DARKE COUNTY — Churches are continuing to come together, spreading love through prayer, throughout the county as the Revive Ohio ministry extends its outreach for another week.
“What we are seeing in Darke County is really unusual. Typically you don’t see hundreds and hundreds of believers from a Methodist church, a Mennonite church or Charismatic church – and they are actually coming together. And they are okay with it, you know?” said Kyle Lance Martin, Time to Revive of Dallas, Texas.
Martin said the outreach in Darke County began when they were asked to come by STAR 88.3 FM, the radio station that bought out JOY FM 88.9.
“The reason they invited us was because we had poured into Indiana for seven months last year. They thought what they saw in Indiana that Ohio could experience this as well…,” said Martin.
The process began four months ago, when they met with about two dozen local pastors. Martin said the pastors took a vote to invite them into Darke County communities and started making introductions with key leadership like Greenville Mayor Mike Bowers, Darke County Municipal Judge Julie Monnin and Darke County Common Pleas Judge Jonathan Hein.
“We were supposed to be here for seven days, but what we saw was really unique,” said Martin.
The ministry brought together many “believers” from different congregations who formed teams to spread the “Word of God.” People are given multi-colored bracelets that represent five words – Sin, Death, Love, Faith and Life – that coordinate with colored-tabbed Bibles that are easy to read.
“We actually went to Greenville High School and shared the Gospel and prayed with folks after [football] practice. Any of the students could have left if they wanted to. They stayed and 35 young men actually took a stance to come to know the Lord,” said Martin.
On Saturday, 13 of the Greenville High School football players were baptized by area pastors at EUM church in Greenville. Students have joined others in the locally-driven outreach.
Because the revival has been extended, they’ve been invited to go visit school marching bands, soccer teams, cheer teams, cross country, volleyball, baseball teams and many more.
Throughout the revival, they also visited many local businesses. Recently they visited the Greenville Fire Department, Darke County Municipal Court and the Greenville Street Department.
“It’s just kind of been this trickle effect…there is one Heroin addict that a lot of people in town knew her and the things that she’s done. She decides to put her trust in Christ and the next thing you know her daughter comes to know the Lord and she’s beginning to change her life,” said Martin.
Martin said the pastors asked them to stay longer because they pair up every person that they pray with and share the “Gospel” with.
“People are literally pouring into these individual’s lives,” said Martin.
He said the church’s mentality is changing from getting people to come to a building.
“It’s more about what Jesus did, go and love them where they are at,” he explained.
Martin said over 200 missionaries came from all over the country last week with 190 of them staying in local homes. They have been praying with people all over the county – the addicted, the sick, the elderly, the young, and those down on their luck – just about anyone that would let them share.
“People feel like they are truly being blessed. And it’s taking our eyes off the darkness of Darke County and it’s putting it on the Light. It’s just people taking initiative and saying, ‘Will you come bless us, pray with us?” he said.
Because of the success of the ministry in Darke County, churches in Preble, Champaign and Auglaize counties are asking them to consider their communities.
On Monday, Martin and his team visited The Daily Advocate to share his story and pray for the team at the newspaper.
“We just want to pray for your paper and just say ‘keep going.’ You’re doing a great job. Somebody has to do this and do it well,” he said.
For more information on Revive Ohio online go to reviveoh.com.
This writer may be reached at 937-548-3151. Join the conversation and get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.