Revival in Lewis - 1949

The following report has been compiled after an interview with a Mr. Hugh Black by Angus and Mark of the Glasgow assembly-groups.

Mr. Black was one of the main people used by God in the revival which occurred and spread throughout Lewis. He now lives in Greenock which is just outside Glasgow and was pleased to describe the events which led up to and occurred during this revival.

The revival began with two elderly women who were praying intensively. They had heard about a man called Duncan Campbell, who was an evangelist. He had planned to visit the Isle of Skye to take part in a conference. The two women asked their minister to get in touch with Mr. Campbell as they felt that this was the man God had chosen to use for this revival. The minister then got in touch with Mr. Campbell and explained the situation to him. However, Mr. Campbell replied that he had made arrangements to be on the Isle of Skye - but if these arrangements fell through then he would be pleased to come up to Lewis. Shortly after, these arrangements did fall through, thus enabling Mr. Campbell to visit Lewis after all.

The first event which clearly showed that Mr. Campbell was going to be powerfully used and anointed was when, prior to his arrival, a local man, who was either a dentist or a doctor, began to stir the people up against Campbell, in an attempt to hinder his influence. On doing so, as has been the case in the past in similar circumstances, the man instantly dropped dead!

Upon his arrival on the Island, Mr. Campbell first went to see the two elderly women. Amongst other things, the women explained that the only reason he had survived an accident he had been involved in some years previously, was because the Holy Spirit had led them to their knees to pray for the man just as the accident was occurring. She explained that at that moment "the precious Blood of Jesus Christ had come between him and Satan's attempt on his life."

Campbell was then invited along to a prayer meeting where a small group of elders had been engaged in all-night prayer. After a few hours they reached the point of ‘breakthrough' when they knew they had really gotten through to God. Revival could be expected. The next day a service was held in a village called Barvas. At the end of a very anointed meeting the people had begun to leave the hall, when one man suddenly collapsed to the floor when the power fell. The Holy Spirit then moved over the whole room with people having visions of both Heaven and Hell. For a few days people had visions of Hell fire in particular and of being left in the fires of Hell.

He then went to another village which was opposed to the revival. However, when he arrived he found the church to be so full that the people had begun to gather outside. Not wasting any time, he began to preach outside and after fifteen minutes one of the elders who had been inside the church came outside and called Campbell in as something had happened. When he got inside, there were seven men lying prostrate on the floor under the power of the Holy Spirit. This event had been prophesied exactly by one Mary MacLean shortly before the meeting.

The next place he visited was an island called Bernera on the west coast of Lewis. After he had finished preaching there every person on the island was saved without exception.

After Bernera, Campbell visited another village called Arnol. During one house meeting held in this village, the foundations of the house began to shake as in ACTS 4:31. There were also reports of angelic presence and the whole scene was generally like that which was seen by our own Assembly at the Easter area meeting 1990. At another meeting the preaching was so intense that besides the presence of the Lord, there were also reports of demonic activity, such as demons fleeing from the building as the power of God fell upon the place. Loud demonic sounding screams were also heard as Satan's power was defeated.

In the village of Carloway something seemed to be blocking the anointing, so Campbell asked one man named Coinneach Bheag, who had been greatly used in prayer, to pray for the meeting. In the middle of the meeting Coinneach rebuked Satan and instantly the power fell on the whole place.

The next move was to be seen in the village of Ness. A dance was being held in a local hall, so Campbell took the opportunity and decided to attend. However, he was stopped at the door as he did not have a ticket. At this, Mr. Campbell took out his Bible and holding it up exclaimed that he had his ticket to go anywhere he should choose! Once inside he began to ask the leaders of the dance if he could lead the people in a Psalm. This request was not at all welcomed, but after some persuasion he was reluctantly given the go-ahead. When Campbell had finished preaching a full revival broke out in the area and many were saved. It should be said that in his ministry Duncan Campbell preached "Hell, Blood and Fire". Although he himself thought that he should be more lenient on the people living in the Stornoway area, who were thought to be more civilised, God showed him that he should continue preaching hell and repentance as he had been.

At this point Mr. Black began to tell us of his own part in the revivals which took place on Lewis. God Himself had spoken to Black's spirit asking, "Do you believe I can do this (convert Lewis) through you?" And within a short time Black was also being powerfully used. He worked through one woman who had many contacts in the Isles and through these contacts he was able to begin preaching. He was used in the same way as Duncan Campbell, with the same manifestations of the Holy Spirit; people receiving with power, prostrate on the floor, speaking in tongues, etc.

Mr. Black explained that before he began his work in Lewis, a huge burden for souls weighed very heavily upon him and he was literally forced to his knees for a solid two days in prayer to prepare him for his work.

Hugh Black is now in his late sixties and has been a qualified history teacher since 1964 - he retired from teaching in 1985. He continues to be used by God in his work which is still growing and continues to have the healings, speaking in tongues and other manifestations of the Spirit.

We can all see that many of the events and testimonies described are very similar to those of our own work, and indeed encourage us all the more to wait on our knees for the promotion of a real revival.

Report dated: 21st January, 1991.