(ETH) – A church in Tennessee has reportedly performed over one thousand baptisms in less than four months. The report from Faithwire reveals that Robby Gallaty, who is the senior pastor of Long Hollow Baptist Church in Hendersonville, Tennessee, has documented 1,048 people being baptized since Sunday, Dec. 20th, following nearly a year of what Gallaty described as “silence and solitude” in his own life.
“Here’s what happened,” the pastor told Faithwire during a recent Zoom conversation, leaning into the camera after taking his glasses off. “I began sitting with the Lord for 10 months. Then, finally, Dec. 15, 2020, I’m on the porch, and I hear as clear as day these words in my head, after a season of silence and solitude: ‘Spontaneous baptism.’”
“I thought, ‘Spontaneous baptism?’” Gallaty said. “First of all, I had never done spontaneous baptism — I’d only been a Christian for 18 years at that time. I’d never seen spontaneous baptism. I’d heard of abuses of spontaneous baptism. But I was obedient.”
Pastor Gallaty stated that the next Sunday was the lowest attended service in his five years at Long Hollow. He says that the country still in the throes of a pandemic and Tennessee was seeing a spike in COVID-19 infections at the time. He goes on to say that he felt like everything was working against what he was confident God had so clearly instructed him to do.
“It was like all the water we could put on the offering,” he said, referring to the Old Testament story in 1 Kings 18, when Elijah pours water on a sacrifice in the midst of a drought so that, when it was consumed by fire, it was clear it was by God’s doing alone.
And then it was Sunday in mid-December came and 99 people were baptized. “I’d never seen anything like this before in my life,” the pastor said, adding he assumed that must have been the end of the “revival” he sought after until he returned to his porch once again that night. “The Lord gave me this visual,” he said, recalling sitting outside his house that Sunday evening. “He showed me, ‘These are the heavy raindrops, Robby, before the torrential downpour that’s coming.’”
Another 81 people showed up after a “baptism only” service was announced. the pastor states that after this happened things “got really out of control.” He says that people who had been watching online began traveling to the Hendersonville church and its two satellite campuses. Many say they “felt compelled by the Holy Spirit” to travel to Hendersonville. From this came the baptisms of more than 1,000 people from 15 different states in just under four months.