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Holy Ghost revival

Tennessee preacher brings down the house

Jorge Barrera
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Dec 12/01) - It was a raucous affair, with a room full of people drunk on the Holy Ghost.

That's what the parishioners at Glad Tidings church said last week as they danced by their chairs.

Preacher Lynda Kayzan talks the house down during a revival meeting held at Glad Tidings church last week. - Jorge Barrera/NNSL photo

Every night last week, the second floor of the Extra-Foods building turned into an old-time Protestant camp meeting for a "Heal the Nations" conference.

The church brought in Lynda Kayzan, an evangelist from Tennessee, who could talk the pants off Jesse Jackson and spin the Devil on her index finger.

One night she preached about Jacob who wrestled an angel. The match lasted all night and Jacob got a new name: Israel.

Kayzan described it as "an encounter with God."

"When you give your life to sin you will be left alone to reckon," said Kayzan as she paced the altar, her words tumbling like marbles dumped from a box.

"One good encounter with God and it changed (Jacob's) life forever," said Kayzan. "And the sun rose that morning."

"Hallelujah," someone in the audience gasped.

You could hear the Devil moan in anguish as he was bound and flailed a thousand times by arm-waving born-again Christians.

They gathered in a makeshift sanctuary, filling 300 chairs arranged in a half-moon. They grooved to the beat of an electric bass, keyboard and back-up singers. They rocked and heaved and people fell into gut-squeezing laughter.

"I know the maker of the wind. I know the maker of the rain," they sang. "He can calm the storm. He can make the light shine again."

They sang and sang again.

"Ms. Kayzan doesn't mince words," said Kevin Woelk, 35.

"She reminds me of an old-time Pentecostal preacher," said the Air Tindi pilot.

"She's pretty good," said 12-year-old Jonathan Smeeton. "I like the way she talks."

Mary-Rose Maksagak was an alcoholic until she found Jesus.

"It's been a change, a change from within. Only we can do it ourselves and allow the Holy Spirit to work a change within," said the mother of six who travelled from Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, to attend the services.

"It was wonderful," said Anne Senhouse, 45. "The power of God. My life has been changed since salvation."

Rev. Billy Sunday, that hellfire and brimstone, dawn-of-the-20th Century preacher who kicked up crowds like a windstorm in a desert, was probably smiling from Protestant heaven, watching the second floor of the Extra-Foods explode in righteous jubilation.

Jesus magic, or something like it, took a cold night and made people sweat.