused with confidence when we remember Luke's opening statement in his Gospel that he has "carefully investigated" everything he is writing about so that his readers can know the "certainty" of the things described, including the virgin birth. 

Belief in the virgin birth is not a leap of faith into the dark. It is a step of faith into the light of Scripture and based on solid historical evbidence.

This article is derived from the book, Christmas is for Real, by Dr. Eddie L. Hyatt and is available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehhyatt.com.