Multi-church revival brings encouragement to Kentucky Baptists


RATCLIFF, Ky. (KT) – A multi-church revival at Kentucky's Stithton Baptist Church lifted spirits, brought people to the altar to pray and swept up 30 youth to become new believers in Jesus last week.

“I’ve been pastoring 45 years and back in the late 70s and early 80s I saw the crowds grow but nothing like this,” said Steve Hill, the pastor at Little Clifty Baptist Church. “It got bigger and bigger every night. It was so refreshing. Pastors were encouraged, people were encouraged … it’s a shot in the arm for us.”

While many churches abandoned having revivals, especially since the pandemic four years ago, those participating in this revival will remember it for a long time, Hill said.

Churches in the Lincoln Association of Baptists were mostly the ones involved.

Fred Luter Jr. of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans spoke on the last day of the revival and more than 150 came to the altar to pray.

Hill said he took a group to New Orleans during Hurricane Ida in 2021 and worked at Franklin Avenue. Luter told him that he would be happy to come and preach in Kentucky anytime as a thank you for the work that was done.

“I got together with some pastors and asked about having a multi-church revival,” Hill said. “They were willing and we were thankful that Sithton Baptist could hold it because they have the biggest sanctuary.

Denver Copeland, the pastor at Sithton, was happy to oblige. He said the sanctuary could hold about 1,000 and the total attendance for the four services – Sunday night through Wednesday night – probably surpassed 1,200, he said. “I’d say that would be pretty close.”

“Crowds pretty much grew every night and we had 30 decisions to follow Christ on youth night,” Copeland said. “It was very uplifting with pastors (from the area) being together. Not only that but the people in the churches seem to be more open to fellowship with each other. It was a good time.”

The music was provided by different churches and Jason “Bubba” Stewart, the music consultant for the Kentucky Baptist Convention, came one night.

Hill said the first night of the revival the crowd was looking to sit where their church happened to be sitting but by the end of the revival, they were sitting together.

“It was such sweet fellowship,” he said.

Copeland agreed with Hill, saying “it was one of the first times where we had things and people let their hair down, so to speak.”

He said it showed that revivals could make a comeback. “I think we were almost afraid of it,” he said. “Kind of like we quit talking about the Holy Spirit years ago even though He’s the one that is leading us.”

Both pastors said the multi-church approach seemed to work well and kept the crowds coming in big numbers, including young people.


This story first appeared in Kentucky Today.