First I want to thank those of you who prayed for me last weekend as I ministered at the singles’ retreat. In all, I believe the Lord had His way with those in attendance. It has stirred my heart deeply for more opportunities to preach His Word. The Lord has impressed upon my heart these words: “Contend for authority in prayer and proclamation.” This has been my heart cry in the past week as I’ve sought the Lord’s face.
I just finished writing a letter to Kirk Barth concerning what the Lord has been doing in my life in the past week. Interestingly all of this is occurring on the heels of my series on spiritual relationships that was initially inspired by Kirk’s writings.
This past week has been one of the most amazing, simply awe-inspiring weeks that I’ve ever had. There is simply a sense that I have stepped into a new level of destiny in the Lord. As I mentioned previously I ministered last weekend at a single’s retreat, which was intense. It seems that the Lord moved powerfully among the people, dealing with the issues of the heart that inhibit us from total surrender unto the Lord himself. After the retreat I went on a prayer assignment with a fellow brother who is a layman preacher in the Methodist church.
The Lord had impressed upon us to go to the site where the first Methodist church was planted in Virginia. Interestingly we learned that it was also the first deeded property given to the Methodist church in North America. Once we got there we were reading over the historical information they provided on the site. As expected, they had pictures depicting the despicable reality of the time: two doors – one for the white man and one for the black man. Then the drawing of the interior showed the whites sitting on the first level and the blacks sitting in the balcony. Segregation in the house of the Lord. Prejudice dividing the house of God: Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and any city or house divided against itself will not stand. (Matthew 12:25) This divisive element became a point of contention between the races in 1900 when a dispute arose as to who had legal rights to the ownership of the building. Unable to resolve the issue, the city of Leesburg intervened in 1902 to rectify the problem by ordering them to sell the church! Division within God’s house allows the world to exert its influence and authority over the Body of Christ. The church was sold and the “Old Stone Church” was torn down and its material sold and scattered throughout the region. For a mere $416.05 the building was sold.
This was a historical building, a place where God moved powerfully through the ministry of Francis Asbury and other blazing circuit riders; yet, the hidden, insidious hatred and anger brewing within created a contentious atmosphere between the whites and blacks, nullifying their kingdom influence within their locality. Interestingly there was an inscription over the altar and pulpit that puzzled us: Thou God seest me. (Genesis 16:13) Here is a quote by Hagar, the mother of Ishmael. Obviously there was contention between Hagar and Sarah; furthermore, this contending has continued through the ages through their offspring. So in this place, we sought the Lord’s direction for how to pray.
We identified with the sins of our predecessors in their sin against the blacks. We stood precisely where the original doors were located and cried out to the Lord for mercy upon us for creating divisiveness, hatred, and contention within God’s house. After about two hours, we sensed a release from the Lord that we had completed that specific assignment.
Later that day as I was browsing my Facebook page, I ventured to check out The Call Nashville event in July that was listed on Facebook. Scrolling down I noticed a person who had put a comment stating that they were definitely going to be attending. Upon closer inspection, this African-American brother looked vaguely familiar. Then I looked at his name which I thought I recognized from a guy that I knew from high school – Darrian Summerville. I sent him a quick message asking him if he had gone to school in Manassas, Virginia. In response, he affirmed that he had indeed gone to school in Manassas. From that point we started corresponding and it has been the most phenomenal orchestration of God’s Spirit that I have ever experienced. This man serves as a worship leader under Bishop Wellington Boone in Atlanta, Georgia. (Bishop Boone has been instrumental in partaking in racial reconciliation events in Promise Keepers over the past decade) There are so many parallels in our lives. We have both been involved in campus ministry; we have a heart for intercessory prayer; and God has spoken to both of us through a prophetic dream to give to Lou Engle when he was a guest speaker at our respective churches - among other things. These are just a few highlights. In all, we both feel like we’ve been long lost brothers. We have talked and email extensively since our reconnecting last Sunday.
It has always been on my heart to connect with a fellow African-American brother who has a leadership calling so that we could minister together. Both Darrian and I know that the Lord has called us together. God is calling me to walk in a new measure of covenant that I have yet to experience with a fellow believer apart from my own wife. I’m learning much about relationships as I adjourn this process!
Brian Francis Hume