Bro. Huntley, tell us about the Carolina Crusades. What took place and where?
Carolina Crusades is a church-planting campaign of the North Carolina District of the United Pentecostal Church International.
It is said that familiarity breeds contempt. However, in this development, familiarity bred concern, compassion and a call of God. Traveling the same repeated route year after year, season after season, to our hunting lease in northeast North Carolina brought us through the center of the small town of Enfield. It almost became traditional that as I viewed the poverty — both financially and spiritually — of the impoverished area that I would remark to my wife, “Something needs to be done here, somebody needs to do something about this. These people need help!” One day as these words fell from my mouth, they seemed to have fallen on the ears of God and I heard Him say, “Why don’t you?” I said, “I will!”
I came into Enfield one day shortly after that experience to get a flat tire repaired on a four-wheeler. While the gentleman was patching the tire, another old gentleman stood by, just watching. I said, “Excuse me, sir, who runs this town?” He said, “I guess that would be the mayor.” As soon as possible, I contacted her. I told her who I was and how I had passed through her city time after time and how God had given me a burden for her town and her people and a desire to bless them. Her unedited response was, “Lord God, Reverend, we need a blessing.” I told her my plan was to come into her city and erect our tent on the county fairground property, which was a high visibility location for a tent crusade. We would give away many gifts and provide free food. This would be the preliminaries for a fabulous crusade. Our outreach team canvassed the area and we had a booth at their local festival advertising the upcoming crusade. Mayor Barbara Simmons welcomed us and pledged her full support, which she did give, way beyond our expectation. She provided our every need without any charges including a complete police force for security.
We connected the Enfield crusade with our annual world missions conference. Our precious church responded in both finances and attendance. The expectation and anticipation was sky high. Attendance was probably between five and six hundred. When we began to worship, you could feel not only our excitement but also God’s excitement. Bro. David Smith was our evangelist, and he did a masterful job. Tears gushed from my eyes as I saw the most wonderful thing I have ever experienced. Men, women, young and old were desperately reaching out to God. It was then I heard God speak to me, “This is where I want my church. I have been waiting for you to get here.”
What kind of results did you have?
The end result was 88 filled with the Holy Ghost, including the mayor and the chief of police! We now have an active preaching point with locals attending in a free building provided by Mayor Simmons. She and the chief of police have both driven to Raleigh and visited the Temple Of Pentecost. At the conclusion of the crusade, again I heard God whisper, “Pay close attention to what has just happened; I have plans for this to be repeated and multiplied in the future.”
In 2014, we hosted 10 simultaneous crusades in counties with no church, launching preaching points in each of them in one day. We also had Spanish pastors in place at each crusade, extending the possibility to 20 preaching points in one day.
Final results, 1,500-plus registered guests, 502 filled with the Holy Ghost, 87 baptized in Jesus name, 40- plus healings, and 10-plus churches launched, all in one day!
Any unique stories or miracles you can share?
The mother of Chester McGlockton, former defensive tackle for the Baltimore Ravens, was in attendance at the Whiteville Crusade. She was bound to a wheelchair and was brought to the front for prayer. It was then that she testifies that she felt tingling in her legs. A few moments later, she stood and walked in worship!
Another awesome miracle took place at our Tarboro Crusade. Just like the “loaves and the fishes” miracle in the New Testament, our food staff had only prepared enough food for 250-300 people. That Saturday they served 750 people full servings and never ran out of food!
Is this something that might be able to be duplicated in other districts?
Yes, and we can help. It would be our pleasure to support and share all information and the Carolina Crusade Model.
Will you do this kind of district-wide crusade again?
Yes. The Carolina Crusade campaign motto is “Reaching 59 Counties With The Gospel.” The state of North Carolina has 100 counties, of which 59 had no United Pentecostal Church. After our ten 2014 Crusades, there are now 49 counties without a United Pentecostal Church. Our mission is to hold crusades in 10 new counties per year until all counties have a preaching point! We have already launched our 2015 crusades, 10 more counties, 10 plus more churches launched on October 17, 2015.
Due to the thrust of church planting, the state of North Carolina does have need for home missionaries. Some of these new preaching points launched in 2014 need permanent pastors. The district will entertain inquiries regarding these new churches. If you have any interest, please contact the NC North American Missions Director Floyd Morris at 910-791-8996.
Can others contact you for more information and if so, how to best contact you? Absolutely. Contact Jeff Cecil, firstname.lastname@example.org, 919.524.8127. Also, feel free to visit our social media sites for more info, pictures and videos. www.carolinacrusades.com
2014 Carolina Crusade results video: YouTube: https://youtu.be/dmox7OM9soU
2014 Pre Carolina Crusades Promo: YouTube: https://youtu.be/FBsxNPO5j4o
Carolina Crusades Facebook page: www.facebook.com/CarolinaCrusades