By Dreama Ruley, 2022
What is the Red River Meetinghouse? It is a marker, memorial or a monument. A powerful move of God occurred here and it has been preserved as a reminder of what God has done, can do and will do if we pray. Joshua stacked stones in chapter 4 to serve as a reminder of Israel's faith in God and God's faithfulness to them. Memorials preserve history so future generations will ask why it is there and it will guide them as they follow Christ. Red River Meetinghouse has been preserved to spark conversation, educate and motivate. It is a place to worship, but not to be worshiped.
I can take you to the place where I accepted Christ. We were having revival in Waynesburg, KY, but I didn't accept Him at church. It was later when I was all alone sitting on my bed that He became real to me and I accepted Him into my life. I'm not sure if the house is even there anymore, but it is a
memorial in my memories.
I can take you to the spot inside a factory where the Lord made me realize I was at a crossroads. I chose to follow Him. My life turned upside down as strongholds were torn down in my life.
My mom can take you to the hospital where a quick-thinking doctor and wonderful hospital staff worked for 18 days to save me from the poison invading my little 3 year old body. She can testify to the fact that prayer is what saved me.
I can take you to the spot in my living room where I was miraculously healed in 2019 of vertigo that was debilitating and leaving me unable to work or even walk around safely.
What if we could set up real markers in the places that are significant in our spiritual journey. The world would be full of them and sinners would be amazed at the words on each marker testifying of God's love, grace, healing, callings, etc. How could they NOT want Him to be part of their lives? Alas, the only way we can set up markers is to share our testimony of God's work in our lives. Are we doing that? Are we allowing people to “read” our marker? Or are we keeping it hidden and only share on special occasions, if at all?
The Red River Meetinghouse is a special place because of the revival that God sent in 1800. It is one of thousands of special places where man has met with God in a mighty way. It is a House of Prayer, a testament or marker to show us the way to God's heart. Many people feel called to come there and pray. It is a peaceful place in the country, away from distractions and city noise. Many times groups will journey there and meet other groups who felt the same call. They encourage each other and share a precious time in prayer and worship.
The people who settled in Logan County, Ky in the late 1700s were a very rough, dangerous sort of people. It was called Rogues Harbor because the inhabitants were a lawless group of killers and thieves. The frontier was in itself a place of peril. Anything they had to work with, live with, wear or eat, they had to find and make for themselves. Their main concern was having enough to eat and living through the day. No thoughts of tomorrow except for maintaining shelter and storing food. No thoughts whatsoever of what could become of their soul after death.
God is the same yesterday, today and forever. The Holy Spirit has always moved on people to convict them of the overwhelming weight of their sins and the fear of their impending punishment in a Hell far away from God. The stupendous love of Christ that covers man like a warm blanket when he accepts Christ's love and forgiveness. The transformation of the vilest and most wicked proves that no one can go too far or be too bad that the love of Christ cannot save them. Psalms 139 tells us that no matter how high on the loneliest mountain or how deep in the depths of the sea, we cannot escape or hide from God. Even the astronauts have proclaimed the presence of God as they viewed His handiwork from the moon or space.
Revival fire must begin from within. When Christ transforms our life, it cannot keep from impacting the world around us. That explains why Logan County became a “most hospitable place for strangers” and we believe the birth of southern hospitality. Many wonderful things for our nation came from that move of God that is called the Revival of 1800, the 2nd Great Awakening and the Frontier Revival.
Many think Red River Meetinghouse is holy ground. It is definitely a place where you can feel a peaceful presence of the Lord. Maybe some feel that it is holy because it is a place where many sinners have bowed their knee and allowed Jesus to be their Lord and Savior. Israel is called the Holy Land because that is the very ground Jesus walked upon while He was a man on this earth. Would you consider that maybe the ground where any one is seeking God could be Holy Land in God's eyes? Israel has an everlasting anointing because of God's words spoken there. His name would always be there. Red River Meetinghouse is a place to come to be blessed, but God will not tolerate worship of His creation, only the Creator. It is only His Spirit that draws others to come to Red River Meetinghouse and only His Spirit will be the reason for blessings.
We could also call the Red River Meetinghouse “Focus” because it is a place that forces us to imagine what happened at the first camp meeting. A place where we are called to meditate on God's Word. As Billy Graham said, “When we meditate on the Word of God, we seek to make personal application of the Scriptures to our own lives and circumstances. This results in more than the intake of information; it transforms by leading to the formation of the individual into Christ-likeness.” Revelation 3:20 of the King James Version says, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hears my voice, and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” As a child raised in the south I was always told Christ will have supper with me when I invite Him in. A meal is an intimate event where the participants are relaxed and able to share their thoughts and feelings with each other. Red River Meetinghouse is also a place that inspires us to pray, to have a personal conversation with Jesus and focus on our relationship with Him. Prayer moves God, but it changes us. If we study His Word, we will know how to pray His will. Prayer puts us on the same wavelength with God. We desire His will and He works through us to accomplish it.
Red River Meetinghouse is not the Christian's Mecca. It is not Disney World. There is no magic. There are no special incantations that get God to do for us what we wish. The Red River is nearby, but it is not any different than any other river or body of water in the United States.
Red River Meetinghouse reminds us of how hard the life was for the saints who met in the meetinghouse to worship and seek God. Pastor James McGready inspired them to sign a covenant that they would fast and pray every month for the salvation of the people in Logan County, Ky. They did and their efforts were rewarded in such a wonderful way. We are all guilty of thinking our lives are so hard. We have to toil, work and put up with so many disagreeable things and ornery people. We have modern conveniences that do the work the frontier folks had to do by hand, yet we are too busy to pray. We have the same 24 hours that they did and they managed to make time. We can too! The Bible says in Isaiah 55:6, “Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him while He is near.” (NIV) He is not going to hide from us, but what if you run out of time? None of us know when death will come, so we must make the most of today. Is our eternity worth our time and prayer? Are the people of our day less worthy, less wicked than the people of Rogues Harbor? The rogues did not value their soul, but the saints praying did, and obviously God found them very valuable. Is the latest game or tv show more valuable? Our priority must be on eternal things, not things of this world.
Please come to Red River Meetinghouse and enjoy the peaceful presence of the Lord. The walk-in gate is always open and so is the meetinghouse.