Did loingirder get banned? I'd be curious to see his thoughts on this.EDIT:As for the OP, I would say the practice originated somewhere post-Charles Finney. He was instrumental in establishing a response-based ministry time during church services. He is also the main originator of the altar call practice, utilizing what he called the "anxious seat." As most things do over time, the practice was watered down to the 'head bowed-eyes closed' practice of today.