Three great spiritual Awakenings took place throughout the 18th and 19th century. Supporters of those Awakenings condemn the traditional churches’ collusion with the elites and their apathetic rationalism. Faith should be more sentimental and focused on the Bible. Like the Quakers, they favor a direct relation to God, and most conversions occur after listening to a preacher. Pentecostalism and healing services
Quakers are said to owe their name to their quaking during worship. Their services ate mostly silent, and one speaks when moved to do so by the Spirit. They link their customs to early Christianity, when Church institutions did not yet exist. Born in England in the 18th century, Quakerism – or the Society of Friends – developed in the United States thanks to a follower, William Penn, who founded Pennsylvania in 1682, based on Quaker principles of tolerance.
Ceremonies and religious customs of all the peoples of the world, J. F. Bernard and B. Picart, Volume Four, Amsterdam, 1736
Methodist Circuit Rider Saddlebag (32)
These leather saddlebags carried what itinerant preachers of the American Methodist Church needed in the 18th and 19th centuries. Aside from urban churches, this eminent Revival figures addressed rural communities scattered throughout the huge American territory. Preachers carried on their horses only whatever could fit in these saddlebags and would preach in a different location every day. In 1839, there were more than 3,500 such preachers in the country.
Methodist Circuit Rider Saddlebag, on loan from
the World Methodist Museum, Lake Junaluska
Healing Cult (33)
Pentecostalism boasts of nearly 280 million members worldwide and continues to grow. It is a branch of Protestantism which started in the USA and offers a direct experience of God through baptism with the Holy Spirit and healing sessions. Considering that the Bible needs no interpretation, Pentecostals feel close to the early church that healed the sick and were moved by the spirit directly, as recounted in the events of Pentecost, 50 days after the Ascension of Christ.
Photo of a Pentecostal healing scene,
Presbyterian Historical Society, Philadelphia, facsimile.