Revival meeting
A revival meeting is a series of Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

 services held in order to inspire active members of a church body
Christian Church
The Christian Church is the assembly or association of followers of Jesus Christ. The Greek term ἐκκλησία that in its appearances in the New Testament is usually translated as "church" basically means "assembly"...

, to raise funds and to gain new converts
Conversion to Christianity
Conversion to Christianity is the religious conversion of a previously non-Christian person to some form of Christianity. It has been called the foundational experience of Christian life...

. These meetings are often conducted by members of American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 Protestant churches and those educated or influenced by them; missionary
A missionary is a member of a religious group sent into an area to do evangelism or ministries of service, such as education, literacy, social justice, health care and economic development. The word "mission" originates from 1598 when the Jesuits sent members abroad, derived from the Latin...

 works of such churches often conduct revivals in Africa and India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...


Generally speaking, a revival meeting consists of several consecutive nights of services conducted at the same time and location each night, most often the building belonging to the sponsoring congregation but sometimes a rented secular assembly hall, for more adequate space, to provide a setting that is more comfortable for non-Christians, or to reach a community where there are no churches. Tent
A tent is a shelter consisting of sheets of fabric or other material draped over or attached to a frame of poles or attached to a supporting rope. While smaller tents may be free-standing or attached to the ground, large tents are usually anchored using guy ropes tied to stakes or tent pegs...

s were very frequently employed in this effort in the recent past, and occasionally still are, but less so due to the difficulties in heating and cooling them and otherwise making them comfortable, an increasing consideration with modern audiences.

The length of such meetings varies. Until the last quarter-century they were frequently a week or more in duration, especially in the Southern United States
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

. Currently three or four days is more typical, although occasionally some are still held, especially in Pentecostal groups, "according to Holy Spirit
Holy Spirit
Holy Spirit is a term introduced in English translations of the Hebrew Bible, but understood differently in the main Abrahamic religions.While the general concept of a "Spirit" that permeates the cosmos has been used in various religions Holy Spirit is a term introduced in English translations of...

 time", that is until the visible results seem to slow or stop and attendance dwindles.

Most groups holding revival meetings tend to be of a conservative
Conservatism is a political and social philosophy that promotes the maintenance of traditional institutions and supports, at the most, minimal and gradual change in society. Some conservatives seek to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity, while others oppose modernism...

 or fundamentalist nature, although the phenomenon is far from unheard of in other Mainline groups, which used to conduct them with a far greater frequency and fervor in some instances than is now fashionable. Similar events may be referred to as "crusades", especially when a particularly noted speaker like Billy Graham
Billy Graham
William Franklin "Billy" Graham, Jr. is an American evangelical Christian evangelist. As of April 25, 2010, when he met with Barack Obama, Graham has spent personal time with twelve United States Presidents dating back to Harry S. Truman, and is number seven on Gallup's list of admired people for...

 or Oral Roberts
Oral Roberts
Granville "Oral" Roberts was an American Pentecostal televangelist and a Christian charismatic. He founded the Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association and Oral Roberts University....

 is involved.

In the Churches of Christ such events are almost invariably referred to as gospel meetings rather than revival meetings. This group is one of the most likely to conduct such events in the 21st century. For the most part, aside from the large, spectacular "crusades", most American Protestant groups other than Baptists and Pentecostals
Pentecostalism is a diverse and complex movement within Christianity that places special emphasis on a direct personal experience of God through the baptism in the Holy Spirit, has an eschatological focus, and is an experiential religion. The term Pentecostal is derived from Pentecost, the Greek...

 have become less active in holding revival meetings in recent years, but some of the vacuum has been filled by similar activities hosted by nondenominational community churches, most of which are conservative in theology
Theology is the systematic and rational study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truths, or the learned profession acquired by completing specialized training in religious studies, usually at a university or school of divinity or seminary.-Definition:Augustine of Hippo...

. Many revivals are attempts to catch much of the flavor and fervor of the camp meeting
Camp meeting
The camp meeting is a form of Protestant Christian religious service originating in Britain and once common in some parts of the United States, wherein people would travel from a large area to a particular site to camp out, listen to itinerant preachers, and pray...

 without exposing their participants to the physical rigors of such an experience.

