WATERLOO, Iowa --- Pastor Morris Anderson of New Hope Baptist Church has faith his city is due for a "great awakening."
Anderson and a handful of area pastors invited Florida ministers who are well known in some Pentecostal, Word of Faith and non-denominational circles, to lead the way through teaching, preaching and street evangelism.
Evangelism workshops and services are planned Sunday through June 8 at New Hope Baptist Church, 710 Broadway Ave. in Waterloo. An afternoon block party is planned for June 1 at West Second and Allen streets.
"We are expecting a mighty move of God to affect this city," Anderson said.
Historically, the Great Awakening refers to waves of religious revival in America led by evangelical Protestant ministers. More recently, Revival Ministries International and The River Church at Tampa Bay uses the phrase, the Great Awakening, to refer to its intense and ongoing revival and evangelistic ministries, which air on the Christian Television Network.
Revival Ministries and The River Church founders Rodney and Adonica Howard-Browne, both of South Africa and now living in the United States, will take the Great Awakening on tour to Waterloo. Other visiting pastors include Eric and Jennifer Gonyon and Daniel McGehee. About two dozen out-of-town pastors and staff will be in town to guide Waterloo's revival alongside area pastors and their flocks.
New Hope Church partnered primarily with the Waterloo Worship Center and Calvary Christian Center to prepare for the event. In February, Anderson traveled to Florida for training. Waterloo churches also held joint unity services for months and set aside dollars and donations. Local organizers also worked with lay minister Roger Pope, formerly of Florida, now of Belle Plaine, to connect with the Great Awakening.
New Hope Baptist is no stranger to street ministry. The church regularly holds outdoor services and invites the east Waterloo neighborhood to block parties and donates to people in need.
"We've always had a passion to make an impact in the neighborhood," Anderson said. "What we were missing was the soul-winning part."
Anderson believes if more people learn of God's love and decide to follow Jesus, Waterloo will see less crime and violence. The June 1 block party at 4 p.m. is strategically located at West Second and Allen streets, a west-side neighborhood prone to gun violence, Anderson said. Organizers plan to share the gospel and try to win converts. They will also donate free food, clothing, gas and gift cards, bikes and electronics, and will offer to pay bills.
Pastor Kevin McBride of the Waterloo Worship Center said many members of his congregation plan to participate. He is excited to learn from pastors involved in what he hears has been an effective ministry.
"I think probably the way they are reaching out in their community and making such a huge difference that crime rates are even dropping," McBride said. "They are telling people the good news of Jesus and giving a lot of people who feel hopeless hope," McBride said.
Nightly services are planned Sunday through June 7 at 7 p.m. at New Hope Church, except June 1. Evangelism trainings are planned on weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon, followed by community outreach from noon to 4:30 p.m.
For more information or to confirm the schedule, call New Hope Church at (319) 233-7664.