Tent revival

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A marquee tent set up for a tent revival in rural Pennsylvania, 2008

Tent revivals, also known as tent meetings, are a gathering of Christian worshipers in a tent erected specifically for revival meetings, evangelism, and healing crusades. Tent revivals have had both local and national ministries.

The tent revival is generally a large tent or tents erected for a community gathering in which people gather to hear a preacher in hopes of healing, peace, forgiveness, etc. In the continental United States, from an administrative perspective tent revivals have ranged from small, locally based tents holding as few as a hundred people to large organizations with a fleet of trucks and tents able to hold thousands.

Most tent revivals in the U.S. have been held by Methodist Christians (inclusive of the holiness movement),[1] as well as Pentecostal Christians. Some tent meetings are ecumenical, with the participation of Christian preachers from different denominations.[2] As tent revivals are held outdoors, they have attracted people who after hearing the preaching undergo a conversion experience and join a local Christian church.[3] With radio and television playing an increasingly important part in American culture, some preachers such as Oral Roberts, a very successful tent revivalist, made the transition to these media. Such pioneers were the early televangelists. Other evangelists who have been noted for their continued use of tents in crusades include David Terrell,[4] R.W. Schambach, Reinhard Bonnke and J. A. Pérez.[5]

Practice by denomination[edit]

In Methodism (inclusive of the holiness movement), tent revivals occur at various parts of the year, especially in the summer, for preaching the doctrines of the New Birth (first work of grace) and Entire Sanctification (second work of grace).[6]

Among Baptists, preachers at tent revivals focus their sermons on the New Birth with those receiving it undergoing baptism.[7]

Cultural representations[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Winstead United Methodist Church plans tent revival". The Wilson Times. 23 April 2018. Retrieved 9 June 2018.
  2. ^ Tabler, Dave (18 July 2019). "That old-time Appalachian tent revival". Appalachian History. Retrieved 4 June 2021.
  3. ^ Sorensen, Karen (16 June 2010). "Faith: The rise and fall of tent revival church services". Taunton Daily Gazette. Retrieved 4 June 2021.
  4. ^ "Brother David Terrell". Archived from the original on 9 July 2012.
  5. ^ "Ja Perez association — Photos by Events HISTORY ARCHIVES". Archived from the original on 2014-11-13. Retrieved 2014-11-12.
  6. ^ Olson, Roger E. (2005). The SCM Press A-Z of Evangelical Theology. Hymns Ancient and Modern Ltd. p. 22. ISBN 978-0-334-04011-8.
  7. ^ Maynard, Mark (1 October 2019). "Riverfront tent revival brings 'holy chaos' as dozens come to Christ - Baptist Press". Baptist Press. Retrieved 4 June 2021.


  • Sims, Patsy. Can Somebody Shout Amen!: Inside the Tents and Tabernacles of American Revivalists. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1988. ISBN 0-8131-0886-1

External links[edit]