By Susan Mires
EL DORADO SPRINGS – Things may never be the same at First Baptist Church of El Dorado Springs.
On Feb. 28, the church cancelled all regular services and Sunday School classes and met for one purpose: Prayer.
The church conducted a Level II Solemn Assembly, led by Bob Loggins, prayer and spiritual awakening specialist with the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC).
“I think it was wonderful and so did most of our members,” said John Holt, transitional pastor. “In prayer we come face to face with God and we’re able to worship when we come spirit to spirit.”
It is a pivotal time for the El Dorado church, which has been under a transitional pastor for little more than a year and is moving closer to calling a minister.
The six-hour service began as Loggins led the 81 adults to a time of spiritual cleansing, confession and worship.
“Bob Loggins is ideally suited to lead an event like this,” Holt said. “He’s able to help people come to the fountain of spiritual blessing. He brings it about calmly, but powerfully.”
The time included periods of teaching and small-group prayers and a break for a light lunch.
“We had a tremendous move of God,” Loggins said of the event.
For members, one of the most powerful portions was a look at Hebrews 12:2, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith.” Loggins asked members what happens when a church takes its focus off Christ. Holt wrote down the responses, which included items such as a lack of commitment, neglecting outreach, and not growing.
“They touched on the shortcomings so many churches have. We’ve gotten to the point we assume that’s the way we do church,” Holt said. “They actually verbalized some of the things they’re struggling with and how to be a more Christ-centered church.”
The assembly proved profitable for El Dorado Springs, he said. “I recommend it for any church, every church.”
As more churches learn about Solemn Assemblies, which can be conducted at four different levels, the interest is growing, Loggins said. The assemblies and other prayer gatherings are a priority for the convention.
“It seems as if God is helping his people see that if we’re going to turn our nation around, it is not through programs, it is by the infiltrating work of the Holy Spirit of God,” Loggins said.