[06.03.08] Like many flocking to Florida’s Lakeland Outpouring since April 2, thousands more are descending on MorningStar Ministries’ campus in Fort Mill, S.C., in search of a similar experience.
For the last six weeks, excluding two evenings set aside for rest, extended worship and healing services have been held every night in an affluent suburb south of Charlotte, N.C.
MorningStar founder Rick Joyner said in his many years of full-time ministry he’s never witnessed anything so strong and consistent. He believes it could “morph into revival” and eventually “break out” around the world.
“It’s increasing, not decreasing,” he told Charisma. “We’ve seen more real and serious high-level miracles in the last five weeks than we’ve seen in the entire time of our ministry.”
Joyner said during meetings people are delivered from oppression and healed of a variety of ailments, such as tumors, paralysis, allergies, blindness, deafness and acid reflux.
A young mother of two from Fort Mill told Charisma that without any expectation for healing, the pain from her ulcer disappeared the day after attending a meeting last week. She said instead of pain during the night, she is experiencing God’s peace.
The gatherings have been dubbed “Holy Spirit Breakout,” named after the “breakout room” on campus where students from MorningStar’s ministry school prayed for others on April 23 after returning from meetings in Lakeland, Fla., led by evangelist Todd Bentley.
In an update on MorningStar’s Web site after the “breakout,” Joyner said his students begged him to keep things going. “My response was that I did not start it, and I sure would not stop it,” he said. “As long as the Lord is moving, we will be meeting every night, but when He stops or moves on, so will we.”
Joyner explained what is occurring at MorningStar as connected to a dream he said he had last year in which God told him if he “honored the fathers,” revival would come to America within six months. He held a conference on March 21 dedicated to this theme.
A month later, Joyner wrote in a bulletin that God linked honoring the fathers with revival in America because a “major gate of hell” had been opened to America over the years through the “dishonoring of fathers and fatherhood.”
Last week in California, Joyner visited healing evangelist Oral Roberts, someone he considers a father of last century’s healing movement. Joyner said the aging leader told him he thinks what’s happening at MorningStar is “totally God.”
Numbers attending daily services at MorningStar have ranged between several hundred to a couple thousand. Joyner said half the crowd often raise their hands to indicate that it’s their first time attending. He said the current facility could hold up to 3,000 people.
Though he expects attendance to jump when school lets out for the summer, Joyner said numbers are not what excite him most. “To be honest with you, it seems that when the crowds are a little smaller the Lord moves more powerfully.”
If a larger venue becomes necessary in the coming months Joyner said the former PTL Club studio on campus could accommodate up to 5,000 people.
The PTL Club was a TV program in the 1980s hosted by televangelist Jim Bakker, who later spent time in prison for fraud. In 2004, Joyner purchased Bakker’s abandoned and dilapidated property formerly known as Heritage USA and, in a nod to what he calls the redemption of Jim Bakker, called MorningStar’s vision for the property’s continued restoration Heritage International Ministries.
According to Joyner, reliable prophetic words about revival coming to the Charlotte, N.C., area have been declared for more than 50 years. “I’m not saying this is it,” he said. “To us, it’s like a spiritual birth pang or contraction leading to revival.”
But if revival is eventually birthed, as Joyner hopes it is, he does not believe it will only be local. “I think it will break out all over the place,” he said. “I think the ‘encouragement barometer’ of the whole body of Christ is going to go way up. I think ultimately what is coming will go beyond revival and to a great awakening. I think we’re just in the very first stages. I think we’re in for several very intense years.” —Paul Steven Ghiringhelli