Revival Stories

The Hebrides Revival of 1949-1952: Waves of God’s Presence (Part 2)

The Hebrides Revival of 1949 caught fire out of a prayer meeting in a barn, saturated by the impassioned prayers of Peggie and Christine Smith and sparked by deep personal conviction of sin and repentance. In the days that followed, the Smith sisters asked their minister Rev. MacKay to invite a Scottish preacher Rev. Duncan Campbell to the isle of Lewis. He initially declined because of a prior commitment. The Smith sisters felt confident that this was indeed God’s plan. Rev. Campbell himself felt God compelling him to re-arrange his schedule, and the preacher arrived in the port at Lewis 10 days later.

It took a whole day of travel by train and by steamer ship for Rev. Campbell to get to Lewis. The sun had already set when the church leaders met the weary preacher at the pier, and yet they encouraged him to come with them to deliver a message to the people that evening. He arrived at 8:45PM to over 300 men and women gathered at the parish. The message went well, with a strong sense of God’s presence in their midst, and by 10:45PM, Campbell dismissed the crowd with the final blessing.

However, one young man stayed behind to pray, still thirsty for more of the Lord. This young man turned his gaze to Heaven and prayed intently, “God, you cannot fail us. You promised to pour water upon the thirsty and floods upon the dry ground. You cannot fail us!” He then fell to his knees lost in prayer. Almost immediately, around 11PM, the local blacksmith burst through the church doors: “Mr. Campbell, something wonderful has happened! Oh, we were praying for God to pour water on the thirsty and floods upon dry ground, and listen... He’s done it!”

Just outside the doors, about 600 people were standing around, looking for what God would do next. Over 100 of them were young people who, faced with the sudden conviction to get right with God, fled a nearby dance hall to gather at the church. Hundreds of others who had already dressed down and retired to bed in their homes awakened at the nudging of the Spirit and headed straight to the parish. They gathered to worship in song outside the church doors, and then filed into the sanctuary, by now exceeding the 800 person capacity.When it finally wrapped up by 4AM, Rev. Campbell was alerted to the presence of over 400 new people that had arrived at the local police station. Many had arrived by bus in the dead of night. God had mysteriously drawn them there with a deep hunger for the Spirit. Campbell walked to the station, saw men on the road crying out to God, and he ministered as God led Him.

The Spirit of God would release a downpour of His manifest holiness and goodness into this town, the nearby villages, and throughout the region. Over 20,000 were saved in just the first 5 weeks of the revival, and many believers re-dedicated themselves to the Lord or went on to serve in full-time ministry in the next few years. What began with two faithful ladies pressing in by prayer resulted in history-making powerful waves of revival all throughout the Scottish islands.


1. What did you learn about how God prepares for a revival in the story about the Hebrides?

2. When have you ever witnessed this kind of spiritual hunger anywhere in your lifetime? What does spiritual hunger look like in your immediate community? In what area of your life is God stirring deep spiritual longing the most these days?

3. What powerful effects did the revival have upon the people in the Hebrides? What is keeping you from praying for similar things to happen in your city?

blog comments powered by Disqus