Ed. — This originally ran in the Aug. 23 print edition.
BY JANE BLOODWORTH ROWE
PUNGO — Holly Veber was on a mission trip to Chile with other members of Charity United Methodist Church a few years ago when she got the idea for a spiritual reawakening that would bring residents of Southern Virginia Beach and Knotts Island together for a renewal of Christian faith.
Now, Veber’s idea has morphed into Harvest Revival, an upcoming event scheduled from Friday, Sept. 13, through Sunday, Sept. 15, and will bring local residents together for traditional revival meetings.
The three-day revival is patterned after the tent revivals that were traditionally held in the rural South during the summer. This event differs, however, in that it will be held inside a horse arena on Veber’s farm, Cedar Hall, which has a small stage and ample parking for the 400 people they expect.
Participants include members of local Methodist churches, including Charity, Knotts Island, Salem and Tabernacle, as well as members of Oak Grove Baptist and Knotts Island Baptist, according to Veber and the Rev. David Ryu, senior pastor of Charity United Methodist Church.
Veber credits the Rev. LeRoy James, an evangelical Methodist minister whom she met in Chile, with inspiring her to spearhead an event. James spoke of his desire to create a spiritual renewal, and Veber decided that she wanted to be a part of this on the local level.
Veber wanted to do something that would bring people in Pungo together and encourage them to develop or renew Christian faith, she said.
After she returned from Chile, Veber learned that others had a similar desire for a community-wide revival. So she and others began organizing this event about two years ago, she said.
“It’s a collaborative effort of all of the churches coming together,” Ryu said. “We want to bring the old-time revival spirit back into the community.”
“We all get complacent in our faith,” Veber said. “We get weary and worn, so we’re hoping this event is going to rejuvenate people.”
It’s possible that this could become an annual event, Ryu said.
The event will include music and a guest speaker each night.
The speakers will include the Rev. Dr. Clarence Brown, senior pastor of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, who will speak on Friday, Sept. 13; the Rev. Dr. Bob Cooper, former pastor of Charity United Methodist Church, on Saturday, Sept. 14; and the Rev. Jack Davis of Tabernacle United Methodist Church on Sunday, Sept.15.
All services are scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at Cedar Hall Farms, 1501 Gum Bridge Road. Participants are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, but chairs will be furnished if you forget or don’t have one.
The event is kid friendly, Veber said, but no childcare will be provided.
“Many people became involved because they had been hoping for an event like this,” she added. “They wanted to bring people back to the faith.”