The Revival Fellowship
The Revival Fellowship has assemblies in Australia, Bali, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Czech Republic, Fiji, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Ireland, Côte d'Ivoire, Japan, Kenya, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, Thailand, the United Kingdom, the United States and Vanuatu.
|The Revival Fellowship|
Church Genealogy of Revival Centres International
The Revival Fellowship was formed as a result of a 1995 schism with the Revival Centres International. At a Christmas church camp in 1994 Lloyd Longfield (head-pastor of the Revival Centres International) instituted a policy that sexual defaulters would be permanently excommunicated and could never be restored to fellowship. The Adelaide assembly, led by pastor John Kuhlmann, opposed the move - withdrawing from the Revival Centres with approximately half of the assemblies (30), a third of pastors (35) and probably over half of the membership (3,300 including 120 from Melbourne - the bulk of membership outside of Victoria and Tasmania). Approximately half of the missions work in Papua New Guinea became part of the Revival Fellowship (15,000 people), as well as various other international assemblies (including assemblies in Europe, Africa, New Zealand, the Pacific and the Americas).
The Revival Fellowship teaches that one receives salvation by repentance, water baptism by full immersion, and the receiving of the Holy Spirit. They preach tongues and are consistent with the outward manifestation of a person who is filled with the Holy Spirit.
Scriptures quoted by the Revival Fellowship to justify its position on salvation include Acts 2 (particularly the first few verses, which record speaking in tongues on the day of Pentecost, and Acts 2:38, which is included in the group's logo), Mark 16:15-20, Acts 10:44-48, Acts 19:1-6 and John 3:1-21 (particularly verses 1-9). Their tongues doctrine emphasises glossolalia tongues (an unintelligable language; e.g Acts 10:46) over xenolalia tongues (a foreign language; e.g Acts 2:8); there is no official doctrinal stance on when this transition between known and unknown tongues occurred.
The Revival Fellowship believes in healings and miracles, and many claim to have experienced miraculous healings. Testimonies, consisting largely of stories about receiving the Holy Spirit and claims of healings and miracles, are often shared in fellowship meetings and publications.
The Revival Fellowship has large groups in various Third World countries, including Papua New Guinea, where there are many claims of its members being healed of HIV/AIDS and being raised from the dead.
Bible Prophecy and Other Topics
Other topics are often preached or discussed, but they are not given the same emphasis as the salvation message and are not considered doctrinal.
The Revival Fellowship preaches a historicist interpretation of Bible prophecy, and holds to the British-Israel doctrine as an important part of interpreting Bible prophecy, although racist elements of the teaching are denied.
In English speaking countries the King James bible is preferred.
Members prophesy to each other during gatherings, usually attempting to adopt 17th century English idiom (as per the King James Bible), and speak in the 1st person (that is, in the person of God, as it were). This is understood by the congregation to mean that God is speaking his message to the church via the person doing the prophesying.
Concerns raised by former members
Former members have noted that the ability to leave this type of church once a person has joined can be problematic. A number of support groups and websites are available to leaving members:
- Please Consider before joining up
- Why I Left the Revival Fellowship
- Revival Churches Discussion Forum
- Rev. Rowland Ward, Religious Bodies in Australia (3rd edition), 1995.
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6n88lZu1y4 - God's Country, documentary produced in affiliation with the Revival Fellowship, Part 2
- Official website
- Gold Coast Revival Fellowship church
- Brisbane Revival Fellowship
- Canberra Revival Fellowship
- Lismore Revival Fellowship
- India Revival Fellowship
- Shoalhaven Revival Fellowship
- South Africa Revival Fellowship
- Singapore Revival Fellowship
- Toowoomba Revival Fellowship
- United Kingdom Revival Fellowship
- United States Revival Fellowship
- Woolongong Revival Fellowship