Word Ignites a Whole Congregation
A Testimony from School of Prophets 2014
by Fr. Bill McLoughlin
Rector, Church of the Resurrection, Asheville NC
I have been asked to write a testimony regarding my experience at the School of Prophets in May at Christ the King. The fact of the matter is that my experience was not about me, it was about what the Holy Spirit is doing and wants to do in my parish. Before I came to Selma I earnestly petitioned our Lord to give a prophetic word regarding the life and ministry of our parish. I brought seven parishioners with me and hoped that one of us, or all of us, would receive revelation from the Lord. All of us received words from the Lord (some received multiple words), and I did have a clarion call from the Lord for our parish. It was a very clear and encouraging word for the congregation as a whole. It was exactly that for which I had hoped and prayed, and the Lord was gracious and merciful in giving it.
Our parish was birthed in prophecy. Our ministry has been prophetically driven. And the ministry to which we have been called in the city of Asheville, North Carolina, has been of a prophetic nature. As a parish we have had our ups and downs. There have been times of dramatic awareness of the movement of the Holy Spirit, and there have been times of dryness, sometimes long and arduous. We had been in one of those dry periods for about two years. We had not ventured out of the doors of the church to minister, except in a few select circumstances. There did not seem to be a clear direction for the parish as a whole. We needed encouragement and direction.
During one of the sessions the Bishop asked numerous questions regarding petunias. Then turned directly to me and said:
The Lord told me that He is bringing petunias to you. He’s going to keep bringing petunias into your life. He’s going to keep bringing people into your life, and it’s going to be annual. You’re going to see new fresh things annually. And they’re going to be very prolific. They’re going to be people who are submissive. They’re willing to cut their heads off, and they’re going to be very anointed. They’re not going to function by their head. They’re going to die with their flesh. You’re going to get some really mature people. They can take the heat with total abandon. God’s bringing you some people who are very colorful. Because of this influx the glory of God is going to hover over. These are not people who will go in one door and out the other. That season’s coming to an end. They are going to be hungry for the Word. They are people you are going to enjoy feeding–hungry people for the Word. They are territorial: the whole loyalty thing. They are going to come in loyal. I saw them coming in waves; it’s the yearly annual thing. They don’t run–they can take the heat.
That is the type of word that any pastor would relish. In addition, the others who went with me to the School of Prophets came home on fire and that fire quickly spread throughout the whole congregation. There is a tremendous amount of work to do, and as the word above indicates this work will come “in waves; it’s the yearly, annual thing.” It will be exciting to see the fruit of our work at the School of Prophets, and the work of the Holy Spirit in the midst of this congregation.
Was the School of Prophets worth the trip? Yes! God is good. He hears and answers when we call. I look forward to the follow-up to this conference and I encourage any and all to participate.