In ‘Coal Country Revival,’ 4000 gave their lives to Christ


By Mark Ellis —

West Virginia revival meeting
West Virginia revival meeting

In the small towns that dot the mountainous coal region of West Virginia, a revival that began in early April brought 4,000 souls to Christ over eight weeks.

“My life has gone back to normal,” says Bo Copley, the unemployed coal miner who had a brief encounter with Hillary Clinton when she visited Williamson. Copley, his wife, and their children, have attended almost every event connected with the revival over the last two months.

He says the number of people saved exceeds the population of the two small towns at the epicenter of God’s move of the Spirit. “The population of Delbarton is about 500 and Williamson is about 3000, so in eight weeks time, the two main places saw more people get saved than the population of the two towns,” he says.

Williamson, West Virgina (Dewitz Photography)
Williamson, West Virgina (Dewitz Photography)

This is possible because many were drawn from surrounding counties and even other states. Some residents in the area put their vacations on hold so they could be part of what God was doing.

“You still people hungry for God,” he says. “The people who experienced it know it’s about our hunger for Christ. As long as we keep fanning the flame the fire won’t die down. We don’t want it to have an end.”

When Copley was unable to attend personally, he watched the revival meetings via LiveStream. “Someone in our house has been to every event,” he says.

Copley has seen the fruit of the revival in his own life. “I’ve begun to praise the Lord more passionately. I’ve drawn closer, in my attendance, my worship, my praise.”

“I don’t want to leave anything on the table any more,” he adds.

Bo Copley speaks to the media after a campaign event for U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in Williamson, West Virginia, United States, May 2, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Young
Bo Copley speaks to the media after a campaign event for U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in Williamson, West Virginia, United States, May 2, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Young

After he was laid off at the mine, Copley’s family has relied on his wife’s photography business to support them. He is still seeking work. “I’ve had a few job offers, but they are not what the Lord has for me,” he says.

Matt Hartley, the Tennessee evangelist who was God’s instrument to spark revival, has taken a break for a few weeks. “He was exhausted,” says Sonya Hackney, at Regional Church of God. “Nobody thought when we scheduled him for three days that he would be here for eight weeks.”

Hackney says Pastor Hartley is scheduled to preach in mid-August at Jefferson Avenue Church of God in Huntington, West Virginia, close to the border with Ohio.

Ralph and Elizabeth Pyszkowski at Williamson Church of God were regular participants in the revival and noted the profound effects, particularly among young people, in a column they wrote for the Williamson Daily News.

Many baptisms took place at the revival meetings (Charlee Lifestyle Photography)
Many baptisms took place at the revival meetings (Charlee Lifestyle Photography)

“In Logan County Schools, a young cancer survivor felt stirred to preach to others in the hallway. Students filled the hallway to hear the message and some even made decisions to follow Christ,” they recounted.

“Also in Mingo County, prayer clubs are seeing higher crowds and people are giving their lives to God. Over 150 students were saved in just one high school. There seems to be a wide spread movement in southern West Virginia and even in some Kentucky schools. It can only mean that God still answers prayers and has a plan for our region,” they noted.

Prior to the revival, the “war on coal” produced a devastated and suffering economic climate. “There have been feelings of hopelessness with a declining economy and many families destroyed by drugs.”

“Coal Country is ripe for revival and our only hope is in God.”

“The greatest high a person can receive is surrendering his or her heart to Jesus Christ. It doesn’t matter if the

Ralph and Elizabeth
Ralph and Elizabeth

movement comes through the Presbyterians, Baptists, or Pentecostals, all can agree that we need God in our area.

The Pyszkowskis identify God’s process for change contained in 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

“True revival takes place when addicts throw their needles and drug paraphernalia away. It is when churches stop competing and start working together to build the Kingdom of Heaven. Most importantly, it is when a lost soul finds purpose in an all powerful, all loving God. Follow the steps in 2 Chronicles if you want to see God move in your life and neighborhood. God is answering the prayers of many in the Appalachian Mountains!”


