Solemn Assembly puts hope on display
By Brian Koonce
ST. LOUIS – For the second year, Missouri Baptists began their annual meeting with a time of prayer, repentance and seeking holiness.
Approximately 150 people knelt at the Millennium Hotel the Sunday night before the Pastors’ Conference and the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) annual meeting for a Solemn Assembly led by Greg Frizzell, director of prayer and spiritual awakening for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (BGCO) and student of the history of great revivals. The Solemn Assembly was the culmination of a series of nine prayer “Rise and Pray” meetings across the state in the two months leading up to the annual meeting.
Most of the prayer focused on the desire to heal rifts among conservatives in the convention, a struggle that has overshadowed much of Missouri Baptist life for the past two years.
Frizzell began the evening with this word of encouragement: “There is hope tonight,” he said. “Most great awakenings in history don’t come at high times. They usually come when it’s incredibly dark and it’s the most impossible and unlikely time. He starts with a remnant. Our great hope tonight is that there is a growing remnant out there. The rest is up to God and His timing. He is at work in Missouri.”
If fallen man can do anything to hasten that timing, it’s prayer and repentance.
“I know from experience that God moves mightily in response to prayer, no matter how dark it seems,” said Steve Tanner, director of missions for Grand Crossings Baptist Association.
Frizzell focused on personal holiness before turning the meeting over to the crowd for corporate prayer.
“God’s great name has been shamed,” he said. “His great Gospel has been hindered. This is the greatest burden we can have as a church, because it has happened because of our lives. If we really bow our hearts before God and let Him bring us to a place of deeper surrender, there will be tremendous breakthroughs. Baptisms will explode and our unity will be far greater.”
MBC Interim Executive Director David Tolliver said Nov. 6 that he is supportive of the idea of prayer meetings leading up to future annual meetings culminating with a special event along the lines of what has occurred the last two years.