Fires of the Spirit
The Killadeas Convention
In its fifty-four year history, the Killadeas Convention, still known to many as the Camp meetings, has met in all kinds of weather. Across half a century the meetings have convened in dull weather, cold weather, sunny periods, constant rain and all the vagaries of a Fermanagh summer. But this year the sunshine was intensely hot every day (July 18-23) and inside the Convention hall at Ballycassidy the meetings were characterised by another kind of heat – the revival fires of the Holy Spirit. This Convention has always been revivalist in nature, meaning that its purpose is to stir up spiritual fervour among Christians. It seeks to fulfil the promise made to the Church in the New Testament that there will be ‘times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord.’
There were four preachers sharing in the services. The Rev. John Hayes (Irvinestown), the Rev. Tom Shaw (Donaghey), the Rev. Phil Uttley (Bangor) and the Rev. Dr Herbert McGonigle (Manchester). The services were led by the Rev. Sam Ennis (S. Africa). As for many years past Mr Jim Dixon (Enniskillen) was the Convention organist and there was special song ministry from the Burke family (Co Mayo). The preaching was biblical, passionate and compelling. Evangelical Christians are keenly interested in what is happening in the Middle East because the Bible makes it very plain that in that part of the world great events will be played out in the days leading up to the Second Coming of Christ. No preacher at these Conventions has ever set dates for Christ’s return but the emergence of the state of Israel in 1948 and its subsequent turbulent history are generally understood as relating to that Great Event. While we do not know ‘the day or the hour’ when our Lord will come back, we are to live in readiness for His Coming. Convention revival services keep alive the great truths of Biblical prophecy and this has been a feature of the Killadeas meetings from the very start back in 1952.
As always there were visitors at the Convention from near and far. Some take the opportunity to combine holiday making in Fermanagh and enjoy the evening Killadeas services. A couple from Belfast, who have been attending for more than twenty years, commented. ‘We were so impressed with the tremendous spiritual atmosphere in the services. The singing of the old hymns was so uplifting and the preaching was so powerful. The people attending showed by their very demeanour that they were in the presence of God. The Killadeas ministry is definitely of God.’ Two people visiting from Co Antrim heard about the Convention and attended the opening service. They planned to return home from their Fermanagh holiday that night but changed their minds and stayed on for two more days. They spoke of how the Convention services challenged and helped them so much. ‘ It was such a privilege to be at the Convention. As the numbers increased evening after evening, so did the volume of praise. The old-time hymns were sung with such fervour. The preaching challenged us to personal revival as a prerequisite to God’s Spirit being poured out on our land as in days gone by. It was so good to be there and we hope to attend again next year.’