  1. W VA is the breakthrough state. Pray for FL to follow. We are forerunner state. We continue to praise for you!

  2. I love the fact that there is no emphasis on crazy stuff, just plain gospel of Christ, Holy Spirit working, revival! I’ve been praying seriously for revival for several years and I’m thrilled to see it begin in W. Virginia. May God help us all across the fruited plains to get down on our knees and pray for a genuine spirit of repentance and humility before God before it’s too late. Thanks for sharing this article! Let’s pray the revival makes it all the way out west to California where I live! I believe God is working! We need it!

  3. HALLELUJAH! May the Fire of God’s love blaze across America and let us humble ourselves before Him and cry out our need of Him in Jesus Name Amen

    • We have sparked a flame but it’s just the beginning,we need others to build the fire not only here but in neighboring states and across the country,so please pray without ceasing and compell others to do so and watch God move,may the blessings of God be with you all.

  4. I rejoice with you and the angels in heaven. Let no man take the glory and don’t look to man only Jesus, and the power of His Holy Spirit.

  5. I haven’t read anything that makes me any happier for more than a few reasons. First, our Lord deserves all the honor and glory for sure. Also, for WV to have something or should I say someone to give thanks for and to depend upon, I can’t think of anything better than our Lord. He gave us the only gift that lasts forever, not just a few days or weeks. May His Holy Spirit fill the “hollers” and the hills and praying that many more souls will be saved. Thanks be to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and his precious blood shed for our sins………Logan area was like a sister coal town to Coalwood WV where I grew up….So this is so very special to hear the good news…..RL

  6. Share the “Good News” – Pray For America – Trust God in all things. God is not finished with America! And whatever happens find victory in every situation.

  7. Praise God!!!! We are believing for the same thing to happen to the villages here in Ukraine!

    • If MY people … Let the whole nation awaken to the fact that our country needs GOD! Call on the Almighty God for Repentance and Revival everywhere. I will pour out my Spirit, says the Lord.

  8. Praise God! He is our only salvation and through his son Jesus Christ are we saved! I pray America will wake up and see that he is our ONLY hope.

  9. Politically , socially,economically and spiritually our nation is in dire straits and needs to repent and turn to God. Praise God for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in West Virgina. May revival spread to Atlanta and throughout the US…local pastor

  10. May all true Jesus followers continue to contend in prayer for this kind of movement to happen in communities all across America.

  11. Just look at the hunger for revival represented here in these comments . . . keep praying. Holy Spirit, may You find a resting place and abide with us, your people, this year.

  12. We need this kind of revial in N.C . people here have become lazy. They put everything before God. They need spiritual wake up. My pastor Dale Forbes i awesome pastor. This is his heart desire also. We at New Day church are praying for this revial also. We want to see God move this way in our area

  13. Revival starts with……….you. YOU: on your knees in prayer before God. YOU: in humility, willing to crucify the flesh and be willing to be obedient to His Word. YOU: willing to have Jesus change your life. YOU: allowing Him to sanctify (separate) you from the world and the things of the world. YOU: willing, at any cost, to preach, teach and testify of the Scriptures.

    Read the history of the great revivals of time past: Evan Roberts, George and Stephen Jeffreys, Edward Jeffreys (Stephen’s son), Stanley Frodsham, Smith Wigglesworth, T.B. Barratt, and in our day, B.H. Glendennen–all men of faith and revival– all men that answered the call and were willing to let go and let God…

    In the early days, revival lasted 24\7 for weeks on end. They had the “mourner’s bench.” They had the sawdust filled aisles under the tents. They also had the “brush arbors” with small benches outside, where the preacher would preach for hours, holding people captive with the Word of God by the anointing of the Holy Ghost to the point that the attendees did not want to go home, until they made their peace with God. They didn’t fill up the time with “7-11” songs (seven songs sung eleven times); most times they didn’t even sing because as soon as the preacher started preaching, the Spirit of God would come down upon the congregation and the preacher would leave the platform in order to let God do His work…God didn’t and doesn’t need a man–He’s been in the convicting and salvation business for thousands of years. THAT is revival!

