During the winter of 1885-86 we were called to hold a revival meeting in New Haven, Shiawassee county, Michigan. During the first few days of the meeting we found many difficulties, and the powers of darkness arrayed against the work. Keenly realizing our need, we went to God in earnest prayer, and soon experienced a wonderful travail of soul for the desolation of Zion.
In less than twenty-four hours from the time this wonderful spirit of wrestling prayer was given us, the work commenced to move in earnest. The pastor, in sobs and tears, confessed that he was backslidden, asked pardon of some of his members, and came to the altar seeking forgiveness of God. Many professed Christians followed his example, and in a few days the whole country was in a flame of revival, such as had never been known in that section of the country. The spiritual condition of the community was so changed that for years sinners were converted at almost every public gathering of God’s people.
Never elsewhere have we witnessed so sweeping and thorough a work of grace, and such wonderful manifestations of God’s presence and glory. Over two years after the commencement of that wonderful awakening, at a camp-meeting held in the same community, a paper was drawn up endorsing our work, and signed by several ministers of the gospel and forty or fifty others; and from that paper we clip the following statement in reference to this glorious revival, known in all that section as “the big revival”:
“When Brother Shaw came, great division and lack of harmony existed among the members of the different churches in the neighborhood — Methodist, Episcopal, Free Methodist, Weslyan Methodist, and German Evangelical. Bible Christianity was at a low ebb, but he preached the truth of God faithfully. He condemned sin of every kind. God honored the message by a mighty outpouring of the Holy Ghost. The truth went home to hearts. The whole county was stirred. Scores who opposed the work bitterly for a time, were brought under conviction, saved, and became its warmest friends. Under the mighty power of God souls were humbled, confessions were made, wrongs were made right, and sectarian bigotry melted away. Hearts were united.
Several ministers of the gospel knelt at the altar as seekers. The work was so thorough that no difference could be discovered among the members of the different churches. All were equally separated from the world, and equally baptized with the Holy Ghost and fire. During the meeting, lasting in all about seven weeks, between two and three hundred souls were gloriously converted, reclaimed or sanctified.
Never has there been known in all this community such a revival.” — Editor
Touching Incidents and Remarkable Answers to Prayer - 1893