James A. Harding’s “Successful Revival” in Nashville

In 1889, James A. Harding conducted an eight week meeting in Nashville, Tennessee.  A total of 123 would be immersed over the eight weeks. Here is the Daily American‘s account of the meeting (August 9, 1889).

Successful Revival

Rev. James A. Harding Pleading for Christ.

The Tent Meeting in Edgefield and Its Progress

Eighty-Seven Conversions and the Interest Continually Increasing–A Gold Harvest

The tent meeting of the North Edgefield Christian Church is now closing its seventh week. Interest in the revival has been constantly growing. All the neighborhood is thoroughly aroused, and large crowds come from other parts of the city,especially from the South Nashville and Woodland street churches.

The tent contains 500 chairs, but the audiences far exceed its capacity. There were 800 last Sunday night. Other denominations are taking part with enthusiasm. There have been 87 accessions to the church, eight professing the faith on Wednesday night.

It is a Grand Harvest

for the Christian Church. At all times wisely conservative, they have nevertheless braved public comment to carry the true gospel into this hitherto uncultivated field. As a result a substantial and handsome brick building has been erected on the same lot with the tent. A mission has been established there for several years, but this is its first meeting of any importance. Rev. J. C. McQuiddy is in charge.

The audience last night was composed of ladies for the most part. Rev. R. Lin Cave and Elders Corbin and Hall were in the pulpit. The minister’s text was Paul’s definition of faith. He treated it in a dispassionate, analytical manner, striving evidently to clearly expound the Apostle’s meaning. He was listened to with the most interested attention. There was one conversion.

Rev. James A. Harding

of Winchester, Ky., has been laboring in this city for some time. The morning meetings, with which the revival was begun, have been discontinued so that he could supervise the publication of his recent controversy with Rev. Mr. Moody in South Nashville. His health is declining under the severe strain, but he intends to continue so long as there is the lest interest manifested. He has covered very nearly the whole ground of Christian faith and duty.

His Preaching

is eminently thorough, plan and practical. His winning points are his earnestness and his perseverance. He is superior to most revivalists in the fact that he is never discouraged. The titles of some of his best sermons are as follows: The True Vine and the Branches, Will Christ Come Again? If So, When and How?, Heaven, The Eunuch’s  Conversion, The Conversion of Saul, and the Christian’s Armor. The common verdict is that his success is most wonderful.

JMH Comment Begins

The sermons on the Second Coming and Heaven are interesting in that his views on both of those points are rather unusual for contemporary Churches of Christ.  His view of the second coming was premillennial and his view of heaven was a renewed earth.  I only wish we had the transcripts of some of those sermons.

The North Edgefield congregation began meeting in 1887 under the preaching of Elder T. J. Stevenson, M.D. as a mission of the Woodland Street church.  J. C. McQuiddy began preaching at the church in 1889–a graduate of Mars Hill  Academy in Florence and office editor of the Gospel Advocate.  The building was dedicated in December 1889 and housed a congregation of about 200 (115 of whom were baptized in this meeting). — This data comes from an article in the Daily American (January 26, 1890).

The debate with J.B. Moody, held in the Central Baptist Church where up to 2000 attended, began on May 27, 1889 and extended for sixteen days.

One Response to “James A. Harding’s “Successful Revival” in Nashville”

  1.   hansjosefrollmann Says:

    George Augustus Lofton (1839-1914) was the moderator for Moody while David Lipscomb was Harding’s man. Lofton, a prominent Baptist preacher, published 12 books and held multiple honorary degrees, including one from Nashville University.

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