As a central part of the Moravian Church’s origin story, the experience of renewal that took place in Berthelsdorf on August 13, 1727, has become part of the Moravians’ collective memory. Imbued with spiritual significance, the event has often been compared to the biblical Pentecost. In commemorating the event, Moravians have continued to draw meaning from the story of August 13, though its significance at times reflected differing impulses. In the American context, August 13 has served as a precedent for seeking experiences of revival. As some Moravian congregations, particularly in the south, organized protracted meetings, revivals could coincide with August 13 commemoration. In the twentieth century, proponents of evangelistic campaigns, who worked to establish institutional support for their activity, also used the memory of August 13 to support evangelical methods and a greater emphasis on the Holy Spirit’s Pentecostal power. Perhaps the best example is John Greenfield, a minister and traveling evangelist who adopted evangelical revival techniques and authored a popular book on August 13. Greenfield, and others during this time, not only used a revival and Holiness paradigm to interpret the events of 1727, but conceived of the Moravian tradition as historically aligned with Anglo-American evangelicalism.

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