August is the beginning of revival season in the South, a time when many Baptist churches schedule protracted revival meetings. For many congregations, the months of August and September offer the best opportunity to add new members to church rolls, whether through conversions or transfer of membership. Letters to the editors of Baptist newspapers of the South during this time reflect the prominence and importance of revivals in the life of local churches, including the following letter to editor J. D. Hufham of the North Carolina Baptist Biblical Recorder.
Dear Brother Hufham:–Assisted by brethren F. H. Jones and J. Davis, I held a meeting of five days with the church at Bear Creek, Davie county, embracing the first Sabbath in this month. Thirteen professed faith in Christ and six joined the church, while many more were anxiously enquiring for the way of life. The congregations were large and attentive. May the Lord continue the good work.
At least one other pastor in North Carolina, however, has something else on his mind: the loyalty (so he is certain) of his church’s slaves to the Confederate cause.
Dear Bro. Hufham:–I think it a fact which ought to be made public, that of the colored membership of Kenansville church (nearly 200 in number) only one left her master when the Yankees made their late raid upon that place, and she was forcibly carried off by her unbelieving husband aided by the enemy. Until very recently spiritual services were held for the colored members of this church, in which they were instructed in their duties. This fact speaks volumes. Yours, &c.,