In cinema

This movement has been portrayed by director Richard Brooks
Richard Brooks
Richard Brooks was an American screenwriter, film director, novelist and occasional film producer.-Early life and career:...

 in his 1960
1960 in film
The year 1960 in film involved some significant events, with Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho the top-grossing release in the U.S.-Events:* April 20 - for the first time since coming home from military service in Germany, Elvis Presley returns to Hollywood, California to film G.I...

 film Elmer Gantry
Elmer Gantry (film)
Elmer Gantry is a 1960 drama film about a con man and a female evangelist selling religion to small town America. Adapted by director Richard Brooks, the film is based on the 1927 novel of the same name by Sinclair Lewis and stars Burt Lancaster and Jean Simmons.Lancaster won an Academy Award for...

with Burt Lancaster
Burt Lancaster
Burton Stephen "Burt" Lancaster was an American film actor noted for his athletic physique and distinctive smile...

 (who received the Academy Award for this film) and Jean Simmons
Jean Simmons
Jean Merilyn Simmons, OBE was an English actress. She appeared predominantly in motion pictures, beginning with films made in Great Britain during and after World War II – she was one of J...

, adapted from Sinclair Lewis
Sinclair Lewis
Harry Sinclair Lewis was an American novelist, short-story writer, and playwright. In 1930, he became the first writer from the United States to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, "for his vigorous and graphic art of description and his ability to create, with wit and humor, new types of...

' eponymous novel
Elmer Gantry
Elmer Gantry is a satirical novel written by Sinclair Lewis in 1926 and published by Harcourt in March 1927.-Background:Lewis did research for the novel by observing the work of various preachers in Kansas City in his so-called "Sunday School" meetings on Wednesdays. He first worked with William L...


There is a revival scene in the 1997 film The Apostle
The Apostle
The Apostle is a 1997 American drama film written and directed by Robert Duvall, who stars in the title role. John Beasley, Farrah Fawcett, Billy Bob Thornton, June Carter Cash, Miranda Richardson and Billy Joe Shaver also appear...

, starring Robert Duvall
Robert Duvall
Robert Selden Duvall is an American actor and director. He has won an Academy Award, two Emmy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards and a BAFTA over the course of his career....

. Duvall's portrayal of an evangelical minister earned him an Academy Award for Best Actor
Academy Award for Best Actor
Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry...


The Academy Award winning documentary Marjoe
Marjoe is a 1972 American documentary film produced and directed by Howard Smith and Sarah Kernochan about the life of evangelist Marjoe Gortner. It won the 1972 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.- Story:...

reviews the career of child-evangelist Marjoe Gortner
Marjoe Gortner
Hugh Marjoe Ross Gortner, generally known as Marjoe Gortner , is a former revivalist who first gained a certain fame in the late 1940s when he became the youngest ordained preacher at the age of four...

, giving a behind-the-scenes look at revivals he promoted as an adult. The film was never distributed in the Bible Belt
Bible Belt
Bible Belt is an informal term for a region in the southeastern and south-central United States in which socially conservative evangelical Protestantism is a significant part of the culture and Christian church attendance across the denominations is generally higher than the nation's average.The...

, as Gortner exposed the money-making tricks charlatan evangelists engaged in.

Borat Sagdiyev visited a revival meeting in his feature film
Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, often referred to simply as Borat, is a 2006 mockumentary comedy film directed by Larry Charles and distributed by 20th Century Fox...


Neil Diamond
Neil Diamond
Neil Leslie Diamond is an American singer-songwriter with a career spanning over five decades from the 1960s until the present....

's Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show depicts a revival meeting.

See also

Other religions have similar traditions, such as Devival
Devival is a term used by both the Church of the Subgenius and later Discordianism for a gathering or festival of followers. The name is a pun on Christian revivals.-SubGenius Devivals:-Historical:...

s of Discordianism
Discordianism is a religion based on the worship of Eris , the Greco-Roman goddess of strife. It was founded circa 1958–1959 after the publication of its holy book the Principia Discordia, written by Malaclypse the Younger and Omar Khayyam Ravenhurst after a series of shared hallucinations at a...

 and Church of the Subgenius
Church of the SubGenius
The Church of the SubGenius is a "parody religion" organization that satirizes religion, conspiracy theories, unidentified flying objects, and popular culture. Originally based in Dallas, Texas, the Church of the SubGenius gained prominence in the 1980s and 1990s and maintains an active presence on...

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