As I share these words, My heart is overwhelmed , because I was blessed to be part of something so overwhelming that even now, It is hard to comprehend as well as understand the depths of God’s mighty love. The Jesus’ Movement had burst on the scene, in the 1970’s followed by the Charismatic Renewal in the Protestant and Catholic Church. But as amazing and life changing as those Moves of God were, there was the Promise of another Movement of God’s Spirit that was in the formative stages laying the groundwork for a Revival that would shake our world in the not to distant future, and it would directly spring forth from my hometown of Canton, Ohio. Canton would not be the only aquifer or well spring of Revival nor would it be out of just one church. But it would burst forth from those believers in our city hungering after God with a passion not seen before. This article is a reprint from an article that I wrote in November 2002, because the Movement has begun, Heaven is waiting, and the Holy Spirit is Gathering His Army signifying that Jesus is waiting on us, His Church, to burst upon the scene in all of His Magnificence and Glory! So here goes.
“Do you understand that where you live is unique to God’s end times plans. Do you realize that God has chosen your city to be mightily used in the Last Great Revival that will sweep the world?”
Those words I will never forget, and as my dear friend Miriam King related them to me, I came to the realization that I was part of something very huge spiritually. Miriam and Claire King, her husband, were spiritual giants in my life back in 60’s and 70’s, as well as giants in this city in the area of spiritual healing. . I had the privilege of attending many of their healing services at Christ United Presbyterian Church in downtown Canton when such things were unheard of . It was an encounter that Miriam had with a visiting U.S. congressman’s wife that forever changed the direction of my life , for it began a sequence of events that have transgressed these past 40 some years. I remember the day that Miriam called me and mentioned that she wanted to share something with me concerning her conversation with the senator’s wife. She shared that as she approached the city, she saw a dome of light over Canton, and the Holy Spirit began to speak to her heart these words, as well as those above. ” I have chosen this city to be a key player in what I am about to do all over the world.”
We’ll, as a new believer and just recently baptized in the Holy Spirit, as well as possessing a discerning if not skeptical mind, I heard those words but did not allow them to penetrate my heart nor understanding. But what I want to share with you is what the Holy Spirit did with those words, and just how He confirmed many times His Plan for our city. Space does not allow me to journal the totality nor depth of my experience, but I pray that as I share a few examples from the archives of my journey, you will be encouraged to know you also are part of something very special that God is about to do through our church and churches and city.
Several years after that initial encounter, I found myself in school in Anaheim, California, which was a miracle in itself, because being a homebody, California was the last place that I would have gone for seminary after just dropping out of graduate law school. Then, strange things began to happen. One Sunday morning, in the midst of 4,000 people, my pastor called me out of the crowd. I couldn’t believe my eyes as he was directly looking into mine and summoning me forward. As several friends pushed me out into the isle, I stumbled towards the front. With eyes that seemed to pierce through me, the pastor looked at me and said,” Son, God is taking you back to Canton, Ohio to start a church and out of your city, will flow revival that will touch the world. ” I was speechless, because I had never met him nor spoken about where I was from.
A week or so later, I met a lady named Doris Smalley who proceeded to tell me about a vision that she recently had. How I had met her, was another Divine Appointment that was beyond logic for my brain to figure out. Anyways, she had been waiting to meet me. The first words out of her mouth when she saw me were,”You’re the one.” ” The One what, I responded?” she replied,” You are going back to your city, and you’re going to start a church which will minister to youth in particular, but it will also minister all over the world. She then went on to describe our original meeting place at High Mill swim park, even describing the color of the front doors on the farm house which was our meeting place. She said that she had been given it in a vision. She and her husband Phil, became like our spiritual parents for the next 15 years and eventually came back and shared one Sunday morning the whole experience.
Sometime later, I was in San Francisco and during a church service, a man began to prophesy. ” There is a city in Ohio, named Canton, out of which will flow a mighty revival in the last days.” I was stunned and turned to a friend and said, ” Did you tell him that I’m from Canton, Ohio?” ” No, he replied, I didn’t know that was where you’re from.” No more than a week later, the same thing happened in Los Angeles and later in Denver and Canada.
Down through the years, at various conferences, when my hometown’s name has come up and I’ve mentioned Canton, Ohio, I’ve gotten the same response. Not too long ago at a mega church in Atlanta, Georgia, a pastor friend related a like occurrence. The pastor began his sermon and then abruptly stopped. He began, ” I can’t go any further until I say something. There is someone here from Canton, Ohio and the Holy Spirit wants you to know that out of your city will flow a mighty revival that will touch the whole world.”
A well known author recently shared in a magazine article about Revival flowing out of Ohio-especially out of the northeast part of the state. A noted evangelist recently did likewise.
Church-What does this mean? Does it mean that we are special or more anointed? Of course not! I feel that it only speaks of the blood, sweat, and tears, as well as prayer that have been sown in this city and for this city by those who have possessed obedient servant hearts. I believe that we are going to reap the harvest which they have sown-And the scripture, “weeping and sorrow are at night, but joy cometh in the morning.” (Psalms 30:5) will be our victory and destiny.