    Right up until the mid-1980’s it was like that…until the world moved into the church, or should I say the church allowed the world to move in, and then it’s never been the same. It is now the age of great apostasy. It is now the age of complacency. It is indeed the age of spiritual darkness, where mankind does not want God involved in his life, nor does he want Him to convict him of his sins.

    Men LOVE the darkness because their deeds are evil. They love to hear only what they want to hear–the Scripture that speaks about having “itching ears” is fulfilled today. Everything is accepted today and we as Christians are quickly becoming a minority group.

    How can we change that? By prayer. By fasting and by seeking Jesus Christ, our Savior with our whole heart. Revival starts with one obedient person. Read the Bible: John the Baptist. Paul, Peter and the other apostles. They set the world on fire, one person at a time. It’s not done by singing, it’s done by REPENTING AND PRAYING.

    Keep the fire going, West Virginia, but in order to do that, you have to keep sin out of your life. It has to be a permanent change, not just for a few weeks or months, but permanent. Revival should carry you until the day you pass from this life or until Jesus comes back at the Rapture.

    And before anyone criticizes what I’ve written, I am a born-again, on fire, Holy Ghost baptized Christian since 1973 and have lived through the last great revival, which was in that time frame, so I believe I know whereof I speak.

  14. Praise God, the Lord has not given up on America just yet. I put up a website, November 2014, that proposes a Plan to put the Bible and Creation back into our Schools and Government. Very simple, form Volunteer Groups in every County across America, 3,144, learn the Facts of Creation and the Fraud of Evolution and attend every School Broad meeting until the Bible and Creation are back in our Schools.
    It does not cost much to go across Town or County to a School Broad Meeting. If 10,000,000 Bible Believing Christians will stand up and get involved in saving America millions more will follow. The wicked have stolen America by indoctrinating our Children with the false science of Evolution. Millions know it, but what do we do about it?
    I talk to People of all types where ever I go and I believe 75% will almost immediately agree we need to do that, but we are stuck without a Plan. There are many groups that are doing a great job of publishing the incredible facts of Creation and the impossibility of Evolution, which is great but we will only win this War of Words in the Public Domain.
    I was the leader of a Property Rights group for several years, testified before Congress 8 times, spoke to all sorts of groups from New Orleans to Minneapolis, Kansas City to Chicago and I learned the primary talent of Politicians is counting Votes. Therefore, we must get out of the Church House and into the Public Domain. America’s Children are being denied the Truth of how America was born in the Church House and grew up into the greatest nation on earth because they followed our Creator as he built this One Nation Under God.
    Go to the Website, read what I have written, learn what I’m about. If you think this Plan can get the job done start a Volunteer Group in your County. We need 3 Leaders in each County. Tell everybody you know across America and post your name, email and phone on the Contact Page so anybody can find their County’s Leaders. We do not need a large national organization with an Executive Director we can get this done on the County level. Who is the ACLU going to bring a Lawsuit against, every County in America?
    Our Christian Fathers established America from the Church Congregation level and by teaching their Children in the Public Schools the Bible and Creation. We can do the same, but we must become strong in the political arena. 20,000,00 will get their attention. We have a Candidate who has promised to repeal the Johnson Amendment that stole the Pulpits 1st Amendment Rights. There are 1,000’s of Preachers who are anxious to lead America back to our Constitution and away from “common law” that has been formed by Godless Judges. The time is now or never get your Volunteer Groups formed, start meeting and learning, but do not start attending School Broad Meetings until we have substantial numbers across the Country. I think it would be wise to wait until our new President is Inaugurated and the Department of Justice is under new leadership.
    I have written a book, “Come Back America” and a song, God Bless the USA Again”, see the store page

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