Residents were invited to attend a revival Sunday-Tuesday at My Father’s House in Lenoir City in hopes of helping build closer relationships with God.
Services took place 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday and 6 p.m. Monday and Tuesday.
“It’s kingdom stuff. We have a king, he has a kingdom and we work in that,” the Rev. David Thompson, senior pastor, said.
Churches around the area, including Kingston Pike Baptist Church, Sixth Avenue Church of God and at least a couple others from Knoxville, attended to participate and listen to Frank Shelton, who ministers across America.
Shelton’s resume includes being a Maryland state coordinator for Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, a special adviser for the United Nations Faith Advisory and an evangelist who has served in the White House.
“We’re really just trying to complement the church as a whole,” Shelton said. “Too often churches see each other as competition and not colleagues, and we believe when we’re kingdom-binded we serve one God and we have one purpose and there’s really one church.
“… I think churches are so divided by their denominations they can’t multiply or mobilize to work together,” he added. “Some churches see each other as Hatfield versus the McCoys or the Redskins versus the Cowboys. We just think we can get more done when we come together as one.”
Thompson wanted people to remember the revival wasn’t about stealing members from other churches, but instead a way to “come get your tank filled” spiritually.
Marla Higginbotham, who is a member of My Father’s House and helped coordinate the event as part of Too Blessed 2 Be Stressed Media, echoed Thompson’s belief that the revival was a good way to “come get your blessing.”
“They can come and receive a blessing and take that back and bless their church,” Thompson said. “… At our church we try to be multi-culture. We have a Hispanic church on site here. The Lord only sees souls. He doesn’t see black, he doesn’t see white, he doesn’t see Hispanic, he doesn’t see — he sees souls and that’s who we’re trying to win.”
Revivals are getting harder to come by in 2019 as churches focus mainly on Sunday morning services, Thompson said. He hopes to change that.
He wants people to remember they are on the same team so that they can “populate heaven and plunder hell.”
Shelton believed “a lot” could happen in 72 hours at the revival.
“We just want them to feel closer to God because they came here,” he said. “… We believe when we lift Jesus high we’ll go from low to back on all cylinders. We also want to minister to ministers.”
The approach was a message of encouragement.
“We all carry greatness,” Shelton said. “I tell my precious atheist friends, ‘You may not believe in God, but God believes in you’.”
He also touched on keeping a focus on Jesus and Isaiah’s message of if you are waiting on the Lord or if the Lord is waiting on you.
“I’m not even religious, I just have a relationship with Jesus,” Shelton said. “Religion has started more wars than anything, so I’m not here promoting religion as crazy as that sounds. Even Billy Graham didn’t promote religion, but he was the face, maybe the second face of Christianity, Jesus first, and people kind of — but even Billy Graham would say it’s just too much Billy Graham. He just wanted them to remember Jesus.”
Church members believe Jesus is the only way to heaven.
“We believe heaven’s going to be the greatest party and I wouldn’t be much of a friend if I didn’t tell people that heaven is dying to include you,” Shelton said.