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Hundreds gather from across Pentecostal spectrum for Encounter 2015

A historic gathering of 11 different Pentecostal denominations and organizations took place at the Encounter 2015 prayer event held recently in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

Leaders and members from some 11 different Pentecostal denominations and organizations gathered January 5-6, at Northwood Temple, Fayetteville, North Carolina, for Encounter 2015 and for one primary objective — to pray. 

“Encounter 2015 was not a preaching conference, but a prayer conference,” states John Maempa, director of the AG Office of Prayer & Spiritual Care and conference steering committee member. “We came to pray together for unity, for spiritual awakening in our nation, a revival of righteousness individually and corporately, passing the faith to the next generation, and for the physical and spiritual health of ministers, families, and churches.” Doug Small, coordinator of prayer ministries for the Church of God (COG), led the steering committee along with Maempa and Lou Shirey, coordinator of prayer ministries for the International Pentecostal Holiness Church (IPHC).

Other Pentecostal denominations and fellowships represented were the Congregational Holiness Church, Church of God of Prophecy, Pentecostal Freewill Baptist Church, United Holy Church of America, Open Bible Church, and Full Gospel Fellowship International. Organizations included the Pentecostal Charismatic Churches of North America and the Awakening America Alliance.

James Cossey, executive administrator of U.S. Missions for the COG, notes regarding this historic, unprecedented conference, “This was the first time ever that a meeting has been called by the groups themselves for such a cooperative prayer effort.”

Principal moderator was Doug Beacham, general superintendent of the IPHC. Other general session moderators included M. Thomas Propes, COG secretary general, and Alton Garrison, assistant general superintendent of the AG. Powerful moments were spent in prayer throughout the course of the conference. “Overall, some seven to eight hours were spent in prayer,” states Maempa. “There was an awesome sense of God’s presence throughout.”

During Encounter 2015, worship ministry was presented by Northwood Temple’s minister of music, Buck Hodge, and worship teams. On both Monday and Tuesday evening, special moments of Holy Communion also were shared. 

The event was well received by those in attendance as numerous comments were shared via social media, including, “What a powerful meeting! We need more of them!”

"The bottom line is that we need each other," Maempa says. "There is still a huge task to be done for the Kingdom right here in the U.S. and around the world. We will not fulfill that task alone. No one will. But, together, as we pray and work, we will see amazing things accomplished for the kingdom of God."