By Aloise McCullough
It was an experience of Church without walls and dividing lines.
The Greater Oklahoma Prayer Conference on Sept. 11-13 was the foundational event for the newly formed Greater Oklahoma City Prayer Network.
The event included four tent revival services at Glenn Ellyn Park in northeast Oklahoma City and a one-day prayer conference at OKC-Quayle United Methodist Church.
About 300 people attended the events.
Featured revivalist was Bishop Raphael Greene, Metro Worship Center, St. Louis, Mo. He give three profound messages about drawing closer to God and away from distractions.
In a significant moment in the park, more than a dozen people answered an altar call as worshippers lifted their voices and hands in praise to God, singing both traditional and contemporary songs.
Theme was "How Deep is the Hunger."
A unique component of the conference was the setup of "prayer rooms," adapted from a Houston pastor’s concept. Participants could pray with both clergy and lay volunteers for their needs in areas that included healing and wisdom, as well as talk with counselors.
The one-day segment at Quayle also featured a prayer breakfast and "power" luncheon, group discussions at "prayer tables," liturgical and hip-hop dances, the ministry of sign language, and more.
Planning started with an idea for connecting people through prayer by Semaj Vazant Sr., pastor-teacher at OKC-The Christ Experience United Methodist Church. He shared his vision with Quayle’s Senior Pastor Victor McCullough and Prayer Coordinator Jeanette Smith. The two churches united in the work and invited other churches and organizations to get involved.
Among others who took part were St. Mary’s African Methodist Episcopal Church; Adrian Cole, senior pastor of Edmond-New Covenant UMC; Quayle Associate Pastor Erica Thomas; and Nancy McCullough, pastor of Nicoma Park and Spencer UMCs.
"We really wanted to create an atmosphere where people could experience the presence of God through different experiences," Smith said. "It was a central location close to the churches" with primary roles. Events also were incorporated into Quayle’s 125th anniversary activities.
Smith added, "I think prayer starts at home and that was the community that was in need."
"I believe we gather today knowing we desperately need a touch from God," said Rev. Dr. V. McCullough in an advance letter. "What we need is a fresh outpouring of God’s power on us, our churches, and the people of faith everywhere."
Rev. Vanzant said the programming showed solidarity with a common mission of reaching others for Christ through prayer and consecration, and drew others into that.
"We are stronger together," he said. "Anytime we try to institute a divide, we only harm ourselves trying to be selfish."
"I think both churches are better for it, (and) not just the churches, but the community. I think it’s a truer representation of the ‘Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors’ (United Methodist motto)."
The Prayer Conference was a "catalyst" to kick off the network, he said.
For more information about the Greater Oklahoma Prayer Network including upcoming events, call Quayle Church, 405-424-2770. More contact options are TBA.
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