Christians Convene for Global Pentecostal Congress

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Adrienne S. Gaines

Some 15,000 believers from around the U.S.
and abroad are expected to attend the Empowered 21 Congress, a meeting of
Spirit-filled believers that will begin tonight and run through Saturday in
Tulsa, Okla.

Attendees will meet for three days at the
Oral Roberts University (ORU) Mabee Center to discuss the future of the
Pentecostal-charismatic movement, and in particular how to introduce
“Spirit-empowerment” to a new generation.

Ministering tonight is pastor Joel
Stockstill of Bethany Church in Baker, La.; Church of God in Christ evangelist
Joyce Rodgers and Timothy Ross, young adult pastor at The Potter’s House in

The Commission on Holy Spirit Empowerment
in the 21st Century is sponsoring the congress with a grant provided
by ORU, and will address key issues facing the movement. Speakers will focus on
integrity in leadership, biblical literacy, and will also share with attendees
the importance of living out the Spirit-filled life 100 years after the start
of the Pentecostal movement.  

“God is calling us to focus on a new
generation and how they will engage the power of the Holy Spirit to change the
world,” said the Rev. Billy Wilson, commission chair and executive director of
the International Center for Spiritual Renewal.

Wilson said the event
is offering something for everyone in attendance, regardless of their age. One
hundred and ninety-four workshops will be offered at the event addressing
scholarship, leadership and reaching the next generation.

Other general session speakers include: Nigerian Bishop Enoch Adeboye of
the Redeemed Christian Church of God; pastor Ulf Ekman of Word of Life Church
in Uppsala, Sweden; Argentine revivalist Claudio Freidzon and former Foursquare
President Jack Hayford.

On Saturday night, ministers from around the world will discuss what it
will take to evangelize the 21st-century world. The service will end with
prayers for impartation.

“In the 20th century, what drove our forefathers
to find Pentecost and experience the charismatic move was the question, ‘What
will make us effective in reaching the world for Jesus Christ?'” Wilson said.
“And what we want in this congress is for people to leave knowing that it takes
the Holy Spirit to be effective to reach the 21st century world and to
experience that for themselves.”

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