Pentecost Now: A Cooperative Prayer Gathering
by Jennifer Wallace, Faith News Network, www.faithnews.cc
On Wednesday, May 23, 2007, the Church of God and the Church of God of Prophecy joined together in a Cooperative Prayer Gathering. The Church of God and the Church of God of Prophecy have declared this week, the week proceeding Pentecost Sunday 2007, as a time of united intercession for a fresh outpouring of Holy Spirit power in our generation. The Church of God and Church of God of Prophecy have an Agreement of Cooperation for a joint global evangelistic initiative. The initiative is viewed as a practical demonstration of the common purposes and spiritual heritage of the two church groups.
The Cooperative Prayer Gathering, which included both denominations’ leaders and office employees, began at the Church of God of Prophecy International Offices. Brother Randall E. Howard, Church of God of Prophecy General Overseer, welcomed everyone and was followed by a scripture reading from 1 Corinthians 1 led by Pastor Tim Coalter of Peerless Road Church of God of Prophecy. The message was delivered by Dr. G. Dennis McGuire, General Overseer of the Church of God. He opened by leading the attendees in the singing of the old hymn, “Holy Spirit, Come.” McGuire stated that the thing that motivates Pentecostals is the Holy Ghost, and the Pentecostal movement is coming to be considered one of the world’s most prominent Christian traditions, similar to the Protestant Reformation. He declared to both denominations that there is going to be revival in the last days. He said, “I’m dreaming in my soul, I’m dreaming in the last days for revival.” Reverend Wallace Sibley, Evangelism and Home Missions Director for the Church of God, closed the gathering at the Church of God of Prophecy International Offices with a prayer for a fresh Pentecostal outpouring in the Church of God of Prophecy.
Both groups then headed over to the Church of God International Offices where Dr. G. Dennis McGuire welcomed all guests to the Church of God International Offices. Pastor Gary Sears of Mt. Olive Church of God followed with a reading of scripture from Acts 2. The message at the Church of God Offices was given by Brother Howard. He opened by honoring Reverend Fred S. Fisher, Sr., past general overseer of the Church of God of Prophecy, and Dr. R. Lamar Vest, past general overseer of the Church of God, for their vision in starting the Cooperative Initiative between both denominations in August 2003. The theme of his message was urgency. Howard stated, “Urgency – the enemy has taken it, and it must be returned!” He closed by declaring, “Pentecost can be repeated, for the Lord is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Brother Sam Clements, the North American Presbyter of the Church of God of Prophecy closed this gathering with a prayer for a fresh Pentecostal outpouring in the Church of God. Following Brother Clements, a cooperative offering was taken for the Caring Place ministry.
The prayer gathering was followed by a Cooperative Fellowship Luncheon in the Prayer Garden at the Church of God International Offices. Music during the luncheon was provided by the Branham Family. The Cooperative Prayer Gathering was a wonderful time of vision and fellowship between the Church of God and the Church of God of Prophecy.