everyone, this is a very good synopsis from one of our leaders. Enjoy.
The congregation of Smithton Community Church had gathered for evening
services in the tiny Missouri farm town of Smithton, Missouri. It was March
24th, 1996, an air of uncertainty hung over the people who for two weeks had
been led by the pastor’s wife, Kathy Gray.
Pastor Steve Gray had left town, a broken man in search of more of God for
his own life. The stress of bitter criticism and rejection by some who had
been close friends had added to his disappointment and frustration of
preaching, teaching, and praying for revival for over twelve years. He had
done all he could do, and there had been a good measure of success.
The Smithton Community Church was a healthy congregation that filled the
church building. Yet, year after year for twelve years Pastor Steve Gray had
told his flock, which had grown from about a dozen people to around 180, that
revival was coming to the local church. He taught about revival and sought to
prepare the people for it, yet corporate revival had not come to the church.
No one could have known how much everything was about to change. God had been
working on the congregation in Smithton while He had been working on Pastor
Steve Gray in Pensacola. Both Steve and the congregation had experienced deep
changes of brokenness and a readiness to accept, without limitations,
whatever God would pour out from heaven.
Kathy Gray had been ministering powerfully to the congregation, challenging
them to press into the Lord with praise and dance. At the same time, Steve
was watching the powerful praise, worship, and dancing before the Lord in
Pensacola. The people were in place, and everything was set, like a stack of
kindling soaked in gasoline just waiting for a spark to ignite it.
The spark of ignition came on the evening of March 24, 1996. The congregation
had begun praising and worshiping with strength and excitement, seeking to
break through the darkness that was upon them. Kathy repeatedly checked her
watch as she anticipated the return of her husband. He had called and said he
was on the way home. Some of the people were gathered at the front of the
church praising the Lord with singing and dancing.
For the first time in his life, Eric Nuzum had been helping with praise and
worship during Steve’s absence. Tonight he was again leading praise and
worship as the congregation sang, “Who is like the Lord?” At 6:12 PM, Kathy
glanced at her watch as the door next to the platform opened and Steven J.
Gray started walking toward her to give her a hug.
In the middle of this simple act, before he even reached her, their whole
world changed in an instant. A bolt of spiritual life and power struck Steve
like lightening from heaven. He began to jump and shout and twirl, literally
supercharged with the life of God. Quickly the entire congregation rushed to
the front and was ignited with the same power, and nothing has ever been the
That was over five and one half years ago and the fire has never gone out as
attendance at the four to six weekly meetings have been visited by hundreds
of thousands, including people from every state and over 60 nations.
It is not uncommon for spiritual outpourings and revival to fade as the
people may grow weary as the romance of the fresh move of God wains. This is
not so with the Smithton Outpouring. The fire continued as God moved the
revival to Kansas City from the tiny town of Smithton, Missouri. Most of the
congregation left their homes and jobs and moved with the outpouring.
They were rewarded with a continuing growth and increasing fire on the new
property in Kansas City. Miracles increased as supernatural power surged
through the meetings. While past revival history might indicate that things
should be slowing down, this revival is continuing with fresh fire.
The intense commitment and effort of the Grays and the extreme sincerity of
the congregation have sustained the fire of God. They continually seek to
make a church that God wants to attend. The focus is never on pleasing the
people but rather on pleasing God and making an environment of praise, worship,
prayer and love as much like it is in heaven as possible.
The result is that God shows up and hearts and lives are miraculously
changed. Thousands of pastors come from all of the states and many nations of
the world to be healed and changed from the wounds and dead works of
religion. Many of them carry the fire of revival back to their churches and
the world is being touched from what began as small group of super intense
seekers touched by the fire of God.
To some who have seen some fleshly attempts at revival in the past, the
Smithton Outpouring seemed too good to be true. Some have mistakenly
attributed the awesome flow and work of God to just another fleshly attempt
at revival. Nothing could be further from the truth. This move of God may be
the purest outpouring of God among the most dedicated and committed group of
humble common people who have truly been touched by the fire of revival in
this day-- people who have abandoned everything else in life to experience
God and bring revival to our world.