Christians Convene for Global Pentecostal Congress

Some 15,000 believers from around the U.S. and abroad are expected to attend the Empowered 21 Congress, a meeting of Spirit-filled believers that will begin tonight and run through Saturday in Tulsa, Okla.

Attendees will meet for three days at the Oral Roberts University (ORU) Mabee Center to discuss the future of the Pentecostal-charismatic movement, and in particular how to introduce "Spirit-empowerment" to a new generation.

Ministering tonight is pastor Joel Stockstill of Bethany Church in Baker, La.; Church of God in Christ evangelist Joyce Rodgers and Timothy Ross, young adult pastor at The Potter's House in Dallas. 

The Commission on Holy Spirit Empowerment in the 21st Century is sponsoring the congress with a grant provided by ORU, and will address key issues facing the movement. Speakers will focus on integrity in leadership, biblical literacy, and will also share with attendees the importance of living out the Spirit-filled life 100 years after the start of the Pentecostal movement.  

"God is calling us to focus on a new generation and how they will engage the power of the Holy Spirit to change the world," said the Rev. Billy Wilson, commission chair and executive director of the International Center for Spiritual Renewal.

Wilson said the event is offering something for everyone in attendance, regardless of their age. One hundred and ninety-four workshops will be offered at the event addressing scholarship, leadership and reaching the next generation.

Other general session speakers include: Nigerian Bishop Enoch Adeboye of the Redeemed Christian Church of God; pastor Ulf Ekman of Word of Life Church in Uppsala, Sweden; Argentine revivalist Claudio Freidzon and former Foursquare President Jack Hayford.

On Saturday night, ministers from around the world will discuss what it will take to evangelize the 21st-century world. The service will end with prayers for impartation.

"In the 20th century, what drove our forefathers to find Pentecost and experience the charismatic move was the question, ‘What will make us effective in reaching the world for Jesus Christ?'" Wilson said. "And what we want in this congress is for people to leave knowing that it takes the Holy Spirit to be effective to reach the 21st century world and to experience that for themselves."

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