Celebrating 125 Years of the God’s Revivalist

No history of the Holiness Movement is complete without mention of Martin Wells Knapp and his “pulpit” the God’s Revivalist and Bible Advocate. With a circulation of 20,000 at the turn of the last century, it has played a significant role in the promotion and spread of scriptural holiness. When Knapp launched the paper (then named The Revivalist) in 1888 his purpose was “to proclaim the good news of salvation, to stir up a revival spirit among Christians, [and] to stimulate Christian growth and responsible Christian living.” For 125 years the editors and staff of God’s Revivalist have sought to carry out his initial vision of a paper in which the good done would not be through “human might, nor power” but only through “the Holy Spirit.” Knapp realized, and we affirm, that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.

Knapp boldly proclaimed that he and the writers of this paper were only agents of God, committed to carrying out His work of promoting full salvation. He insisted that, should the paper die because of loyalty to these convictions it would be a “willing martyr.” Knapp’s belief in the power and providence of God’s provision for the Revivalist was sound. Only 12 years after Knapp launched God’s Revivalist, more than 50 holiness periodicals were in circulation across the United States. Today only one of those original publications remains in print. You are reading it.

As grateful as we are for 125 years of unbroken publication, we know that Knapp would have resisted the urge to engage in self-congratulation. All praise and honor belongs to the God who rules over all! Knapp frequently referred to the readers of his paper as “family” and this is a view we still share. So it is only right that we share with you, our family, some of what you can expect to see from the Revivalist in the coming years:

  1. A digital version of the magazine.
  2. Supplemental audio and video content.
  3. More special issues devoted to contemporary Christian living.
  4. An increased web and social media presence.

The Revivalist will, for years to come, be available in print. In the near future, however, we intend to offer the magazine in a format suitable to tablets, e-readers and smart phones. Already, the Revivalist Press has begun to issue, and re-issue, e-book versions of our most popular publications. We are firmly committed to upholding scriptural holiness to the coming generation of digital natives. We also intend to provide supplemental audio and video content via the web. In the immediate future you will begin to see a number of special issues devoted to single topics. These will, we pray, as Knapp promised “stimulate Christian growth and responsible Christian living.” All of these changes will mean an enlarged web and social media presence; changes we hope will increase the global impact and reach of this publication and its founding message, “Holiness Unto The Lord.”

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