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Alton Garrison
Assemblies of God Assistant General Superintendent Alton Garrison will be one of the prayer leaders at Encounter 2015.

On January 5 and 6, 2015, the Church of God-Cleveland, the Assemblies of God, and the International Pentecostal Holiness Church will sponsor Encounter 2015, an unprecedented, historic gathering of Pentecostal pastors and prayer leaders at Northwood Temple, Fayetteville, North Carolina (John Hedgepeth, senior pastor). The essential purpose of Encounter 2015 is to acknowledge absolute dependence upon God, to affirm commitment to concerted prayer, and to intercede for a spiritual awakening in the United States.

In addition to the sponsoring fellowships, leaders from the following denominations are also participating: Church of God of Prophecy, Congregational Holiness, The Foursquare Church, Pentecostal Church of God, and the Pentecostal Freewill Baptist Church. Mark Williams, general overseer of the Church of God-Cleveland; Alton Garrison, assistant general superintendent of the Assemblies of God; and Doug Beacham, general superintendent of the International Pentecostal Holiness Church, and others will lead various prayer segments.

Doug Small notes the purpose of the meeting as follows: "In light of our distinctive Pentecostal roots and our deep dependence on God, we will gather across denominational lines to renew our commitment to prayer as standing at the heart of pastoral ministry, and as indispensable to the mission of the Church. We are urging pastors to see themselves first and foremost as holy men and women of God who must spend regular time in communion with Him. We must seek God's face. We must ask that He renew us. We must pray for our nation."

John Maempa
Maempa

John Maempa, director of the Office of Prayer and Spiritual Care for the AG, states, "This will be a historic occasion when pastors and other leaders from the various streams of the Pentecostal movement will come together to strengthen and encourage one another in the vital discipline of prayer and to seek God for a powerful move of the Holy Spirit across the Church and our nation. We are praying that this will be a catalyst for a spiritual awakening that is so desperately needed in this day."

Historically, the Assemblies of God has set aside the first full week of January as the Week of Prayer. This event will provide a unique opportunity to begin the Week of Prayer and the New Year in united prayer with our sister Pentecostal fellowships.

AG Assistant General Superintendent Alton Garrison encourages pastors across the Assemblies of God to make plans to be part of this historic gathering. "As people of the Spirit across the Pentecostal church, may we commit to pray as never before, partner in prayer and service as never before, and be influencers for good and righteousness as never before. May this ignite a powerful spiritual awakening in our churches and in our nation, resulting in a great harvest of souls for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."

Though there is no registration fee for the conference, all attendees are encouraged to register at encounter2015.com. Additional information about the event, location, housing, promotional resources, and more can be found on the conference website.


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School consolidation: carried on a foundation of prayer

Wed, 09 Jan 2013 - 3:49 PM CST

Soon after the decision to consolidate Central Bible College, Evangel University and the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary was ratified at the 54th General Council of the Assemblies of God in Phoenix, Arizona, in August 2011, this initiative began to be bathed in prayer.

Following the Council meeting, Dr. Gary Denbow, president of Central Bible College, approached executive leadership about initiating focused times of prayer for God's blessing and guidance upon this monumental task.

Since September 2011, ten "Together in Prayer" gatherings have taken place alternately on the three campuses and at Maranatha Village, also located in Springfield; additional meetings are slated for January and April. Two of the gatherings have included campus prayer walks.

Many facets of the consolidation process have been covered in prayer during these gatherings. These include prayer for wisdom; for a sense of mission and purpose; for unity of heart, mind and spirit; for community among the three institutions; the guidance of the Holy Spirit throughout; for course programs that will provide strong spiritual and academic balance; for favor with accrediting bodies; for leadership and staff structures; for student housing; for wisdom in establishing student tuition and fee structures; for unity on essential theological and doctrinal positions; for a thoroughly biblical worldview in all academic disciplines, and much more. Prayers have been led by students, faculty, administrators and alumni.

As the consolidation process moves forward, myriad details are still before the various boards and committees. Preparation is underway for a key meeting with the Higher Learning Commission, January 21-22, 2013. Leaders ask for churches and individuals to bathe the consolidation initiative in prayer as the Commission visit approaches, asking God for His wisdom and favor.

The next Together in Prayer gathering will be held 7 p.m. Monday, January 14, at the Maranatha Chapel in Maranatha Village.

Authors: John Maempa

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