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Cumberlands alumnus, assistant pastor Forrest Coleman, speaks at FCA youth Revival


Williamsburg, Ky. - Forrest Coleman, University of the Cumberlands (UC) alumnus and assistant pastor and youth minister of First Baptist Church (FBC) of Somerset, spoke to hundreds of students at a youth revival that began on April 11, 2012. The revival services were hosted by FBC of Somerset and sponsored by the Southeast Kentucky Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Although the event was scheduled to end on April 15, a strong response from students in the area prompted the services to continue for over 20 nights. The revival ended May 3.

Coleman joined other speakers, including Pastor Greg Locke of Global Vision Baptist Church in Mount Juliet, Tn., Nate Carr, former 1988 Olympic freestyle wrestler, and Pastor Steve Ayers of Hillvue Heights Baptist Church.


Coleman spoke from the third chapter of Revelation, encouraging students to “be on fire for God.” He was agreeably surprised by the response from the students attending the revival.

“It was unbelievable. Literally every night the altar was filled with students,” Coleman said, “I’ve never seen anything like it in my life. Hundreds of students each night were praying and receiving Christ and praying for their friends to receive Christ, literally every night. It was wild!”

This revival was the first to be sponsored by the Southeast Kentucky FCA. The idea for the event actually began among a few Pulaski County High School students. These students participated in a Chysalis weekend in London, Ky. as well as a revival in McCreary County, Ky. last year, and through those experiences, they became interested in holding a revival in their own community. These students began faithfully meeting and praying about the revival. Last month’s event was the result of almost a year’s worth of planning. According to Coleman, the students decided to partner with the Southeast Kentucky FCA because of the organizations non-denominational practices. Area director for the Southeast Kentucky FCA, Greg Gover witnessed these students’ determination in organizing the revival.

“Any move of God is usually appreciated by prayer, and so they just got together and started meeting about it. They met ever Sunday evening at 8 o’clock at one of the FCA member’s house. They were very thankful to pray and meet together and to really seek God in this. They were just hungry for it. They wanted to see a lot of their classmates reach for Christ,” Gover said.

The revival was initially held in the old sanctuary at FBC of Somerset, a facility that can seat up to 500 people; however, by the fourth night, the event was moved to the church’s newer sanctuary to accommodate the event’s escalating attendance.

“The revival started with 300 guests, and then on the last scheduled day, April 15, it was apparent that the revival was not over; it was just getting started,” Coleman said. According to Coleman, attendance reached as high as 1,200 students.

“Basically for 24 days straight, an average of about 700 youth gathered together and worshiped. One hundred students received Christ and hundreds of others made decisions for Christ—rededicated their lives,” Coleman said with excitement.

Sixty-five churches and three local high schools were represented at the revival. Due to the rise in attendance, the FCA began to continue the revival three days at time.

“So as long as students were still coming and kids were getting saved, they extended it three more days. It was pretty unbelievable,” Coleman said; “Honestly I was in awe of the Lord and of His power. Most of all, I was just excited to see this awesome work of God. I love seeing kids come to Christ.”

Coleman also works with The Source, FBC’s college ministry which includes students from ages 18-35. Over the years he has worked in ministry, Coleman has witnessed the impact that God can have upon an individual. His personal faith has been significant within his own life.

“When you meet Jesus you are never the same. He comes into your life and it’s so personal. Jesus, He’s your friend. He’s with you. You know that He’s there. These students at the revival met Christ and their lives were changed radically,” Coleman said sincerely; “You can’t imagine what it is like, and they just wanted their friends to have the exact same thing.”

Sunday, May 27, FBC of Somerset will host a “finally rally” for last month’s revival as a precursor for other revivals that will take place in Southeastern Ky. Uncaged Lion, the band that played for most of the Somerset revival, will play at a revival in Pineville, Ky. that is tentatively scheduled for the last week in May. Revival is also expected to begin in Casey County sometime near the end of August.

“Some of the students from Casey County are going to be here Sunday night, and our students are going to kind of pass the torch of revival, so to speak, over to them,” Coleman said.

Coleman also spoke of the FCA’s efforts that have already begun in Casey County.

“It’s pretty cool because a couple of weeks ago one of the FCA guys went over to Casey County and shared the gospel in the school system, and 40 students came to Christ. The principal of the school was passing out commitment cards,” Coleman said, “I’m excited to see what God does in Casey County and in other counties. We might just have a full movement of the Lord.”

Located in Williamsburg, KY, University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees in more than 40 major fields of study; nine pre-professional programs; seven graduate degrees, including a doctorate and six master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs.

Article Provided by Kristin Gotch, University of the Cumberlands Multimedia & Athletic Services Student Assistant