BRADENTON -- Pastor John Marlow's voice filled every inch of the Bradenton Gospel Tabernacle on Thursday evening.
Marlow's sermon at 1218 Seventh Ave. E., Bradenton, introduced the 2015 revival service, an annual four-day event that welcomes pastors and evangelists from Florida, Texas, Illinois, Ohio and Missouri.
The 81-year-old pastor told more than 130 people he wanted them to pray to make every night of this meeting to see if God would change their lives.
"We are going to self-destruct if we do not get the hand of God," Marlow said. "Our tongues are out of con
trol. Our minds are out of control. Our kitchens have become walking pharmacies. We are living on pills -- pink ones, yellow ones, blue ones, white ones. The organic health of America is gone."
Several religious leaders spoke during a night filled with prayer, Bible verses and song.
"The revival is an opportunity for the community to get closer to the church," said Pablo Franzani, a member of Bradenton Gospel Tabernacle church and volunteer public information specialist. "It's an opportunity for people to know about the different programs we have here."
Programs include feeding the homeless every Friday and church brothers visiting Manatee County jail inmates for prayer.
The revival had moments of great enthusiasm.
"It is revival time! I said it is revival time!" cried Marlow during the service.
Several members raised their hands and others clapped. One suited man jogged around in praise.
They cried: "Revival!"
Kenneth Slan said being at the revival felt great. The 51-year-old said he now lives at the church. The opportunity opened up after undergoing an 18-month rehabilitation program for a 20-year battle with drug and alcohol addictions.
"God cleaned my life up and got me here," Slan said. "We're asking God to send people here that need it and I've seen that come to play."
Bon Reynolds, a pastor of Faith Community Church of Anna in Anna, Ill., said he landed in Bradenton on Wednesday night. He's been to the city many times for the revival and said he has nothing but great expectations.
When he found out he had pancreatic cancer in 2001, Reynolds said he came to Bradenton for prayer. Marlow was Reynolds' pastor when he was a little boy in Illinois.
"I wanted to say goodbye to him before I died," the 66-year-old said.
During a service, Reynolds said an elderly gentleman in a walker approached him to pray for him. After that, he said God "preserved" him.
"When he (the man in the walker) prayed for me, God touched me," he recalled. "It was glorious."
The revival service at Bradenton Gospel Tabernacle continues with services at 7:30 p.m. each day through Sunday.
Amaris Castillo, law enforcement/island reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7051. Follow her on Twitter @AmarisCastillo.