Sunday, August 2, 2020 -
Few Americans realize that one of the greatest spiritual moves of God in America occurred during the American Civil War. Before that time there were very few military chaplains. But in May 1861, the Confederate Congress passes a bill mandating chaplains to be appointed by the President to serve during the then-current war.
I do not know the history of when the Union appointed chaplains, but in the end between 100,000 and 200,000 Union soldiers came to saving faith in Christ, as well as around 150,000 Confederate troops. These were called the “Civil War Revivals.” Think of the impact this had not just on the armies themselves, but their families and friends upon discharge, if they lived that long. Our nation may still be feeling the impact.
How sad it is that today many of our military chaplains face court-martial for merely praying in Jesus’ name, at a time when our nation needs revival more than at any given period in its history.
During the Civil War in the South, evangelists visited and preached to the front lines and Bible classes were formed and grew exponentially. Prayer meetings and baptisms were commonplace, sometimes happening thrice daily! Even generals and officers surrendered their lives to Christ. And large amounts of money was raised to flood devasted cities with Christian literature. Oh, that we would see such things happening today!