Lanphier was a 48-year-old businessman who began work as an urban missionary
for the North Dutch Reformed Church in July, 1857. Two days after Lanphier's
prayer meeting began, the Bank of Pennsylvania failed in Philadelphia,
sending shock waves through America's financial community. In a few days'
time, enough people were attending Lanphier's meetings that it began to
What impressed observers, and the press, was that there was no fanaticism,
hysteria, or objectionable behavior, only a moving impulse to pray. Little
preaching was done. As the people gathered they were largely silent; there
was a great overarching attitude of glorifying God.
“. . .the influence of the awakening was felt everywhere in the nation. It first captured great cities, but it also spread through every town and village and country hamlet. It swamped schools and colleges. It affected all classes without respect to condition . . . It seemed to many that the fruits of Pentecost had been repeated a thousand-fold . . . the number of conversions reported soon reached the total of fifty thousand weekly . . .”
Spiritual Awakenings in North America: Christian History, Issue 23, (Carol Stream, IL: Christianity Today, Inc.) 1997
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