Revival honors four pastors, brothersPublished 7:54am Friday, October 25, 2013
Four southwest Michigan brothers with more than 200 years of combined preaching experience will be celebrated during a weeklong gospel event beginning Monday in Niles.
The McAfee brothers 14th annual generational revival will be held Oct. 28-Nov. 1 at Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church in Niles.
Rev. Fletcher McAfee, pastor at Mount Olive Baptist Church, is one of the four McAfee brothers being celebrated.
Fletcher, who lives in Benton Harbor, has been pastor at Mount Olive since 1974.
He credits his parents for the strong faith shared by him and his brothers: Pastor Willard McAfee, Pastor Emeritus John McAfee and Pastor Milton McAfee.
“My mother and father have always been instrumental in church work, so they brought us up in church,” he said. “We followed in their great example.”
Fletcher, 80, said he knew he had been called to preach when he was in his early 20s. He can’t explain the calling, but knows it happened.
“You can’t describe what it is like, but it is something that is on your mind day or night,” he said.
Fletcher didn’t answer the call until several years later when he said a train hit the vehicle he was driving. The vehicle was totaled, but Fletcher walked away with only some minor scratches.
“That’s when I knew it was time,” he said.
The brothers came to Eau Claire from Saxton, Mo., with their parents and eight other siblings in the 1950s. Since then, all four have pastored churches in southwest Michigan and beyond.
John organized and founded several churches in the area, including Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Dowagiac, where he pastored for some time. He’s been preaching since 1952.
Milton, pastor of New Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Benton Harbor, has been preaching since 1958.
Willard, who has been preaching since 1965, is pastor at a Baptist church in Shreveport, La.
Each year, the McAfee family assembles for a generational revival where the preachers in each generation preach for 10 minutes, following the original model the four brothers developed when they started running revivals in 1975. Each night, beginning at 7 p.m., several sermons will be delivered.
The revival will feature more than 45 pastors and preachers from the McAfee family.
The tribute to the four brothers will be held Monday at 7 p.m.
The event is free and open to the public.