A Baptist Revival Of Love

by Rev . Robin Lunn

Last year I had a dream, a vision really, of driving across country in a RV sharing the good news of the ministry of inclusion within the Baptist community that is known as AWAB, the Association of Welcoming & Affirming Baptists.

In this vision, the word “revival” was very present. I was curious about this since I am a true-blue New Englander with no real experience in revival meetings. But as I prayed I felt AWAB was being called to hit the road in the summer of 2013 and bring our message of inclusion to as many Baptists as we could. Little did I know this vision would give birth to the Living Jubilee Revival Tour, the 30-day, 3500-mile trip across 15-states which begins June 10, 2013.

But “revival?” Really?

In the 20th century, revival meetings have been defined by a charismatic encounter with the Holy Spirit with alter calls, speaking in tongues, and people being slain in the Spirit. Now I don’t want to besmirch anyone’s experience, but I do want to suggest that there is a older experience of revival that I think is worthy to be reclaimed – one that is grounded in the word revival which means “to live again.”

For too long, the ministry of inclusion within Baptist traditions has been bullied by those who cannot or will not see the Spirit’s leading in the lives of believers who happen to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. For too long, churches that seek to welcome all people regardless of sexual or gender identity have remained closeted for fear of the persecution that too often follows when a church comes out. For too long, the church has been gripped by fear and is not free to be fully and wholly alive, hiding their lights under a bushel to avoid being discovered.

I wondered what the AWAB community is being revived to and for? Why now? For what purpose?

This is when my vision became a full-on, 3-D revelation with costumes, smoke machines, and extras. (Ok, I’m exaggerating a bit but you get the picture.) What I saw was the image of the New Heaven and the New Earth, with lion and lamb, gay and straight, believer and disenchanted returning to their roots and discovering that God’s Love is for all, whether you want it or not! And the most exciting part was the image that Love is what we are called to come alive to; not judgment, not fear, not any human understanding of who is in and who is out.

Once I connected the dots I understood why revival.  I understood why, in AWAB’s 20th anniversary year, it was so important that we publicly celebrate our member churches: communities that have given it all to be Love in the world. I understood why, when so many people flinch when they hear the word “Baptist,” a revival and homecoming is so important for welcoming and affirming believers who are weary from the years of struggle. I understood why, because there are so many gay Baptists who want to come home to their tradition and celebrate weddings, baptisms, and all the rituals that mark their lives of faith.

It is time for a Revival. It is time for Jubilee.

So if you see us somewhere along the road between Boston and Kansas City, Memphis and Milford, come say hi! If you are in a city where we are having a revival celebration, come join in the fun!

And above all, please pray for us and that this vision of Love might bring a Jubilee for all.

Photo by Jim Ross via University Baptist Church

Comments (11)


This revival is simply
This revival is simply amazing and inspiring! Thank you Robin for following the vision.

Roberta Zenker

I am very happy to hear about
I am very happy to hear about AWAB, but could help me understand the philosophical and theological shift that must have taken place for you. Perhaps I have mistaken assumptions about Baptists, but I have always understood them to be fundamentalisit, i.e., viewing the King James version of the bible as the literal, unerring word of God. Do you have a different view? Have I misunderstood? Or do simply take a different view of the six or so “anti-gay” scriptures?


The Southern Baptist
The Southern Baptist Convention dominates what people think about Baptists in general, and the SBC is where most of the KJV-only fundie crowd lies.

The Baptist part of Christianity is generally a heavy Free Church tradition, with emphasis on personal revelation, so Baptists will range throughout the theological spectrum.

Sarah Turner

Great idea! Why not try to
Great idea! Why not try to get it on This American Life? They are accepting stories about interesting things happening between June 8 and 14, and I would say this qualifies! Check it out: http://www.thisamericanlife.org/blog/2013/06/we-want-your-stories-for-this-week

Wouldn’t that be a great way to get the word out?


Will you be in NYC? When and
Will you be in NYC? When and where?

evangilist Erick Rousan

I thank it is a wonderfull
I thank it is a wonderfull thing u are doing for the lord our saver.

Richard W. Fitch

“yes, ‘metanoia’ is indeed a
“yes, ‘metanoia’ is indeed a type of personal alteration but I really think you meant ‘altar call’.

ellie verdeha

I think you people are
I think you people are absolute angels! When I think of all the people shamed just for being born who they are…well, let me say it this way – if I imagine that force of love on your side, pulling for your success, amassed in mighty angels, I see a host of mighty guardian angels much fiercer and no doubt much more numerous than all the backwoods bubbas down here!. However, I’m a realist too, and having lived in the South the last 30 years, I WOULD advise you to call ahead for backups or something – Remember Matthew Shepherd—and Colo. isn’t even the South. Sorry to be such a downer. I’d much rather be all sweetness and light like we’d all like to hear about, but these are not those times. These are crazy times. Stay safe.


Bless you!
Bless you!

Lon Shull

Will you dare come to the
Will you dare come to the South? Let me know if you guys (and girls and guy girls and girl guys ) will be near Charelston SC

Deidre Druk

This photo is of
This photo is of
University Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Mn,
Taken by Photographer, Jim Ross!

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