Thursday, February 26, 2015

First Contact – Part 23 – Assemblies of God

The Assemblies of God Church is a Pentecostal denomination that came out of a Pentecostal movement in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They officially organized in 1914. Apparently they are one of the largest Pentecostal denominations in the United States.

There is an Assembly of God Church less than 3 miles from my home. I can remember when the building was erected. I have not been to any regular services at the church, but many years ago my wife and I attended a Passion Play there. They have this each year near Easter. It was quite a good show.

Occasionally the church hosted Christian rock bands for the youth in a small area inside the back of the church building. I can remember taking my son Andrew to it once before he started driving. They were serving snacks and soft drinks as very loud live music was playing. Most of it was what I called alternative music, which I didn’t care for.

The most memorable event I participated in at the Assembly of God Church was an Independence Day celebration in their parking lot on July 3, 2004. It was quite a big deal. Andrew and I attended the event together. The church had a large stage set up with a huge flag hanging behind it. A lot of local and some national musical performers were there.

    The Boatwright Sisters (Local Singers) With Andrew

     The Stage

In the middle of the program some ominous clouds began to form and people began to get a bit skittish. Andrew and I were about to leave, but then someone from the church went to the microphone and announced that he had been tracking the weather from inside the church building. Apparently a bad storm had been headed straight towards us, but it had split and was going around us to either side. The handiwork of God, no doubt. Several people in the audience said, “Praise God”, and the show continued. However, God must have just been messing with us because all of a sudden the storm began to roll in as evidenced by the high winds hitting us. It happened just as the headliner for the show, Jody McBrayer, came on stage. You may remember Jody as being a member of the contemporary Christian music group Avalon. He had recently launched a solo career. He seemed genuinely dismayed by the situation. He was ready to perform, but his audience was packing up their chairs and heading toward their cars. My son as I were among them. We got to our car and got inside just before the floodgates of heaven opened above us. Torrents of rain came down as we slowly drove the short distance home.

     The Storm Rolling In

Given the timing, was this storm God’s way of telling Jody to abandon his solo career or was it purely a chance event? The answer to that question is highly dependent on your personal worldview.

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