About Me

Mendenhall, Mississippi, United States
Thomas Ray Floyd was born in 1953 in Simpson County, Mississippi, the son of Roy Thomas Floyd and Lina Sue Shows Floyd. Thomas Ray's mother was a member of a Primitive Baptist church, and he cut his teeth on the doctrines of distinguishing grace. Floyd has pastored churches in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Tennessee and until recently was pastor of a church plant known as "Particular Baptist Fellowship." He and his wife Brenda presently attend Zion Baptist Church at Polkville, Mississippi, pastored by Elder Glen Hopkins. The pulpit ministry of Zion Baptist Church can be heard at Sermonaudio.com.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Praying for Revival

(Article for publication week of 4-16- AD 2015)
"O LORD, I have heard Thy speech and was afraid: O LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy" (Habakkuk 3:2)
Considering that the Month of April is Confederate Heritage Month here in our dear State, I have been impressed to write this month on the great Revival in the Confederate Armies. My purpose is at least fourfold. First to give glory to God, as must be our first great end in all things. God gets glory in saving sinners and the records indicate that there were possibly as many as 150,000 hopeful conversions in the Confederate Armies during the War; secondly, to encourage the Remnant of truly saved among our Readers to pray for Revival and Spiritual Awakening in our day; thirdly, to urge the unconverted among our readers to seek the Lord while He may be found; and fourthly to vindicate and honour our forefathers who fought to defend their homes and families from a foreign invader. Most of the facts that I am giving you in this series of articles are drawn from two important books which every Southerner and every Christian should read. The first of these is "Christ in the Camp" written by Brother J William Jones who served as chaplain of the 13the Virginia Regiment. The second is "The Great Revival in the Southern Armies" written by Dr. William W. Bennett who was superintendent of the Soldier Tract Association.
One the first things that is noted by these two preachers is that the Great Revival was preceded by, and attended with much prayer, as is always true when God sends a revival. Our sovereign God is pleased to use prayer as a means of accomplishing His will (Philippians 1:19). The Southern Baptist Convention in 1863 adopted these resolutions: "Resolved, That it is the sense of this body, that the field opened in our Army for pious labour is one of the most important that can be opened at present; and that the Providence of God calls loudly on His people to make prompt and vigourous efforts to secure the services of chaplains, and to send forth missionaries and colporters into the field. Resolved, That the pastors of our churches be, and are hereby, earnestly requested to bring this subject prominently and frequently to the attention of their people; and also the duty of constant supplication of the Divine Blessing upon such labours among our soldiers, that we may be obedient to the sacred commandment, 'whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.' " Prayers went up from the churches back home not only for physical safety, but for the salvation of souls.
Next to be noted is the prayer meetings that began to be held in the camps often led by the many Christian officers in the Confederate Armies. The piety of men like General Robert E Lee who professed, "I am but a poor sinner trusting in Christ Alone," and General Stonewall Jackson who was always praying, and was instrumental in the conversion of General Ewell is well known. But there were many other Christian officers in the Confederate Armies. Brother Jones relates this concerning General John B. Gordon of Georgia; "He was accustomed to lead prayer-meetings in his command, and during seasons of special revival I have heard him, with eloquent words and tearful eyes, make appeals to his men to come to Christ, and have seen him go off into the woods with his arms about some ragged private, that he might point him to the "Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world.' " But one of the most wonderful accounts of prayer that Brother Jones relates in his book is an account of some slaves on a plantation in Texas holding a prayer meeting and praying for their master who had gone to the War.
The Great Revival Among the Confederate Armies was, like all revival preceded by and attended with much prayer. Once again I urge the Remnant among our readers to unite in fervent prayer for genuine revival that saints may be refreshed and strengthened, that sinners might be converted, that backsliders may be reclaimed, and that false professors (especially lost preachers) might be saved. "O Lord, revive Thy work in the midst of the years."

Sunday, April 5, 2015

A Great Revival

(Article for publication week of 4-9- AD 2015)
 
"Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favour her, yea, the set time is come" (Psalm 102:13).
The Lord has put it upon my heart to write this month on the Christian significance of the War for Southern Independence since April is Confederate Heritage Month here in the Sovereign State of Mississippi. Lord willing, next month we shall resume our series on the doctrine of sanctification.
Sadly, it is little known that during the War there was a great Revival in the Confederate Army. Ignorance of this historical fact is not because of insufficient information and data, for it has been well documented. For example, Pastor J. William Jones, who was one of the preachers that the Lord used in the revival wrote a wonderful account of this mighty work of God's grace in his book, "Christ in the Camp." I highly recommend this book to you, and will gladly lend you my copy if you are not able to obtain one yourself. Pastor Jones related that thousands of Confederate soldiers were converted, especially during the last two years of the War. The Revival was especially notable, and perhaps began in the Army of Northern Virginia, commanded by Gen. Robert E. Lee, although it was not limited to that army.
First of all, from all accounts the work was a genuine revival. Now, none of us have seen a genuine revival in our part of the world in our lifetime. We have had many "protracted meetings" that were advertised as "revivals," but that is not genuine revival. True revival is a work of God, not of men. It cannot be worked up, but must be prayed down. The meetings that have been styled as "revivals" in our day, in our part of the world have sometimes generated some excitement, but when they were over the people went back to their old ways and never evidenced any lasting change that is the evidence of true conversion. True revival is a work of God's sovereign grace when He is pleased to convert multitudes, and further sanctify them to live holy lives. There were thousands of Southern men who left home unconverted, who returned as devout Christians. Pastor Jones relates in the latter part of "Christ in the Camp" that he followed up with pastors and churches all over the South after the War and the report was that generally the men who professed Christ during the War continued to walk with Him after they got home. Thousands more were converted, but never returned to their earthly home, but were called up to their home in heaven.
Pastor Jones and others relate that life in the Confederate armies was typical of life in most armies in the early days of the War. There was much drinking, swearing and worldly and frivolous amusements like fiddling and card playing. But through faithful preaching, earnest prayer and Godly Examples, multitudes began to take seriously the state of their never-dying souls and began to seek salvation in Christ. Of course many of the new converts died in battle and never returned home, but many did live to return home and served faithfully in their churches the rest of their lives. The South is still known as the "Bible Belt" as a result of the Great Revival and the influence that the men of the South had upon their churches, families and communities. Sadly, we are now the "Bible Belt" in name only because we have forsaken the gospel of our Fathers and our Mothers. I urge the Remnant among our readers to pray for God's set time when He shall favour Zion again with a Great Revival in the South. There is little hope for us unless He is pleased so to do.