How the Welsh revival came to Scandinavia

I recently came across this fascinating post that shows how, in the age of decent travel options, people have always travelled to see what God has been doing and in some ways import/export it.

In 1904-5 Wales experienced its famous revival and it wasn’t long before its impact was felt in Scandinavia and perhaps most keenly felt in Norway. TB Barratt and Albert Lunde connected with Evan Roberts and were baptised in the Spirit. Alexander Boddy invited Barratt from Norway to England and the Pentecostal revival came to Britain.

The wonderfully named Ephrain Sandblom was instrumental in bringing the revival to Sweden and I love this account from a town called Södertälje (just 30km south of Stockholm) in 1905

If you had been there, you would not have felt it otherwise than by you in Wales. At two of the meetings (or three) there was such praying and praising as we never have seen here. Scores of men and women consecrated themselves to Christ, and many received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. There were men and women of our highest society, from the sons of the king, the highest officers in our army, noblemen, ministers in the State Church, and of every denomination, men and women in every position in life, rich and poor, educated and uneducated – all kneeling together in prayer and praise in one spirit. Oh! It was quite marvellous! We scarcely could go to bed for joy.

It would be quite something for that to happen again.

The more significant figure for the Swedish free church was Lewi Pethrus.

In Sweden the key figure here was Lewi Pethrus (1884-1974), who as a young Baptist co-pastor in Arendal had spontaneously experienced speaking in tongues even before 1905, though at the time he did not understand what had happened to him.  He joined the Pentecostal movement in 1907 after meeting T B Barratt, and it was only then that he understood the doctrine of the Baptism of the Spirit and the experience of speaking in tongues. He said ‘From that moment I was part of the Pentecostal Revival.’ He later became its leading figure in Sweden, after he was expelled from the Baptist church in 1911 over the tongues issue, and started his own Pentecostal congregation, called Filadelfia.

Today the Pentecostal denomination in Sweden is one of the larger free church denominations in Sweden and Filadelfia (the church Pethrus started) remains one of Stockholm’s largest churches.

The whole post is worth reading.

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