Words cannot express what happened under the Jesus Tent during Ignite Wilmington! From the very first cord that was struck on opening night, to the very last alter call given where hundreds danced off the chains of fear and depression, Ignite Wilmington was a powerful display of Jesus rescuing the lost, reviving the port city, and breaking down every dividing wall in Wilmington between races, generations, regions, and denominations. Perhaps the biggest and unexpected wall that came down during these 10 days was the wall between Church & State! With the mayor, town council, and leading judges of New Hanover County calling us to the communion table, the first night was nothing less then historic! Caught up in a Psalm 24 moment, civil government leaders embraced the spiritual government leaders of the city in the place of communion in order to welcome King Jesus’ arrival into the Port City during opening night. C-MON!
In addition, over 50 worship teams came and imparted during the 10-day 24/7 worship & prayer gathering. Some were local. Some came from Greenville, Raleigh, New Bern, Goldsboro, Whiteville, Hickory, and Morrisville, N.C. Yet, some came as far as Atlanta, Boston, and Los Angles, California; connecting Wilmington to bigger vision of what God is doing on the East-coast as well as the West-coast. Through the building up of day & night prayer, the presence of God saturated the tent! So much so, that multiple cars were pulling off Carolina Beach Road because they were magnetically drawn to the sign that read “The Jesus Tent” in front of the tent. People are so hungry for Jesus! As they read the sign and walked in, some were changed almost instantly! In fact, many who just came in to investigate ended staying for the week unable to leave. Some even went home just to bring back family members. There were over 19 baptisms and conversions one of the nights. In one case, an entire family returned and was saved and then baptized! In order to briefly capture what happened, I want to share some highlights, testimonies and pictures.
Jesus Tent Highlights
The Free Citywide Fish Fry: Hosted by White oak Community Church, we were able to give out 1,500 lbs of fresh fish and sides to over 3,000 people all for free! This is a powerful ministry through White oak church! Through their giving, we were able to spread a dinner table large enough to feed the entire city of Wilmington. Pastors and sinners, the homeless and wealthy, Baptist and Pentecostals, young and old, black and white; all gathered around the presence of Jesus and enjoyed a meal together with no distinction.
Government Leaders Prayer Set: Over 40 pastors and government leaders from around North Carolina prayed into 10 different aspects of Wilmington’s culture. Some areas included: the family, arts & entertainment, media, education, LGBT community, armed forces, and the government. It was during our prayer time for the government that Jesus showed up in a most profound way. Led by Congressman David Rouzer, several of this regions leading officials came to pray including: Mitch Cunningham, assistant Chief of Police, New Hanover County Sheriff Ed McMahan, County Commissioner Jonathan Barfield, and Judges Hockenberry and Gorham.
As they first arrived, they were shocked to see about a dozen homeless people sleeping before the alter under the morning worship set. The spirit of humility immediately fell. The meekness of Jesus made so evident to these powerful dignitaries. As congressman Rouzer opened in prayer, tears began to stream down his face. Compassion gripped him His words expressed a deep desire for his love towards Jesus and the least of these. He closed his prayer by asking God, “Send the Holy Spirit across North Carolina.” Following his prayer, tent leaders were moved to respond by spontaneously washing the congressman’s feet as well as all the other city officials’. C-MON! Church leaders washing the feet of the government leaders! What an experience this was! We believe through this act of Love, God is building a house of revival between the government and church leaders in North Carolina. Epic!
Stories From the Jesus Tent
“I just wanted to post a blessing over this page and a sign of friendship and thankfulness of friendship I thank you for giving me the Jesus tent. I have been praying in my room to show me the way to replace the void in my heart that will be there after this tent is gone and he told me that I can have the Jesus tent where ever I want now…My life is forever changed I received healing and re newness of my soul in the tent. I received the gift of tongues and now speak them for guidance.” –Shane Weller
“Today God saved my life.” -Raven
“The Jesus tent has been amazing. It has been a life changing experience. I’m so thankful for Gods faithfulness and the fact that He is going to wreck this city with His love and Grace. It has been an amazing 10 days.” -Megan Gueiss
“I can honestly say never in my life have I ever been touched the way I was touched by Jesus tonight! I receive the words spoken over me tonight and hold tight the keys given to me to unlock and walk through the door! “Never Again!” –Michelle Lane
“Jesus saved my life.” –Michael Holmes
“As I started my bike ride this evening, my intensions were to jump from the Memorial Bridge (Downtown Wilmington over Cape Fear River). I was directed away by police blocking 3rd street. As I wondered this direction, I came across the Just Jesus Revival. I stayed at the barricade looking in and longing to be a part of it. I was approached and invited inside. At that point, we prayed for healing over my deep feelings of depression. It is amazing to me, Jesus could still love me after all the things I have done to my family and friends. If only I could forgive myself. Lost for words.” -Unknown
“On September 17, 2015, in the early morning hours of the morning, before the bright morning star appeared, while Paula was preaching the Lord’s word, God put on my heart to give up my only blanket for the purpose of healing everyone who places their name upon it. I Jesus mighty name!” -Donald Cleary
(Donald was one of the homeless that came to tent and spent his nights sleeping in the tent. So moved, he gave up his only possession, his blanket as an offering to Jesus. C-MON! Blow is the Jesus Blanket donated by Donald)
“This morning, watching the city government officials’ pray and then watching the tent leaders wash their feet. God says, “A shift is occurring! A shift is happening! I am going to pour out my mercy on this nation! America will be mine again!” -Unknown
“My dad Gary Reeves has been healed by the power of Jesus Christ of being able to walk again.” –Michael Reeves
“Today I was finally able to forgive three people who have hurt me badly. I prayed about them, I prayed for them as well as thanked Jesus for the gift and peace of forgiveness. Bless this city!” I love you Jesus!!! -Unknown
“I went into the tent for prayer for my hips and received prayer for hips and the pain was gone.” –James
“A woman was out walking, saw the tent and came in. She asked about the foot washing so Mary Spencer and I washed her feet. We shared the gospel, prayed with her and she received Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior! She also prayed for the Holy Spirit to come in! Thank you Jesus!” -Terri Maples
“My name is Brian. I’ve been coming here everyday with my four children. I didn’t know what to expect when we showed up. All I can say is that this has been amazing!! I have watched my children become closer to God. My oldest gave her life to Jesus and was baptized, my back was healed and my God is healing my marriage. I thank God for all his blessings and I pray for my family to be closer to him.” –Brian
“Wow. Jesus is awesome. The tent has changed my life. I have always known Jesus but now I know Him even better thanks to the past week or so. I have been filled with so much peace, joy, love, glory, and hope nothing can stand in the way of that. I went through the worst season of heartbreak but now, I can declare that in the name of Jesus, my heart is healed. So blessed and honored to meet such lovely people from every walk of life and every culture come together as one Body of Christ. It is like a slice of heaven.” -Summer
“I have been to the tent now on three occasions and each time I am drawn by the spirit to return and what is even more heart warming is each visit I feel the presence so strong of the Holy Spirit till I find it difficult to leave. I am so grateful for this encounter and I pray God, continues to bless this tent and its soldiers wherever they go to witness next.” Barbra
Meet Rob! Rob is the guy with long dreads. The day we received the potable water baptismal tank and filled it with water, Rob just happened to walk in off the street, encountered Jesus under the tent, received salvation, and then was baptized all with 30 minutes of the tank being filled. The next day Rob brought a donation of dinner rolls and breads for the nights meal. C-MON!!!