- Associated Press - Saturday, January 2, 2016

SEBRING, Fla. (AP) - A funeral director and part-time pastor in Sebring is celebrating America’s religious history through historical reenactments.

Mike Adams gives congregations a glimpse the religious revival movement of the late 1700s and early 1800s, The Sebring Highlands Today (https://bit.ly/1VwFH8T ) reported on Saturday.

Adams, 61, dresses as the Rev. James McGready and reads McGready’s sermons to modern-day congregations. He arrives on horseback for the reenactments and wears a top hat, long-tail jacket, ruffled shirt and cravat. McGready was a Presbyterian minister and revivalist who died in Kentucky in 1817.

Adams, who has portrayed McGready in appearances since the early 1990s, says he enjoys paying tribute to religious leaders of the past and hopes those who see his performance learn something about the country’s religious traditions.

“I think he had a special anointing from God, and a lot of what he said back then applies to 21st-century America, particularly regarding the need for revival,” he said. “I do my best to portray McGready in attire and actions.”

Circuit-riding preachers were common in the early years of the United States and were assigned to travel around specific geographic territories to minister to settlers.

Born in 1763 in Pennsylvania, McGready was a Presbyterian minister and a revivalist.

Adam’s presentations include a history lesson on The Second Great Awaking, a religious revival moment.

Rev. Darrell Peer of Sebring’s First Presbyterian Church said the presentation was a hit with his congregation.

“It was a fresh approach to bringing about the message to the people,” said Peer. “He did an excellent job in making it interesting.”

Artie Nichols, an audience member at another recent presentation, agreed.

“It was all in the way he spoke and the way he presented the message. It was really interesting and very different,” Nichols said.

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Information from: Highlands Today (Sebring, Fla.), https://highlandstoday.com


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